The Power of Essential Oils for ADD
What is ADD?
One of the most widespread conditions is ADD, or attention-deficit disorder. Causes of ADD are not exactly clear, but it is proven to be a neurological condition. ADD is known to affect youth, with 1 in every 10 kids developing the disorder. It is characterized by hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity. Distractions are uncontrollably tempting, following directions is stressful, thoughts might be scattered or racing.
There are physiological symptoms like restlessness, the need to get up and walk around repeatedly, tension in the muscles, and increased heart rate. ADD opens the doors to other issues like low self-esteem, learning disabilities, stress and anxiety, and even depression or unstable moods.
How is ADD treated?
The main method of treatment for ADD is medication, usually stimulants. Such medications come with a laundry list of unwanted and possibly dangerous side effects like heart palpitations, addiction, and skin issues. Medication may not even address the behavioral and emotional struggles that come with the condition.
At least 3 million childrenaged 2-17 years are taking such prescription medications, whose long-term effects on such young brains is largely unclear. Who knows what toxins are being put through their still-developing livers? (1)
Treating ADD with Essential Oils
As a natural, low-risk method to address your concerns, essential oils can be tailored depending on your situation. There are so many types and varieties of oils that can address your most debilitating symptom.
There's vetiver oil and cedarwood oil to improve your concentration in mental tasks, lavender oil for an overall calming effect, frankincense oil to stabilize your mood, eucalyptus oil to relieve stress and tension, and lemon oil for wakefulness and improved cognitive ability.
Essential Oils For Add
Sacred in ancient South Asian healing tradition, vetiver oil has been used to soothe the mind and cool the body in warm temperatures by lowering the heart rate.
It’s a well-researched oil found to drastically improve performance and cognitive abilities. For children and adults suffering with ADD, this oil is wonderful to relieve them from the stress of disorganization.
Based on Dr. Terry S. Friedmann’s research, in which children used essential oils three times a day for a month, results revealed that vetiver oil improved the brain waves associated with learning and memory. It has the same affect as the antidepressant diazepam in reducing anxiety.(2)
- Mix 5-10 drops of vetiver oil into bath water.
- Diffuse 3-5 drops in an enclosed environment.
- Place 1-3 drops on wrist, chest, or neck.
- To massage on body, mix 3-5 drops of vetiver oil with a carrier oil (jojoba, coconut) and apply to areas.
Note: Vetiver oil is non-irritant and non-toxic, but do not use on an infant. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not consume or take orally without medical advice.
From the most popular red cedar tree, cedarwood is normally known to repel moths and fleas, as disclosed by the EPA. In addition to improving skin conditions and health problems, cedarwood oil is amazing in improving focus in ADD. It is second-best after vetiver oil, based on Friedmann’s study, which showed an 83% increase in children’s academic performance due to more oxygenation in the brain.
As a natural sedative, it helps enhance your quality of sleep – something ADD patients struggle with – by promoting parasympathetic activity and increasing serotonin.
- Diffuse 3-5 drops around your home.
- Rub onto the back of the neck, inside of your wrists, or behind ears.
- Take a deep inhalation from a bottle three times a day or as needed.
- Soak a cotton ball in the oil and hold under nose.
Note: Only use externally, do not consume internally, could cause nausea and vomiting and damage digestive processes. Do not use cedarwood oil if you are a pregnant woman or are breastfeeding. Check with your doctor before using if you are already taking a medication. Do not use in high concentrations, always dilute with a carrier oil, and avoid sensitive areas of the face.
The lavender flowering plant is powerful, well-known for its use in fragrances, for it antimicrobial effects, and its therapeutic benefits in teas. It has a wide variety of advantages, from decreasing inflammation to helping with sleepless nights.
Lavender oil has soothing effects that help in sedating your nerves. It has strength over ADD-induced hyperactivity and restlessness. When it comes to challenging cognitive tasks, lavender oil improves brain function, helping people with ADD work more efficiently.
According to the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, lavender oil has significantly positive anti-anxiety effects on adults suffering from generalized anxiety without any undesired risks.
