Up to 11% of American children have been diagnosed with ADHD, a disorder characterized by a pattern of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention which interferes with daily life, relationships, and learning.
Currently, only half of the children aged 4-5 with ADHD receive behavior therapy, even though it is recommended as the go-to treatment. As for those aged 6 or more, the treatment for ADHD includes both medication and behavior therapy.
Using these potent drugs might lead to side effects, from sleep problems and loss of appetite to increased heart rate and seizures. The good news is that there are natural alternatives available, including the use of essential oils.
Essential Oils May Improve ADHD Symptoms
A research done by late Dr. Terry S. Friedmann gas shown that vetiver oil was very useful for children diagnosed with ADHD.
When the children inhaled the oil three times daily for a month they had enhanced brain wave patterns, improved behavior, and performed better in school.
As explained by Dr. Friedmann, “When the essential oil is inhaled, the micro droplets are carried to the limbic system of the brain, which is that portion that is the processing center for reason, emotion and smell, and to the hypothalamus, which is the hormone command center.
The essential micro droplets are also carried to the lungs where they enter the circulatory system.”
Significant improvements in beta-theta ratios were noticed following the use of this oil, while the parents noted improvements in symptoms, too.
“I received several letters from parents of the ADHD children stating that their behavior at home had improved for the better.
In several cases, they also stated that school educators informed them that their performance was observed to improve in the classroom. The report cards in some of the subjects had reflected this improvement as well,” the Dr. reported.
Vetiver Essential Oil May Improve Alertness
A recent research published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology found that vetiver essential oil has quite a potential when it comes to treating ADHD.
The animal study showed certain changes in brain activity which point to increased alertness, although research on humans showed faster reaction times. The former research`s scientists wrote,
“Ultimately, the stimulating effects of vetiver EO [essential oil] might be beneficial for learning and memory processes. In conclusion, the present findings provide information that vetiver EO may be used as a stimulant to improve alertness and task performance.”
Rosemary, Lavender and Other Essential Oils
In addition to vetiver, cedarwood and rosemary essential oil have been also found to increase cognitive performance. When the participants did the tasks in a cubicle diffused with the aroma of rosemary oil, their performance was significantly improved.
“The unique relationships between plant essential oil aromas and any behavioral impact are potentially due to the complex molecular composition containing a range of alcohols, aldehydes, acids, phenols, esters, ketones and terpenes,” the researchers noted, adding:
“[T]his study supports the suggestion that active compounds present in aromas may be absorbed through the nasal or lung mucosa and thus provide the potential for pharmacological activity …
The small size of these lipid-soluble compounds facilitates passage across the blood–brain barrier and consequently they may produce effects at the neuronal level by either acting directly on receptor sites, or indirectly by impacting on enzyme activity.”
Lavender essential oil is known for sedative properties, which improves sleep in those with ADHD. Other beneficial oils for this purpose include frankincense, bergamot, ylang ylang, lemon, and eucalyptus.