Although ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition commonly associated with children, around eight to nine million adults and four to six percent of Americans have the condition. ADHD begins before the age of seven and often lasts throughout a person’s lifetime. ADHD occurs when a person is disproportionately distracted, hyperactive and impulsive for over six months in a way that greatly affects, for example, the person’s relationships or school work. However, many people choose not to use drugs such as Ritalin for their disorder, in which case vetiver essential oil is a natural substance that can possibly relieve symptoms of this disorder. See your doctor for the best treatment methods if you think you have ADHD.
Vetiver is a grass originating in Asia. The roots of the grass are used to make vetiver essential oil. In their book "The A-Z Guide to Healing with Essential Oils: Aromatherapy," Shelagh Masline and Barbara Close explain that you either love or hate vetiver, so you might want to find an alternative oil if you do not like the scent. You could also blend it with other oils that complement it, such as neroli, sandalwood or rose.
Vetiver helps people with ADHD because it is a calming essential oil. Its strong scent has grounding, stress-relieving and nervous tension-alleviating properties. This oil helps balance your mood and also promotes sleep if sleep difficulty is one of your ADHD symptoms. A 2001 study by Dr. Terry Friedman found that smelling vetiver essential oil improved the performance of children with ADD and ADHD by 100 percent. These results were much stronger than lavender’s performance increase of 53 percent and cedarwood’s of 83 percent. However, more research is needed to determine vetiver's effects on ADHD.
Disperse the scent of vetiver into the air by either using it in a diffuser or diluting a few drops in water and spraying it from a spray bottle. To use vetiver on your skin, put 5 drops in 1 tsp. of carrier oil such as grape seed oil and drop the mixture into a bath. An alternative method is to drop 40 drops of vetiver into 3.5 oz. carrier oil and massage a small amount into your skin. Vetiver has a strong scent, so use less if these amounts are too strong for you.
Vetiver is expensive to make so many companies mix it with other oils. Therefore, buy it from a reputable retailer, although pure vetiver oil will be expensive. Many essential oils cause irritation to the skin so test vetiver on a small area of skin before applying it to a large area. If it causes a reaction, avoid using vetiver topically and diffuse it into the air instead. Consult a certified aromatherapist for the best method of using essential oils.
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Fact Sheet
- "The A-Z Guide to Healing with Essential Oils: Aromatherapy"; Shelagh Masline and Barbara Close; 1997
- "Aromatherapy Oils: A Complete Guide"; Carol and David Schiller; 1996
- Jennifer Jefferies: From Go Fast Kids to Calm Kids
- "The Essential Natural Health Bible"; Nerys Purchon; 2006