Essential oils are one of the most effective alternative treatments for ADD and ADHD. Because many pure essential oils contain small chemical components, they are among the few molecules, natural or synthetic, that can cross the blood-brain barrier and directly heal the brain. This makes essential oils a powerful tool to treat brain disorders and emotional issues.
A study conducted in 2001 by Dr. Terry Friedman compared the effects of lavender, vetiver, and cedarwood essential oils in improving focus and learning in ADD and ADHD kids. Vetiver was found to be the most effective in observations and brain wave scans - showing improvements in 100% of subjects. Cedarwood essential oil was 83% effective, and lavender 60%.
How to use these oils:
Lavender - Known as the “universal oil,” lavender is good for almost everything. One of its most well-known properties is as a sedative and for calming the body and mind. Rubbing a few drops on a child’s feet, shoulders, or chest can help them relax and sleep more easily. But be aware: lavender is one of the most commonly adulterated oils and difficult to find pure (labels can be misleading on this one).
Cedarwood - Considered one of the holy healing oils, cedarwood is often referred to in Christian scriptures. It is high in sesquiterpenes, the chemical compounds which stimulate brain function and mental synergy, and help the body to rewrite old genetic patterns into healthier new ones (useful because ADHD is considered an inherited disorder). This oil can be applied on the forehead and neck, inhaled, and massaged on the brain stem at the base of the skull.
Vetiver - This musky, smoky essential oil is not well-known, but in a few years it might be. Just the smell of vetiver has an almost magical ability to calm over-energized kids and help them to connect and relate to people in more patient and agreeable ways. Small children may want or need only to smell it, while teenagers and adults can apply the oil gently on the shoulders or neck. Vetiver is especially helpful for those ADD adults and teens who also suffer from depression.
Frankincense - Frankincense was not tested in Dr. Friedman’s study but it is often used for mental, emotional and spiritual healing. It has been used in many cases of brain injury, emotional and physical trauma, and with learning difficulties to improve mental function.
To try these blends, see Mental Clarity and Mental Clarity, Jr. on our Essential Essentials page!