Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Essential Oils Can Help ADHD

Reposted from Dr. Mercola

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/26/essential-oils-can-help-adhd.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookmercola_ranart-ths&utm_campaign=20171205_essential-oils-can-help-adhd

By Dr. Mercola
About 11 percent of U.S. children (or 6.4 million) have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),1 which is characterized by a pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity that interferes with learning, daily functioning and relationships. Rates have been increasing by about 5 percent a year.2
Among very young children (2 to 5 years), behavior therapy is the first-line treatment recommended for ADHD, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
However, data from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that about half of preschoolers with ADHD were taking medication, and 1 in 4 were being treated only with medication.3
Further, only half of 4- to 5-year-olds with ADHD received behavior therapy, despite it being the recommended go-to treatment. By age 6, the so-called "best practice guidelines" for ADHD include treatment with both medication and behavior therapy.
It's a sad state of affairs on multiple fronts, the first of which surrounds the accuracy of ADHD diagnoses. Misdiagnosis is common, which means many children may be taking medications unnecessarily. The other glaring issue is the dangers of ADHD drugs, which are immense.
Kids taking these powerful drugs may suffer from side effects ranging from sleep problems and loss of appetite to seizures and increased heart rate, which is why alternative treatment options are urgently needed. Fortunately, one age-old option, essential oils, has shown promise in helping to relieve the symptoms of ADHD.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated, aromatic plant extracts that have been used for thousands of years for emotional, cosmetic, medical and even spiritual purposes. The term "essential oil" actually comes from the idea of "quintessential oil."
Aristotle believed that in addition to the four physical elements (fire, air, earth and water) there was a fifth element, quintessence.
This was considered to be the "spirit" or life force of the plant, and distillation or evaporation were used to remove the "spirit" for human usage (this is also why distilled alcoholic beverages are referred to as "spirits").4
Today, essential oils, which contain complex mixtures of beneficial plant chemicals, are extracted from plants via two primary methods: distillation, which has been used since ancient times; and expression or cold pressing, which is used to extract citrus essential oils.

Essential Oils May Improve ADHD Symptoms

Research by the late Dr. Terry S. Friedmann, a physician who believed in treating the body, mind and spirit as one, showed that vetiver oil (vetiver is a type of Indian grass) was beneficial for children with ADHD.5
When the children inhaled the oil three times a day for 30 days they had improved brain wave patterns and behavior and did better in school. Eighty percent of the children also improved when using cedarwood oil similarly.6
Cedarwood essential oil was chosen for the study because it has a high concentration of sesquiterpenes (they make up 50 percent of its constituents), which improve oxygenation of brain cells.
Vetiver is known to calm and balance the nervous system while stimulating the circulatory system, according to Friedmann. He explained:7
"When the essential oil is inhaled, the micro droplets are carried to the limbic system of the brain, which is that portion that is the processing center for reason, emotion and smell, and to the hypothalamus, which is the hormone command center.
The essential micro droplets are also carried to the lungs where they enter the circulatory system."
Improvements in brain activity were revealed via electro-encephalograph (EEG), which measures electrical impulses moving through the brain. This allowed researchers to determine whether the children's brains were functioning primarily in a beta (i.e., alert) state or a theta state (i.e., lack of focus).
Improvements in beta-theta ratios were noted following the use of vetiver essential oil, while parents also noted improvements in symptoms. Friedmann reported:8
"I received several letters from parents of the ADHD children stating that their behavior at home had improved for the better.
In several cases, they also stated that school educators informed them that their performance was observed to improve in the classroom. The report cards in some of the subjects had reflected this improvement as well."

Vetiver Essential Oil May Improve Alertness

A recent study published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology also showed vetiver essential oil to have particular promise for ADHD.
The animal study revealed changes in brain activity suggestive of increased alertness,9 while research on human subjects revealed faster reaction times and stimulation of sympathetic nerve activity following inhalation.10 The former study's researchers wrote:11
"Ultimately, the stimulating effects of vetiver EO [essential oil] might be beneficial for learning and memory processes. In conclusion, the present findings provide information that vetiver EO may be used as a stimulant to improve alertness and task performance."

Rosemary, Lavender and Other Essential Oils

Beyond vetiver and cedarwood, rosemary essential oil has also shown promise for increasing cognitive performance. When study participants completed tasks in a cubicle diffused with the aroma of rosemary essential oil, their performance improved in both speed and accuracy.12
"The unique relationships between plant essential oil aromas and any behavioral impact are potentially due to the complex molecular composition containing a range of alcohols, aldehydes, acids, phenols, esters, ketones and terpenes," the researchers wrote, continuing:13
"[T]his study supports the suggestion that active compounds present in aromas may be absorbed through the nasal or lung mucosa and thus provide the potential for pharmacological activity …
The small size of these lipid-soluble compounds facilitates passage across the blood–brain barrier and consequently they may produce effects at the neuronal level by either acting directly on receptor sites, or indirectly by impacting on enzyme activity."
Lavender essential oil, on the other hand, is most known for its sedative properties. Some people with ADHD have trouble sleeping, and lavender essential oil has been found to improve sleep.14 Other essential oils that may relieve various symptoms of ADHD include peppermint oil for improved alertness as well as:
  • Ylang ylang, which is known for its relaxing properties
  • Frankincense, valued for inducing feelings of mental peace and calm
  • Bergamot, which may help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Eucalyptus, which may relieve mental exhaustion and stimulate blood flow to the brain
  • Lemon, valued for improving mood and preventing emotional outbursts
For more information on which essential oils to use for different purposes, check out the Ultimate Guide to Herbal Oils.

Parents See Dramatic Improvements

One Wellington, Florida, mother, Tina Sweet, spoke with WPTV to share her experience using essential oils as a treatment for ADHD in her 11-year-old son.
"Every single day I was getting (messages from teachers saying) he won't stay on task. He won't 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," she said.15
After starting him on aromatherapy using essential oils, she said his grades improved from Cs and Ds to As and Bs. Now in fifth grade, the student is in advanced classes and described as a "calm child." She applies essential oils to several body areas each morning and he also wears an essential oil bracelet.
Describing the use of essential oils as "life-changing," Sweet also credits her son's ability to cut back on his ADHD medications to the use of essential oils.

How to Use Essential Oils for ADHD

Inhalation or applying the oils topically to the skin are two effective ways to use essential oils for ADHD. Placing three to four drops of oil into a diffuser is one of the simplest methods, while some of the studies on essential oils for ADHD involved participants inhaling the scent directly from the bottle (for two or three deep breaths) three times a day.
You can also try steam inhalation by placing three to seven drops of essential oil into boiling water, then covering your head with a towel and breathing through your nose (keep your eyes closed and be careful not to get burned).
To use the oils topically, first do a test to be sure they don't irritate your skin (apply one drop to your skin and observe it for one to two hours). Oils should be applied very sparingly to your neck, wrists, bottom of feet and/or behind your ears. You can blend them with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, as well.
Some people like to pre-mix essential oils with fractionated coconut oil and put the mixture into a rollerball dispenser. This way you can roll on the oils whenever you feel you need them.

