What can I do about my ADHD?

I have been dealing with my wandering mind, my inability to focus and my procrastination my entire life and I know there is a label for that. It is called ADHD.  For me  it was not  necessary such a big problem in school because there was scaffolding in place in the form of teachers and scheduled classes. Structures and schedules helps but without that I really struggle to focus. What can I do about my ADHD?

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD) is a behavioral condition affecting a lot of school age children but symptoms continue into adulthood.

It is characterized by difficulty concentrating, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. They get easily distracted and often procrastinate. Organizing themselves is another thing that they really struggle with. Feeling unproductive leave many sufferers really frustrated with themselves. Living with someone with ADHD or ADD is just as frustrating.

You often find these individuals fidgeting with something. Anything,  As long as we can keep our hands busy.

In ADD the symptom of hyperactivity is absent. Now they have done away with that term but it is still important because when hyperactivity is present you will choose more grounding essential oils. With ADD you will add essential oils that will get you going.

What cause ADHD?

Genetics may contribute to ADHD. That is probably why two of my children also struggle with this.

Leaky gut, a high sugar diet, food sensitivities and exposure to toxins such as pesticides or metal toxins such as mercury and lead.

What treatments help for ADHD

1. CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is quite effective in getting a better understanding of the reasoning behind a lot of the behaviors.

2. Medication is sometimes needed to improve the situation.

3. Essential oils can certainly help to increase concentration and ease anxiety. Essential oils from grasses with deep roots or trees and their resin can make you feel more grounded. Therefor oils such as Vetiver, Sandalwood and Frankincense will be good choices in your essential oil toolkit to use alongside CBT and/or medicine.

4. Dietary changes

Food intolerances can cause havoc and you can experience a quick result  by just changing your diet and cutting certain foods out.  You can investigate it further in the  ADHD and Autism cookbook. 

Julie Matthews from Nourishing Hope also has a wealth of knowledge on the topic of therapeutic diets and nutrition.

5. Supplements

6. Exercise

As an aromatherapist I will focus on the use of essential oils for ADHD or ADD.

How does essential oils work?

When we smell something it is first processed by the olfactory bulb. This bulb runs from the inside of your nose along the bottom of the brain. It has direct connections to the amygdala and the hippocampus. These two areas affect mood and emotion. This is why essential oils can be used effectively to boost your mood.

Your sense of smell is the only sense that pass through the brain area. The other senses such as sight, sound, touch and taste does not travel through these brain areas.

Inhaling essential oils have an impact on your central nervous system and depending on the chemical properties of the specific oil it causes a different action.

 

Effective essential oils

Vetiver

This is a grounding oil – useful to calm the mind and soothe anxiety.

Promoting deep concentration and helping you to stay focused.

Cedarwood

  • improve focus and clear thinking
  • another grounding oil that will help you to stay strong and calm

Rosemary

  • memory support
  • healthy brain function
  • Increase concentration

Peppermint oil

  • One of my favorite oils to improve concentration and alertness.
  • This is a stimulant oil so not to use before bedtime.
  • Drinking Peppermint tea is another very effective way of utilizing the properties in the peppermint plant to assist the mind to focus more.

Lavender

  • May create a calmer mind and more relaxed state. I would recommend Lavender for nighttime though not during the day when you have to focus.

Citrus oils

  • Citrus oils are excellent for ‘refreshing the mind’ and helping with focus
  • Citrus oils like lemon, lime and orange are more affordable oils because they are made from the rind of the fruit. Neroli is made from the flower of the orange so therefor a lot more expensive.
  • Just be careful with applying citrus oils on the skin before going out in sunlight due to photosensitivity.
  • Lime is probably my favorite oil of them but as you can see from the list below there are quite a number of citrus oils to choose from. Petitgrain is also a highly recommended oil for focus. Petitgrain is made from the leaves and the young tips of thetwigs of the bitter orange tree.

Bergamot

Lime oil

Neroli

Sweet Orange also known as Wild orange

Bitter Orange

Lemon

Petitgrain

Mandarin or Tangerine

How to use essential oils for ADHD

The most effective way to use essential oils for ADHD is to inhale the oil. You can either open the bottle of essential oil and just inhale it straight from the bottle or you can add a few drops of oil in a bowl of hot water and do a steam inhalation every morning.

Topical application is also a very effective way of using essential oils. Essential oils always have to be diluted with a carrier oil though and never be put neat on the skin.

Choose essential oils that you like. If you are going to use essential oils for your children then let them choose which oils they prefer. Just be mindful that the smell out of the bottle is a lot stronger than when it is diluted or in a synergy blend. If you don’t like the smell of lavender for instance, then don’t use that. Vetiver is a very effective oil but it has a raw grassy smell which might not work for your child.

Use high quality essential oils. I prefer organic oils but  I have always been satisfied with any oil that I purchased from Plant Therapy.

Get Carrier Oils at Plant Therapy Now!

General Safety Information

Do not take essential oils internally or apply essential oils undiluted on the skin.

Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil.

Dilute according to body mass. For children, you can use a 1 % dilution and for adults 5 %

Pregnant women have to consult with a qualified aromatherapist and or midwife and doctor before using essential oils, especially topically.

If you have liver damage, cancer, suffers from epilepsy or other medical problems and take medicine on a regular basis then you have to use essential oils under the guidance of a trained aromatherapist.

Check whether the essential oil of your choice is safe to use around your pets. Here is a list of essential oils safety for dogs.

Essential oil dilution chart

Supplements

Omega 3’s – support brain health

Probiotics

Vit B – complex

Zinc – help seal the gut lining

 

 

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Herbal teas – such as Yerba Mate, Peppermint tea or Gota Kola are all very helpful to deal with ADHD on a daily basis. I normally start my day with a cup of Yerba Mate or Gota Kola. I would not recommend taking any of those later in the day. They are stimulating teas and will make it hard for you to have a good night’s rest.

 

 

Take care of you so that you can take care of those that you love

Elize

 

Resources

 

https://www.drbeurkens.com/how-school-food-impacts-student-brain-function/

https://nourishinghope.com/

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