Monday, December 17, 2012

ADD / ADHD and essential oils

This is one of my blog's most popular posts. Many families are finding that doTERRA essential oils help to support their child with ADD / ADHD. I have compiled several stories of children with ADD / ADHD and how they have been helped with doTERRA oils here.

My friend, Jaime (read her daughter's inspiring story here) compiled the following information as part of the Using Essential Oils for Anxiety, ADD/ADHD, Autism and Gut Issues class that she offers.
    Jaime particularly recommends the following five doTERRA oils for children with ADHD / ADD:
    • Balance – I use this oil before we do our homeschooling each day for focus and attention. Rubbing it up the neck and the base of the skull and a dab on the third eye point. We also use Balance before bed at night. Detoxifying, promotes courage and self-esteem.
    • Lavender – this oil is recommended for almost every topic I covered in the class I taught. It is great for focus and attention, anxiety, sleep issues, inflammation, meltdowns and rashes. We use it everynight either on the bottoms of the feet, in our bath, backrub or on the base of the skull and neck. I also use it before going out in public since my daughter still can become overwhelmed and upset in big crowds. Recently I started using it for her before her social group class and immediately she was paying better attention, more calm and actually playing with the other kids.
    • Frankincense - this oil is top of my list for anyone. Stimulates limbic system of the brain. I use this oil nightly on my daughters feet for calming, focus and inflammation in her body. I take it internally daily. It is analgesic, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic and sedative. Frankincense oil supports the healthy production of white blood cells and boosts the immune system.
    • Vetiver – focus, calm, anxiety, depression, insomnia, skin care and healing, nervousness, stress,. Diffusing vetiver essential oil may help relieve stress and to recover from emotional shock and trauma. A natural tranquilizer, can help induce a restful sleep. It is also helpful for a congested liver and pancreas. It is very grounding and can be used at night if you have a child who walks in their sleep or seems very fidgety while sleeping. Pairs well with lavender and clary sage.
    • In Tune – Helps restore focus and increase ability to stay on task, promotes clarity of thought and increases alertness and centering thought processes.
      Jaime's story

      I homeschool my 5 1/2 year old daughter. When in school she had no focus at all and wouldn't sit down to listen to stories. I took her out a couple months ago and at first it was a big struggle for me to get her to pay attention or even answer my questions at time. I have been using these oils on my clients for over 4 yrs now and then on myself and family for sleep, energy, gut issues etc. I had never looked at them for focus/ADHD issues, I started looking into it and ordered In Tune and I already had the rest of them. I still remember the first day I put the InTune up her spine on her neck and the triangles behind the ears and then massaged her and let her smell it, we also did in the diffuser balance while we were doing our work that day. She was more focused and was actually interested in what I was showing her and wanted to do her writing by herself (usually I would hold her hand and help her trace). I thought it maybe was a coincidence but then we did it the next day and the next and got more done than we had the last previous weeks. At night I started doing frankincense and vetiver on her feet as well as lavender. Now we also do lemon, peppermint for her to inhale or I diffuse if she is feeling lethargic or tired. I had great results with lavender for her before she would go to her social group. She would usually be hyper and wouldn't participate, running around doing her own thing. She was paying better attention, more calm and actually playing with the other kids the first time we did it, I rubbed it on her neck and feet before we left the house.  Read more of Jaime's story here.
      ADD/ADHD Essential Oils
      • Balance, clary sage, cerdarwood, frankincense, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, lemon, Serenity, vetiver, ylang ylang and In Tune.
      • You can put all of these oils on your child's feet or on a terra-cotta pendent to smell these oils throughout the day.
      In Tune Oil Blend
      • This is a blend of essential oils carefully selected for their ability to enhance focus and support healthy thought processes. The oils amyris, patchouli, frankincense, lime, ylang ylang, sandalwood (Hawaiian) and Roman Chamomile were selected for their ability to enhance focus and support healthy thought processes.
      • The technique for applying In Tune: roll it up the spine and rub it on the triangle on two points at the base of the neck behind the ears, then massage it in.
      • Vetiver Oil or Frankincense Oil carried with the child during the day can help them if they find themselves loosing focus or calm. Clay necklaces with the preferred oil or applying some oil to the area of the hand between the thumb and first finger allows an easy quick technique to inhale during a busy school day.
      For improved concentration
      • Apply vetiver to the feet, focusing on the big toe. You can also use a necklace with a pendant that will absorb the oil that can be smelled all day.
      • Diffuse Roman chamomile and lavender or apply on the insides of the wrists or behind the ears.
      Frustration, impatience and anger
      • Balance, Serenity, frankincense, lavender and ylang ylang – Apply to feet, back of the neck, behind the knees and diffuse into the air.
        There was a case study published in the American Medical Association Journal by Dr. Terry Friedmann M.D. that found significant results when children who had previously been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD inhaled essential oils of vetiver, lavender and cedarwood. The inhalation of the oils proved to settle the children’s brain waves back into normal patterns and improved their scholastic performance and behavioral patterns. The final results were:
        • Lavender increased performance by 53%
        • Cedarwood increased performance by 83%
        • Vetiver increased performance by 100%
        • The part of the brain responsible for interpreting aromas is closely tied to the part of the brain responsible for long term memory and emotions. Studies have demonstrated the ability of essential oil aromas such as rosemary and peppermint to help enhance memory and alertness in human trials. 
        • Try inhaling rosemary, peppermint, or frankincense when studying or learning; then inhale the same aroma when you need to recall the information. 
        • Try diffusing oils such as lavender, lemon, or rosemary to help aid concentration. We really find that lemon helps our six year old son concentrate during homework time (read more here).
        If you have any questions, feel free to contact Janice at


