Essential oils are being explored as a drug-free option for children with ADHD.
A growing number of parents appear to be considering this natural alternative, judging by the number of “focus” and “attention” blends on the market.
Essential Oils to Increase Focus
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One popular product is Plant Therapy Attention. It’s made by an Idaho-based business that’s retained an internally known aromatherapy expert as a consultant.
Some studies have found that certain essential oils do have a tranquilizing effect on adults. There’s even some evidence showing vetiver oil might help children with ADHD. But research on essential oils is limited.
However, that’s not surprising. Many clinical trials are sponsored by drug companies. So there’s little incentive to investigate plant-based remedies.
Currently, ADHD is being diagnosed at epidemic rates. By standard definitions, 1 out of every 5 teenage boys in the United States fits the criteria. The concept of ADHD has long been controversial, with many questioning whether many children are being over diagnosed.
Essential Oils for Focus and Concentration
Right now, about 3 million children take Ritalin or a similar drug. Until recently, most mainstream practitioners didn’t question the safety of these pharmaceuticals . But new evidence shows there’s cause for concern.
The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology has published findings showing that long-term Ritalin use can cause brain damage. A separate body of research was equally alarming. It concluded that Ritalin use mimics brain changes similar to drug addicts who abuse cocaine.
If essential oils can help with attention problems, as some say they do, they appear to be a much safer option.
Actually, it is known that rosemary essential oil can help adults with memory recall and concentration. This is something I like to use myself, when I’m working. It seems to help me work easier, and accomplish more. I love using rosemary essential oil. However, this oil shouldn’t be used in children under 10. I only throw this information out there to show that essential oils can potentially have a positive effect on the brain.
Essential Oils for ADHD in Children
On this site, I like to recommend essential oils from brands I use myself. There are now a lot of focus-type blends on the market, so it’s difficult to know which ones to buy. There is also a lot of bad advice given by misguided people, telling others to ingest essential oils. These highly concentrated plant extracts shouldn’t be taken internally, unless you’re working with a professional aromatherapist or a licensed MD.
Plant Therapy is one of my favorite aromatherapy sources. It has been at the forefront of warning people against the potentially dangerous advice of putting oils in a capsule and taking them as a dietary supplement. Plant Therapy is also careful not to recommend certain essential oils for children, which aren’t considered safe.
I know that everything in this company’s KidSafe line has been thoroughly researched and tested. So I’m confident I’m telling my readers about a safe option.
Essential Oil Focus Blends
However, all essential oils have to be used properly. That’s because they’re highly potent. According to one estimate, one drop of pppermint oil is the equivalent of about 15 to 40 cups of peppermint tea, which no one would drink in one sitting.
So make sure to dilute any essential oil focus blend in a carrier oil before putting it on your child’s skin. A safe dilution ratio for children is 1 percent. This is the equivalent of 2 drops of essential oil to 2 teaspoons of carrier oil.
I also like Plant Therapy’s commitment to selling excellent oils. For me, they’re a good alternative to MLM products, as I’d rather buy my oils more directly.
Plant Therapy Attention
All of the Plant Therapy oils are independently tested for purity and potency. Plant Therapy Attention is from the company’s KidSafe line, developed by aromatherapy expert Robert Tisserand. This is part of a collection of oils made especially for children.
Aromatherapists typically recommend blends, such as this, to address specific problems. It’s believed, by many in the field, that combining oils creates a positive synergy. Each individual ingredient then becomes more effective. This particular attention recipe was created by Robert Tisserand, just for children.
Essential Oils and Attention Deficit Disorder
A small number of physicians continue to speak out against the practice of medicating children with powerful drugs, now known for the potential to cause brain damage. Dr. Peter Breggin, MD, author of The Ritalin Fact Book, has long warned against treating childhood behavior problems with pharmaceuticals.
More recently, one physician named Dr. Terry Friedmann, MD, conducted a study in which the findings seem to indicate that vetiver essential can help children with attention deficit disorder, according to other published reports.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils, unless under the direction of a health care professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.
For Additional Reading
Essential Oils for Calm Children
Essential Oils for Young Children