Health News: Essential Oils Clean Indoor Air; Oregano is Antiviral; Magnesium Helps ADHD KidsJulia Woodford January 15, 2023
Essential Oils Freshen Indoor Air, Kill Germs, Sanitize Surfaces
As we move inside to escape the winter cold, indoor air quality becomes more important than ever. This is especially true because more of us are more prone to sickness during this time. So make sure to know the best essential oils for cold and flu. And it’s a perfect time to introduce essential oils into the home to freshen the air, kill germs, and sanitize surfaces.
One popular essential oil recipe combines oil of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and eucalyptus. This blend, known as “Thieves”, is thought to have been invented during the time of the Bubonic Plague back in 1413 by thieves who used it for protection while robbing corpses of plague victims. The story goes that the thieves would put the oil blend on their hands, temples, and face masks, believing it to have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Today, the Thieves formula is available as an essential oil blend, or an ingredient in hand sanitizers, home cleaning, and personal care products. An easy way to refresh the air in any room is to put a few drops of the Thieves blend, or individual essential oils such as eucalyptus or lemon, in a bowl of water in the room. As the water evaporates the essential oil is released into the air. This is a safe, nontoxic alternative to chemical air fresheners that may contain carcinogens.
For more information, see the article by Sabina DeVita at: https://tinyurl.com/essentialoilsindoorcleaning
(To see a National Institutes of Health Study on essential oils for Covid, visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7427755/)
Oregano Oil Studied for Antiviral Effects
A report posted on healthline.com in January 2020 summarized two studies that found oregano oil to have significant antioxidant and antiviral properties. One of the studies, undertaken in 2011, “found that oregano essential oil can inhibit both human and animal viruses in vitro.”
This action is likely due to carvacrol, a main compound in oregano oil. While carvacrol was more effective against certain viruses on its own, oregano oil was more effective against respiratory viruses such as influenza.
And according to www.Ecowatch.com, “Oregano oil and carvacrol have been shown to exhibit antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1); rotavirus, a common cause of diarrhea in infants and children; and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes respiratory infections. (1,2,3)
Warning: Because oregano oil is so strong and concentrated, experts caution against giving it to children, pregnant women, or patients taking blood thinners. It is advised to start with a small dose, and monitor your reactions.
Magnesium Decreases Hyperactivity in ADHD Children
~ by Helen Saul Case
Magnesium deficiency is found more frequently in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than in healthy children. In one study of ADHD children, magnesium deficiency was found in 95% of those examined.(1) Does this warrant magnesium supplementation for hyperactive children? The answer is yes.
Supplementation with magnesium appears to be especially helpful for alleviating hyperactivity in children.(2) In a group of children supplemented with about 200 milligrams (mg) per day of magnesium for six months, there was “an increase in magnesium contents in hair and a significant decrease of hyperactivity” compared to children in the control group who had not been treated with supplemental magnesium.(3)
- Magnesium Is Safe and It Works – A review that looked at studies done on magnesium for the treatment of ADHD in children concluded that although “studies supported that magnesium is effective for treating ADHD… until further strong evidences for its efficacy and safety are provided, magnesium is not recommended for treating ADHD.”(4) This is typical of modern “evidence-based” medical literature. Some medical professionals will ignore what is already known unless a sufficient number of double-blind randomized studies have been performed. Magnesium supplementation is safe and effective, and it is critically important for children who are deficient.
The safety of magnesium has been well established. There have been no deaths reported from magnesium supplementation.(5) An overdose of magnesium may result in loose stools. This is temporary, and will go away once dosages are reduced or divided into smaller amounts are given throughout the day. Magnesium supplementation is safe and it is worth trying, especially when we consider the dangers of ADHD drugs.
- ADHD Drugs Are Dangerous – Depending on which ADHD drug is being taken, side effects of overdose include mydriasis, tremors, anxiety, agitation, hyper-reflexia, headache, gastrointestinal upset, combative behavior, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, dizziness, dystonia, insomnia, paranoia, movement disorders, tachycardia hypertension, seizures, and yes, even hyperactivity, the very condition an ADHD drug is supposed to be treating. Oh, and these drugs can kill you. (6,7) Even if “fatalities are rare” (7), I imagine this brings little comfort to parents.
Moreover, the most common side effects of ADHD drugs, taken as prescribed, are appetite loss, abdominal pain, headaches, sleep disturbances, diminished growth, hallucinations and psychotic disturbances.(8) Magnesium produces none of these effects. And even though magnesium is both safe and effective, nowhere in the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Clinical Practice Guideline for ADHD is magnesium supplementation recommended.(8)
When it comes to the potential for kids to die suddenly from taking their prescribed ADHD medication, concerns are dismissed by the AAP with statements like “evidence is conflicting as to whether stimulant medications increase the risk of sudden death.”(8) One would hope that with this level of uncertainty about the risk of death, the medical advice would be against the use of ADHD medication. Instead, the recommendation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is “continue your ADHD treatment as prescribed by a healthcare professional.”(9) Just be sure to “talk to your healthcare professional about any questions you may have about ADHD medications.” Well, never has “talking about it” made medication any less dangerous.
