Palliative care and essential oils Palliative care with essential oils Clinical aromatherapy is slowly being introduced to hospitals and demonstrate very positive feedback concerning the health of the patients as well as the medical staff. More and more caregivers are being trained to the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, especially in palliative care services. Often set up when the person is at the end of life, palliative cares are given to people suffering from a serious, incurable, evolutionary or terminal illness. The identification and the relief of the person’s physical and psychic symptoms in palliative care are an integral part of the patient’s medical care goals in order to soothe his or her end of life in the most gentle way. Which essential oils? Essential oils are used to soothe physical pains, bring comfort to the musculoskeletal system, the venous circulatory system, skin problems, infections or the digestive system. Moreover, some essential oils improve the global psychological state of the sick suffering from anxiety, worry and tensions linked to his health. It is very important to select and validate the essential oils by the sick while respecting his olfactory feeling and his tastes. Moreover, the caregiver must adapt the cares according to the patient’s results and feelings. Incense, nard, and rose essential oils are to be preferred for people in their end of life and is comforting for those who stay. Incense essential oil allow the communication and transmission of ideas at the spiritual level, and to establish a connection with the higher self. Moreover, this oil soothes nervous tensions and depressed states. Applied to the skin or used with a diffuser, it also has anti-infectious properties for the respiratory tracts and stimulates the immune defense system. Nard essential oil from the Himalayas harmonizes the neurovegetative system, transmits warmth and security, calm fears, and brings inner peace. It is known to calm inner nervous tensions, as well as unconscious tensions that excite the heart (such as tachycardia). It also compresses the respiratory system (panic attacks, palpitations…). Lastly, Damask rose essential oil is a powerful psycho-emotional harmonizer. Applied to the skin, it has regenerative and healing properties and it also has soothing and anxiolytic properties. After each session, it is important to know how much the patient has appreciated it and how his health evolved in order to adjust the care at its best. The whole of essential oils participates in the preservation of the quality of life and the soothing of pains while considering the psychological, social and spiritual sufferings of the patient and his relatives. Essential oils: usage warning These suggestions do not replace your doctor’s advices. The use of essential oils is not recommended in the following cases: pregnant or breastfeeding women, children younger than 6 years old, respiratory allergies. If in doubt, consult your doctor.