Essential Oils and ADD: My Story

patchouli essential oil for add

ADD And Essential Oils

Many people around the world deal with the condition referred to as ADD or ADHD, and I’m one of them. While there are a wide array of medications available, some people do not find relief from them, or find that they need relief from the side effects. I started in the former, but fell into the latter category. While my medication is a subject for another time, one thing that was constant was the relief I found in essential oils.

The Beginning: Headache Help Becomes Focus

I didn’t set out to explore the world of essential oils for ADHD initially. Instead, I discovered them as a result of using essential oils for another purpose. Specifically, I used diluted peppermint oil to help fight chronic headaches. I noticed that, when I applied this treatment, not only would my headaches go away, but I would also be able to focus better and was more productive. I attributed this, at first, to the feeling of ease that comes when a headache subsides, but, after doing some reading, I realized that it was just as likely that I was benefiting from the aromatherapy benefits of essential oil. As a result I bought an oil burner, and never looked back.

I started using a strictly peppermint oil and water blend, which I found helped me concentrate on the work I had in front of me. This makes sense, in retrospect, as peppermint oil has long been associated with increased concentration and is recommended by many as a natural remedy for attention issues.

As I experimented further, I found that a blend of 1/3 peppermint, 1/3 rosemary, and 1/3 lavender was the best mix for my particular symptoms. The peppermint and rosemary provided concentration and focus, without making me feel the heart-pumping, racy thoughts that I had experienced with medication previously. The lavender was the final addition to this mix, which I called my work blend, as its calming scent helped my mind stay at ease and comfortable with the energy that it naturally had, as well as that being provided by the peppermint and rosemary oils.

Focus Becomes Relief

After some personal exploration I began taking medication again, and no longer needed the concentration and energy that peppermint and rosemary provided me. Instead I had to find a way to help counteract the side effects of the medication I was taking.

This task required a different approach altogether. Rather than focusing on energetic oils like peppermint and rosemary, I instead looked into soothing scents. I initially began with a lavender/water blend, but eventually added patchouli to the mix. I found that the lavender-only approach would make me feel at ease in a way where I wouldn’t want to use the focus from my medication on my work. The grounding sensation that the patchouli provided tempered this, and my side effects perfectly. If you want to try this at home, I recommend a 50/50 patchouli and lavender blend, and then adjust it from there. If you find yourself needing a more calming situation then bump up the lavender, and if you need to keep a little bit of the edge that helps you keep on working, then favoring more patchouli is the way to go.

Another thing l like about this particular mix is that it is so flexible. It covers a broad array of situations, from cleaning around the house to rushing to meet a deadline, just by altering the proportion of oils used.

Other Ideas and Going Forward

While these are the primary mixes that I use, they are not the only ones. Some days might be more stressful than others, and for those days I’ve found that adding something citrus to my lavender/patchouli blend is an excellent coping strategy. I favor tangerine, but others have talked about how lemon is the perfect aroma to help you feel like you can, despite what everything around you says, get through the day. A drop or two of citrus provides the perfect amount of bright undertone to the aroma to lift it without being overpowering.

One thing that I want to experiment more with is the addition of various wood oils, in particular cedar. I think that there’s a chance that cedar may eventually take the place of the patchouli in my anti-side effects blend. I’ve found that the woodiness and richness of these oils stands up to the lavender much better, while providing a different kind of grounding sensation than the patchouli does.

Essential Oils and ADD/ADHD

While I am not a doctor, and everyone’s mind and body work differently, I strongly recommend using essential oils as part of your ADD/ADHD experience. I’ve found that they’ve helped me focus more without medicine, and have done an excellent job of minimising some of the more unpleasant side effects that result from the medication. My life would not be what it is without essential oils, and for that I am grateful!

About the author

Sally Wong

Sally Wong is a manual therapist for about 15 years now and also a massage specialist. She is actively taking care of her body to stay healthy and in shape by doing Yoga and Tai Chi. She has a lot of knowledge and interest in Essential Oils because of her Oriental background. She learnt many things from her Grandmother. Originally from a small village in South China, now she lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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