Hyperactive, low concentration span, being fidgety, high energy and impulsiveness are some of the symptoms of ADHD. Discover 10 essential oils for ADHD to help quell symptoms, improve mental health and get ADHD under control!
What is ADHD?
ADHD in full is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a condition that affects 9 percent of American children between the ages of 13 and 18 and over 4 percent of adults (1). The term is mainly used to describe people who cannot sit still for even a short while, have difficulty concentrating, have excessive energy and do things very impulsively.
How Do Essential Oils Help ADHD?
How essential oils can help with ADHD is through inhalation of their therapeutic scents that travel directly to the brain and send signals accordingly. Most of the essential oils that are effective for ADHD have calming scents that help relax the mind. Some scents such as peppermint and rosemary improve mental clarity and focus as well as boost memory. Below is a list of great things essential oils do for managing ADHD in both children and adults:
- Promote peace and tranquility
- Improve mental clarity and focus
- Reduce stress
- Improve brain activity
- Heighten cognitive function
- Promote overall mental health
- Increase concentration
- Improve emotional wellbeing
- Improve quality of sleep
Research on Essential Oils for ADHD
There are quite a few studies showing the effect on essential oils on attention and ADHD in children and adults:
One study (1) conducted by Dr. Terry S. Friedmann, M.D., A.B.H.M. from 1999 – 2001 (over the period of 2 years) experimented on the use of essential oils for ADHD on a group of 40 children between the ages of 6 – 12 years.
20 of the children were confirmed with ADHD/ADD diagnosis and the other 20 weren’t – they were the control group of the study.
The children were told to inhale essential oils 3 times a day whenever they began to feel “scattered”. The essential oils used were cedarwood, lavender, vetiver and a blend of frankincense, sandalwood, melissa, cedarwood, blue cypress, lavender and helichrysum. Each essential oil was used over a period of 30 days, which is why it took 2 years to perform the experiment.
The final conclusions of the study were that the essential oils did have a significant effect on efficiently managing the symptoms of ADHD. In specific, the following results were found:
- Lavender increased performance by 53%
- Cedarwood increased performance by 83%
- Vetiver increased performance by 100%
Top 10 Essential Oils for ADHD
Below are 10 essential oils that have been used with success. They have various properties that makes it more potent than other essential oils for ADHD management.
1. Cedarwood essential oil
This woody essential oil contains high concentration of sesquiterpenes, making up 50% of its constituents, which improves oxygenation of the cells of the brain. Cedarwood oil (where to get it) also promotes peace and calm and is a good oil for insomnia and anxiety.
2. Vetiver essential oil
Scientifically known as Vetiver Zizanioides, vetiver oil (where to get it) is a pleasant smelling oil with a thick consistency. It’s extracted from the fragrant roots of the grass vetiver, that grows wild in India. Vetiver provides a calming action when its scent is inhaled and it balances the nervous system. As seen from the above study, vetiver increased brain performance of children with ADHD/ADD by 100%!
3. Lavender essential oil
The most versatile oil on the planet, the major reason lavender (where to get it) is so popular is because of its soothing and calming properties. The scent of lavender promotes deep and peaceful sleep while relaxing the mind and reducing stress.
4. Ylang Ylang essential oil
A beautiful floral oil, ylang ylang (where to get it) is extracted from the exotic curly yellow flowers of Cananga Odorata, a plant native to Malaysia and Indonesia. It not only smells amazing but also has sedating effects on the mind and calms emotions.
5. Roman chamomile essential oil
Chamomile oil (where to get it) is famous for its calming properties – it soothes bug bites, skin rashes, irritated skin, acne, inflammation and it’s also good for mental health in a way that it calms down a hyperactive mind and promotes harmonious thoughts.
6. Frankincense essential oil
One of the top most all-round oils is frankincense (where to get it), which promotes overall body health. For ADHD, frankincense heightens cognitive function, brings mental clarity and improves emotional wellbeing.
7. Patchouli essential oil
Patchouli (where to get it) also smells relaxing and soothes the nervous system. When mixed together with cedarwood and vetiver oils in a base of castor oil, it smells amazing and can be used as a soothing bath oil that promotes quality sleep.
8. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint (where to get it) is invigorating and stimulating with its fresh minty scent which is said to boost mental clarity and increase focus and concentration. These benefits make it a good essential oil for ADHD for children to concentrate better in class and adults to improve brain performance.
9. Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary oil (where to get it) is well known for its memory enhancing properties as well as mind clarifying and brain focus increasing powers. It’s a good oil to diffuse before getting homework/work related issues done to stabilize the mind.
10. Mandarin essential oil
A fruity smelling citrus oil, mandarin oil (where to get it) is obtained from the rinds of mandarin oranges by cold pressing. When combined with lavender oil, it’s said to quiet the mind and promote calm.
How to Use Essential Oils for ADHD – 5 Ways
The best way essential oils help with ADHD is through inhalation of their therapeutic scents that travel directly to the brain and send signals accordingly. Most of the essential oils that are effective for ADHD have calming scents that help relax the mind. Some scents such as peppermint and rosemary improve mental clarity and focus as well as boost memory.
Below are 5 essential oil remedies for ADHD:
1. ‘Focus’ Roll on Blend Recipe
What you need
- 7 drops rosemary
- 7 drops peppermint
- Fractionated coconut oil (where to get it)
- 10 ml roll – on bottle (where to get it)
- Remove the roller ball from the roll – on bottle then add the essential oils drop by drop.
- Top up with fractionated coconut oil.
- Now place the roller ball back on and shake the bottle to combine the ingredients.
- To use, roll on the neck, behind ears, shoulders and other key areas to improve focus and manage to get work done effectively, whether it’s homework or work related issues.
2. ‘Peaceful’ Diffuser Blend
What you need
- 4 drops lavender oil
- 3 drops cedarwood oil
- 3 drops chamomile oil
- High quality essential oil diffuser (where to get it)
Following the manufacturer’s instructions, add the essential oils and run the diffuser for about 15 minutes before bed.
3. Night time Bath Recipe
* To properly dilute essential oils for children, please go to this post: How to Use Dilute Essential Oils
What you need
- 1 cup whole milk
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 5 drops vetiver oil
- 5 drops cedarwood oil
- 5 drops patchouli oil
- Combine the oils in the milk and pour it into an already drawn warm bath.
- Stir the bath with your hand and immediately get in the tub.
- Soak for as long as you can or about 20 minutes to relax your body and mind to promote calm sleep.
4. Calming ADHD Essential Oil Blend Recipe
What you need
- 5 drops ylang ylang
- 5 drops lavender
- 5 drops vetiver
- 5 drops cedarwood
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (where to get it)
- 4 oz amber glass dropper bottle (where to get it)
- Add the oils to the glass dropper bottle.
- Shake well to mix all ingredients.
- Voila! Your calming oil blend is prepared!
- Place 5 – 7 drops of the blend on your hand, rub your palms together and massage your child’s or your own shoulders, neck and soles of feet.
- You can cover your feet with comfortable socks before retiring for the day.
- Use every night and whenever symptoms are felt.
5. Essential Oil Diffuser Jewelry
Wear essential oil diffuser jewelry that keep diffusing the essential oil particles around you wherever you are, promoting tranquility and improving mental health. You can choose from a wide variety of cute or sophisticated jewelry such as a beautiful pendant like this one. Or a lava bead bracelet like this one.
Have you had success using essential oils for ADHD management? What essential oils worked better than others? Please share your story in the comments below!