Use of essential oils can help minimize symptoms associated with PANDAS by (1.) calming the nervous system, (2.) helping to eliminate yeast from the body and (3.) helping to kill viruses and bacteria known to cause tics and other common PANDAS reactions.
WHAT IS PANDAS OR PANS?
The hallmark trait for PANDAS is the onset of intense anxiety and mood lability accompanied by Obsessive Compulsive-like issues and/or Tics in association with a streptococcal infection that has occurred immediately prior to the symptoms. In some instances, the onset will be 4 to 6 months after a strep infection because the antibiotics did not fully eradicate the bacteria. More recently, doctors are realizing that other bacteria and viruses can cause similar symptoms - renaming the disorder to PANS - removing the strep limitation.
Some claim that PANDAS is a questionable diagnosis. But many highly reputable doctors especially those who are holistic are now diagnosing and treating PANDAS. Remember that not that many years ago Autism was a questionable diagnosis and many kids with autism where mistreated for things like schizophrenia.
Dr. Tamar Chanksy, author of many books dealing with childhood anxiety issues, describes symptom onset succinctly in her website Worry Wise Kids [some symptoms listed below]
involuntary or irregular writhing movements of the legs, arm or face
Presence of tics and/or hyperactivity
Irritability, temper tantrums, or mood lability
Severe nightmares and new bedtime rituals or fears
HOW OILS CAN HELP!
Essential oils of every species cross the blood-brain barrier [commonly breached
in kids w/ PANS]. This makes them uniquely beneficial for disruptions in the
brain, not only from a physical level, but from a more basic and fundamental level-of the emotional reactions.
Because of the tiny molecular structure of the components of an essential oil, they are extremely concentrated. One drop contains approximately over 40 million molecules - even inhaling a small amount of oil vapor can have profound effects on the body, brain, and emotions. A little goes a LONG way!
OILS ARE EFFECTIVE AT CALMING THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
The olfactory system includes all physical organs or cells relating to the sense of smell. When we inhale through the nose, airborne molecules interact with the olfactory organs -- immediately interacting with the brain.
Molecules inhaled through the nose or mouth are also carried to the lungs and the respiratory system. When inhaled, molecules travel through the nose and affect the brain through a variety of receptors including the limbic system -- referred to as the "emotional part of the brain."
The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain controlling heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormones. This could explain why smells often trigger emotions.
Thus, oils have an immediate effect on our emotional state. This can help to alleviate the common symptoms of PANDAS/PANS listed above – even tics, which in PANDAS are often triggered by stress, environmental irritants, bacteria, viruses….
Oils thought to be calming to the nervous system include: Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Sweet Orange & Patchouli - to name a few. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil has a sweet scent, that stimulates the part of the brain that releases endorphins. Ylang Ylang is also an excellent anti-depressant and can help prevent stress-related rapid breathing. These oils can be calming, soothing, and stabilizing the central nervous system.
To use have the child inhale the oils, place a few drops on the pillow at night, diffuse in the child’s room, & massage (diluted) in a carrier oil on the bottoms of feet. Keep a bottle on hand for stressful times, such as transitions. See Josiah’s Oils Sleepy Time blend as well as Peace & Balance perfect for calming.
OILS ARE EFFECTIVE AT ELIMINATING VIRUSES, INFECTIONS AND YEAST
Another benefit of oils is that they provide antibacterial and antiviral capabilities in
the body which is very important in protecting the immune system of a PANS patient. Rubbing diluted oils on the soles of feet is known to be effective. Oregano is a POWERFUL antibacterial and antiviral and importantly anti-fungal. Kids with PANS or PANDAS are sometimes on long-term courses of antibiotics, such as Augmentin, and find some help with the support of Oregano as an added boost of protection and to assist in killing-off the every prevalent yeast overgrowth associated with antibiotic use. See Josiah’s Oregano Oil or Fungal Serum great applied DILUTED to the feet for eliminating yeast in the body. For Oregano a dilution ratio of 1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil is sufficient!!! (do not ingest)
OILS MAY HELP PROTECT PANDAS/PANS PATIENTS FROM EXPOSURE TO SYMPTOM CAUSING ILLNESSES
Children with PANDAS OR PANS many times have symptoms following immune system exposure to common illnesses. Essential oils can help minimize or eliminate that exposure in some cases - even strep. An interesting legend, supported by modern testing, proves this point:
Europeans began producing essential oils in the 12th century. During the Plague of the 15th century, some thieves were able to rob the dying without fear of becoming infected by the plague. After being charged with robbing, the thieves were offered them leniency if they would reveal how they managed to avoid contracting the dreaded infection. They disclosed that they were perfumers and spice traders, and that they had rubbed themselves with a concoction of herbs/oils like those used in Josiah’s Germ Fighting Blend of pure essential oils like those* tested at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, and found to have a 99.96 percent effective rate against airborne bacteria; 2006 University of Manchester study showed 100% effectiveness against MRSA. (*JO is not affiliated in any way with YoungLiving)
The blend of cinnamon, lemon, orange, rosemary & cloves pure essential oils used daily may help significantly limit the body’s exposure to illnesses because they have proven antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
We use this blend in a hand and surface sanitizer & in the diffuser throughout the day to naturally kill germs. A huge benefit is that many PANDAS patients are sometimes sensitive to environmental contaminants and toxins, like bleach, but not very often essential oils because they comes directly from plants, flowers, bark, seeds….* Always use proper dilution rations and speak with your medical professional about your health! These remedies have helped us in our journey with P.A.N.S. Please send us your comments if you too have found success naturally.
*NOT meant to replace medical advice.