          1. You say you use these oils on your children. Are you using them neat or do they need to be diluted? My children are 6 and 4...are they safe for them?
            Are you using a smaller amount than what you would use for an adult?

          2. Hi Anonymous: Thanks for your question. Yes, I'm using them on my six year old, but these oils can even be used on babies.

            For my son, I put all of the oils on the bottoms of his feet undiluted, and typically only use one drop of each oil on his feet in the morning and at night. I dilute most other oils that I put on the rest of his body diluted (i.e., 1 drop in one teaspoon of carrier oil).

            You can read more about children and essential oils here:

            You can watch a webinar about children and essential oils here:

            Let me know if you have any other questions.

            Take care,

          3. Regular quality sleep can lead to vast improvement in the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. However, many kids with ADD/ADHD have problems getting to sleep at night. Sometimes, these sleep difficulties are due to stimulant medications, and decreasing the dose or stopping the medication entirely will solve the problem.

            vitamins for adhd

          4. Hello,
            My son is 14 yrs old and allows me to put the oils on him at home for his ADHD. What do you suggest for school, he is shy and embarrass to pull this out and use at school. Thank you.

          5. I have 5 (almost 6) year old boy. He has lots of attention issues and has been diagnosed with ADHD although I believe most of his issues are actually caused by his Sensory Processing Disorder. We talked to a DoTera rep in the past and were told to try the In Tune....Unfortunately my son's sensory processing interferes because he has a very sensitive sense of smell and cannot stand the smell of sandlewood, patchouli or pertty much makes him gag. The other stuff recommended on this post I am not sure if he can handle scent wise. So my question is what can i do to still use the oil but not have those scents?

            1. I personally find InTune very strong myself. Does he like the smell of any of the other oils (maybe Balance or lavender?). Otherwise, you could try putting them on his feet, and covering up his feet with socks. If he doesn't like that, some people apply the oils to their child's feet while they are sleeping (if they are deep sleepers)...

          6. So for my 4 year old son, I could apply just the oil straight to the bottoms of his feet? I don't have to mix it in anything? He has not been dx with ADHD, but his pediatrician recommended that I look into essential oils (some other patients have had some success with them) to help calm him and help him focus... I am at my wits end with him, I just need something to help and we don't want to medicate if we can avoid it. But we need some peace in our home. He is our 5th and if he would have been our first there would not have been more.

