Why Use Essential Oils for ADHD and ADD?
When your child is diagnosed as ADHD and ADD it can be a nightmare. No one wants to put their children on drugs with negative side effects that outnumber the positive ones, especially when a lack of consistent medical testing brings up the question “are ADD and ADHD even real conditions“. Alternative and natural remedies, such as using essential oils for ADHD and ADD, are becoming even more popular as parents are starting to fight back from the rampant practice of drowning our children in drugs to fix all of their “problems”. Hell, you can try giving your kids one of these weird thingies to fidget with instead, it probably works a lot better than most ADD drugs out there.
But it’s no doubt, regardless of diagnosis, that children, today are having a harder time paying attention in school, staying focused, and completing tasks – when I was a kid we called that “boredom”. Even still, it’s frustrating as a parent, to wrestle for your child’s concentration while watching them suffer in school.
This is where you can find relief in essential oils. Try diffusing them while your kids are doing their homework, or send them to school with an inhaler of concentration blend, or calming blend. You could even help them go to sleep with essential oils. No matter where and when the occasion arises, you’ll see a dramatic enhancement to your child’s concentration, and a recovery in their school grades, when using the power of calming and focusing essential oils.
These oils have been chosen for their proven effectiveness in calming and/or increasing focus and concentration. Try our suggested EO blends for a more dynamic, synergistic, and powerful effect.
Essential Oil Blends for ADHD and ADD
There are some great pre-made blends that use the essential oils listed below for ADD and ADHD. Personally, I like using blends from trusted essential oil companies because they put the time and research into making sure that the oils used are blend-able and in the right ratios.
Plant Therapy Kid Safe “A+ Attention”:
As the title suggests, this essential oil blend is specifically formulated to address attention problems and disorders. It’s part of Plant Therapy’s “KidSafe” line, which only uses essential oils that are gentle and safe enough to use for, or around, your little ones. A+ Attention blends together Petit grain, Bergamot, Cedarwood Atlas, Grapefruit, Lavender and Vetiver essential oils, which are all powerful focus enhancing essential oils. You can read more about how these essential oils help concentration below.
Plant Therapy Kid Safe “Calming The Child”:
Another Plant Therapy “KidSafe” blend, this essential oil blends together Chamomile Roman, Lavender, Mandarin and Tangerine to calm the mind. Great for kids and adults alike, you will find that this soothing mixture of citrus and floral notes brings you to a place of inner peace. This can be a great blend when your trying to wrangle your kids from play mode into study mode.
Essential Oils for ADD and ADHD list
Vetiver essential oil is a very calming and warming. It’s scent is widely used in fragrances and perfumes, and is generally considered more masculine – having a more woody and earthy aroma. As well as being slightly sedative, vetiver has tonic and nervine properties, making it good for a nervous system tune up that will get the synapses firing off and aiding in concentration, as well as depression. A study performed in 2001, by Dr. Terry Friedman, found that Vetiver essential oil has a 100% increase in attention performance – beating out Lavender essential oil with a 53% increase, and Cedarwood essential oil which had an 83% increase in attention performance.
Cedarwood essential oil is a warm, comforting, and woody smelling essential oil, with a calming and uplifting effect. As mentioned before, in a study done by Dr. Terry Freidman, Cedarwood essential oil was found to have an 83% increase in attention perfomance when tested with children who were diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. This is because Cedarwood is full of Alpha-Cedrene, a type of sesquiterpenes specific to Cedarwood and Cedrol an organic alcohol , which is why Cedarwood is such a great essential oil for ADHD and ADD. Studies show that sesquiterpenes, such as Alpha-Cedrene, have been found to increase oxygenation at the pineal and pituitary glands which regulate hormones and melatonin. Where as organic alcohols, like Cedrol, are mildly sedative and can be used as a sleep aid, as well as calming the mind and nerves – making it a great essential oil for anxiety, as well.
Lavender essential oil is an incredible oil for ADHD, among many other uses like healing burns and helping with depression. It is also a very calming oil, but it has a more feminine, floral fragrance which many find familiar and soothing. It is great for kids – and adults – with ADHD. Lavender essential oil contains the constituents linalyl acetate and linalool. Their ability to increase the absorption of noradrenaline and serotonin, hormones in our brain that cause us to be happy, also have the added value of naturally helping with ADHD and ADD. Scientists have found that aromatherapy with Lavender Oil increases the level of beta waves in the brain, which puts the mind in a state of increased receptivity to information.
Frankincense has been used for thousands of years – you may remember that it’s one of the three gifts brought by the three wise men to the birth of Jesus – and Frankincense essential oil is the most powerful form of Frankincense you can buy. Besides having a wonderful aroma, Frankincense is great for concentration and focus. If you find yourself, or your child, having a hard time keeping on task then this essential oil is a great choice. Try using it while meditating or praying to keep your mind centered and calm.
Myrrh, like Frankincense, is also biblical and tied to the story of the three wise men. As an essential oil for ADHD and ADD, Myrrh jump starts production and release of Dopamine and Norepinephrine by stimulating the limbic system. Much like Lavendar essential oil, mentioned above, Dopamine and Norepinephrine are also hormones that cause us to be happy as well as increasing concentration. Happiness and concentration go hand in hand – ever notice that you focus more on activities that make you happy? By increasing the production of these chemicals, you begin to feel happy even while performing tasks that you find mundane or boring.
Cypress essential oil, like Cedarwood, also contains Cedrol which means it is also mildly sedative. They also share a similar, but noticeably different scent, which is described as woody and slightly spicy. If you don’t enjoy Cedarwood, it is a good alternative, however it isn’t as powerful of an essential oil for ADHD and ADD.
Ylang Ylang essential oil has sedative effects that are measured by is hypotensive and nervine properties. This means that Ylang Ylang will decrease blood pressure and pulse rates, and provides relief from stress, anxiety, and anger. When used as an essential oil for ADHD and ADD, Ylang Ylang is a calming essential oil, and should only be used to calm a child who is overactive or having trouble sleeping. Don’t use it for memory retention or concentration though, as a study from 2008 found that it had an opposite effect – actually increasing time needed to process information.
Basil essential oil is mentality refreshing when used in aromatherapy, and provides mental focus and clarity when used regularly. It is used in the treatment of nervous tension, mental fatigue, migraines and depression. Basil essential oils calming nature, lends itself to being a commonly used essential oil for ADHD and ADD.
Peppermint is a powerful essential oil for ADHD and ADD. Studies show that it greatly increases the ability to enhance memory and retain information. It’s scent, which I’m sure plenty of you are familiar with, has an icy and refreshing smell, due to the presence of menthol, menthone and menthyl esters.
Essential Oils for ADHD and ADD Blend Recipes
Peaceful Child Blend:
Blend in a roller bottle and apply to bottoms of feet and on the brain/ spinal reflex points of the feet
ADHD Blend #1
Add all ingredients to a clean roller bottle for easy application.
ADHD Blend #2
Add all ingredients to a clean roller bottle for easy application.
Try using this lavender bath additive from Kneipp. It’s specially formulated to disperse the lavender essential oil in water, rather than the having the oil float on top of the bath water, allowing a more relaxing and safer experience. Lavender is soothing and calming, so using this before bedtime is a must! It works so well to put kids to bed that you’ll be thanking whatever higher power you believe in, and if you don’t believe in a higher power you’ll suddenly start to… it’s that good.