The benefits of essential oils have been recognized by traditional healers around the world for centuries. Now, the benefits of essential oils are being explored as treatment for one of the least-understood conditions on earth: the autism spectrum.

Parents of children with Asperger Syndrome, diagnosed autism and other related conditions are often baffled by the extreme sensory-related behaviors and responses which these conditions provoke in children. For instance, children with these conditions are often hypersensitive to aromas, meaning that smells create anxiety, super-stimulation and inability to concentrate. Common measurable effects include what appear to be learning disabilities, although measurable IQ may be quite high, as well as social and interpersonal barriers, such as an inability to join and work within groups, or form bonds with other people.

 

Aromas which trigger these effects range from hairspray to the smells of specific foods. And other associations, such as patterns, light intensity and sounds may link to trigger aromas.

Conversely, individuals with these conditions may exhibit “hypo” tendencies, meaning that they have virtually no sense of smell. This may cause them to neglect their own hygiene, and may reduce their appetite, since our sense of taste is so closely entwined with our sense of smell.

Many studies are currently underway to introduce the benefits of essential oils to balance emotions, prevent neurologically triggered meltdowns, and to facilitate communication. Peppermint and Wintergreen are used by the parents of some autistic children because these cooling fragrances reduce irritation and help fight nausea, which these children frequently experience as a result of their disorientation and dissociation. Other anecdotal reports and studies involve the use of Lavender, Vetiver, Sweet Orange and Cedar essential oils to stabilize moods and behavior.

The benefits of essential oils which may be helpful to children with autism and related conditions may also apply to the general population. Using them in a balanced blend, such as the six original signature blends for the shower created by Essio, may help reduce stress, enhance focus and concentration, and invite deep relaxation and sleep.