see also Autism/Asperger
Syndrome (how Autism and ADHD differ is detailed
(Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a
neurobehavioral disorder that causes an inability to focus
and listen to direction. In older literature the term
ADD or “ADD with hyperactivity” has been used for this same
“Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a
neurobehavioral disorder that affects 3-5 percent of all
American children. It interferes with a person's ability to
stay on a task and to exercise age-appropriate inhibition
(cognitive alone or both cognitive and behavioral). Some of
the warning signs of ADHD include failure to listen to
instructions, inability to organize oneself and school work,
fidgeting with hands and feet, talking too much, leaving
projects, chores and homework unfinished, and having trouble
paying attention to and responding to details. … ADHD is
usually diagnosed in childhood, although the condition can
continue into the adult years.”
A summary of the relationship of
Asperger syndrome, autism, and ADHD
Because symptoms are similar between these disorders
confusion may exist with the inexperienced in diagnosis as well as proper
response. (for those that have children with these
disorders it is not difficult to understand the
difference.) The following summary addresses the
similarities and differences.
Autism is a developmental disorder
that affects the way a child communicates and interacts.
It can be generalized as ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
that includes a range of different manifestations that
varying in degree of severity. ASD includes
Asperger’s syndrome (high-functioning autism), autism,
and PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorders-not
(Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a
neurobehavioral disorder that causes an inability to
focus and listen to direction. In older literature
the term ADD or “ADD with hyperactivity” was used
for this same disorder.
One of the notable differences some have noted is that
those with autism do not learn well from experience (or
coping) but rather by rote or memorization. Most love
structure and will repeat very well learned structure.
On the other hand those with ADHD will learn from
experiences and are able to extrapolate this learning to
It is believed the root causes of the two disorders
are different but since they are both developmental
disorders and both affect children in communication,
social interaction, and behavioral characteristics they
can be confused and even misdiagnosed. The website
www.retrainthebrain.com gives the following lists of the
behaviors occurring in autism and ADHD:
Autism Behavioral Checklist
· Difficulty mixing with other children
· No real fear of danger
· Tantrums: displays extreme distress for no apparent
· Inappropriate giggling or laughing
· May not want cuddling or act cuddly
· Noticeable physical over activity or extreme under
· Little or no eye contact
· Works impulsively; often makes careless mistakes:
work is sloppy*
· Uneven gross/fine motor skills*
ADHD Behavioral Checklist
· Cannot talk or play quietly; disrupts others with
talk or actions
· Difficult awaiting turn in games or activities
· Engages in potentially dangerous activities
· Plays without normal caution or consideration
· Severe temper tantrums
· Interrupts, disrupts, talks and acts inappropriately
· When younger, difficulty accepting soothing or
· Always on the move, overactive, even during sleep
· Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
· Often does not give close attention to details or
makes careless mistakes in school work or other
· Uneven gross/fine motor skills
Some that have had experience with children with these
disorders disagree with some points. For instance
a child with Asperger Syndrome is very structured in
what they do and would not be considered sloppy.
What may appear to us to be a careless mistake is not to
them from their point of view. This same child may
also have very good motor skills. Also the
difficulty in communication skills is much different
between autistic and ADHD children.
A common symptom between autism and ADHD is that
either may suffer from gross and fine motor skills as
well as the impulsive driven behaviors. In some cases,
the autism behaviors reveal a deficit in being able to
Essential oils, autism and ADHD. Like other
health concerns these disorders may be helped at
multiple levels. Since many of the symptoms
(behaviors) are common between the two disorders there
will be benefits from the same oils. As you work
with the oils you will find what works best for
your child as well as the
mode of application. By clicking on the Suggested
Protocols and Experiences & Testimonials
tabs on this page and the Autism page you will see the
experiences of others using oils to help.
[search helps: Aspergers, autistic, hyper,
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends:
BalanceC, Clary Sage, FrankincenseC, InTune, LavenderC, SerenityC,
VetiverC, Ylang Ylang
Essential oils based
products: Life Long Vitality supplements
BasilC, Citrus BlissC, DillC, ElevationC, Marjoram, PatchouliC
understand the E and C superscript go to Home and
scroll to New Helps.