Other Natural Options for Treating ADHD

Essential oils may relieve ADHD symptoms, but for best results they should be combined with other natural strategies to relieve ADHD. If your child struggles with behavioral difficulties or other ADHD-like symptoms, whether he or she has been diagnosed with ADHD or not, I strongly recommend addressing the following factors:
Too much sugar. High-sugar foods and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which can cause falling blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, in turn, causes your brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety and panic attacks.
Besides that, sugar promotes chronic inflammation in your body, and many studies have demonstrated the connection between a high-sugar diet and worsened mental health.
Gluten sensitivity. The evidence suggesting that gluten sensitivity may be at the root of a number of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including ADHD, is quite compelling.
According to a 2011 study, celiac disease is "markedly overrepresented among patients presenting with ADHD,"16 and a gluten-free diet has been shown to significantly improve behavior in kids. The study went so far as to suggest celiac disease should be added to the ADHD symptom checklist.
An unhealthy gut. As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology, toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Reducing gut inflammation is imperative when addressing mental health issues, so optimizing your child's gut flora is a critical step.
This includes not only avoiding processed, refined foods but also eating traditionally fermented foods. Fermented vegetables are perhaps among the most palatable fermented foods, although many kids enjoy fermented dairy products like kefir, especially if you blend them into healthy smoothies.
If you cannot get your child to eat fermented foods on a regular basis, a high-quality probiotic supplement may be highly beneficial in correcting abnormal gut flora that may contribute to brain dysfunction.
Animal-sourced omega-3 deficiency. Research has shown that kids low in omega-3 fats are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, to struggle with learning disorders and to display behavioral problems. A clinical study published in 2007 also examined the effects of krill oil on adults diagnosed with ADHD.17
In that study, patients improved their ability to concentrate by an average of over 60 percent after taking a daily 500-milligram (mg) dose of krill oil for six months. They also reported a 50 percent improvement in planning skills and a close to 49 percent improvement in social skills.
Food additives and GMO ingredients. A number of food additives are thought to worsen ADHD, and many have subsequently been banned in Europe. Potential culprits to avoid include Blue No. 1 and No. 2 food coloring; Green No. 3; Orange B; Red No. 3 and No. 40; Yellow No. 5 and No. 6; and sodium benzoate, a preservative.
Research also shows that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, used in large quantities on genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops, limits your body's ability to detoxify foreign chemical compounds. As a result, the damaging effects of those chemicals and environmental toxins are magnified, and may result in a wide variety of diseases, including brain disorders that can affect behavior.
There are many other natural options that have been shown to improve ADHD symptoms as well, including the following. For more information, please consult with a holistic physician who is experienced in treating ADHD using natural methods.
  • Address nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B6, zinc and magnesium
  • Exercise and/or active playtime
  • Spend time outdoors in nature
  • Limit exposure to radiofrequency microwave radiation, cell and portable phones and electro-pollution
  • Reduce toxic exposures to pesticides, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate (MSG), cleaning products, detergents, perfumes and more

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Man Who 'Cured' Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

Reposted from A Breath of Reason

https://abreathofreason.com/tag/selenium/

Do you know this man? You should. He cured Cystic Fibrosis in 1978. How could that be? The gene that causes CF wasn’t even discovered until 1989! Ah, but you see, according to Dr. Joel Wallach, Cystic Fibrosis is not actually a genetic disease.  Before I get into this, let’s first hear a little background on Dr. Wallach.

Dr. Wallach, M.S., D.V.M., is best known for his audiotape Dead Doctors Don’t Lie, (a live recording of one of his shows, also as a book in transcript form) in which he concludes that all disease and aging is due to mineral deficiencies, and that people can and should be able to live healthily for well over a century if only they continue a daily supplemental regimen of colloidal minerals. But it is in another book, Let’s Play Doctor (co-authored with Ma Lan, M.D., M.S., a questionable Chinese doctor, whose license to practice in the United States, doesn’t seem to be on record[1]) where he states that through his research, he was able to replicate the disease of cystic fibrosis in apes, by simply depriving them of the mineral selenium, and then cure them once colloidal selenium was reintroduced in large quantities[2]. This then led to his hypothesis that CF was preventable, could be cured in early stages, and be managed well enough through selenium supplementation for patients to live a normal life expectancy.

But here’s the thing, in case your skeptic flags haven’t been raised yet, none of these claims have any scientific merit, and will not stand up to scrutiny if examined.  And they have been examined, at great length, to the irritation of Dr. Wallach, who has a history of silencing criticism where he can with lawsuits, and bitterly shouting libelous rants against his critics in promotional materials where lawsuits aren’t enough.[3] Wallach, who is a veterinarian, and has bought himself a degree in Naturopathy, prefers to label himself the misleading designation of ‘physician’.  As such, he claims to have done a near impossible amount of human autopsies, in addition the animal necropsies he performed as a veterinarian. This would be illegal for any person with his credentials, whether the number was 1 or 20,500, as he reports[4].

He was allegedly nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine after publishing this CF hypothesis and ape trials (Nobel nominees are not revealed until a strict 50 years later, so there’s no way to confirm this), but there was minor problem: It wasn’t true. The real doctors and researchers tried replicating his results, and time and again, concluded that he was a self-glorifying hack promoting a fad that would increase profits for himself, and the mineral company he partnered with at the time.  Keep in mind that anybody can be nominated for a Nobel Prize. There’s no qualifying credentials, nor minimum experience, no clout required whatsoever, only that they must be nominated by practitioners qualified by the Assembly at Karolinska Institute as being fit to approach[5]. It just so happened that Wallach was nominated by a group of eccentric naturopaths, of which he was a member. So it doesn’t really add any merit to his claims, to be Nobel nominee out of a collection of hacks, and the Nobel Committee supposedly denied that Wallach was ever a legitimate nominee to begin with. This, of course, does not stop him from boldly exclaiming this information on his books and brochures anyway.

And then there’s this gem: a promotional talking point that had been used by Wallach so continuously, everyone stopped questioning its origins. It’s called Senate Document 264. The National Council Against Health Fraud summarizes, “The most recent contribution to the body of counter information is offered by Donald Davis, PhD, of the University of Texas at Austin.  Davis located ‘Senate Document 264’ cited by Wallach as evidence that 99% of Americans are deficient in minerals.  It turns out that the ‘document’ is nothing more than the reprinting of a highly speculative article about a passing fad written by a Florida farmer in the June, 1936, issue of Cosmopolitan magazine as requested by Florida’s Senator Fletcher.  Fletcher died 16 days after requesting that the government printing office reprint the article.”[6]

Honestly, there’s so much dirt on this quack, that I find it unnecessary to continue writing about him and exposing any more of his conspiratorial lies, inconceivable exaggerations and cult-like charlatanism. (If you’d like to read more, you can find loads of information here , here , here, and here .  Rather, I’d like to look at what the science really says about colloidal selenium, particularly in regards to cystic fibrosis.


