Heron Herbals

Health Calls
Flowers of the Soul
Training for Practitioners
Sign our guestbook!


© copyright Hart Brent

What do Jolt, Surge, and Water Joe have in common? They are high-caffeine drinks that are the drug of choice for kids in the 90's. What makes stimulants like caffeine and tobacco so alluring to this generation, and their parents (the Starbucks Generation), is that so many individuals suffer from brains numbed by perfumes, carpets, scented detergents, fabric softeners, and room deodorizers. A toxic brain craves stimulus and caffeine will provide short term stimulation. Two other popular stimulants are prescriptions: Ritalin, the drug of choice for ADHD,and theophylline inhalers for asthma.

The pictures below illustrate the decreased blood flow to prefrontal regions and to pathways connecting these regions to the limbic system. Decreased blood flow means diminished cerebral glucose metabolism, diminished oxygen and diminished neurotransmitters. Lower levels of our natural stimulants norepinephrine and dopamine create an appetite for stimulants like caffeine in an attempt to restore blood flow (carrying nutrients like oxygen and glucose) and to restore neurotransmitter activity associated with healthy arousal and attention.

In the brain scans below, from www.amenclinic.com, the holes in the brain show areas of decreased blood flow. In a healthy brain the shape is completely filled out—no holes showing decreased blood flow with its concomitant decreased oxygen, glucose and neurotransmitters. Electrical brain maps will temporarily normalize when stimulants are used but over time the abnormality will spread. Blood perfusion maps (seen below) only partially normalize with stimulants.

ADD brain concentrating
  Prefrontal region  
ADD brain with medication

3D View of the top of a healthy adult brain

Healthy Arousal and ADHD

The consistent inattention and impulsive behavior seen in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—is often treated with Ritalin. As many as 2 million children in the U.S. are currently taking Ritalin, a prescription drug with cocaine-like characteristics.

Why a nervous system stimulant for hyperactivity? Because stimulants like Ritalin help to increase the controlling action of the midbrain and increase dopamine in frontal lobes that regulate attention and impulses.

Ritalin (methylphenidate)

blocks reuptake of dopamine

targets basil ganglia

dopamine available to

bind receptors





Ritalin is training children to fix themselves with stimulants, but there are other choices:

Heron Herbals KAVA KAVA FORMULA dopamine

sniffing bergamot essential oil

petitgrain essential oil


homeopathic natrum carbonicum 30C


Brainstorm from Allergy Research

includes acetyl-carnitine, phosphatidyl serine


Heron Herbals MELISSA FORMULA norepinephrine

single herbs: ginko, eleuthero, damiana

st. johnswort, helonias root


Epidemic of the post-industrial era

Before we settle for dopamine or norephinephrine stimulants to cure attention disorders, let's look at why ADHD is called the epidemic of the post-industrial era. Attention deficit is a modern problem with roots in modern chemicals, diets, and health care.

“Between 9-75% of children given phenobarbital are likely to develop hyperactivity or to have any ADHD symptoms worsened by this drug.” [from Barkley p. 174, see Resources]. Many modern chemicals (an estimated 3,750) including pharmaceuticals and perfumes can trigger porphyria, an enzyme disorder that causes neurogenic inflammation. See PORPHYRIA article.

ADHD affects somewhere between 10-15% of all school children in U.S. (1.8 to 2.7 million children). ADHD among children in U.S. is doubling every 3-4 years. Ritalin use quadruped between 1990-97. One disadvantage to using Ritalin is that it is not treating any underlying causes of ADHD, but instead relying on a stimulant intervention. Ritalin cannot heal ADHD; essential oils, herbs and nutrients can heal ADHD.

An often overlooked link to attention disorders is the role played by volatile petrochemical-based substances inhaled via the nose. The olfactory neurons are the only part of the nervous system in direct contact with the outside environment. Volatile organic compounds can disrupt the responsiveness of certain brain tissues, and create the changes seen in the brain scans on the previous page.

Underlying physical causes of ADHD:

nutritional deficiencies

from poor diet

from poor absorption of nutrients

from allergies

due to additives, dyes

due to refined sugars


dysbiosis (gut ecology out of balance, i.e. parasites)




heavy metals

volatile chemicals

Porphyria (see PORPHYRIA article) can be triggered by all three of the above factors: nutritional deficiencies, infection, or pollution.

See Smart Drugs (below) for recommendations in all these categories.

Rethinking ADHD

The behavioral markers of ADHD may represent adaptive traits that served well, particularly for males, in paleolithic environments where rapidly shifting attention and impulsive responses would have helped in exploring potential opportunities or threats. “Driven, drifty, daring” (descriptors for dyslexics) mavericks are often good problem solvers and become successful entrepreneurs later in life. Educational strategies that are tailored to response-ready children would include: small, separate classrooms; stressing hands-on learning projects; and teachers who relate well to kinesthetic learning styles. Another prerequisite for a healthy learning environment would be eliminating all volatile neurotoxins, from scented markers to teacher's and students' perfumed shampoos. Read on to learn how volatile chemicals enter and damage the brain.

How Inhaled Chemicals Damage the Brain

We have no physical barrier in our nose and throat to block substances we inhale from entering the brain. Especially petrochemical based, fat soluble hydrocarbons, like perfumes can dissolve in the membranes of nasal nerves and translocate by solvent transport directly to the brain. A direct pathway has been demonstrated from the oropharynx (at back of throat) to the brain. The olfactory system links to the limbic system (including hippocampus and hypothalamus), the focal point in the brain where the immune, nervous and endocrine systems interact. Inhaled toxins lead to release of a flood of excitatory neurotransmitters that damage neighboring cells, disrupting blood flow and neuroactivity, and thinning grey matter (as seen on page 1 ) in those with learning problems/ADHD.

