While most people may not think of essential oils for heart health, there are some surprising benefits imparted by a number of essential oils, which can promote better heart health. By making use of some of the essential oils identified below, you may experience an improvement in your own heart health.
Overview: essential oils for heart health
Essential oils are those extracted from various plants which are thought to have beneficial healing or health properties, and which are often used by holistic medicine practitioners to bring about whole-body wellness in their patients and followers. While essential oils have been used by holistic healers for many different reasons, this discussion will center on their usage to promote heart health.
These oils come directly from the flowers, roots, leaves, resins, fruits, or bark of the trees or shrubs which provide such healing, for instance, ginger, lavender, and the tea tree. There is a whole range of medical conditions which are treated by holistic medicine disciples using these essential oils, and it now appears that heart health can be included among them.
How essential oils can help your heart
At least one recent study conducted at Taipei Medical University has identified significant benefits to be obtained through inhaling essential oils. Some essential oils have the ability to lower your heart rate and decrease blood pressure, as long as the inhaling process is kept to less than an hour. The study showed that inhaling for more than an hour caused a decrease in the effectiveness of any benefit derived, and consequently added very little to heart health.
During the study, 100 people were asked to inhale diffuse essential oils for approximately 20 minutes, either twice or three times each day for a period of a week. It's important to note that the inhalation process always took place in a room which was well ventilated, so as to avoid the potential for participants to develop headaches and possible nausea from being exposed to the strong scents. The amount of the essential oils was also carefully monitored because even a drop of these very concentrated substances can be very powerful.
Essential oils which promote heart health
Here are some of the essential oils which have been discovered to have beneficial effects on promoting and maintaining good heart health:
- Helichrysum oil – this essential oil acts as a blood thinner, and it can be used to increase the level of good cholesterol in the body for people who have low levels of it.
- Lovage oil – one of the very best essential oils for good heart health, lovage essential oil has the capability of lowering blood pressure and maintaining a balance of circulating lipids. This oil helps to drain toxins away from the skin, kidneys, liver, and joints, and it provides support for the pancreas as well.
- Ylang ylang oil - because it has outstanding sedative characteristics, this oil is extremely effective at helping to reduce nervous tension and stress. It also lowers blood pressure and can alleviate cardiorespiratory plexus spasms.
- Rosemary oil - since rosemary can help to dissolve cholesterol, it can work to achieve a balanced blood pressure, and even decrease it. Rosemary has a powerful effect on hormones and on the nervous system, and it can be very uplifting for someone who has mild depression.
- Ginger oil - this oil can be used for either low blood pressure or high blood pressure because it helps with balancing out the condition. Since it's a spicy type of oil, it can improve circulation by dilating blood vessels.
- Rose otto oil - this is a great oil to use for people who have difficulty sleeping because it promotes a feeling of calm and relaxation, which can also decrease heart rate. It has been used successfully to quiet down heart palpitations.
- Lavender oil - the calming and soothing effects of lavender make it good for practically everything, including blood circulation, lowering blood pressure, and even strengthening the heart muscle itself.
- Clary sage oil – this is an oil which also has the capability of lowering blood pressure and has anti-spasmodic effects as well.
- Neroli oil - your mood can be quickly uplifted by inhaling neroli oil, and that, in turn, will lower your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure.
- Peppermint oil - a very refreshing oil which can relieve anxiety, peppermint oil also has anti-spasmodic characteristics and also has the capability of improving blood circulation.
- Geranium oil - this oil can lower blood pressure by contracting the blood vessels themselves, and it can help to tone up the body's vital processes including heart circulation.
- Lemon oil - this is one of the most popular astringents, having the capability of contracting blood vessels and reducing blood pressure. It can also tone up all organs of the body including the heart, and it relieves symptoms of stress.
- Lemongrass oil – this oil acts on the nervous system and helps to avoid clotting. Since it's also an anti-depressant, it can relieve stress in a person, resulting in lower blood pressure.
- Frankincense oil – improved sleep is one of the most beneficial effects imparted by this oil since it can banish stress and depression. It also has strong toning qualities, which can help to promote better circulation.
- Camphor oil – this is great at stimulating good circulation, and camphor oil also has sedative qualities which help to quiet down spasms and anxiety.
Aromatherapy blends of essential oils
There are several blends which can be concocted, by using mixtures of some of the essential oils described above and a couple other ingredients which help the process, so that you can achieve your heart health objectives right at home.
It is not advisable for heart patients with serious issues to attempt these without doctor advice, and if you have any questions about your overall heart health, you should consult your family doctor anyway before trying any of these essential oil remedies. Each blend will have a specific purpose and will either be applied as topically or inhaled for about 20 minutes, so as to derive the maximum benefit possible:
- General heart health blend – This blend will improve your blood circulation and lower your blood pressure, while also reducing stress and anxiety. To produce the mixture, you'll need four drops of rose otto oil, 1 ounce of sweet almond oil, four drops of neroli oil, and four drops of rosemary verbenone. Once you’ve blended the oils together and have given them a good shake, you can apply a good amount to your chest, especially in the area of the heart, as well as the throat and neck. For best results, do this two or three times a day for approximately two weeks, and then take a week off. You can continue this indefinitely, as long as you always remember to skip a week after the last week of usage.
- Blend for venous congestion – for this blend, you'll need 1 ounce of arnica oil, three drops of helichrysum oil, two drops of camphor oil, and three drops of lovage oil. After blending and shaking all the oils very well, you can apply the mixture alongside the obviously visible veins which lead toward the heart, taking care that you don't apply the mixture directly on those veins. This should help to relieve congestion in the veins and improve circulation so that your heart rate can be lowered. In turn, this will also serve to decrease your blood pressure.
- Rapid heart rate blend – as you might guess, this blend is used to slow down the heart rate, and it is especially helpful for persons who are experiencing anxiety or excessive nervousness. In order to make this blend, you'll need an ounce of avocado oil, three drops of ginger oil, four drops of lemon oil, four drops of lemongrass oil, and two drops of helichrysum oil. Blend all the ingredients together and then shake well to be sure you achieve a good mixture of all of them. Once it's ready to apply, you can directly dab it on to pulse points around the body, and especially in the area of the heart. If you undertake this process three or four times a day, you should feel your heart rate diminishing, your blood pressure lowering, and a calmer state of mind overcoming you. If you don't have avocado oil, you can use this blend as a diffuser, but for no longer than about 20 minutes at a time.