Essential Tremors and Aromatherapy
I recently found out the shaking in my hands that I have had for years, the loss of balance and also movement and “shaking” inside my eyes, , and has gotten worse is a nervous disorder called Essential Tremors. ET causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.
It is similar to Parkinson ’s disease but it is diagnosed differently. With Parkinson’s Disease if you put your hands on your lap or on your side, and they continue to shake then you may have Parkinsons , also with Parkinson’s Disease your hands shake all the time no matter what you do. In ET, if you reach for something or hold something in your hand- it shakes.
Essential tremor can occur at any age but is most common in people age 40 and older and sometimes triggered by trauma. Also it seems it is appear to result from a genetic mutation, which means a close relative like your mother or father had it and passed it down to you.
If you want to learn more about it you can check out this website https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/essential-tremor/symptoms-causes/syc-20350534 It explains much more about this disorder.
Being that I am a clinical aromatherapist I decided to do more research to find out what I can use to help myself.. There are some prescription drugs called beta blockers-that block the action of stimulating substances called neurotransmitters, works like a sedative to the nerves in the brain, one can take, but the side effects for me were not worth it. There is physical therapy which I tried but it did not do a thing. I have been seeing an acupuncturist and that helps a bit but not enough. Deep brain stimulation uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator to delivery electrical stimulation to targeted areas of the brain that control movement, temporarily blocking the nerve signals that causes the tremors. Other surgical intervention is effective but may have side effects. I am nowhere ready for this route.
All the research I found, these procedures try to calm or block the nerve sensations in the brain, so there are essential oils and a particular Frankincense resin species that seems do the same thing without the heavy side effects.
Frankincense Boswellia papyrifera
This resin is very unique. It is extremely hard to get it in an essential oil because it takes a lot of the resin to get the essential oil out of it. Boswellia papyrifera can be distinguished from other types of Frankincense by the presence of large amounts of octyl acetate and octanol. It also has two other unusual and unique chemical markers — incensole and incensole acetate. Studies have shown that incensole acetate affects the central nervous system by calming it down. I actually infuse the resin in fractionated coconut oil. I have found by putting the oil on the inside of my wrists, it will calm down the tremors a bit. Also when I burn it I have been finding my tremors will actually stop for a few hours. The advantage of using this resin it is not highly concentrated like the essential oil so I can use it all the time.
This resin is very calming to the mind and acts just like a beta blocker does. I sell this resin and you can get it here:
Valerian Root Essential Oil: (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian seems to act like a sedative on the brain and nervous system. It is extremely calming. It is used also for sleeping issues.
Damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca)
Damiana has been used for depression, relief of anxiety and nervousness. It is extremely strong so only a little bit is needed. I have used it for my clients in blends for anxiety issues and on myself and I find it works.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides
It is very calming to the mind, used for nervousness and can be used for sleep.
Vetiver and Valerian Root essential oils some say they have a stinky smell like being in a men’s locker room after a workout or they may smell like “stinky socks”. So to camouflage this a bit, you can add Sweet Orange Essential Oil to cut the stinky smell. Sweet Orange is calming so you are not destroying what you make. You can use this oil if you find Valerian does not work for you.
There are some other essential oils you can use but the two that actually helps me deal with my tremors especially when they get bad is using Valerian Root and Damiana in an inhaler. This way I can make 2- one for the home and one to put in my bag when I am out.
While there is no cure for this disorder and unfortunately it can be passed down to the next generation, as I stated above these methods helps me the most so far when it gets bad.
If you are making an inhaler- this is what I do.
7 drops of Valerian Root Essential Oil (or Vetiver)
3 drops Damiana Essential oil (as said this one is very strong so you do not need a lot)
3 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
A few drops of fractionated coconut oil. What this does is keep the smell on the cloth for a longer period of time.
You can also take the infused Boswellia papyrifera and use that for the few drops- in this case 2 drops is more than enough. I still like it separate on my wrists because it stays with me longer.
If you have this disorder you can try my advise, maybe it will work for you as it works for me. Just make sure you are not allergic to trees or any of the plants before trying this. Also Valerian Root is not recommended for those that are elderly because it may be stimulating instead of calming.