By Julie Daube
With the rise of ADHD diagnoses, misdiagnoses, and the often resultant prescriptions for stimulant medication and their associated risks, the need for natural alternatives that work has never been greater than it is now. We are now seeing even younger children, 2 and 3 years old toddlers, diagnosed with the disorder and medicated with pharmaceutical drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall, which have not even been studied for their safety or effectiveness in children so young. This is a red flag that indicates the standard treatment is simply to diagnose and prescribe, rather than to address the underlying causes. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to the “standard treatment” of ADHD that have allowed many to reverse the symptoms and diagnosis of ADHD through the use of diet changes and therapeutic grade essential oils.

While the underlying causes of ADHD are still not entirely agreed upon, many believe mineral deficiencies, dietary-induced inflammation, and neurotoxicity to be primary causes of ADHD symptoms. In some cases, a complete reversal of ADHD symptoms have been achieved through dietary changes. These changes include ridding the diet of toxic additives such as petrochemical-based food dyes, artificial flavors, synthetic sweeteners, and processed foods. Substituting processed white sugar for natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar, yacon-root syrup, or stevia can be extremely beneficial in reducing hyperactivity. Opt for organic produce whenever possible, as many pesticides are neurotoxins. It is particularly important to stay away from conventionally grown produce on the “Dirty Dozen” list, as reported by the Environmental Working Group in their Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, to avoid consuming large amounts of neurotoxic pesticides. In general, a diet rich in whole, fresh, organic foods will help to restore deficiencies and limit the intake of toxins. It may be helpful to start with some helpful cookbooks such as The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook by Pamela Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N.

Another, often overlooked, source of neurotoxins is water. Most municipally treated water has fluoride added, reportedly to “prevent tooth decay.” However, recent research has shown that not only is artificial fluoridation ineffective in combatting tooth decay, but worse, that fluoride is a developmental neurotoxin1. Fluoride exposure in children is detrimental to brain development. One study has shown that children living in highly fluoridated areas are five times more likely to develop a low IQ than those who do not2. Most bottled water is municipally sourced and thenfiltered before bottling. However, most filters do not remove fluoride from the water. Drinking only water that has been properly filtered, through reverse-osmosis or steam distillation, is necessary to avoid consuming fluoridated water. Toothpaste is another common form of fluoride exposure. Using a fluoride-free toothpaste, or making your own, is recommended.

In addition to diet changes, the use of therapeutic grade essential oils is extremely beneficial to those with ADHD. Pure essential oils have been revered for centuries for their restorative properties to the body, mind, and spirit. According to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, essential oils have been used by priests and physicians for thousands of years. They were mankind’s first medicine. Today they are reemerging as key solutions to the many challenges of modern lifestyles.

Essential oils offer profound physiological and psychological effects. The sense of smell is the only one of the five senses directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain. The limbic lobe is the emotional center of the brain. It is from here that anxiety, depression, fear, and joy emanate. Essential oils directly stimulate the emotions and have the ability to instill peace, optimism, calmness, as well as focus. In addition to regulating the emotions, the limbic region of the brain is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance.

The limbic lobe can also activate the hypothalamus, which is one of the most important parts of the brain and acts as the hormonal control center. Often referred to as the “master gland,” the hypothalamus governs the production of growth hormones, sex hormones, thyroid hormones, and neurotransmitters. Studies have shown a correlation between ADHD and deficiencies in neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.3 4 Through their fragrance and unique molecular structure, essential oils stimulate the secretion of neurotransmitters, endorphins, hormones, antibodies, and enzymes5. In studies conducted atVienna and Berlin Universities, researchers have found that sesquiterpenes, a natural compound found in essential oils such as vetiver, patchouli, cedarwood, sandalwood, and frankincense, can increase levels of oxygen in the brain by up to 28% (Nasel, 1992) 6. Such an increase in brain oxygen may lead to a heightened level of activity in the hypothalamus and limbic regions of the brain, which can have dramatic effects on not only emotions, learning, and attitude, but also many physical processes of the body such as immune function, hormone balance, and energy levels.

Terry Friedmann, MD completed pioneering studies from 1999 to 2001, using essential oils to combat ADD and ADHD6. Using inhalation of essential oils including vetiver, cedarwood, and lavender, Dr. Friedmann was able to achieve clinically significant results in 60 days. The study was conducted with children ages 6-12 years. Twenty subjects not diagnosed with ADD/ ADHD were used as the control group. Twenty subjects with confirmed diagnoses of ADD/ ADHD were used as the study group. Each group was pre-tested using a baseline evaluation with real time EEG and the T.O.V.A. scale.

This is how the oils were used; one was inhaled 3 times a day for 30 days. An essential oil diffuser was also used at bedtime to deliver constant inhalation of the essential oil. Dr. Friedmann found by using the inhalation process with the oils, they proved to settle the brain waves back into normal patterns. He also found that the children had improved in not only their school performance but also how they behaved. Dr. Friedmann found a 53% performance increase with Lavender, 83% performance increase with Cedarwood, and 100% performance increase with Vetiver. The results were published by the American Medical Association Journal.

In addition to their rejuvenating and mood balancing properties, essential oils help to detoxify the body. Because of their ionizing action, essential oils have the ability to break down potentially harmful chemicals and render them nontoxic. European scientist have studied the ability of essential oils to work as natural chelators, binding with heavy metals and petrochemicals and ferrying them out of the body.8 In this way, essential oils can help to reduce one’s toxic load which may be a contributing factor in the neurological dysfunction causing attention deficit and hyperactivity symptoms.