Firstly, what the heck is colloidal selenium, and how is it different from regular selenium? (Hang on, it’s about to get technical; stick it out, though, and I promise there will be a reward at the end!) If you were to ask Dr. Wallach, he’d tell you that most minerals we receive from our diet are metallic, and that colloidal minerals are plant based, which is better for you, and more easily absorbed. He’d be wrong, though. According to ChemWiki by UCDavis, a colloid is one of the three primary types of mixtures, with the other two being a solution and suspension. A colloid is a solution that has particles ranging between 1 and 1000 nanometers in diameter, yet is still able to remain evenly distributed throughout the solution. They must be larger than a molecule, but small enough so as to not be seen by the naked eye.[7] So it really has to do with the size and structure of the mineral particles, rather than their origin, or efficacy. Other source definitions confirm this.

Selenium is one of the 24 essential minerals needed for optimal human health. It forms a part of some anti-oxidant enzymes such as glutathione to confer protective effects, and as such has been heralded for its potential use in the prevention of certain types of cancer, as well as aid in glucose metabolism by acting as an insulin mimetic. However, in higher-than-needed doses, or over long periods of exceeding supplementation, selenium causes oxidative stress on beta-cells in the pancreas resulting in insulin resistance and Type II diabetes, as well as become toxic enough to promote cancer. Excessive intake of selenium can cause damage to DNA.[8]

Selenium is found in a wide variety of meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, and grains. According to National Institute of Health selenium fact sheet, the vast majority of people in North America get sufficient amounts of selenium in their regular diet. The only groups that are really at risk of deficiency are people who eat only locally grown/ harvested food where selenium content in the soil is low, and certain people with HIV, or kidney disease. While there are a few established diseases caused from selenium deficiency (CF not included), having too much selenium is substantially more risky. Now here’s where I start sounding like pharmaceutical commercial’s warnings: Selenium overdose can range from small side effects, like bad breath and brittle nails, to serious things like nervous system disorders and heart failure[9]. Some medications can also interact with selenium, which is why it’s important to not start any supplement treatment without telling your doctor or pharmacist.
As I mentioned, selenium content varies throughout different climates and geographies, with some soil having higher amounts of selenium than soil in a different area, so it’s possible for some populations to have large numbers of selenium deficient people. Knowing this, if Dr. Wallach’s hypothesis were true, there would be pockets of high concentrations of Cystic fibrosis patients in some parts of the world with low selenium content, and in places like Utah, for example, where selenium soil content tends to be high (incidentally the location of his colloidal selenium mine from which he gets his products) would have very few if any CF patients, all with very mild symptoms.
When it comes to selenium supplementation in Cystic Fibrosis, the available research suggests that although often having impaired absorption of fatty acids, patients generally had a selenium status no different from that of healthy controls.[10] Studies did note however, that while there’s not sufficient evidence to assert that selenium caused improvement in lipid peroxidation markers, the oxidative stress put on lungs from pulmonary disease could be helped by antioxidant enzymes like glutathione, present in selenium.[11]  And that the balance between the two is delicate and easily disturbed. [12] A systematic review of CF studies on antioxidant micronutrients which included selenium found evidence for and against them. Three out of five qualifying studies were analyzed for outcomes regarding lung function, quality of life, oxidative stress, inflammation, and BMI. There was no improvement in lung function with supplementation, and quality of life (unclear what aspects that covers) decreased. However, oxidative stress was palliated by increased levels of antioxidants in the blood. Most importantly, the reviewers state that, “Antioxidant supplementation in cystic fibrosis is not yet recommended beyond routine care.” [13]

If you type in keywords “selenium and cystic fibrosis” into PubMed, the first article you are likely to see is a 1981 case study published in Clinical Toxicology titled, “Selenium: childhood poisoning and cystic fibrosis.” Whoa, that’s alarming. It describes two children, one with severe CF who died during the course of the study. Both were presenting with symptoms caused from excessive selenium usage, and which didn’t appear to be the result of any other variable.  Because one child was suffering malnutrition, this appeared to enhance the toxicity of the selenium overdose. Now, keep in mind, in the early 80’s malnutrition was common in patients with CF, because nutrition research and drug options were not as developed as they are today, and the child was already very sick. But 1981 also suits a reasonable timeline following Dr. Wallach’s 1978 proprietary “cure” for a consumer, like the child’s parents, to buy in to. This is probably why the authors conclude that, “selenium is a potential hazard in its use as a health food fad for children with cystic fibrosis and in overdose ingestions. Thus selenium supplementation may have contributed to the morbidity and mortality reported here.”[14] I may be making a leap here, but to me that sounds like a dig at Joel Wallach and his mineral-pushing followers.

Another study in the Journal of Pediatrics, which predates the above one by a year, appears to be an almost direct response to the hypothesis that selenium and cystic fibrosis have a causal relationship. The study measured glutathione peroxidase and whole blood selenium in 20 infants and children, and basically found them to be in a normal range for healthy (non CF) children in that locale. Thus, they conclude, “These results do not support the hypothesis that deficiency of selenium is reponsible [sic] for cystic fibrosis.”[15]

You may notice how all these studies are pretty old, from a research perspective. To me, this is evidence of one of two things (maybe both?).  Either: 1) when you get solid enough evidence that a supplement like selenium is, at best not useful for the average non-deficient patient, and, at worst potentially harmful, there’s not much need to continue research; indeed it may be unethical to conduct larger scale trials comparing selenium supplementation in double blind, placebo-controlled studies. Or 2) Charlatans like Joel Wallach have polluted the waters of scientific discovery by over-exaggerating claims, lying, and being that attention-seeking, stubborn, embittered misfit with weird clothes so badly, that the guilt-by-association is so strong, no evidence-valuing scientist wants to touch those topics, for fear of losing the respect of their colleagues, or maybe even their jobs. (Nobody wants to be that guy). And on the off-chance any of these quacks did say something clever, valid, or promising, it would likely be ignored or avoided by the scientific community for the same reasons.

To me, that’s the real tragedy of all of this. If research that could lead to better information, and better treatments gets buried under the rug for shame of being labeled too “out there,” it’s not the charlatans who lose, it’s us, the patients. I believe this man prays on vulnerable people and their families. I believe he exploits any hints of underlying mistrust of doctors to, essentially, brainwash patients into giving him what amounts to exorbitant sums of money. I believe he basks in the praise of his followers, rather than looks out for their best interest, and I believe he decries any form of criticism as something that must be squelched and censored. Most of all, I believe he will not be the man who cures CF.



