Using essential oils has been shown to be an effective natural therapy for managing various behavioral and mood challenges for individuals living with autism and ADHD.
Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors.
As of 2014, about 1.5 percent of children in the United States, which is 1 in 68 children, are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
In the case of autism spectrum disorder ASD, and ADHD, the essential oils should be applied to the soles of the feet, the neck, the top of the head, the chest, the forehead, the abdomen, the arms, and the legs.
Essential oils also help these disorders because of their aroma-therapeutic properties. When the essential oil is inhaled, its aroma compounds, which carry a large number of healing properties, enter the lungs and end up in the bloodstream.
Most essential oils are potent antioxidants and chemically constitute the compounds sesquiterpenes, that significantly increase oxygen in the brain.
According to Dr. Stephanie Cave, the biggest improvements in both conditions comes when the toxic heavy metals are removed from the children’s bodies. Therapeutic essential oils have the ability to detoxify and remove heavy metals from our bodies!
For both ADHD/ADD and autism, stimulation of the limbic region of the brain may also help treat these disorders. The aromas from therapeutic essential oils have the capacity to stimulate this part of the brain since the sense of smell is tied directly to the mind’s emotional and hormonal centers. As a result, the aroma of an essential oil has the potential to exert a powerful influence on ADD/ADHD and autism.
In a two-year case study (1999-2001) Dr. Terry Friedmann M. D. found significant results when children that had previously been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD were administered therapeutic essential oils by inhalation.
Essential oils to help with autism and ADHD
1.Vetiver essential oil
Vetiver oil is obtained through the steam distillation of the roots of the vetiver plant (Chrysopogon zizanioides), a perennial grass that is native to India. This oil helps quiet an overactive, exhausted, or stressed mind. Also, it is a great choice for helping to control anger, irritability, or neurotic behavior.
In 2001, a study conducted by Dr. Terry Friedman revealed that vetiver essential oil benefits children with ADHD. The oil’s relaxing and calming properties are said to help children combat symptoms of ADHD and ADD symptoms such as difficulty in concentrating, being easily distracted, and impatience.
2.Cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood oil is extracted from steam-distilling pieces of the cedar wood tree. It can be used for treating eczema, hair loss, dry scalp, and the inflammation of the joints and tissues.
Cedarwood essential oil can also help children with autism and ADHD. It has calming and relaxing properties. Its scent promotes the release of serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin in the brain. This can help children enjoy peaceful and restorative sleep.
Also, you can add a few drops to a carrier oil (such as coconut or jojoba oil) and apply to the back of the neck, or diffuse at bedtime.
3.Frankincense essential oil
Frankincense oil is taken from the resin of the Boswellia carterri or Boswellia sacara tree that commonly grows in Somalia. For children with autism or ADHD, frankincense oil benefits include helping them stay focused. It is also known to help reduce stress reactions and negative emotions.
Frankincense can be added to a carrier oil and used topically, or diffused. Some individuals choose to take Frankincense internally. For oral use, choose Boswellia sacra, and take one drop in a cup of warm water daily.
Throughout the centuries, lavender oil has been used by different civilizations for its medicinal properties. It is ideal for bath time when the children are tired, stressed, or sick. Putting a few drops of lavender in the water can substantially help a child with autism calm down and get a good night’s sleep.
Of course, before incorporating essential oils as part of your treatment regimen, you should always consult with your physician and/or therapist to ensure that this will be an effective addition to your child’s treatment regimen.