The use of essential oils extracted from plants and flowers dates back
to 3,000 BC. Used all over the world, these oils can calm emotions, relax
muscle tension and promote rest by triggering changes in the parts of
the brain associated with memory and emotion and stimulating beneficial
physiological responses. Essential oils are distilled from plants like
lavender, peppermint and many others.
Renewed interest in the benefits of essential oils has influenced the nursing
staff at Campbell County Health (CCH) to implement an essential oils program
as part of integrated care plans for patients in Campbell County Memorial
Hospital (CCMH) and residents at
The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center in Gillette, Wyoming.
Essential oils are meant to work in tandem with medications to enhance
wellness and comfort. They do not require a physician’s order and
patients have a choice in whether to use them. The oils will be used both
in aromatherapy and topically (on the skin) for symptoms and conditions
such as insomnia (because it promotes rest), nausea and vomiting (because
it calms upset stomachs), and pain.
Extensive planning and research has gone into the development of using
essential oils in patient care, which will begin this month. Unit nurse
educator and 25-year veteran nurse Marcia Saunders is excited to get the
“Offering an alternative to medications for some symptoms is very
attractive to many patients,” said Marcia.
CCMH has partnered with a reputable essential oil provider so patients
have access to additional resources after discharge.
Note: Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, so they cannot be used
to treat a specific diagnosis.