Posted on Mar 17, 2019, 7 p.m.
Three behaviors that interfere with functioning or development define attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Symptoms vary from person to person, but those with ADHD find it hard to follow instructions, remain focused, and may have challenges with organizational skills that could influence learning ability, social habits, relationships, and daily functioning.
Currently there is no known cure for ADHA, as scientists are not exactly sure what cause the condition, but some treatments can help to reduce symptoms such as psychotherapy, education, training, medication, and/or a combination of treatments. Most often stimulants are used to treat the condition which can do more harm than good, such as increase blood pressure, anxiety, and heart rate according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Anecdotal evidence and scientific studies suggest some essential oils may be of benefit to those with ADHD without causing any harm.
Those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often have sleep problems due to hyperactivity, and have issues relaxing, falling to sleep, or staying asleep; University of Minnesota researchers have found inhaling lavender essential oil can help relaxation and improve sleep in ADHD patients.
Vetiver essential oil may help people to stay focused and alert; after inhalation subjects showed increased attention levels, brain activity, learning skills, and memory, according to a study published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology.
High concentrations of 1,8-cineole within rosemary essential oil may help to keep the mind sharp. Those with higher levels of 1,8-cineole were found to perform better in cognitive testing for speed and accuracy; subjects also reported feeling more content.
Lemon, eucalyptus, cedarwood, bergamot, frankincense, and ylang-ylang essential oils may also be of benefit to those with ADHD; while there is not enough scientific evidence to confirm these benefits they have been shown to be effective in treatment of patient symptoms. Lemon and frankincense essential oils can improve focus, and cedarwood oil essential oil has relaxing and sedative effects.
Before starting any treatment be sure to consult with a medical professional to ensure there are no possible interactions as essential oils can be potent concentrated natural remedies. Children under the age of 10 should not use essential oils containing 1,8-cineole as they are still developing.
Essential oil can be diffused throughout the home, added to a carrier oil for topical use or in a bath. It is important to dilute in water and check for possible allergies on a small patch of skin. Just a few drops in a carrier oil such as olive, coconut, almond, avocado, or grapeseed oil is all that is needed for topical use. If redness, or burning sensations occur on the small test spot, stop topical use immediately.
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