[1] http://www.ncahf.org/nl/1996/3-4.html “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie! But This Living Veterinarian Does.”
[2] http://skepdic.com/wallach.html
[3] http://nutra-smart.net/al.htm#cf
[4] http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/colloidalminerals.html
[5] http://www.nobelprize.org/nomination/medicine/
[6] http://www.ncahf.org/nl/1998/1-2.html “‘Dead Doctors’” Doesn’t Lie
[7]http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Physical_Chemistry/Physical_Properties_of_Matter/Solutions_and_Mixtures/Colloid
[8] http://examine.com/supplements/Selenium/
[9] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-QuickFacts/
[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8504531
[11] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7758213
[12] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7715584
[13] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007020.pub2/abstract
[14] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7226733
[15] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7367113

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Dramatic Recovery in Parkinson’s Patient with Gluten Free Diet

Reposted from Wake Up World

https://wakeup-world.com/2017/11/18/dramatic-recovery-in-parkinsons-patient-with-gluten-free-diet-2/

Could gluten’s toxicity extend to the nervous system, producing symptoms identical to classical Parkinson’s disease? A remarkable case study adds to a growing body of research indicating that wheat’s neurotoxicity is greatly underestimated.

A remarkable case report describing the dramatic recovery of a 75-year-old Parkinson’s disease patient after following a 3-month long gluten free diet reveals the need to explore whether there is an increased prevalence of silent or symptomatic celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity both in those afflicted with Parkinson’s disease and the related multi-factorial neurodegenerative condition known as Parkinsonism.
Published in the Journal of Neurology, the report [i] notes that celiac disease often manifests with only neurological symptoms, even in advanced age. This may strike the reader as surprising, considering gastrointestinal complaints are the most commonly noticeable symptom; and yet, when the voluminous published literature on gluten related adverse health effects is taken into account, so-called ‘out of intestine’ expressions of intolerance to gluten-containing grains are far more common than gut-related ones, with no less than 200 distinct adverse health effects implicated. You can read our summary of the biological carnage exacted by this ‘king of grains’ here: Wheat: 200 Clinically Confirmed Reasons Not To Eat It. You will notice that harm to the brain figures high on the list. From schizophrenia to maniaautism to peripheral neuropathy, the central nervous system is particularly sensitive to its adverse effects.

Drug’: The presence of pharmacologically active opioid peptides in wheat including four gluten exorphins and gliadorphin, and another is gluten’s ability to restrict blood flow to the frontal cortex. Read More: “Do Hidden Opiates In Our Food Explain Food Addictions?

‘Gluten Brain’ Autoimmunity: Plenty of research now indicates that in susceptible individuals wheat adversely affects the gut-brain axisincreases intestinal permeability, and ultimately leads to the immune system misidentifying self-structures within the brain or neurological tissue as “other,” causing the host immune system to attack its own nervous system. Read More: “2 Popular Foods May Turn the Immune Against the Brain.”

Wheat’s “Invisible Thorns” Affect The Brain: The defensive carbohydrate-binding protein in wheat known as wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), also know as “wheat lectin,” has been found to cross the blood-brain-barrier and can interfere with neurological function in a number of ways. Read more: “Opening Pandora’s Bread Box: The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease.”

Grains Metabolically Impair the Brain: The larger context is that grains provide an inappropriate or suboptimal set of nutrients for brain metabolism. Dr. David Perlmutter in his NY Times bestselling book Grain Brain links cognitive impairments endemic to older populations in Western cultures to the over consumption of carbohydrates (from grains and sugar), and the under consumption of fats.
You can also read Dr. Kelly Brogan’s article “This Is Your Body (and Brain) on Gluten” to get greater perspective on the topic.

Considering these factors, it is not surprising that removing gluten from the diet could result in what the title of the published case report described as a “dramatic improvement of parkinsonian symptoms after gluten-free diet introduction in a patient with silent celiac disease.” We’ve seen similar remarkable recoveries with brain-metabolism optimizing fats like coconut oil in cases of debilitating dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

In this case study, the 75-year-old man presented with a 1-year history of “difficulty walking, instability, and fatigability.” His neurological examination revealed:
  • Facial hypomimia (reduced facial expressions)
  • Bradykinesia (extreme slowness of movements and reflexes)
  • Rigidity
  • Postural instability
A brain scan was performed using Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), revealing abnormalities consistent with low dopamine production and which in combination with the clinical data lead to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Additional laboratory blood work revealed lower than normal level of serum folate, elevated homocysteine, with normal vitamin B12 levels. To assess the possibility of asymptomatic malabsorption due to a silent celiac disease further blood screening was explored.  Anti-gliadin antibodies, markedly elevated IgA, anti-transglutaminase antibodies, and positive anti-endomysial antibodies – all signs of gluten associated autoimmunity. Finally, a duodenal biopsy was performed revealing intestinal characteristics (flattened villi; crypt hyperplasia) consistent with celiac disease.  As a result, the gastroenterologist prescribed a gluten-free diet.

Remarkably, after only 3 months of abstinence from gluten, the patient reported an almost complete remission of symptoms, subsequently confirmed by a neurological evaluation. 18 months later he was re-examined and was found to have improved further.

Notably, the patient did not see measurable improvements in the dopaminergic abnormalities discovered in his brain scan, which would be expected in classical Parkinson’s disease, which is marked by the degeneration of the dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra of the brain. The authors therefore did not posit that the celiac disease “caused” Parkinson’s disease in the patient, but rather that celiac disease exacerbated parkinsonism in this case.  The case, however, does illustrate the possibility that a number of patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are suffering from previously unidentified and unreported gluten-associated Parkinsonism, which from the outside clinical presentation can look identical. Those folks, who would benefit greatly from removing the cause of the neurological problems – namely, gluten/wheat removal – are often overdiagnosed and overtreated with drugs aimed at alleviating Parkinson’s disease, but which ultimately can lead to accelerated degeneration of endogenous dopamine production in the brain, enhanced neurotoxicity due to drug metabolites (e.g. 6-hydroxydopamine), and the production of dyskinesias (movement disorders) that are far worse than, or were never present within, the pre-treatment condition.

For additional research related to natural interventions for Parkinson’s disease, use GreenMedInfo’s database: Parkinson’s Disease Research. Also, GreenMedInfo’s section on neurodegenerative diseases provides additional help: Neurodegenerative Disease Research.