- Rub a drop on the back of your neck, on your shoulders, or under your nose.
- Add 2-3 drops on your pillow for better sleep.
- Add 2-5 drops to a room diffuser to purify the air.
- Dilute a couple drops with water in a spray bottle and spray it around the house.
Note: Lavender oil is nontoxic, so there is little risk in using it in higher concentrations that you usually would for other essential oils. It’s always best to check in with your doctor if you are a pregnant woman or nursing. Be careful when using it along with other sleep aids or medications. Internal ingestion should be kept to a minimum.
Extracted from Boswellia tress in Africa and Middle-East, frankincense oil had been used throughout history for achieving mental peace. It can come in colors ranging from dark yellow to clear or silver, the highest quality. It has been used in prayer, meditation, and other religious rituals due the feeling of pure serenity that washes over you.
For ADD, it calms down anxiety and depression by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. A study done on rats showed improvements in short-term and long-term memory. Certain constituents in the oil work to eliminate toxins from the liver and kidneys, as well as stimulate the limbic system, a brain structure that is vital in the neurology of ADD.
The limbic system consists of the pineal and pituitary glands, which secrete opioid-like endorphins and neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine, all of which boost mood and improve self-esteem in ADD sufferers.
- Add 2-3 drops in a warm or hot bath.
- Use an oil diffuser or vaporizer in your home.
- Rub onto your forehead, behind your neck, ears, or on your wrists.
- Add a drop of oil to steaming water, soak a towel into the water, and place on tense or sore muscles.
Note: Frankincense oil is relatively safe, but make sure you talk to your doctor before ingesting it or using it with medications. Unpleasant skin reactions are rare, but always do a skin patch test, just in case.
Eucalyptus is well-known by the general public, widely used in dental products, ointments, and cough drops due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.Using eucalyptus oil vastly improves the respiratory system, which allow for efficient breathing and improved oxygenation in the brain.
Breathing might seem inconsequential in conditions like ADD, but in reality, by improving the physiology of how you breathe, you can calm your heart rate, thus decreasing anxiety and restlessness. A study in which participants used eucalyptus oil mixed with peppermint oil resulted in a boost in mental cognition and relief in tension. This oil is remarkable in reducing the mental exhaustion and emotional outbursts seen in ADD.
- Diffuse 5 drops at home or rub a couple drops onto temple, back, neck or forehead.
- To use topically, combine with 1-3 tsp of carrier oil and massage onto chest to improve breathing.
- Inhale from the bottle as needed to energize the mind.
Note: This oil should only be used aromatically or topically – do not intake orally. Do not apply near eyes, ears, or inside nostrils. Use less if you are diffusing at home with children as they are more prone to irritation.
Lemon oil has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient holistic Indian healing practice. The fragrant oil is cold-pressed from only the nutritionally-dense peel of lemons. This oil is known to have powerful antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which help in draining toxins from the lymphatic system.(3)
It’s extremely helpful in treating ADD due to certain constituents within the oil whose sedative nature soothes ADD-related anxiety. Lemon oil addresses mood by alleviating low or depressive feelings. The invigorating scent produces a mental stability that helps with careful decision-making, which is a nightmare if you have ADD.
- Diffuse 5 drops in your home.
- To massage, dilute with a carrier oil, especially on sensitive parts of the face.
- Inhale it straight from the bottle as needed.
Note: Using topically might cause sensitivity to UV rays, so avoid going out in the sun 12 hours after using. It may cause skin irritations, so do a patch test before using. Do not ingest this oil. Store away from kids. Use in lower concentrations or mix with a carrier oil.
All these essential oils are potent in reducing the most resistant symptoms of ADD. They can target cognitive issues by increasing focus, attention span, and clarity. Psychological problems are reduced, improving emotional maintenance and self-confidence. ADD’s most distressing behavioral issues like impulsivity and an overactive body are soothed and regulated. Essential oils are incredible for your overall well-being, allowing you to live your most fulfilling life.
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