senior man and woman cutting vegetables

Stimulate Your Appetite with Essential Oils

Many people experience a gradual decrease in appetite as they get older, which is a normal part of the process of aging. Senior citizens often have lower energy levels and are less physically active, which means their bodies require fewer calories than a younger, more active person. According to the National Institute of Health, aging also brings on some psychological changes that can impact a person’s appetite. Some of these include changes to the senses of taste and smell, changes to vision, hormonal changes and changes to the digestive system; all of these can contribute to a decline in appetite.

It is common to explore ways to stimulate your appetite. As you look for healthy, safe ways to increase your appetite and improve overall health, it is important to understand the options and the right ways to use the tools available.

What Can You Take to Stimulate Your Appetite?

A lack of appetite can be frustrating, especially for an elderly person who is working to build strength and maintain their physical abilities. So, how can you stimulate your appetite? There are several non-invasive ways to change your daily habits that may help:

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently
  • Add more calories and nutrients to each meal
  • Include a social element with mealtime
  • Rely on an eating schedule, rather than hunger, to trigger meal time
  • Add high-calorie drinks to your daily routine
  • Make sure meals have lots of flavor
  • Do not fill your stomach with beverages during meal time
  • Consider the use of essential oils to stimulate your appetite

Are Essential Oils Safe for the Elderly?

People all over the globe use essential oils for health benefits. Before jumping in, it helps to understand the safety aspects and the best ways to achieve your goals using oils. When it comes to stimulating the appetite using oils, here are some of the most common questions:

How do essential oils affect the brain?

Diffusing essential oils creates a practice called aromatherapy. When the oils are inhaled, the scent molecules travel through the senses to the brain and may impact the amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain.

What scents stimulate appetite?

Does lavender increase appetite? Does mint stimulate appetite? The short answer is yes! Studies at the NIH show that the scent of lavender oil and its active component, linalool, affects the autonomic nerves and increases appetite. Additionally, both peppermint and ginger essential oils are said to reduce the symptoms of nausea, which is a common reason for people to lose their appetite. Tangerine essential oil is said to activate the gastric juices in the digestive system, which increases the feeling of hunger and signals the person to eat. A third option is oregano essential oil, which is said to relieve tension in the stomach, which can stimulate appetite.

Are essential oils safe for elderly?

According to Web MD, elderly persons may be more sensitive to essential oils. This means it could be helpful to dilute the oils during use. Speak to your doctor or care provider about the best way to safely incorporate essential oils into your daily routine.

Finding Comfort and Care

The Atriums Senior Living Community in Overland Park, Kansas is a community committed to the health and safety of our residents. From helping to find new aromatherapy ideas for seniors to creating social adventures and outings, our team at The Atriums is ready to meet all your needs. Contact us today to learn more.