Reference: [i] Vincenzo Di Lazzaro, Fioravante Capone, Giovanni Cammarota, Daniela Di Giuda, Federico Ranieri. Dramatic improvement of parkinsonian symptoms after gluten-free diet introduction in a patient with silent celiac disease. J Neurol. 2014 Feb ;261(2):443-5. Epub 2014 Jan 25. PMID: 24464413

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

10 Foods That Boost Liver Function

Reposted from Daily Tips

http://daily-tips.info/10-foods-boost-liver-function-help-detox-body/

Our liver plays important roles in the body, as it stores vitamins and iron, turns the stored sugar into usable sugar for body energy, and cleanses the blood from the harmful substances.

This is very important as we are exposed to numerous dangerous influences on a daily basis, the air, soil, and water are polluted and full of toxins, and our foods are full of chemicals and pesticides.

To help the function of the liver, detoxify the body, and boost overall health, you should consume the following 10 foods:

1.  Garlic

Garlic is high in two important compounds, selenium and allicin. It is also rich in sulfur, which activates the liver enzymes that eliminate toxins.

2.  Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a rich source of glucosinolate, which stimulates the liver to release enzymes that prevent damage due to both environmental and dietary toxins.

3.  Tomatoes

Tomatoes are loaded with a protein known as glutathione, which detoxifies the liver, as well as lycopene, which prevents breast, skin and lung cancer.

4.  Turmeric

Turmeric detoxifies the body and helps enzymes to eliminate carcinogens from the body.

5.  Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which helps the function of the liver and synthesizes toxic materials into water-soluble substances.

6.  Grapefruit

Being rich in the liver-cleansing protein glutathione, vitamin C, and antioxidants, grapefruits support the detoxification of the liver.

7.  Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables are abundant in plant chlorophyll, which boosts the production of bile and neutralizes heavy metals, pesticides, and accumulated chemicals in the body.

8.  Alternative Grains

Alternative grains like millet, quinoa, and buckwheat lighten the load of the liver and help the detox process. On the other hand, gluten-rich grains put added pressure on the liver.

9.  Apples

Apples are full of pectin, which cleanses the liver and releases toxins in the digestive tract.

10.  Olive Oil

Olive oil naturally supports the function of the liver, just like other cold-pressed organic oils, such as hemp and flaxseed oil.

Source: www.davidwolfe.com


Friday, November 3, 2017

First Case Study to Show Direct Link Between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Toxicity

Reposted from Dr. Mercola

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/03/22/aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookmercola_ranart&utm_campaign=20171102_aluminum-toxicity-alzheimers

Aluminum has been long known to be neurotoxic, with mounting evidence that chronic exposure is a factor in many neurological diseases, including dementia, autism, and Parkinson's disease.
However, definitive scientific proof is difficult to establish due toth the lack of longitudinal studies, as well as pushback from industries that use aluminum in their products. Despite the shortage of conclusive studies, mounting scientific evidence really leaves little room for doubt.
Case in point: a new case study from Keele University in the UK1 unequivocally shows high levels of aluminum in the brain of an individual exposed to aluminum at work, who later died from Alzheimer's disease.
While aluminum exposure has been implicated in Alzheimer's and a number of other neurological diseases, this case claims to be "the first direct link" between Alzheimer's disease and elevated brain aluminum following occupational exposure.2

The Aluminum-Alzheimer's Link

The 66 year-old Caucasian man developed an aggressive form of early onset Alzheimer's disease after eight years of occupational exposure to aluminum dust, which scientists conclude "suggests a prominent role for the olfactory system and lungs in the accumulation of aluminum in the brain."
This is not the first time high aluminum levels have been found in the tissues of someone who died from Alzheimer's disease. For example, in 2004, high aluminum levels were found in the tissues of a British woman who died of early-onset Alzheimer's.
This was 16 years after an industrial accident dumped 20 metric tons of aluminum sulphate into her local drinking water. And there are many studies showing elevated aluminum levels in living individuals displaying a wide range of neurological symptoms.3

Aluminum Can Be an Occupational Hazard

Exposure to aluminum is unfortunately an occupational hazard for those who work in industries like mining, factory work, welding, and agriculture. Not to mention that you ingest aluminum vapors every time your nose catches cigarette smoke wafting by.
Inhaling aluminum dust or vapors sends aluminum particles directly into your lungs in a highly absorbable form, where they pass into your bloodstream and are distributed throughout your body, including your bones and brain. Aluminum powder has been known to cause pulmonary fibrosis, and aluminum factory workers are prone to asthma. Studies of the health effects of aluminum vapors have been grim, pointing to high levels of neurotoxicity.4
So why are most government regulators and physicians so resistant to looking at the health and environmental effects of aluminum? One filmmaker is shining a light on this issue by way of a documentary.

The 'Dark Side' of Aluminum Exposed

The featured documentary, The Age of Aluminum, reveals the "dark side" of this toxic metal, exploring the scientific links between aluminum and diseases such as breast cancer and neurological disorders. Also exposed is how aluminum mining and manufacturing have created acute ecological problems across the globe, leading to environmental disasters in Hungary, South Africa, and the UK. In the film, neuroscientist Christopher Shaw reports:5
"Many researchers are beginning to accept that aluminum has some sort of role to play in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Whether it does in others is still an open question, but Alzheimer's is really coming into focus and it's fairly clear that the body burden of aluminum from all the sources to which humans are exposed may be contributing to Alzheimer's disease."

Aluminum Is Everywhere

Although aluminum occurs naturally in soil, water, and air, we are contributing to the load with the mining and processing of aluminum ores, manufacturing of aluminum products, and the operation of coal-fired power plants and incinerators. Aluminum can't be destroyed in the environment—it only changes its form by attaching or separating from other particles.
Rain washes aluminum particles out of the air and into our water supply, where they tend to accumulate rather than degrade. If you live in an industrial area, your exposure is undoubtedly higher than average.6
According to CDC, the average adult in the US consumes about seven to nine mg of aluminum per day in food, and a lesser amount from air and water. Only about one percent of the aluminum you ingest orally gets absorbed into your body—the rest is moved out by your digestive tract, provided it's functioning well.
When tested in a lab, aluminum contamination has been found in a vast number of products on the market, from foods and beverages to pharmaceuticals, which suggests the manufacturing process itself is a significant part of the problem. Aluminum is found in a shocking number of foods and consumer products, including:
  • Foods such as baking powder, self rising flour, salt, baby formula, coffee creamers, baked goods and processed foods, coloring and caking agents
  • Drugs, such as antacids, analgesics, anti-diarrheals, and others; additives such as magnesium stearate
  • Vaccines—Hepatitis A and B, Hib, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), pneumococcal vaccine, Gardasil (HPV), and others
  • Cosmetics and personal care products such as antiperspirants, deodorants (including salt crystals, made of alum), lotions, sunscreens, and shampoos
  • Aluminum products, including foil, cans, juice pouches, tins, and water bottles

Does Your Frozen Dinner Come with a Side of Aluminum?