In contrast, the molecules of pharmaceutical drugs are strange to the human body. For this reason, the body does not easily metabolize them. The following is an excerpt from “Why Oils Heal and Drugs Don’t” by David Stewart, Ph.D. : 9

“The dangers of prescription drugs are intrinsic to the drugs, themselves. No matter how careful the physician in prescribing and how compliant the patient in following doctor’s orders, even then deaths and damages occur. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than 100,000 Americans die every year, from properly prescribed, properly taken prescriptions. In this country, more people die from doctor’s prescriptions every ten days than were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Why Companies Deliberately Sell Dangerous Products
The molecules of pharmaceutical drugs are all strange to the human body. In all the history of humankind, such molecules were never encountered or taken into any human body. God never made your body to accept and deal with these chemicals and antibiotics. Hence, you can find traces of prescription drugs in your body that were taken in childhood, decades ago.

On the other hand, natural molecules, such as those found in essential oils, are easily metabolized by the body. In fact, your body was created to handle them.

Drugs and Oils Work in Opposite Ways
Drugs toxify. Oils detoxify. Drugs clog and confuse receptor sites. Oils clean receptor sites. Drugs depress the immune system. Oils strengthen the immune system. Antibiotics attack bacteria indiscriminately, killing both the good and the bad. Oils attack only the harmful bacteria, allowing our body’s friendly flora to flourish.

Drugs never deal with the actual causes of disease. While they may give prompt relief for certain uncomfortable symptoms they will always disrupt certain other bodily functions. Thus you always have some side effects.

Oils are balancing to the body. Drugs are unbalancing to the body. Oils address the causes of disease at a cellular level by deleting misinformation and reprogramming correct information so that cells function properly and in harmony with one another.

Because essential oils properly applied always work toward the restoration of proper bodily function, they do not cause undesirable side effects. They are feeding the body with truth. Drugs feed the body with lies.

Doctors Speak Out
“The cause of most disease is in the poisonous drugs physicians superstitiously give in order to effect a cure.” – Charles E. Page, M.D.

“The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine.” – Sir William Osler, M.D. (Called the most influential physician of his age.)

“One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.” Sir William Osler, M.D.

“If all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be bad for the fish and good for humanity”
O.W. Holmes, M.D. (Prof. of Med. Harvard University)

“Every drug increases and complicates the patients condition.” Robert Henderson, M.D.

“Drugs never cure disease. They merely hush the voice of nature’s protest, and pull down the danger signals she erects along the pathway of transgression. Any poison taken into the system has to be reckoned with later on even though it palliates present symptoms. Pain may disappear, but the patient is left in a worse condition, though unconscious of it at the time.” Daniel. H. Kress, M.D.

“The necessity of teaching mankind not to take drugs and medicines, is a duty incumbent upon all who know their uncertainty and injurious effects; and the time is not far distant when the drug system will be abandoned.” Charles Armbruster, M. D.

For those of you who have taken prescription drugs over long periods of time, essential oils are your best friend because they can cleanse the residues of these drugs from your system once and for all and restore your body back to its natural healthy state.”

The benefits of therapeutic grade essential oils are innumerable and have proven to be very effective at combating mood swings, hyperactivity, lack of focus, negative emotions and aggressive behavior. They are balancing both physiologically and psychologically. Combined with dietary improvements that work to reduce the toxic load and restore optimal essential nutrient levels, essential oils are a natural solution to ADHD.

A final note on the importance of choosing high quality essential oils. Not all oils are created equal. In fact approximately 98% of all essential oils on the market are produced by below standard practices that result in a product that simply “smells good” but lacks any true medicinal value. For the novice essential oil user, it may be difficult to discern which essential oil company to choose. An ideal essential oil company has their own farms on which they raise plants using organic and sustainable farming methods on pristine land not formerly polluted with chemicals. An ideal company would also have their own distilleries and have staff trained in the art of proper distillation methods. Additionally, an ideal company has their own labs and scientists to test and verify the quality and composition of their oils. Young Living, the World Leader in Essential Oils, is such a company.

“Young Living offers health solutions found nowhere else on earth. These essential oils truly represent the new frontier of medicine; they have resolved cases that many professionals had regarded as hopeless.” Terry Friedmann, M.D., Cofounder of American Holistic Medical Association

“When your life and your health are depending on it, you cannot afford to use oils whose chemistry and origins are uncertain. I have complete trust in the quality and integrity of Young Living oils. That is why I will neither use nor consider any other brand.” David Stewart, Ph.D., author of Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple: God’s Love Manifest in Molecules

Julie Daube is a natural health advocate and educator who is passionate about helping others reach extraordinary states of health, happiness and harmony. Julie is also an Independent Distributor (#1336123) for Young Living, the World Leader in Essential Oils. She can be reached at (352) 530-1091 or by email at


1 Dr. Edward F. Group III, “Alert! Research Links Fluoridated Water to ADHD”

2 Dr. Edward F. Group III, “Nine Shocking Dangers of Fluoride Exposure”

3 T. S. Sathyanarayana, et al., “Understanding Nutrition Depression and Other Illnesses”

4 Kenneth Blum et al., “Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder and Reward Deficiency Syndrome”

5 Life Science Publishing, Essential Oil Desk Reference, 4th Ed., Pg. 12

6 Joan Apter, “Essential Oils for Awakening the Inner Muse ”

7 Essential Science Publishing, Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th Ed., Pg. 352

8 Essential Science Publishing, Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th Ed., Pg. 8

9 David Stewart, Ph.D., “Why Oils Heal and Drugs Don’t”

This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not meant to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health or medical needs with a qualified medical professional if necessary.