Lavender: It's not always calming

Recently, I read this story from a mother who found out what worked for her child and what didn't--mainly with lavender essential oil. This mom realized that not all recommended oils work like they're supposed to. She has allowed me to share her story so that it might help others, and I am thankful to be able to do so. 

Here's her experience, in her words:

"I just wanted to share with you all just how important it is to research EOs before using them, especially on children. I'm a huge researcher, but even I missed this. My 7 year old has epilepsy, and it originates in his frontal lobe so, of course, ADHD comes with the territory. It's been difficult, so I started researching 'EOs for ADHD.' I only paid attention to the homemade blends that used oils that I knew were safe 'in general' for a child his age.

A little over a month ago, I tried a blend with Vetiver, Lavender, and an MLM blend that had just a few other oils in it that were not contraindicated for children his age. By day 3, he was like a different child, and it was not in a good way! He was wired, disrespectful, hitting his baby brother, and extremely restless. I posted here for help, and someone mentioned how children with ADHD could have opposite effects with the oils meant to calm the body. It made sense to me because he has an opposite effect with Benedryl. So I stopped using the blend and my sweetheart returned.

I still needed to figure out a way to help him to focus and not be so impulsive, though, so I tried a different blend with only 3 single oils: Cedarwood (2 drops), Frankincense (1 drop), and Lavender (2 drops). I put this in a teaspoon of unscented lotion and massage it into his back (whatever's left on my hands I rub on his feet just b/c he likes a foot massage). I started this on Friday. By Monday (day 3), he was out of control. He even pretty much told me he hates me, and my son has NEVER said that to me a day in his life. I was keeping a behavior log, so I knew it was the oils. And the one oil both blends had in common was Lavender. So, the researcher that I am, I searched high and low until I found out why Lavender oil would change my child's personality so much. I found this:

'For those with epilepsy, be aware that several essential oils may trigger an epileptic seizure and these could include Lavender, Fennel and Rosemary.'

Now, I never stop at one source. I searched more and actually, the type of Lavender in question is SPIKE Lavender. Some sources credit regular Lavender as an oil that calms epilepsy. However, knowing that epilepsy presents itself in different areas of the brain, it should be expected that each situation will have different reactions. This information is enough for me to avoid ANY type of Lavender oil on or around my son permanently. It's not safe for him. I stopped using it yesterday, but it's still affecting him today. He is so restless, it's unreal. However, I'm glad I know WHY he's had such a terrible few days. And why he would tell his momma that he hates her.

I check multiple sources for good and bad. Also, once I introduce anything new to my children (natural or not) I keep a journal on their behaviors, because sometimes you just never know what's going on and what could be causing it....This is proof that the oils are indeed strong and capable of affecting a person negatively if used incorrectly."

And then she posted this update later:

 "I just wanted to update you all on how he's doing after I stopped using Lavender on (and around) him. The last day we used it was Tuesday. Today, he is back to my sweet little boy, and it's obvious that he has a very clear mind now. He even told me that he feels like 'a new boy' and that he knows how to make better choices. He was able to complete over 2 hours of school review worksheets in an hour because he was just that focused. It's crazy to see just how that one oil had such a negative effect on him. I know it's not a common reaction, but it is obviously his reaction and I'm glad to have the sense enough to know that not all oils work the same for every individual.""

This is an excellent story that shows how each one of us is different. Though Lavender seems harmless and calming, it had the opposite effect in this case. It took a courageous mom to research and find out what was causing the problem, and thankfully she did. So, all mothers looking for EOs to help with your children's behavior, take this as a serious warning to make sure to do your research first!