Aluminum contamination in our food supply is a more significant problem than you may think. In a study published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe,7 researchers analyzed 1,431 non-animal foods and beverages for aluminum content. This is what they found:
  • 77.8 percent had an aluminum concentration of up to 10 mg/kg
  • 17.5 percent had aluminum concentrations between 10 and 100 mg\kg
  • 4.6 percent of the samples had aluminum concentrations in excess of 100 mg/kg
Aluminum compounds are often used as additives in foodstuffs. Additional contamination occurs when food comes into contact with aluminum equipment and other items because aluminum is unstable in the presence of acids and bases. Aluminum equipment has a protective oxide film, but this can be damaged as fine fissures develop from normal wear and tear.In the study,8 Table 3 shows the aluminum content of everything from flour and baking mixes to soup, chocolate, beer and wine, and herbal teas. Some products show a wide range of contamination levels, and others are more homogenous. Baked goods are very high because of the common practice of baking and storing foods on aluminum trays.9 The report has numerous other tables that demonstrate how prevalent this toxin is in your food.
If you cook your food in aluminum foil, you are introducing your own contamination. One investigation found that cooking meats in aluminum foil increases their aluminum concentration. Researchers concluded, "eating meals prepared in aluminum foil may carry a health risk by adding to other aluminum sources." As with many toxins, it isn't one exposure here and there that is so concerning—it's the cumulative effect of many smaller exposures over time that can lead to a toxic metal overload and erosion of your health. According to a 2006 study, cooking meat in aluminum foil increased aluminum levels as follows:10
  • Red meats cooked in aluminum foil showed an increase in aluminum by 89 to 378 percent
  • Poultry increased by 76 to 214 percent
  • Aluminum levels increased with higher cooking temperatures and longer cooking times

Aluminum Heads Straight to Your Brain

Aluminum is to your central nervous system as cigarette smoke is to your lungs. Scientists are clear that toxic metals damage brain tissue and lead to degenerative disease by producing oxidative stress—and aluminum is one of the worst offenders. With Alzheimer's rates skyrocketing, today's multiple avenues of aluminum exposure are of great concern. Just as with particles in the environment, once aluminum is in your tissues, your body has a difficult time releasing it. This toxic metal serves absolutely no biological purpose, so the less of it you ingest, the better.
Once in your body, it travels around easily, unimpeded, piggybacking on your iron transport system. It crosses biological barriers that normally keep other types of toxins out, such as your blood-brain barrier. Over time, aluminum can accumulate in your brain and do serious damage your neurological health—regardless of your age. Aluminum toxicity may be doing as much damage to our children as to our seniors.

Brain Inflammation in Both Children and Adults


Vaccines present a particularly problematic source of toxic metal exposure. Aluminum is the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant and is considered "safe" even though research shows it may induce serious immunological disorders and neurological complications in humans.
In the video above, Dr. David Ayoub discusses how the aluminum in vaccines may be even more dangerous than mercury. The number of aluminum-containing vaccines children receive today11 has quadrupled over the past 30 years. In the 1970s, children got only four aluminum-containing vaccines in their first 18 months of life, but now they typically receive 17. And as children's aluminum burden has increased, so has the prevalence of childhood neurological disorders. In one school, 90 percent of the children developed ADHD during the course of a single school year, and their toxicity profiles all revealed massive amounts of aluminum.
Aluminum is also in vaccines and is used as an adjuvant. If you go by the aluminum content on vaccine labels, the amount kids are getting is excessive, but if you add in the aluminum NOT listed on the labels—"accidental exposure" due to contamination—it's a much more serious problem. Dr. Ayoub cites one study that found five to six times more aluminum in vaccines than what was actually listed on the labels.
When you review the signs and symptoms of aluminum toxicity, they are shockingly similar to the symptoms of autism, ADHD, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neurological diseases. Vaccine adjuvants can cause serious chronic brain inflammation. Aluminum targets your cerebellum and autonomic nervous system—the part responsible for biological processes over which you have no conscious control (breathing, blood pressure, balance, coordination, etc.). When you look at the MSDS sheet for aluminum, you will see symptoms strikingly similar to those in common neurological diseases, including memory problems, speech impairments and aphasia, dementia, depression, muscle weakness, motor disturbances, and other neurological difficulties. The list goes on and on.12

Researchers Claim New Blood Test May Predict Alzheimer's

There has never been a way to accurately predict who will get Alzheimer's, but that may be changing. Researchers at Georgetown University and University of Rochester claim they have found a blood test that predicts this with 90 percent accuracy—and incredibly, with NO false negatives. If further research confirms what researchers expect, this is a medical breakthrough of epic proportions.13
The test involves measuring the patterns of 10 specific lipids (fat-like compounds) associated with the plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. These 10 lipids are highly predictive of whether or not you will become cognitively impaired. All of the people in the study were in their 70s, so the next step is to determine if the test is accurate earlier, say in your 40s and 50s. Researchers say they are still several years away from implementing the test, but they all feel very hopeful.14
Biomarkers such as lipids are tricky for Alzheimer's because they change during the course of the illness. Some occur in high levels during the early phase of the disease and then actually decrease after symptoms appear—so they are stage dependent. There is clearly much more research that needs to be done before we have a grasp of this disease.15 Even with a test that can predict whether or not you are in the process of developing dementia, there are no good treatments once you have it—so you should be doing everything in your power to prevent it. One of the strategies is helping your body detoxify from metals, such as aluminum.

Aluminum Impairs Your Body's Ability to Detoxify

Removing mercury from vaccines and replacing it with aluminum may be increasing the problems from BOTH toxins in your body. The reason for this is because aluminum impairs your body's ability to excrete mercury by impeding your glutathione production. Glutathione is your most important intracellular detoxifier, required for reversing oxidative stress. So, if your aluminum load is high, your body will potentially become more toxic from the mercury from, say, flu shots and fish because you are now on "aluminum overload" and your detoxification system no longer functions well.
Your body requires sulfur to manufacture glutathione, making sulfur an extremely important dietary nutrient when it comes to metal detoxification, which can be optimized through dietary sources. Onions and garlic are good if they are grown in sulfur rich soils, but most soils are unfortunately sulfur deficient. Therefore, animal-based proteins seem to be one of your best bets. Whey protein concentrate is particularly high in cysteine, one of the two sulfur-bearing amino acids that are direct precursors to glutathione.
Please note that if you avoid consuming animal proteins, it is VERY easy to become sulfur deficient, and this may be one of the most significant risk factors for choosing an animal protein-free diet. That doesn't mean you should go overboard on meat, however! Most people need only about one gram of protein per kilogram of lean body weight, or about half a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. Also make sure to buy grass-fed and finished meats, as most factory farmed meat is of inferior quality and contaminated with a whole host of veterinary drugs, including antibiotics and growth hormones.