Note - Since many with ADD/ADHD,
asperser's, or autism are highly sensitive to odors and
sometime touch do not force the application of oils if it is
a negative experience as this will build a experiential
resentment towards their use in the future. Many times it is
successful letting them make their own selection from a few
choices of oils.
InTune - A special blend (Amyris, Frankincense, Lime,
Patchouli, Roman Chamomile, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang)
prepared to enhance focus and support healthy thought
Frankincense - Stimulates limbic system of the
Lavender - Calming and relaxing to nervous system.
Balance - Detoxifying, promotes courage and self-esteem
Vetiver - Calming and Relaxing
Clary Sage - Uplifting, may help with depression.
Blend Frankincense and Vetiver - Some have
success with this simple blend.
Life Long Vitality supplements– Give the body needed
Necessary for proper brain function.
Application - These oils and blend can be inhaled or carried via the
blood stream. For the latter applied topically to the feet
is effective or with a light massage action along the spine.
Dr. David Hill also recommends applying the oils to in
regions that are in close proximity to the sources of blood
flow to the brain. Two he specifically mentions are on the
areas of the right and left jugular just below the chin on
the front and each side of the neck. The other is the suboccipital triangle which not only gives proximity to
arterial flow to the brain but also key neurological tissue.
He describes finding this by placing the fingers on the sub
occipital protuberance (little bump at the top of the spine
on the back of the neck) then
just below this grip the large muscle tissue and roll the
fingers off to the side. This depression just behind and
below the ear is the suboccipital triangle and the location
Dr. Hill suggests is an excellent place to topically applies
these oils and blends.
The early writers on
use of essential oils (Valnet, Tisserand, Gassefosse) came
before our modern era where this type of disorder has become
so common. For that reason there is no information
from them on the use of oils. More recent essential
oils users have documented their successes in using oils to
address the symptoms often experienced by those with ADHD.
Summarized below are some of their recommendations:
· For frustration, impatience, and anger use oils and
blends that calm. Balance, Serenity, Frankincense, Lavender, Ylang Ylang. Applying to the feet, back of the neck, behind
the knees, and diffusion are all suggested.
· For improved
concentration the oil Vetiver. Again on the feet or,
for school children that need help during the school day, a necklace with a pendant that will absorb the oil
will make it available all day.
· Some, with autism, are
particularly sensitive to smell and may resist the use of
oils. Applying to the feet, even after they are
asleep, can circumvent this problem.
Also go to the “Especially for Kids” tab to
read the experiences of others directly. There are
good suggestions on “touch” and support (some are very
moving and helpful). One mentions the method of letting the
child smell a number of different oils and blends and look
for those giving a positive reaction. Her child responded to
The following blend was submitted by a mother that had
great success with 3 children. (Editor's note: now also
available pre-made, search for Peaceful Child Blend
Peaceful Child Blend
drops Ylang Ylang
drops Clary Sage
drops Fractionated coconut oil
Blend in a roll on bottle and apply to
bottoms of feet and on the brain/ spinal reflex points
of the feet right after showering in the morning.
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Please!!! Also go to the tab Especially for Kids
Our thanks to:
I have not been involved in with doTerra
oils for very long, but my experiences have
been mind blowing. I had been taking
anti-depressants and ADD medications for
over 25 years. Of course when you take
those drugs then there will be others added
so you can get to sleep at night, its a
I have tried to get off of them for 25
years, with no hope..until someone told me
about doTerra oils and my life changed
forever. Within 1 week I was off all
anti-depressants, and a few days later I
realized I didn't need the ADD mediation.
I'm still working on getting to sleep at
night by myself, but I think that will come
So I was telling My brother in-law this a
few weeks ago on the phone and after I hung
up he called me right back and asked if
these oils would help Dad, who has been
suffering from terrible pain in his hip and
shoulder for some time now. I said
yes, I was going to say something but I
really didn't think he would try them... So
I sent him some samples..so the following
week David (by brother in-law) was visiting
my father in-law again and he was in severe
pain and David said "Dad didn't Patti send
you some oils?" he said "yes, but they
are not going to work!" Well how do
you know if you don't try them..just go put
them on what will it hurt... so he does that
and comes back a few minutes later and David
asked him how the pain was and he
said...THERE IS NO PAIN... now he is
singing the doTerra song!! These oils
change peoples lives!
