Do essential oils really help with heart failure? Here are the unglossed facts about essential oils as a natural heart health remedy. We’ve got the full scoop on the real effectiveness of essential oils and how they can be used to supplement your heart health.
How Essentials Oils Help Heart Health
There are quite a few claims that essential oils are a natural remedy for heart failure. Some wellness brands claim that essential oils can boost your cardiovascular health, strengthen your arteries and prevent heart attacks.
However, the research to back these claims is, unfortunately, either inconclusive or lacking in sufficient evidence. This doesn’t mean that essential oils have no effect on your heart health; in fact, many of them can still be used to manage the minor symptoms and keep some of its causes under control.
For example, there are some essential oils that can improve your blood circulation, which helps the efficiency of your heart. Other oils are better at reducing stress-related hypertension and improving your sleep for overall health. But if you’re concerned about more major heart conditions, we’d recommend you seek professional medical help to get a more comprehensive treatment for your heart issues.
Best Essential Oils For Heart Health
Essential oils aren’t a cure-all for heart failure, but they can be helpful for managing your lifestyle so you’re less likely to suffer from heart failure. Here’s our round up of essential oils that support heart health; from relaxing scents to ease hypertension to circulation-boosting oils.
Oils To Help Your Blood Circulation
Good circulation is the key to a happy heart. For boosted circulation, warming oils like ginger and cinnamon bark can do wonders to get your heart pumping in a healthier way. These oils are best used with fast-absorbing massage oils that help your body get the full health benefits of these oils.
Oils For Stress And Hypertension
Stress is often related to increased blood pressure and hypertension, especially if you’re often in high-stress environments or going through a hard time. Calming scents are great for relaxing your senses and slowly bringing your blood pressure back to normal. Just diffuse them in spaces where you’re likely to get stressed out to take a breather.
Oils To Reduce Sleeping Issues And Sleep Apnea
Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy heart. Deep sleep helps your blood pressure fall naturally, but when you’re sleep deprived, your blood pressure remains elevated throughout the night. If this continues for an extended period of time, it could lead to conditions like sleep apnea. To combat these issues, use soothing scents to help your body and mind settle before bedtime or clarifying scents to stop breathing issues from interrupting your sleep.
Oils To Help You Stay Active
Sedentary lifestyles generally increase your risk of heart failure. There is an increasing body of research showing the link between sedentary lifestyles, heart issues and death. To get about and get that body moving, use muscle-soothing oils that loosens up tightness and tension after long hours of sitting. We also recommend refreshing oils if you need to get energized and motivated to workout, go on a nature stroll or do some light stretching.
How To Use Essential Oils For Heart Health
- The most common way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils is by diffusing them around your living space. To bring some calm to your day, add 4–6 drops of essential oils into your diffuser and let the aroma create a stress-free haven to ease your hypertension.
- Inhaling these scents directly from the bottle also does wonder to soothe your hypertension if you’re out and about. Simply breathe in the scent, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out and repeat the process till you’re feeling calmer.
- For better circulation, a gentle massage with essential oils will allow your body to absorb their circulation-boosting benefits. We’d recommend using our massage oils for stress-relief to further deepen your relaxation.
- Simply blend 2–3 drops of essential oil in every palmful of massage oil that you use. Inhaling the scent of these oils directly can also energize you and keep you active throughout the day. Just keep these oils handy in a bag or pouch before leaving the house.
What Does Research Say About Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Heart Health?
- The Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery research in 2010 published research conducted at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. The study evaluated the effect of aromatherapy and sleep quality of patients hospitalized with ischemic heart disease. Aromatherapy reduces sleeplessness in heart patients, which in itself is supplementary form of treatment. Here lavender oil was used in aromatherapy for testing. (1)
- A 2014 published in the European Journal For Preventive Cardiology published a study that reported lower heart beat rates and blood pressure. In the study it was seen that one hour of exposure to essential oils decrease heart rate and lower blood pressure (diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure). (2)
- Before reading about the next research it is important to know about hyperlipidaemic. Hyperlipidaemic is high levels of lipids in the blood or high levels of fats which may be cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Published in 2006 in Phytotherapy, it was found that the oil of Ocimum basilicum could be used for treating hyperlipidaemic patients because of its antioxidant properties. However, more research is needed for the same. (3)
Essential Oils in Aromatherapy for Healthy Heart
The organic plant oils or essential oils can be used in aromatherapy in the following methods – by using an aroma diffuser or by topical application. Diffusing the aroma of the oils and inhalation of the smell for more than 15 minutes is the normal practice of this method.
For applying topically, essential oil is diluted with carrier oils including coconut oil or jojoba oil and massage on the body or the lymphatic nodes. Both approaches lower the heart rate and blood pressure, and also have a positive effect on the central nervous system (CNS) and low-density lipoprotein LDL levels, and are used as a prevention and therapeutic technique for high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
There are many essential oils that can be used for heart health including rosemary, basil, Clary sage, bergamot (citrus), and eucalyptus oil and ylang ylang. Aromatherapy with 15 drops of eucalyptus is also good for the body and mind.
Plus, it has a sedative effect that gives good sleep. Ylang ylang can help with the oil inhalation method with steam. Throw a towel over your head and inhale the steam for positive effect on heart health.
Using essential oil for heart disease control and prevention is a complementary alternative medicine. Evidence-based research of peer-reviewed studies has shown (and Centers for disease control or CDC recommends) that changes to your lifestyle like quitting smoking and managing stress response (stress levels) can prevent coronary diseases.
Frequently Asked Questions
What essential oil is good for heart problems?
There are few essential oils that are used to improve heart health in the long term. Some of the oils that are backed by research to improve heart health are ylang ylang, ginger, basil and Clary sage.
What essential oils are good for circulation?
Most of the essential oils when rubbed on the body increases the blood flow; but, the oils that are known and used to boost the circulation are black pepper, clove bud, ginger, chili, peppermint and frankincense.
Which essential oils constrict blood vessels?
The essential oils that constrict blood vessels are geranium, Helichrysum, myrrh and cistus.
Can essential oils affect your heart?
Essential oils have therapeutic compounds that are effective in bringing down elevated heart beats and blood pressure levels. It also improves the blood circulation in the blood vessels. However, few researches have shown that over use of essential oils may prove harmful for the heart. Hence, using essential oils in limit is beneficial for heart and cardiovascular health.
- Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. (2010). Effect of aromatherapy on the quality of sleep in ischemic heart disease patients hospitalized in intensive care units of heart hospitals of the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3203283/
- Kai-Jen Chuang. Eur J Prev Cardiol. (2014). The effect of essential oil on heart rate and blood pressure among solus por aqua workers. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23197402/
- Souliman Amrani. (2006). Hypolipidaemic activity of aqueous ocimum basilicum extract in acute hyperlipidaemia induced by triton WR-1339 in rats and its antioxidant property. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.1961