About 11% of children in the US (about 6.4 million) have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This disorder is characterized by a pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity that interferes with daily learning and functioning and can be reduced with essential oils.
The treatment for this disorder is usually multimodal. The goal of treatment is to decrease symptoms while reducing the complications derived from the disorder. On the other hand, the negative impact it can have on the lives of patients and their environment is evaluated.
Multimodal treatment of ADHD involves three approaches
-Psychoeducational treatment (parents and teachers)
According to the results of studies carried out, pharmacological treatment would be the most effective method to reduce the symptoms of ADHD. However, children who take these powerful drugs may suffer side effects. These range from sleeping problems and loss of appetite to seizures and increased heart rate. For this reason, alternative treatment options are urgently needed.
Fortunately, an older option of essential oils has shown promise to help relieve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Recent research has shown the usefulness of these oils on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Those infants who inhaled vetiver oil three times a day for 30 days, improved their patterns and behavior of brain waves. Additionally, they improved substantially in the school.
Other research showed that vetiver l essential oil has a special promise for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This led to changes in brain activity that suggest an increase in alertness. On the other hand, it has been discovered that other essential oils can alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. These include those from cedar wood, rosemary, ylang-ylang, incense and more.
What are essential oils?
They are extracts of aromatic plants that have been used for many years for emotional, cosmetic, medical and even spiritual purposes. The term “essential oil” actually comes from the idea of “oil par excellence”.
Currently, oils are extracted from plants through two main methods:
1.Distillation: which has been used since ancient times.
2.Expression or cold pressing: used to extract citrus oils.
Can oils improve the symptoms of ADHD?
The first investigation was carried out by the late Dr. Terry S. Friedmann. He himself proved that vetiver oil (Indian herb) was beneficial for children with ADHD.
When the children inhaled the oil three times a day for 30 days, they improved the behavior of the brain waves. According to Friedmann: “When the essential oil is inhaled, the microdroplets are taken to the limbic system of the brain. This is the center of reason processing, emotion, smell and hypothalamus. ” Additionally, “the essential microdroplets are also carried to the lungs where they enter the circulatory system”.
Improvements in brain activity were revealed by electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures electrical impulses through the brain. This allowed the researchers to determine the following aspects:
-Children’s brains were functioning in a beta state (ie, alert).
-Children’s brains were functioning in a theta state (ie, lack of concentration).
Rosemary, lavender and other useful oils
In addition to vetiver and cedarwood, rosemary oil has also shown potential to increase cognitive performance.
“The unique relationships between the aromas of plant essential oils and any behavioral impact are potentially due to the complex molecular makeup. This composition contains a range of alcohols, aldehydes, acids, phenols, esters, ketones and terpenes, “the researchers wrote.
It was shown that people who completed tasks in a diffused cubicle with the aroma of rosemary essential oil, improved their performance. This improvement was evaluated in both speed and accuracy when performing tasks.
The small size of these fat-soluble compounds facilitates passage through the blood-brain barrier. Consequently, they can produce effects at the neuronal level by acting directly at the receptor sites or indirectly by affecting the enzymatic activity.
Lavender essential oil, on the other hand, is best known for its sedative properties. Some people with ADHD have trouble sleeping, and it has been discovered that lavender oil improves sleep.
Among the other essential oils that can alleviate various ADHD symptoms we can mention:
-Peppermint oil to improve alertness.
-Ylang ylang, known for its relaxing properties.
-Incense, valued for inducing feelings of peace of mind and calm.
-Bergamot can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
-Eucalyptus, which can relieve mental exhaustion and stimulate blood flow to the brain.
-Lemon, valued to improve mood and prevent emotional outbursts
How to use these oils for ADHD
The inhalation or topical application on the skin are two effective ways to use oils for ADHD. Placing three to four drops of oil in a diffuser is one of the simplest methods.
You can also try inhaling vapors by placing three to seven drops of essential oils in boiling water. Then cover your head with a towel and breathe through your nose (keep your eyes closed and be careful not to burn yourself).
To use the oils topically, first you have a test to make sure they do not irritate your skin; You can mix them with coconut oil. Some people like to mix them with fractionated coconut oil and put the mixture in a rollerball dispenser. This way you can roll the oils every time you feel you need them.
Other options to treat ADHD
There are many natural options that have shown improvements in the symptoms of ADHD. Most of these therapies are taken by an experienced holistic doctor. Of which are mentioned:
-Address nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium.
-Exercise and/or active game time.
-Spend time outdoors in nature.
-Limits exposure to microwave radiation by radiofrequency, cell phones and laptops.
-Reduce toxic exposures to pesticides, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate (MSG), cleaning products, detergents, perfumes and more.