Today I went to an event with my local Autism Society chapter and spoke with a few parents whose children also have autism and ADHD (two commonly comorbid diagnoses). We began talking about essential oils and how they help children (and adults) by alleviating some of the symptoms. My son often has trouble sleeping, has anger outbursts, and sometimes complains of headaches or stomachaches. I had heard about a few of these already, but I wanted to pull together some commonly used essential oils so that I could experiment with them and see how they helped Squeaker out. My search results came back to many of the same essential oils again and again, so these essential oils would be what I consider the best essential oils for calming, focusing, and soothing.
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Vetiver: Many parents who use Vetiver state that this oil helps with many things. It not only calms the mind down, but may help control anger, irritability, and neurotic behavior. To use this relatively thick oil, you’d want to first dilute it with another neutral oil like olive oil or coconut oil. Then, you’d smear it on the back of your child’s neck from the base of the brain stem all the way down to where the spinal cord would meet their shoulders. This oil will also help with focus, so again, it has many uses.
Cedarwood: This oil will help calm and purify. Cedarwood works by stimulating the pituitary glands and can increase the melatonin in the brain naturally. Thus, you’d probably want to use this oil at night for sleeping. Many people use diffusers for essential oils to get the scent out into the air, so this would likely work best this way if you use it for sleep.
Lavender: Most people already know that lavender helps calm and relax the nervous system. You can use lavender so many ways! You can put a few drops into the bath at night before bed, put some on your child’s pillow at bedtime, or use a diffuser for this one.
Peace and Calming: This oil furthers relaxation and may even help calm the overactive or easily angered child. You may also use Peace and Calming for other things, like depression, anxiety, stress, or insomnia. If your child has a tantrum or meltdown, you can use a diffuser with this oil to help calm them, or you could place it on your child’s feet at bedtime. You might also put some of this oil on the pillow or any special blanket they use to help them sleep.
Frankincense: Though you might also see Frankincense used for calming, it may also help develop a higher level of consciousness. It stimulates the limbic system of the brain, which controls instincts and mood (which is why this oil reportedly helps with calming as well). You can apply this oil topically, inhale it using a diffuser/vaporizer, or ingest it in small amounts. I don’t know enough about how much to ingest per body weight, so you’d probably do best to consult a reference guide or a doctor about using it this way prior to attempting it.
Brain Power: This oil actually contains a blending of several different oils and could be diffused during school time or applied to the neck and throat to help encourage concentration and convert physical energy to mental energy. The Brain Power oil combines Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Melissa, Frankincense, Blue Cypress, Lavender, and Helichrysum, so it kind of creates a super power of good essential oils to really boost concentration.
Vetiver: Already mentioned in the calming area, Vetiver was shown by Dr. Terry Friedmann in testing of children ages 6-14 to help 100% of the children with ADHD in the study.
Peppermint: Peppermint helps with many things, including calming and focus, but primarily gets used to ease aches and pains. Peppermint reportedly helps with high fevers, migraines, and stomach pains. You can apply this directly to the air feeling discomfort to help ease up the symptoms.
Di-Gize: If your child suffers from stomach pain, this oil may help decrease symptoms. Put the Di-Gize on the stomach and lower back to help with stomach pain. Bonus: Good for use with those period pains, right ladies? This essential oil blend contains Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils, and also contains naturally occurring constituents like menthol, citrol, and zingiberen. You can use this oil as a daily supplement in addition to using it topically by adding it to your water.
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I’m excited to try these oils and see how they work for my child since I’ve heard great things about the use of essential oils. That being said, please note that none of these statements have been approved by the FDA and that I am not a doctor. I am simply providing you a list of the best essential oils according to the many websites I’ve consulted online, my personal experiences with my own child, as well as the people I’ve spoken to about them.