Can essential oils help with ADHD?

Posted at 11:00 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 04:59:52-05

Doctors say there isn't the research to support essential oils as a treatment for ADHD, but a Wellington mother says it's helping her son. 

Jay Sweet, 11, enjoys sitting on the couch with his friend watching YouTube.  This is something his mom says would have never happened two years ago.

"Every singe day I was getting (messages from teachers saying) he won't stay on task.  He wont stay focused. He won't stay in his seat. He's talking.  He's just up and running around.  He just could not stay focused," mom Tina Sweet says.

Constantly hyper and having issues focusing at home and in school, she took Jay to a psychologist where he was diagnosed with ADHD.

"I was devastated," Tina said. "I was like, 'Oh my goodness, what are we going to do?'"

The doctor put Jay on medication to help him stay focused, but his mom worried.

"You read the long list of side effects and you get the medication and I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, I don't want to have to give this to my child,'" said Tina Sweet.

She then went online and read about how aromatherapy is helping some with focus issues, anxiety and mood changes.

"He went from Cs and Ds all over the place in second and third grade to being a calm child," Tina says of her son. "Now, he's As and Bs, and he's in advanced classes in fifth grade going into middle school."

Tina applies multiple oils on several parts of Jay’s body every morning and he even wears a bracelet that has essential oils on it.

“It's been such a life changing experience for him as a child," she said.

Essential oils are now a multi-billion dollar industry, but doctors say you need to be careful.

"We can't support something there is no research about," says West Palm Beach psychologist Rachel Needle, who treats patients with ADHD.

Needle said while it's possible aromatherapy may be helpful in treating certain symptoms of ADHD, she can't recommend it as an alternative to drug medication.

"With alertness and attention it can be helpful, but there is much more going on there," said Needle.

Tina Sweet now has Jay on a lower dose of his ADHD medications because she feels the essential oils are working.

Sweet said she sees the results of essential oils in her son everyday and sees him using them forever.