Essential oils have healing effects for many people. For some, they do symptom control, which is worth a great deal too. But many people claim they experience healing. One thing is sure – essential oils are organic compounds taken from plants with great healing properties. Using essential oils especially for healing is called aromatherapy. Perhaps you are more familiar with this term. It is a holistic treatment for your toolbox which is known to have direct effects on your physical, mental, and emotional health. You may want to use this in tandem with other holistic approaches like dietary changes and supplements you may be utilizing for improvement of ADHD symptoms.
Many cultures and people around the globe have been using essential oils for over 5,000 years for varying health conditions. They can be useful for relaxation, cleaning your house/home, for your beauty, and as a natural medicine. Oils such as lavender, frankincense, lemon, peppermint, and tea tree oil may help alleviate symptoms of colds, flu, sore muscles, skin conditions, pain control, balancing hormones, improvement of the digestive process, which by the way houses about ¾ of your immune system, reducing cellulite and wrinkles, and again, in the cleaning of your home. There are natural household cleaning products out there which use essential oils, which is a great idea since you are eliminating more chemicals from your home environment, where you sleep and spend a lot of time.
By the way, did you know that some hospitals are now using essential oils in treating anxiety, depression, and infections? It’s true! In an earlier study, patients waiting for surgery who used lavander oil were found to be significantly less anxious about their impending surgeries. Midwives have been known to use essential oils which help reduce fear and anxiety while giving birth. In another study, researchers found that those who used aromatherapy had less pain during the birth process. There have been scientific studies done with positive results for peppermint, sweet orange, spearmint, rosemary, and lemon. Yet another study concluded that if you inhale sweet orange and spearmint, you can improve athletic performance.
But what about ADHD specifically? While there needs to be a great deal more research conducted on this subject, we have some good suggestions. Lavender oil is known for calming people (a direct hit on many of those with the ADHD diagnosis). Peppermint oil has been known to help with focus. Vetiver oil, especially when combined with lavender, helps with emotional balance. Peppermint, sweet orange, spearmint, rosemary, and lemon essential oils are known for reducing tiredness and increasing focus.
There are a few methods of delivery. One is to get a diffuser and diffuse perhaps during the day on a break, or at night when falling asleep (my personal favorite). You can put just one drop in your hands, rub them together, and inhale that delightful scent. You can put them in your bath water! You can also mix essential oils with a carrier oil like coconut oil and rub into the skin (be sure to avoid the eyes, inner ears, or cuts). Some people put them into a pendant necklace and the scent is with them throughout the day.
Whatever your preference may be, it could be extremely helpful, not to mention non-toxic, to experiment with essential oils especially if you are taking care of someone with ADHD. It may not only help them, but help you be calmer as well!
As always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!
For more information on ADHD and ways to help your children, view our reading list and course pages.
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.