ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) affects people of all ages. Common symptoms of the disorder include inattention, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and hyperactivity.
While most of us will experience these symptoms at some stage, those with ADHD experience a higher frequency and duration of the symptoms. Because of this, it affects their daily life, relationships and learning capacity. Even young children can experience ADHD which may have a debilitating effect.
There are medications for ADHD, but they have side effects that can be irritating or worse. Some side effects are downright dangerous and include elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, and sleep problems. Many people with ADHD want better options and not surprisingly, a lot swear by using essential oils.
Here we’ll take a look at the best essential oils for ADHD and how to use them. But first, let’s get an idea of why essential oils might work to help manage ADHD.
Why Essential Oils Help ADHD
Essential oils affect the limbic system because their smell triggers a response from the brain. This direct impact can result in improvements in brain activity, which is one method for helping ADHD.
Although research is ongoing, there is some sign that essential oils can help with ADHD. A small study measured the success of daily essential oil treatment for children with ADHD. The promising results showed improved brain activity and behavior.
While studies are ongoing, there is also a lot of anecdotal evidence supporting the use of essential oils for ADHD.
Here are the top four to use as the base of any aromatherapy treatment for ADHD symptoms.
Best Essential Oils for ADHD
1. Vetiver Oil
This is the first oil anyone looking to manage ADHD should start with.
The East Indians say that Vetiver cools the mind, as well as the body, of excessive heat. This is one of the reasons why it can help with ADHD as it is grounding and calming. It has the ability to increase focus and reduce stress.
Vetiver is a great tool for anyone needing to reign in their thoughts.
Cedarwood oil is commonly used for dry skin and scalp but it is also used for relaxation and regaining focus.
It is thought that the smell of cedarwood triggers feelings of confidence. For some people it fortifies their concentration, especially people with ADHD.
3. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil seems like an obvious choice. After all, it is used as a sleep aid, a calming agent, and to treat depression.
Lavender oil is easy to find and a great place to start with your ADHD management. Most people have it in their cabinet because of its diversity and great smell.
Frankincense oil is sweet and woodsy smelling and known for “grounding” the user.
Children with ADHD are given frankincense essential oil to stabilize their emotions. It is a natural stress reliever that can also prevent illness.
Frankincense is a sleep aid and has several medicinal uses. It is wonderful for oral health, skin problems, and a proven digestion aid. A versatile essential oil such as frankincense is a smart addition to your essential oil cabinet.
Essential Oil Blends for ADHD
Using a blend of oils is a great idea to get the synergistic effect of all the above oils. You could create a blend using equal parts of the 4 oils above, or try a blend that is already available. Here’s a few:
A blend created by a mother for her ADHD/ADD son, Jeddy’s Blend helps kids and adults cope with the daily challenges. It is a beautiful blend of oils that is safe to be be applied topically or diffused.
A blend of the 4 oils listed above diluted in fractionated coconut oil. Attention Assist will help with focus and calm a distracted mind. It can be used topically or diffused.
How to Use Essential Oils for ADHD
When it comes to using the essential oils, there are three suitable methods – topically, inhalation or diffusion. You will most likely want to try a mix of the methods for different situations.
Vetiver, lavender and frankincense can be applied neat. Cedarwood should be diluted before application, particularly for children or anyone with sensitive skin.
To use topically, apply 1-3 drops of the oils to the bottoms of the feet and/or on the spine.
This is as easy as opening the bottle and taking a deep breath.
You can also apply the oil to a tissue or cotton wick and inhale directly. This is another great portable option but will lose potency over time.
Add a single or mix of oils to your favorite diffuser. This can be done any time of day but is particularly useful during work/school and at bedtime. Try diffusing lavender in the bedroom to bring calm before going to sleep.
Using essential oils for ADHD is a natural option that many are turning to. They provide an alternative to mainstream ADHD medications, but may not be for everyone.
The oils listed above are a great starting point and at worst, you’ll get to enjoy some nice smells. At best, they will help improve ADHD symptoms and bring positive results.