folks recommend for children
Our thanks to:
I have 3 adopted boys. Being drug babies
they came with a host of emotional and
psychological issues. Oils really has
changed the atmosphere in our home from
frazzled, frantic, fanatical to controlled
chaos. Our youngest age 8 has sensory
processing disorder, our middle age 10 has
oppositional defiance disorder, and our
oldest age 12 has ADD tendencies although
never diagnosed. I came across the Peaceful
Child blend and wanted to share it because
it has done wonders for our boys and my
niece who is autistic.
Peaceful Child blend
drops Ylang Ylang
drops Clary Sage
drops Fractionated coconut oil
I cut the recipe in 1/3 and mix in a roll on
bottle that they apply to bottoms of feet on
the brain/ spinal reflex points of the feet,
They apply themselves right after showering
in the morning. They also use Serenity and
Citrus Bliss on neck and behind the ears. I
also let them figure what smells good to
Now for the results:
Our 8 yr old increased his math minutes from
10 problems in 1 minute to 30 with in the
first week of using oils. He has shown
steady growth through the whole year.
Our 10 yr old His reading went from an
inconsistent 65 wpm to 140 words per minute
reading indicator test.
Our 12 yr old is much more emotionally level,
not highs and low swings.
RESULTS a more peaceful home. THANK YOU
Peaceful Child blend, and other oils that
have restored controlled chaos to our home..
Our thanks to:
Here is another helpful blend to help active
kids focus: Dill 2 drops, Roman Chamomile 2
drops and apply as you would other oils on
the bottoms of the feet or on back of neck
or ears if they enjoy the aroma.
Our thanks to:
daughter has been diagnosed with ADD and
mild autism. I have spent thousands
and thousands of dollars on natural and
conventional remedies to help my daughter
function at her best. She has been in
therapy since she was 2. She is now
10. Five weeks ago I had a meeting
with her school and they felt she should
leave her current school for a full time
autistic classroom. Two weeks ago, I
got an email from a DoTerra representative
about a story of a little girl and her
recovery from a medical issue. It made me
think... so I decided to write her and she
led me to this website where I found
recommendations of certain oils to use for
her. I used Frankincense and Balance
for the next two weeks (I already had these
two oils and I am ordering Vetiver and
Serenity for her anxiety as recommended).
Last week I took her to her neurologist and
she noticed a difference in Cassidy since
her visit 3 months ago. She said she is more
engaged in our conversation and more social.
Two days after this her teacher came to me
saying the same thing. She said she
doesn't sit with the teachers anymore on the
playground. She is engaging in play with the
other kids and she is participating in the
classroom also, raising her hand and getting
the answers correct. In these 2 weeks
she went up 3 reading levels. She is
in 3rd grade on a 1st grade level.
At Girl Scouts she usually just goes with
what is happening or she drifts off on her
own after a while. In her last Girl
Scout meeting she was participating and at
one point she was actually instructing the
class because she had finished first and was
confident enough to help others! This has
Today we went to a birthday party and she
had no anxiety about it. We have missed so
many birthday invites because she was too
anxious to go. I could probably give
you at least 10 more examples of her
progress in 2 short weeks. This is
incredible for our little girl.
We just got the Vetiver and Serenity in
today so I am anxious to add these to her
regiment also. She was so excited when
they came in and said she would use them
also and keep getting better. I think
she notices a change also.
I am so thankful the Jenn shared a story
with her contacts about this other little
girl because it helped me see that there
might be something here for my little girl
also. If I saw this in 2 weeks, I just
can't imagine what is in for her future!
She has not taken anything internal.
I have put the Frankincense on her feet and
the Balance I put on one of her hands on the
fingertips the then on the opposite side at
her temple (ex: right fingertips, left
A few weeks later - Well a
part to add to the story is that the school
came to me again and changed their minds-
they now want to keep her in a regular
classroom at the same school and NOT put her
in an autistic classroom
Riki - I've been
putting Whisper essential oil blend on my 8 year old son at
night and he's out within 30 min! Even at 8:30-9:00! There
were nights he was up until 11:00, unable to settle down and
sleep. I put a drop on each temple, on his neck, his wrists,
and under his nose. I'm very grateful for this discovery as
Peaceful Child blend, InTune, Serenity, etc. seemed to have
no effect on him.