How to Detoxify Aluminum

There are a number of potent chelators you can use to detoxify aluminum. Clearly, your first step would be to avoid further exposure to aluminum. This means avoiding products such as:
  • Toothpaste containing aluminium oxyhydroxide16
  • Antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, or aluminum-zirconium compounds
  • Aluminum laminated pouch drinks
  • Aluminum cookware
  • Aluminum espresso makers
For serious Alzheimer's disease, the following chelating agents can be helpful:
  • Silica-rich water, such as Fiji water,17 which contains 83 Mg of silica per liter. Research18 published in 2013 showed that drinking up to one liter of a silicon-rich mineral water daily for 12 weeks effectively excreted aluminum via the urine, without detrimental effects on essential metals such as iron and copper. According to the authors: "We have provided preliminary evidence that over 12 weeks of silicon-rich mineral water therapy the body burden of aluminum fell in individuals with Alzheimer's disease and, concomitantly, cognitive performance showed clinically relevant improvements in at least 3 out of 15 individuals."
  • Melatonin: Research19, 20, 21 shows that melatonin has a metal binding role and is a useful supplement in the treatment of neurological disorders in which oxidative stress is involved, which includes Alzheimer's. Melatonin can travel freely across all cellular barriers, facilitating the removal of toxic metals such as aluminum. It also appears to suppress the oxidative activity of aluminum in your brain.
  • Anything that raises your glutathione. Your body synthesizes glutathione from three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. Raw fruits and vegetables, particularly avocado, asparagus, grapefruit, strawberries, orange, tomato, cantaloupe, broccoli, okra, peach, zucchini, and spinach are rich in the precursors glutamate and glycine. Dietary sources of cysteine include eggs, meat, red peppers, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, whey protein, and wheat germ. Other helpful treatments for improved glutathione metabolism include:
    • Exercise: Exercise affects your adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels needed to help produce glutathione
    • Optimizing your vitamin D levels through sun exposure: There's some evidence vitamin D increases intracellular glutathione levels
    • Epsom salt baths
    • MSM supplementation
    • The supplement N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) may also be useful. NAC is the rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of the intracellular antioxidant glutathione
  • Curcumin:22 Research23, 24 suggests that curcumin has a protective effect against aluminum-induced damage by modulating the extent of oxidative stress. It also decreases beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's, delays neuron degradation, chelates metals, decreases microglia formation, and has an overall anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effect. Studies have shown that curcumin can help improve memory in Alzheimer's patients. There are some contraindications25 that curcumin is not recommended if you have biliary tract obstruction (as it stimulates bile secretion), gallstones, obstructive jaundice, or acute biliary colic.

In Summary

It can no longer be argued that aluminum does not have a role in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's—the evidence is very clear and growing. It really should not be surprising that people with aluminum toxicity display many of the same symptoms as those with dementia, Parkinson's, ADHD, autism, and other neurological diseases, because aluminum targets exactly these areas of your brain and nervous system.
The best way to protect yourself is to be careful about your choices in food and personal products, and minimize your use of vaccines and other drugs that are often contaminated with aluminum.
Optimizing your dietary sulfur is also essential, as your body needs sulfur to manufacture its number one weapon against aluminum overload: glutathione. By taking a few steps to protect yourself, you'll minimize your exposure while maximizing your body's ability to rid itself of this toxic metal, which will move you toward a long and healthy life well into your senior years. For additional tips and strategies that can help prevent and/or treat Alzheimer's, please see my previous article "Two Exciting Alzheimer's Advances: A Novel Early Detection Test Using Peanut Butter, and a Study Evaluating Coconut Oil."

Friday, October 27, 2017

Essential Oils Can Help ADHD

Reposted from Dr. Mercola

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/26/essential-oils-can-help-adhd.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookmercola_ranart-ths&utm_campaign=20171027_essential-oils-can-help-adhd

About 11 percent of U.S. children (or 6.4 million) have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),1 which is characterized by a pattern of inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsivity that interferes with learning, daily functioning and relationships. Rates have been increasing by about 5 percent a year.2
Among very young children (2 to 5 years), behavior therapy is the first-line treatment recommended for ADHD, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
However, data from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that about half of preschoolers with ADHD were taking medication, and 1 in 4 were being treated only with medication.3
Further, only half of 4- to 5-year-olds with ADHD received behavior therapy, despite it being the recommended go-to treatment. By age 6, the so-called "best practice guidelines" for ADHD include treatment with both medication and behavior therapy.
It's a sad state of affairs on multiple fronts, the first of which surrounds the accuracy of ADHD diagnoses. Misdiagnosis is common, which means many children may be taking medications unnecessarily. The other glaring issue is the dangers of ADHD drugs, which are immense.
Kids taking these powerful drugs may suffer from side effects ranging from sleep problems and loss of appetite to seizures and increased heart rate, which is why alternative treatment options are urgently needed. Fortunately, one age-old option, essential oils, has shown promise in helping to relieve the symptoms of ADHD.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated, aromatic plant extracts that have been used for thousands of years for emotional, cosmetic, medical and even spiritual purposes. The term "essential oil" actually comes from the idea of "quintessential oil."
Aristotle believed that in addition to the four physical elements (fire, air, earth and water) there was a fifth element, quintessence.
This was considered to be the "spirit" or life force of the plant, and distillation or evaporation were used to remove the "spirit" for human usage (this is also why distilled alcoholic beverages are referred to as "spirits").4
Today, essential oils, which contain complex mixtures of beneficial plant chemicals, are extracted from plants via two primary methods: distillation, which has been used since ancient times; and expression or cold pressing, which is used to extract citrus essential oils.

Essential Oils May Improve ADHD Symptoms

Research by the late Dr. Terry S. Friedmann, a physician who believed in treating the body, mind and spirit as one, showed that vetiver oil (vetiver is a type of Indian grass) was beneficial for children with ADHD.5
When the children inhaled the oil three times a day for 30 days they had improved brain wave patterns and behavior and did better in school. Eighty percent of the children also improved when using cedarwood oil similarly.6
Cedarwood essential oil was chosen for the study because it has a high concentration of sesquiterpenes (they make up 50 percent of its constituents), which improve oxygenation of brain cells.
Vetiver is known to calm and balance the nervous system while stimulating the circulatory system, according to Friedmann. He explained:7
"When the essential oil is inhaled, the micro droplets are carried to the limbic system of the brain, which is that portion that is the processing center for reason, emotion and smell, and to the hypothalamus, which is the hormone command center.
The essential micro droplets are also carried to the lungs where they enter the circulatory system."
Improvements in brain activity were revealed via electro-encephalograph (EEG), which measures electrical impulses moving through the brain. This allowed researchers to determine whether the children's brains were functioning primarily in a beta (i.e., alert) state or a theta state (i.e., lack of focus).
Improvements in beta-theta ratios were noted following the use of vetiver essential oil, while parents also noted improvements in symptoms. Friedmann reported:8
"I received several letters from parents of the ADHD children stating that their behavior at home had improved for the better.
In several cases, they also stated that school educators informed them that their performance was observed to improve in the classroom. The report cards in some of the subjects had reflected this improvement as well."

