Green Valley Aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy and ADD and ADHD

Several essential oils can be used to naturally reduce the symptoms of ADD and ADHD including: vetivert , lavender and cedarwood essential oils.

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ADD, or Attention Deficient Disorder, is a developmental disorder often diagnosed in childhood. The diagnosis of ADD is given to children who are inattentive, impulsive and, in the case of ADHD, hyperactive. As more information known about ADD and research is done on ADD, more children and adults are being diagnosed. According the The Health Center approximately 3-5% of children have ADD and of those, research indicates that 30-70% go continue to be symptomatic in adulthood.

Medications Prescribed for ADD

Typically patients diagnosed with ADD or ADHD are prescribed a stimulant medication such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine, or a non-stimulant medication such as Strattera or some anti-depressants. Many people are concerned about the side effects and long-term effects that these medications may have and are turning to alternative and complementary ways to treat the symptoms of ADD and ADHD. One of the alternative ways to treat ADD is aromatherapy

Aromatherapy Study and ADD

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils in a way that can positively affect physical, emotional and mental health. Essential oils contain chemical components that are among the few molecules that can cross the blood/brain barrier. A study done in 2001 by Dr. Terry Friedman compared the effectiveness of Lavender essential oil, Vetivert essential oil and Cedarwood essential oil in the treatment of ADHD children. Of the three essential oils, vetivert essential oil, inhaled through the nose, was found to be most effective in observations and brainwave scans.

Vetivert Essential Oil and ADD

Vetivert essential oil is considered to be mentally balancing and a deep relaxant, which makes it a valuable oil for any one suffering from anxiety, especially a person who has ADD or ADHD. Vetivert is steam distilled from the roots of the scented grass native to India and Sri Lanka. It has been used as a perfume base (fixative) for thousands of years but is more recently being used to relieve stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression.

When feeling overwhelmed, open a bottle of vetivert essential oil and take three deep breaths slowly and deeply. As a preventative, diffuse vetivert essential oil in the home or work place. Add two drops of Vetivert essential oil to the soles of the feet or have a tissue with a few drops of Vetivert in the pocket of a jacket.

Anti-anxiety Aromatherapy Blend

To boost the immune system and to reduce anxiety put 2mls of Vetivert essential oil, 2mls of Lavender essential oil and 1 ml of cedarwood Cedarwood essential oil into a dark glass bottle. From the bottle add 10 drops to a bath (five drops if its a child).

To naturally reduce the symptoms of ADD and ADHD, vetivert essential oil can be used to calm and reduce anxiety. A 2001 study showed that “the essential oil of vetivert improves the brain activity and reduces the symptoms in ADHD diagnosed subjects.”


This article was first published at Suite 101 on January 12, 2010 and is republished here as per the terms of our agreement with Suite 101. Visit Suite 101 to read all of our articles.

*This is educational information and any opinions expressed here-in do not replace professional medical advice. If you are ill, see a suitably qualified medical practitioner.*

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