The method I used to choose Whisper was
recommended by a friend of mine. She suggested letting him
smell each oil until we came across one that he really
liked. When he smelled Whisper, he said, "ahhhhhhh...." and
flopped back on my bed. I thought, "Oh yes! That's the
effect we want!" Next experiment, a few drops during the
day to help him calm down.
JMoore – A friend needs help with her 6
year old daughter. She has been diagnosed with ADHD and has
EXTREME mood swings. The child can't go to sleep at night so
she told her mom she wanted to get in trouble every night so
that she could "just cry herself to sleep". The mom said
that the child wakes up screaming and in terrible moods. Her
attention span is almost nonexistent, and she has been
placed on several different drugs for her problems. She is
even seeing a psychiatrist. I really want to help this
mom; my heart is just breaking for this little girl. I have
heard of Vetiver but have never known anyone that has used
it, so I was wondering if anyone had. If you have ANY
suggestions for helping this child please let me know. I
know these oils will work on her if she gives them a
chance...I've seen amazing results on my own family! Thanks!
Rob - With her bad mood swings, I would
consider a nightly routine of Balance and Serenity.
Three or four drops of each applied with massage to the back
of the neck and/or feet prior to bed time. This would also
be a time for a "good talk" or prayer with the child. Also,
put her to sleep with the diffuser running with Serenity, or
another calming oil. If she starts to experience a bad
episode of anger or screaming apply a few drops of Serenity
to the back of her neck and shoulders as you talk through
the bad experience.
The hardest part is giving these oils a chance.
Sometimes it takes a few days for their effects to start
making a difference. Encourage the mother to have patience.
And remember, just spending quality time with the loving
touch might make as big a difference as anything.
Jan - I would agree that Vetiver,
Serenity and Balance might be the key oils that would help
with this child. I would think about a drop or two of
Serenity or Balance right on the crown of her head if she
begins to have a bad experience. Also, I have found great
help with anxiety for myself with a couple drops each of
Vetiver, Frankincense and Clary Sage. It might be a mix
that is more effective with older women, but you never know
when dealing with hormones of even a 6 year old. Rob is
right, what might help as much as oils is tender touch and
JMoore - Do you think she needs a
carrier with any of these oils or blends if she uses them on
her back? Also, can the blends be put in a roller ball
applicator with a single oil like Vetiver to be applied or
should she just keep them separate? I want to make it
as simple as possible. Thanks
Carla - None of these oils are hot, but
if you are applying to the back, shoulders, feet, etc,
having a little carrier might make the application smoother.
Yes, you might even want to pre-make a mix, with an
applicator. Vetiver is very thick and you probably won't get
it out of the bottle without literally tapping it on the
skin. You could take the dripper out and literally pour it
into a new bottle with carrier in it to make it easier to
use. The oils suggested however are perfect. ADD PRAYER.
Rob – The oils do not need a carrier
except to make massage easier. Vetiver is very thick and
the carrier will help its application.
Pat - I remember going to a meeting and
they told a story of a little boy who was out of control.
The grandfather took Serenity and rubbed it on the heart
area and the little boy calmed right down.
John - I remember that experience as
well. The grandfather put Serenity over the heart and on
the crown of the head.
Kathy - I make a spray of pure water and
Lavender or Serenity and spray my kids pillows and sheets
before bedtime. I have no question that it helps them fall
asleep easier and it's antimicrobial also.
Chris - I have a friend whose son has
ADHD or ADD. I've heard that Vetiver is good for that.
Is anyone aware of someone who has had success and, if so,
how and what did they use? Thanks!
Kendra - Emily just told me this.
