Epilepsy is one of the worst conditions that can occur to any human being. An epileptic patient, when provoked, can be caught in a row of frenzied convulsions if not properly treated or cared of. Those who know about essential oils and epilepsy, know that aromatherapy is not advisable for epileptics as usage of certain oils can lead to convulsions or seizures. But there are the others, new researchers, who opine that aromatherapy can be used to prevent seizures when used along with hypnosis. This article will analyze the pros and cons of using essential oils for epilepsy treatment.
Harmful essential oils: All is not pink when it comes to essential oils treatment. Here are a few toxic and harmful essential oils for epileptic patients:
1. Neurotoxins: Oils like Nutmeg and Thujone have a psychotropic effect on the body and cause convulsions in epileptics. So, avoid them at the most.
2. Classic convulsants: Some essential oils like Rosemary, Fennel, Sage and Hyssop are said to be classic convulsants and have to be avoided at all costs. Though herbalists may recommend use of Hyssop, it has to be understood that aromatherapy is different from herbalism and hence, individuals with a family of epilepsy or patients who are already epileptic should avoid it all costs.
3. Toxic oils: Essential oils listed under the toxic category should never be used. These include, Tansy, Thuja and Wormwood oils. Spike Lavender is also an oil to be avoided as it has a camphoraceous aroma and is not generally appealing to epileptics or any other individual. So, avoid it by all means.
4. Convulsants: Since epilepsy starts with seizures, you should avoid oils which have even the least convulsant effect. These include Rosemary, Sage, Camphor (they contain camphor, a convulsant), Fennel (which contains fenchone) and Hyssop, Tansy and Wormwood (which contain thujone compounds). These oils contain convulsant compounds which have ketones. Though not all ketones are hazardous, it is better to avoid all than suffer from using one or two.
5. No burner therapy: Never use these oils in burners or adopt to vapor therapy while treating epileptic patients or when epileptics are around. If you want to use in bathing preparations for some other ailments, consult your medical practitioner before you do so.
New research on epilepsy: The old-timers would say that essential oils are a mismatch with epilepsy treatment. But new researchers like Dr. Tim Betts, head of an epileptic hospital in Birminghan, UK says that one can use a few essential oils to actually prevent the occurrence of seizures. Volunteers in Dr. Betts experiment had aromatherapy massages using their favorite essential oils. The massaging was accompanied by a self-hypnosis treatment. That is, with the help of a self-hypnosis relaxation, a conditioned response was initiated in the volunteers to prevent seizures. The research proved to be a turning point in the aromatherapy-epilepsy debate and believers like Betts profess that essential oils can actually help epileptic patients.