- Other Benefits of Magnesium – In addition to its effectiveness for treating hyperactivity, magnesium also benefits children in other profound ways: it can help kids sleep better at night, relieve discomfort from sore muscles and growing pains, relieve constipation, reduce anxiety, and reduce headache days.(10)
“I have come to the conclusion that everyone could benefit from extra magnesium supplementation.” – Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
- Magnesium and Other Nutrients for ADHD – Children with ADHD may benefit from optimal levels of several nutrients including vitamin D(11), iron(12), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids.(13)
Pediatrician Ralph Campbell, MD, recommends a vitamin B complex supplement be given with breakfast, an additional 100 mg of B6 at another meal, and 200 mg or more of magnesium per day for ADHD children. This is in addition to removing refined sugar from the diet, avoiding artificial food dyes, and providing healthy food.(13) Other helpful tips include limiting screen time and increasing exercise, especially in the outdoors.
- Dosage – The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium for children ages one to three is 80 mg per day. Children ages four to five: 130 mg magnesium per day. By age nine, our government recommends that kids should be getting (at least) 240 mg of magnesium per day. And at age fourteen, between 360 to 410 mg per day. Keep in mind, only about 30 to 40% of dietary magnesium is absorbed by the body.(14) Remember, too much magnesium in a less-absorbable form can cause loose stool. This side effect can be prevented by reducing the amount of magnesium given and providing it in a more absorbable form. If larger total daily doses of magnesium are required, divide the dose into smaller amounts and give it multiple times throughout the day.
- Form – Oral magnesium citrate is inexpensive and fairly well absorbed. Other useful, but more costly, oral forms of magnesium include magnesium glycinate, magnesium gluconate, magnesium taurate, magnesium malate, and magnesium chloride. Avoid magnesium oxide (it absorbs very poorly) and avoid both magnesium glutamate and magnesium aspartate (10) Magnesium sulfate is cheap and can be obtained transdermally by soaking in regular Epsom salt baths.
(OMNS Assistant Editor Helen Saul Case is the author of The Vitamin Cure for Women’s Health Problems, and Vitamins & Pregnancy: The Real Story. She is coauthor of Vegetable Juicing for Everyone. Her newest book, Orthomolecular Nutrition for Everyone, was released in March 2017.)
This article was excerpted from a longer version, sent to us courtesy of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. To receive a free subscription, go to http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html or to view the archives visit: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml
- (1) Kozielec, T., B. Starobrat-Hermelin. “Assessment of magnesium levels in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).” Magnes Res 10(2) (June 1997):143-148.
- (2) Starobrat-Hermelin B. “[The effect of deficiency of selected bioelements on hyperactivity in children with certain specified mental disorders].” Ann Acad Med Stetin 44 (1998):297-314.
- (3) Starobrat-Hermelin, B., T. Kozielec. “The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Positive response to magnesium oral loading test.” Magnes Res 10(2) (June 1997):149-156.
- (4) Ghanizadeh, A. “A systematic review of magnesium therapy for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.” Arch Iran Med 16(7) (July 2013:412-417. doi: 013167/AIM.0010.
- (5) Saul, AW. No Deaths from Supplements. No Deaths from Minerals. No Deaths from Amino Acids. No Deaths from Herbs. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v12n02.shtml
- (7) Spiller, HA., H. L. Hays, A. Aleguas Jr. “Overdose of drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: clinical presentation, mechanisms of toxicity, and management.” CNS Drug 27(7) (July 2013):531-543. doi: 10.1007/s40263-013-0084-8.
- (8) Subcommittee on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; Steering Committee on Quality Improvement and Management, M. Wolraich, L. Brown, R.T. Brown, et al. “ADHD: clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents.” Pediatrics 128(5) (Nov 2011):1007-1022. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2654. Epub 2011 Oct 16.
- (9) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: Safety Review Update of Medications used to treat Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and young adults.” Study posted at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm277770.htm
- (10) Dean, C. The Magnesium Miracle. Ballantine Books (2007).
- (11) Kamal, M., A. Bener, M.S. Ehlayel. “Is high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency a correlate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?” Atten Defic Hyperact Disord 6(2): (June 2014)73-78. doi: 10.1007/s12402-014-0130-5. Epub 2014 Mar 9. Bener A., M. Kamal. “Predict attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? Evidence -based medicine.” Glob J Health Sci 6(2) (Nov 2013):47-57. doi: 10.5539/gjhs.v6n2p47.
- (12) Bener, A., M. Kamal, H. Bener, et al. “Higher prevalence of iron deficiency as strong predictor of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.” Ann Med Health Sci Res 4(Suppl 3) (Sept 2014):S291-7. doi: 10.4103/2141-9248.141974.
- (13) Campbell, R, AW Saul. The Vitamin Cure for Children’s Health Problems. Laguna beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, 2011.
- (14) https://ods.od.nih.gov/FactSheets/magnesium/
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Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the <a href="https://vitalitymagazine.com/">Vitality website</a>. She is also the former Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the <a href="https://www.wholelifeexpo.ca/">Expo website</a> In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from <a href="https://www.nationalnutrition.ca/">National Nutrition</a>. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by <a href="https://www.nationalnutrition.ca/">National Nutrition</a>.