Can essential oils help your ADHD kids? Should you ignore the doctors and go full on holistic medicine rather than putting your kid on medication?
Let's start off with my story! We adopted my son from foster care with his sisters a few years ago and everything we read about him from caseworks, foster parents, etc. was that he was a “busy” little guy. Whoa nellie, that was super true!
Because of his background, we decided that before pursuing a medical route we would start with counseling which we did from Kindergarten to 2nd grade. It did help a bit but after my son spent about 6 months facing the wall in order to be able to concentrate in class, we decided to go the medications route. He has been on a couple of different kinds and we monitor his levels closely.
So I come at this essential oils for ADHD kids from a very personal perspective!
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase. I try to find amazing things that my readers will love as much as I do!
American Medical Association Journal case study
Yes, medications are sometimes necessary, but today kids are overmedicated way too often. There are other supplemental ways to deal with ADD or ADHD. Essential oils.
No, I'm not some crazy no doctors, don't vaccinate my child kind of parent. What I am is a parent who wants the best, and if that means that medicating is just part of the answers, great.
Oh, and there are studies to back up the claims that essential oils can help. The American Medical Association Journal published a case study by Dr. Terry Friedmann. Friedmann's experiments founds that inhaling essential oils including cedarwood, lavender and vetiver produced significant results for children with ADD.
His results were promising. The children improved both in their behavioral patterns and in their classroom performance, noticeably enough to parents and teachers alike.
Those three are a great start, but there are others.
The effect of German chamomile is similar to the effect of pharmaceutical treatment of ADHD, without the side effects. It also helps with depression and a number of other issues. It resembles serotonin and noradrenaline re-uptake inhibitor, better known as SNRI. It is known to have a sedative-type effect that can address the hyperactivity in ADHD.
Ylang Ylang has been studied because of its sedative powers. These studies show that it helps with attentiveness and calms hyperactivity.
If you just want to target specific ADHD symptoms, these oils can help
For agitation and anxiety, which is something that often presents in children with ADD or ADHD in the form of frustration, impatience or anger. Using frankincense, lavender or ylang ylang are good choices.
For memory issues or problems with concentration or alertness, try frankincense, peppermint, lemon or rosemary. Use it when they study and when they need to recall the information. You can try a clay necklace with a drop of the oil instead of having them try and carry a glass container of essential oil or oils.
Oils need to be used with care with children
The ones above were all studied and intended to be used externally usually by inhalation (please be careful if you have cats in the house).
Some of them are toxic if ingested.
Also, when used neat, or without being diluted, they are more concentrated and can cause rashes or irritations on the skin where it is applied. A 2 percent dilution is standard for adults, and it should be reduced to 1 percent for children.
Children are more sensitive to the effects of oils so use them carefully. Also, be sure to purchase therapeutic grade oils, and keep in mind that essential oils are not regulated or tested by the FDA. If an oil is really expensive in one place and much, much cheaper in another, don't be a cheapskate. Price is often an indicator of quality.
So go on and try essential oils. What have you got to lose?
How I Use Essential Oils For My Son With ADHD
I use essential oils in the house in conjunction with having my son on medication and I for sure think the addition of oils helps him even more. We use a nightly spritz of lavender oil on his pillow to help him slow down his thoughts and help him sleep. We also use a roller ball, super diluted with peppermint and lemon oil which helps him when his doing his homework or playing on the computer.
All my kids are given the choice of whether they want to use essential oils and sometimes they want them and sometimes not. We go through cycles where my son thinks I am trying to kill him with oils and then he likes them for a while.
Don't think that all kids are going to love all your oil cures, just use them when you can!
I get my essential oils from Rocky Mountain Oils who has great resources and a high quality product! (oh and fun rewards program that let's you get free products from time to time!)