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Hospice Aromatherapy Services

Aromatherapy is a useful tool for hospice care providers, and can help relieve tension and provide comfort to patients. Read on to learn how Samaritan Hospice uses aromatherapy and how it benefits patients.

aromatherapyWhat is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is is defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological, and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process. (

The use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes goes back to a number of ancient civilizations including the Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans who used them in cosmetics, perfumes, and drugs.

Aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system — the parts of the brain that affect mood and emotion (WebMD)

Specific research has shown that sesquiterpenes, which are present in most essential oils, can surpass the Blood Brain Barrier.

How is Aromatherapy Used For Hospice Patients?

There are a few types of aromatherapy applications. However, Samaritan Hospice uses a method called aerial diffusion which allows the fragrance to diffuse into the environment through a sachet or small perfumed bag. The two primary oils used are lavender oil and orange oil.

Essential Oils

Oils are extracted from various parts of plants like leaves, herbs, barks, and rinds.


  • Calming, Relaxing & Balancing
  • Lavender is commonly used to ease feelings associated with anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, depression, headache and pain.
  • Aromatherapy with lavender has been shown to reduce depression and mental stress.


  • Uplifting, Stimulating & Inspiring
  • Orange is commonly used to ease feelings associated with anxiety or depression.
  • Aromatherapy with citrus oils has been shown to increase clarity, increase immunity, induce relaxation and reduce depression.


  • Invigorating, Refreshing, Energizing
  • Peppermint is commonly used to ease feelings associated with fatigue, exhaustion and stress.
  • Aromatherapy with peppermint has been shown to increase mental accuracy, improve sense of taste and block headache pain.

Use with Caution

  • Reactions & Interactions are always possible.
  • Essential oils can reach the bloodstream through simple inhalation.
  • Immediately remove aroma from the area if a negative physical or emotional reaction occurs.

Support Aromatherapy in Hospice

Though not required or covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurers, Samaritan’s hospice aromatherapy services are made possible through generous donations to Samaritan. It’s one of the many services that sets Samaritan apart from other hospice service providers.

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