She said to have the person apply the oil topically on the
brainstem (back of the neck) and to have them inhale the
Pat - My grandson applies Vetiver to a
clay necklace that he wears to school on the inside of his
shirt. That way he smells it all day and it helps his
Rob - Kendra is correct, Vetiver is most
efficient used aromatically through the olfactory system
Kendra - But now, let me tell you, if
you have a kid with ADD/ADHD, like we have had, they also
might have some very strong sensory integration issues,
along with the ADD (and more with ADHD) and it will be like
pulling teeth to get them to smell oils or blends. It is
like the slightest odor kind of "wigs them out". At
that point they are not over-reacting like the majority of
people think. But it is because they are soooooo sensitive
to odors. I know that if you put Geranium on the
child before you have them smell another oil, sometimes it
won't be so dramatic or traumatic for them
And Chris, I don't know how bad this child suffers with
ADD/ADHD so you might just want to share this with her.
I had a doctor tell me once, and I will never forget it,
because she validated me sooooo much.
She said parents that have so called "normal" kids that
don't suffer from things like ADD, will never be able to
understand what it is like, as a parent, dealing with the
challenge each and every day. Not just the heartache that
you, as a parent goes thru, but seeing your child struggle
with things that everyone else thinks shouldn't be a big
deal and wondering why can't that kid just "handle" it.
Then she leaned down really close to me, and said again,
"they will never, never understand".
Also can you imagine what it is like for that child, to
have to deal with ADD/ADHD, not being able to control the
impulsivity that they have. When a teacher asks the class a
question and others raise their hands and "wait" to be
picked on to tell the answer, but you're a kid that doesn't
even think about raising your hand, because you get so
excited because you know the answer and blurt it out. Then
after you blurt it out, all the other kids look at you like
"what's wrong with you, just raise your hand". Then
they give you "that look", that so many others have given
you before, and you start to know that others are right,
something is wrong with you, and you slouch down a little
deeper in your chair. Then you beat yourself up, thinking,
“what's wrong with me, why didn't I just raise my hand? I'm
such a loser!” And the kid beats himself up.
I had one of my sensory kids ask me, when he was about in
the 3rd grade, - it was more like sobbing and laying against
my chest asking me, "Mom, what's wrong with me, why can't I
just be normal?" I try, I really do, I promise!”
Do you think he yanked my heart out or what!
I know that it is so hard, but I also know that my
ADDer’s have the best hearts in the world and would stick up
for any underdog. They are there for anybody that is being
belittled, in whatever way.
So you hug those little ones of yours, hug them tight!
Even if they are 6 feet tall. We all need that validation
and that touch that a hug gives!! And then you hold their
head so tight in your hands and make sure there is eye
contact, (because sometimes our little ADDer’s have trouble
focusing eye to eye!) and squeeze those cheeks and ask them,
"DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU?!!"
Diet and Nutritional
complements to essential oils
What Science & Research are saying
Essential Oils and ADD/ADHD
Editor's note: The following
research is oft quoted and suggested to be published in the
AMA Journal. We have not be able to verify that it
is in an official
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. The essential oils
of Brain Power, Vetiver, Lavender and Cedarwood were used.
The oils were administered in this fashion: one oil was
administered by inhalation 3 times per day for 30 days. An
inhalation device was also used at night to administer a
continuous inhalation of oil. The inhalation of the oils
proved to settle the children's brain waves back into normal
patters 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%.
This study does not appear to have been published in a
professional journal but is available from Dr. Friedman's
German Chamomile (Matricaria
chamomilla) effective in ADHD
Phytomedicine. 2009 Apr;16(4):284-6. Epub 2008 Dec 20.
Observational study: Matricaria chamomilla may improve
some symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Niederhofer H., Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Regional
Hospital Bozen, Via Guncina 54/A, 39100 Bolzano
Noradrenaline and serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been
proven to be effective in some cases of ADHD. In this open
trial, Matricaria chamomilla, a serotonin and noradrealine
reuptake inhibitor, actually used as an antidepressant, has
been checked for this indication.
Three 14-16-year-old male psychiatric outpatients,
diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder (ADHD) have been
rated at baseline and while taking Matricaria chamomilla to
determine its efficacy as a treatment for ADHD. Improvement
was valuated using comparisons of Conners' parent ratings.
Patients' mean scores improved for Conners'
hyperactivity, inattention and immaturity factors.
Although the sample size is very small and therefore
generalization is very difficult, this observation indicates
that Matricaria chamomilla might be a slightly effective
treatment also for ADHD.