Essential oils for ADHD

Parents of children with ADHD are constantly looking for ways to help their children. They want alternatives to medications that make their child groggy, drowsy, lose weight, or become zombies. Some parents are turning to the aroma therapy of essential oils for ADHD, and they are finding success.

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, or ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that usually starts during childhood.

It’s commonly diagnosed between the ages of 6-12, and there are millions of children diagnosed with it.

ADHD causes kids to act without thinking about consequences, to lose focus or concentration, to have problems sustaining focus, and it causes hyperactivity.

It’s almost three times more common in boys than in girls.

Though ADHD is most common during childhood, it can last through adolescence and even into adulthood.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are natural oils that can be obtained from plants through different extraction processes.

The oils have been used for thousands of years cosmetically, as bug repellants, to sweeten the air in homes, to treat allergies and colds, and for many other things.

Many people use them because they find their scents emotionally stimulating.

New studies are starting to emerge that show that different scent varieties might have calming effects on children and teens with ADHD.
A look at the best essential oils for ADHD

An essential oils for ADHD study

One study from 2001 by Terry S. Friedmann, M.D., A.B.H.M., called ADD/ADHD Research with Essential Oils, tested different essential oils for ADHD on a group of children over a span of two years.

Twenty of the tested children were not diagnosed with ADHD. They were the control group.

The other 20 children were diagnosed.

The subjects inhaled essential oils three times per day and when they were feeling “scattered” and at night. The oils selected for use were Lavender, Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Brain Power which is a combination of Frankincense, Sandalwood, Melissa, Cedarwood, Blue Cypress, Lavender and Helichrysum.

The results showed that Lavender increased the children’s performance by 53%, Cedarwood increased their performance by 83%, and Vetiver increased their performance by 100%.

More research needs to be conducted on the effects of essential oil for ADHD, but it could not hurt you to try it in the meantime to see if you notice any changes in your child’s behavior.

Which ones might work for my child and why?

In the article, The History, Medicinal Uses & Science Behind The Use Of Essential Oils, by Anna Rodgers, she discusses the many medicinal uses of essential oils since the Egyptians used them thousands of years ago to more current times when Dr. Jean Valnet used them to successfully treat injured soldiers during World War II.

Rodgers shows that essential oils have been used as part of proven medical practice.

What positive effects could oils have on your child?

  • Lavender Oil can be used to improve mood and calm you down.
  • Ylang Ylang Oil can calm emotions.
  • Mandarin Oil helps with its calming and quieting effect. Try combining it with Lavender.
  • Cilantro Oil can help with depression because of its anti-depressant properties.
  • Vetiver Oil helps stimulate the decision making center of the brain, so it helps with decision making, relaxation, and focus.
  • Cedarwood Oil helps to focus, think clearly, and to balance emotions.
  • Frankincense Oil helps to comfort, overcome stress, and fight depression.
  • Rosemary Oil aids in focus and concentration.
  • Cannabis Oil has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep.

Relaxing ways to use with your child

Children with ADHD tend to be excitable. They want to be part of anything that excites them at the moment. One important skill they need to learn is to relax. This can be done with schedules.

When you need them to relax, a massage with an essential oil is a good way to get them to settle. Massages are relaxing activities which you need to put into their routines, so schedule them before bedtime just like you would for brushing teeth or any other nighttime habit.

What you need to be mindful of is that not all essential oils are meant to be rubbed directly onto the skin. Your child may break out in a rash if you do not use the appropriate oil. So, make sure the oil you buy is safe to rub directly onto skin. Make sure the oil does not cause a skin reaction. If it causes your child any skin reactions, discontinue use immediately.

Another way to use essential oils is to diffuse them using a diffuser in their room each night. There are many inexpensive diffusers that you can purchase. Letting the aromas fill the room during bedtime is a great way to help your child relax and get much needed sleep. This is also best for older children or adolescents who many not want to be massaged by their parent anymore.


Essential oils for ADHD might be the answer you are looking for in helping your child to relax, soothe, focus, de-stress, sleep well, and be content.

If you’re tired of giving your children medications that alter who they are, try essential oils. They are natural!

One or more of these essential oils may be just what your child needs to help them restore their peace when their emotions get out of hand.


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