ADHD Treatment Essential Oils For ADHD Can Essential Oils Treat ADHD Symptoms? By Tiara Blain Tiara Blain LinkedIn Tiara Blain, MA, is a freelance writer for Verywell Mind. She is a health writer and researcher passionate about the mind-body connection. Learn about our editorial process Updated on June 21, 2022 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Sergey Mironov / Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Benefits of Essential Oils Essential Oil's Impact on ADHD Essential Oils Used to Treat ADHD Buying Essential Oils Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that usually onsets during childhood and persists throughout adulthood. The most common symptoms of ADHD are impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. There are multiple treatment interventions that help manage these symptoms in both children and adults, such as medication, psychotherapies, behavioral therapies, healthy lifestyle habits, and complementary alternative medicine (CAM). CAM therapies are a more holistic treatment approach that focuses on the connection between the mind and body. A specific CAM therapy that is a simple yet effective intervention is the use of essential oils. Benefits of Essential Oils Essential oils have been shown to offer various benefits. Using essential oils may uplift your mood, lessen anxiety, relax the mind, boost productivity, reduce sinus or allergy symptoms, and much more. What Are Essential Oils? According to Hanif and colleagues “essential oils (EO) are highly concentrated materials extracted from leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, roots, fruit rinds, resins, or barks.” They are often diluted and implemented into cosmetics for the hair or skin, as well as foods and beverages. A very popular way to experience both the aroma and benefits of essential oils is through the sense of smell. The best way to do this is by diffusing the oil using a diffuser, which will fill the room with the oil’s aroma. Another option is to inhale the oil directly or dilute the oil and place it on certain areas of the skin, like the wrist, to smell. Every essential oil offers different benefits, and some share similar effects. Essential Oil's Impact on ADHD Recently, ADHD research has explored the impact essential oils have as a complementary intervention for managing ADHD symptoms. Experts have discovered the potential benefits essential oils may have on neurological disorders. While there is no definitive evidence that essential oils improve ADHD symptoms across the board, some oils can help promote calmness, strengthen focus, and positively influence mood—which can potentially benefit people with ADHD. Essential Oils Used to Treat ADHD Symptoms There are different types of essential oils, each type has similar effects, it’s about finding which works best for you. Floral Aroma Floral scents promote relaxation, tranquility, and calmness. These oils can have a positive effect on hyperactivity, impulsivity, and restlessness. The following are floral scented oils: Lavender Vetiver Ylang-ylang Valerian Rose Chaste tree Citrus Aroma Citrus essential oils help boost energy and mood, reduce stress, and aid in digestion. These can help with possible comorbid symptoms of anxiety and depression. The following are citrus scented oils: Bergamot Sweet OrangeMandarine Camphoraceous Aroma Camphor is a substance that derives from tree bark that has medicinal properties and a menthol scent. They are immune-boosting, aid in respiratory functioning, and reduce allergies and congestion while relieving stress. The following are camphoraceous scented oils: Eucalyptus Peppermint Herbaceous, Woody, Earthy, & Spicy Aromas There are other aromas that benefit those with ADHD, like herbaceous (herbal), woody, earthy, and spicy scents. Usually, these types of oils assist with clarity, memory, digestion, headaches, and boosting immunity. They may also help with anxiety, depression, and sleep. These essential oils include the following: Herbaceous Rosemary Clarity Sage Chamomile Geranium Woody Frankincense CedarwoodSandalwood Spicy Nutmeg Earthy Patchouli The Benefits of Burning Sage Buying Essential Oils If you or your child have been diagnosed with ADHD and are exploring holistic options to add to your daily schedule to help with symptoms consider some of the above essential oils. They are easy to purchase online or in health food stores or vitamin shops. Essential oils are also inexpensive and usually do not present side effects or allergic reactions. Make sure the oils that you decide to use do not derive from a plant you or anyone else are allergic to. Also, view any additional ingredients to ensure you won't have an allergic reaction. Take into consideration the concentration and potency of the oil when making contact with the skin, also dilute the oil before putting it on the skin. Make sure the oil is from a reliable source that produces pure and high quality products. Consider running the idea of using essential oils with your physician to make sure it will not interfere with any possible ADHD treatment that is currently being implemented. The 11 Best Places to Buy Essential Oils of 2022 A Word From Verywell If you've decided to try out essential oils to treat ADHD symptoms, keep in mind that every person is different; some oils that may benefit others just may not be best for you. You may have to try out a few different oils to see which works best for you. Additionally, you may find that essential oils do not alleviate any of your ADHD symptoms and that's OK, too—this CAM therapy just may not be for you. A mental health professional who specializes in ADHD treatment will be able to help you look at other treatment options. 7 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Lange KW. Reichl S. Lange KM. et al. The history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD Atten Def Hyp Disord. 2010;241–255. doi:10.1007/s12402-010-0045-8 Yang KH, Lane HY, Chang YC, Tzang RF. Exploring the effects of pharmacological, psychosocial, and alternative/complementary interventions in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Meta-regression approach. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2021;24(10):776-786. doi:10.1093/ijnp/pyab034 Aćimović, M. Essential Oils: Inhalation Aromatherapy–A Comprehensive Review. Journal of Agronomy, Technology and Engineering Management. 2021;4(2):547-557. Hanif MA. Nisar S. Khan GS. Mushtaq Z. Zubair M. Essential Oils. 2019;3-17. Essential Oil Research. Springer, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-16546-8_1 Ayaz M, Sadiq A, Junaid M, Ullah F, Subhan F, Ahmed J. Neuroprotective and Anti-Aging Potentials of Essential Oils from Aromatic and Medicinal Plants. Front Aging Neurosci. 2017;9:168. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2017.00168 Reynolds SS, Hodges E, Tang J, Dahnke D, Thomesen EM. Impact of Citrus Essential Oil Diffusion on Health Care Staff's Stress Levels: An Evidence-Based Practice Project. Holist Nurs Pract. 2021;35(2):65-70. doi:10.1097/HNP.0000000000000433 Orchard A, van Vuuren S. Commercial essential oils as potential antimicrobials to treat skin diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:4517971. doi:10.1155/2017/4517971 By Tiara Blain Tiara Blain, MA, is a freelance writer for Verywell Mind. She is a health writer and researcher passionate about the mind-body connection. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for ADHD Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.