Vetiver Essential Oil May Improve Alertness

A recent study published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology also showed vetiver essential oil to have particular promise for ADHD.
The animal study revealed changes in brain activity suggestive of increased alertness,9 while research on human subjects revealed faster reaction times and stimulation of sympathetic nerve activity following inhalation.10 The former study's researchers wrote:11
"Ultimately, the stimulating effects of vetiver EO [essential oil] might be beneficial for learning and memory processes. In conclusion, the present findings provide information that vetiver EO may be used as a stimulant to improve alertness and task performance."

Rosemary, Lavender and Other Essential Oils

Beyond vetiver and cedarwood, rosemary essential oil has also shown promise for increasing cognitive performance. When study participants completed tasks in a cubicle diffused with the aroma of rosemary essential oil, their performance improved in both speed and accuracy.12
"The unique relationships between plant essential oil aromas and any behavioral impact are potentially due to the complex molecular composition containing a range of alcohols, aldehydes, acids, phenols, esters, ketones and terpenes," the researchers wrote, continuing:13
"[T]his study supports the suggestion that active compounds present in aromas may be absorbed through the nasal or lung mucosa and thus provide the potential for pharmacological activity …
The small size of these lipid-soluble compounds facilitates passage across the blood–brain barrier and consequently they may produce effects at the neuronal level by either acting directly on receptor sites, or indirectly by impacting on enzyme activity."
Lavender essential oil, on the other hand, is most known for its sedative properties. Some people with ADHD have trouble sleeping, and lavender essential oil has been found to improve sleep.14 Other essential oils that may relieve various symptoms of ADHD include peppermint oil for improved alertness as well as:
  • Ylang ylang, which is known for its relaxing properties
  • Frankincense, valued for inducing feelings of mental peace and calm
  • Bergamot, which may help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Eucalyptus, which may relieve mental exhaustion and stimulate blood flow to the brain
  • Lemon, valued for improving mood and preventing emotional outbursts
For more information on which essential oils to use for different purposes, check out the Ultimate Guide to Herbal Oils.

Parents See Dramatic Improvements

One Wellington, Florida, mother, Tina Sweet, spoke with WPTV to share her experience using essential oils as a treatment for ADHD in her 11-year-old son.
"Every single day I was getting (messages from teachers saying) he won't stay on task. He won't 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," she said.15
After starting him on aromatherapy using essential oils, she said his grades improved from Cs and Ds to As and Bs. Now in fifth grade, the student is in advanced classes and described as a "calm child." She applies essential oils to several body areas each morning and he also wears an essential oil bracelet.
Describing the use of essential oils as "life-changing," Sweet also credits her son's ability to cut back on his ADHD medications to the use of essential oils.

How to Use Essential Oils for ADHD

Inhalation or applying the oils topically to the skin are two effective ways to use essential oils for ADHD. Placing three to four drops of oil into a diffuser is one of the simplest methods, while some of the studies on essential oils for ADHD involved participants inhaling the scent directly from the bottle (for two or three deep breaths) three times a day.
You can also try steam inhalation by placing three to seven drops of essential oil into boiling water, then covering your head with a towel and breathing through your nose (keep your eyes closed and be careful not to get burned).
To use the oils topically, first do a test to be sure they don't irritate your skin (apply one drop to your skin and observe it for one to two hours). Oils should be applied very sparingly to your neck, wrists, bottom of feet and/or behind your ears. You can blend them with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, as well.
Some people like to pre-mix essential oils with fractionated coconut oil and put the mixture into a rollerball dispenser. This way you can roll on the oils whenever you feel you need them.

Other Natural Options for Treating ADHD

Essential oils may relieve ADHD symptoms, but for best results they should be combined with other natural strategies to relieve ADHD. If your child struggles with behavioral difficulties or other ADHD-like symptoms, whether he or she has been diagnosed with ADHD or not, I strongly recommend addressing the following factors:
Too much sugar. High-sugar foods and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which can cause falling blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, in turn, causes your brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety and panic attacks.
Besides that, sugar promotes chronic inflammation in your body, and many studies have demonstrated the connection between a high-sugar diet and worsened mental health.
Gluten sensitivity. The evidence suggesting that gluten sensitivity may be at the root of a number of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including ADHD, is quite compelling.
According to a 2011 study, celiac disease is "markedly overrepresented among patients presenting with ADHD,"16 and a gluten-free diet has been shown to significantly improve behavior in kids. The study went so far as to suggest celiac disease should be added to the ADHD symptom checklist.
An unhealthy gut. As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a medical doctor with a postgraduate degree in neurology, toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause symptoms of autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Reducing gut inflammation is imperative when addressing mental health issues, so optimizing your child's gut flora is a critical step.
This includes not only avoiding processed, refined foods but also eating traditionally fermented foods. Fermented vegetables are perhaps among the most palatable fermented foods, although many kids enjoy fermented dairy products like kefir, especially if you blend them into healthy smoothies.
If you cannot get your child to eat fermented foods on a regular basis, a high-quality probiotic supplement may be highly beneficial in correcting abnormal gut flora that may contribute to brain dysfunction.
Animal-sourced omega-3 deficiency. Research has shown that kids low in omega-3 fats are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, to struggle with learning disorders and to display behavioral problems. A clinical study published in 2007 also examined the effects of krill oil on adults diagnosed with ADHD.17
In that study, patients improved their ability to concentrate by an average of over 60 percent after taking a daily 500-milligram (mg) dose of krill oil for six months. They also reported a 50 percent improvement in planning skills and a close to 49 percent improvement in social skills.
Food additives and GMO ingredients. A number of food additives are thought to worsen ADHD, and many have subsequently been banned in Europe. Potential culprits to avoid include Blue No. 1 and No. 2 food coloring; Green No. 3; Orange B; Red No. 3 and No. 40; Yellow No. 5 and No. 6; and sodium benzoate, a preservative.
Research also shows that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, used in large quantities on genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops, limits your body's ability to detoxify foreign chemical compounds. As a result, the damaging effects of those chemicals and environmental toxins are magnified, and may result in a wide variety of diseases, including brain disorders that can affect behavior.
There are many other natural options that have been shown to improve ADHD symptoms as well, including the following. For more information, please consult with a holistic physician who is experienced in treating ADHD using natural methods.
  • Address nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B6, zinc and magnesium
  • Exercise and/or active playtime
  • Spend time outdoors in nature
  • Limit exposure to radiofrequency microwave radiation, cell and portable phones and electro-pollution
  • Reduce toxic exposures to pesticides, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate (MSG), cleaning products, detergents, perfumes and more