            1. Hi Angella: Yes, you can put the oils directly on your son's feet without dilution (since the skin on the feet is so thick), but if your prefer, you can dilute them (e.g., 1:1 dilution) if on the feet. Elsewhere, I would dilute more (e.g., 1 drop in a teaspoon of carrier oil). That's wonderful that your pediatrician recommended essential oils!!! You can also dilute these oils as well (e.g., Balance, lavender). Let me know if you have any other questions. I highly recommend doTERRA essential oils.

            2. I am interested in Oils and have been doing some reading for a while now. A friend of mine said that I need to be careful putting lavender on my sons because she was told it lowers their testosterone levels. She was using it on her infant to calm him for car rides and other times as well. Is there a guide to how often is safe to use them? Are they all the same potency? I also read one drop is equivalent to 60+ cups of tea. So in that case I would be careful to slowly introduce.

            3. This is what doTERRA says about this topic:

              In this video produced by doTERRA, Dr. Hill mentions that lavender is safe for use even for newborns (with dilution).

              Yes, I have also read that one drop of peppermint is equivalent to 60 cups of tea.

              How old is your child? For young children, it's suggested that 1 drop be diluted in 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.

          7. I am new to oils and have recently attended a doTERRA class. I am really excited to learn more. I too have a son who is five and has ADHD. I have been reading lot of the blogs and am anxious to get started. I am wondering when you list the oils you use on your daughter do you use more than one oil at a time?? Do you mix the oils or layer them??
            Thanks for your help

            1. Hi Kelle: My friend, Jaime wrote the material for this blog, and she layers the oils. It's more effective to layer the oils than to mix them. I truly hope the oils help your son. Take good care!

          8. I'm allergic to many flowers (lilac, lavendar, rose, etc) and trees (pine, cedar, etc). Is there a sample kit or test kit to try these before spending big bucks just to find out if it causes allergy/asthma issues?

            1. There's an introductory kit (5 mL of lemon, peppermint and lavender) that is $26.67 retail plus shipping.

              Or email me your address (email me at and I'll send you a small sample. What three oils are you most interested in, or what are your health concerns?

          9. Hi my 7yr old son has adha and has difficulties in concentration and focus in class.what oil should I use and how and when??

            1. Hi Pats: My first choice would be InTune. It can be used on his back, on his feet and also the spot between his thumb and forefinger so that he can smell it throughout the day. Let me know if you want me to send you a sample of InTune and Balance for $5. Email me at

          10. I have an 11 1/2 year old boy who was diagnosed very young w/ ADHD. He is very intelligent but has severe hyperactivity, inability to focus and impulsivity. He has tried so many medications. He is currently taking a stimulant & a non stimulant along w/ Miralax due to the constipation that these meds cause. His personality is lost when he is on these meds, and they also cause many other physical complaints. I feel like these oils could be the answer to help him shine. I would LOVE to try essential oils if they would help wean him off these meds but this is all so overwhelming. Could anyone provide direction? Thanks!

            1. Hi Pam: Can you send me an email at and I will send your request to my friend who has a child on the spectrum and is a great source of info.

          11. Hi I am in my early 50's and have add/adhd ( I am overfocused and limbic) so I was wondering which oil I would benefit from. I want to know where/how often should I apply them and how often. Thank you.

            1. Hi Ellin: My top five oils for ADHD are Balance, lavender, InTune, vetiver and frankincense. I would read the above descriptions and see which ones resonate with you the most. There are a number of ways to apply the oils (i.e., they can be diffused), you can put them on the bottoms of your feet, back of your neck or ask someone to apply them to your spine. You can also smell them throughout the day. I would apply them at least twice a day, but there may be some oils that you might want to smell regularly throughout the day when you feel that you need more calming. I hope that helps.

          12. 7yr.old son has adhd and behavior. What is helpful for him. I have anxiety back pain and always stressed. My husband also has add. What would your recommend and where can I get it

            1. My top four oils for ADHD are: InTune, Balance, vetiver and frankincense. These same oils can also help with your anxiety and also your husband's ADD. You can purchase them here:

              Please email me at with more questions.