ADHD and ADD are attention deficit disorders that impact millions of children and adults across the United States. According to the CDC, around 11% of children in the United States have ADHD.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, or you suspect that they will be, you may want to consider using essential oils to help reduce their symptoms. Lord knows that our family has tried everything under the sun!
Many physicians prescribe patients Adderall and other prescription grade drugs to try to restore normalcy to the life of a child with ADHD. The majority of these prescription drugs are derived from different types of amphetamines and due to the strength of the accelerant, there can be many negative side effects associated with their habitual use.
But there are also many natural treatments that are thought to curtail symptoms, all while avoiding the side-effects of heavy prescriptions drugs. Essential oils have long been used to help individuals suffering from chronic conditions ranging from insomnia to anxiety and depression. In this article, we will outline different essential oils parents can use to help treat children with ADHD.
While using essential oils it is imperative that you create a consistent and all-encompassing treatment environment for your child. It is important to take your child’s diagnosis seriously — aside from remaining consistent with your treatment methods, you should also avoid things that trigger or worsen their symptoms.
For example, research suggests that children with high BPA levels (found in plastic bottles) are more likely to exhibit symptoms of ADHD. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you should avoid exposing them to plastic drinking containers. Purchase glass bottles to store water in your fridge, and consider buying glass bottle cork stoppers which allow you to avoid plastic altogether.
What are essential oils?
Many essential oils are already household names. For example, you may have heard of frankincense, sassafras, hyssop, and clove oil. Essential oils are derived directly from plant-based materials — they are believed to have many medicinal properties that treat a host of different ailments or chronic conditions. Using these oils has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in treating individuals diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.
Vetiver oil has become one of the most popular essential oils used to treat the symptoms of ADHD. Vetiver oil is an essential oil derived from a particular type of Indian grass. A physician-led study concluded that students who inhaled the oil three times a day for a prolonged period time experienced noticeable improvements in education related activities. The oil was chosen for the study due to its ability to calm down the nervous system which helped students improve their ability to focus. For instance, using essential oil necklaces will allow your child to enjoy the benefits of essential oils throughout the day while still looking fashionable.
Mandarin oil is another popular essential oil used for treating the symptoms of ADHD. Mandarin oil is derived from the mandarin fruit, it is thought to have many redeeming qualities. The oil has long been popular as both a sedative and as a method for improving an individual’s skin. But recently it has also become popular with people who suffer from ADHD. Mandarin oil acts as a nervous system calmer — it reduces stress and anxiety, which can help individuals diagnosed with ADHD in improving their ability to focus and remain productive.
Lavender oil is another popular essential oil that is derived from the lavender plant. The oil is known for its ability to improve a user’s sleep and cognitive function. If you have problems putting your child to bed, or if they continually wake up throughout the night, using lavender oil can help ensure they are receiving good quality sleep that will improve their ability to function properly throughout the day.
Like vetiver and mandarin oil, lavender oil is also thought to improve nervous system function — this can also be helpful in reducing ADHD-related anxiety.
Using Essential Oils
Different essential oils work better for different people. You should try using each oil individually for a reasonable amount of time before assessing whether you notice improvement in your child’s ability to focus and maintain productivity.
While this article outlines three of the primary essential oils used to treat ADHD, there are many other oils that are commonly used to alleviate symptoms. Assess your child’s most prominent ADHD-related symptoms and research oils that pinpoint those specific issues.
Also, as mentioned previously, ensure that your child is being treated consistently in an environment that avoids materials that trigger their symptoms. Consult with your doctor about whether your child’s ADHD may benefit from a more holistic approach — many children do not enjoy the side effects associated with prescription medication.