The hippocampus appears important for laying down new memories and thus is essential for learning. Hippocampal lesions may cause difficulty in retaining recent memories. The hippocampus, at the intersection of numerous neural pathways and in a critical position to affect the transfer of information from one brain region to another, acts as an information switching center. Learning and memory decrements are a frequent consequence of exposure to toxic substances, and some researchers view the hippocampus as a prime target for such toxins. Damage to the hippocampus itself, or to nerves leading to or from it may adversely affect the synthesis, storage, release, or inactivation of the excitatory and inhibatory amino acids that serve as neurotransmitters in this region of the brain. Toxins may disrupt the delicate balance of these amino acids, perhaps leading to the release of a flood of excitatory neurotransmitters that damage neighboring cells, a phenomenon that has been called excitotoxicity. Relatively small perturbations of hippocampal function may have large and long-lasting effects upon behavior and cognition [p.93]. . . . . Most of the neural input to the hypothalamus comes from the nearby limbic and olfactory areas. Lesions in the limbic region may be associated with irrational fears, feelings of strangeness or unreality, wishing to be alone, and sadness. A feeling of being out of touch with or out of control of one's feelings and thoughts, not unlike that described by many patients with chemical sensitivity, may be perceived. [p.95-6] Quote from Chemical Exposures: Low Levels/High Stakes (See Resources)


A child who wears clothes freshly laundered in Tide and Bounce, and who drinks one 12 oz. coke has created low blood sugar in the brain coupled with depleted dopamine and brain lipids; in other words, an attention/learning challenge.

How arousal by perfume leads to depression of dopamine

arousal by coca cola leads to low blood sugar in the brain

)  attention

)    disorder


such as perfume

fabric softener


12oz. Coca Cola

w/ 100 mg. caffeine = 2oz. expresso

10 tsp. sugar (!)


epinephrine epinephrine

release of arachadonic acid

from brain lipid membranes



(sugar deprivation at brain)


production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin PGE2

from brain lipid membranes


depression of dopamine

depletion of cerebral membrane fatty acids

Nutritional interventions can restore essential fatty acids and stabilize blood sugar. See page 5: Nutrients that have proven helpful with ADHD. Large amounts of DHA and arachadonic acid (AA) are required during early development and for proper function of neurotransmitters. The brain is 60% fat. Infant formulas do not contain DHA or AA, the most prevalent polyunsaturated fatty acids making up more than one-third of brain fatty acids. Fatty acid profiles are available from Body Bio, see Resources page.

Damage to the brain tissues from inhaled chemicals is caused by three responses occurring in the brain:
reactive free radicals stealing electrons: oxidized tissues

excitatory amino acids: e.g. glutamate excites nerve cells to death

fight or flight stress hormones: i.e. cortisol and epinephrine

No one's brain can learn under these three compounded stressors; lost is the ability to concentrate, retain or sort information.

Protocol for treatment of excitotoxin exposure follows on p. 6. If you can stop the brain numbing effects of inhaled chemicals soon after exposure, then you can minimize the long-term damage that leads to learning problems.

What Brain Scans Can Tell Us

An often overlooked link to attention disorders is the role played by volatile petrochemical-based substances inhaled via the nose. The olfactory neurons are the only part of the nervous system in direct contact with the outside environment. Volatile organic compounds can disrupt the responsiveness of certain brain tissues, and create the changes seen in the brain scans of those with attention disorders (ADHD), multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) or depression. The damage to the brain can be seen in PET (positron emission tomography) or SPECT (single photon emission computerized tomography) scans that show patterns of decreased blood flow from random thinning of grey matter - a pattern shared with cocaine abuse. Photos on page 1 show the frontal and temporal lobe damage shared by ADHD, MCS and depression. Damage also shows on encephalograms. All the patient has to do is sniff perfumes and their evoked potentials - EEGs - become wildly abnormal. The P300 wave of the QEEG (quantitative EEG) is the best way to measure the ability of the person to formulate a thought and measure the results electrically. The brain scans of those with chemical illness or attention disorders show the same gaps in grey matter and abnormal P300 wave. Both groups complain they cannot concentrate, retain or sort information. Electrical brain maps will temporarily normalize when stimulants are used but over time the abnormality will spread.

Truly Killer Scents

How could ubiquitous perfumes be as toxic to our brains as cocaine and not be regulated as such? We continue to purchase the products. Money rules. Ninety-five percent of chemicals used as fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum including benzene and aldehydes. Only 15% of perfume ingredients have been tested for human toxicity. Many perfume ingredients have been identified by the EPA as hazardous waste disposal chemicals. We are constantly bombarded by toxic scents: fabric softeners, detergents, shampoos, aftershaves, car and room deodorizers. Formaldehyde that outgasses from carpets, cleaning products, plywood is a recognized neurotoxin.

Too Many Frames Per Second

Several parts of the brain work together to hold and coordinate information. Brain scans by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (FMRI) shown below reveal how within 11 seconds the brain relays information from the lower back associated with sight and sound to the frontal lobe where the image is stored. Frontal lobes are damaged in those with ADHD, MCS and depression.

Perception and memory require coordinated efforts of different parts of the brain. This intra-brain communication is disrupted and delayed in those with attention disorders. “Too many frames per second” is a common complaint of those with attention/learning disorders. Computers that intentionally slow down the presentation of information have proven successful learning tools for ADHD. Ideally, the learning environment would be tailored to allow for kinesthetic learning without exposure to volatile scents. As described below, essential oils, entering the brain via the olfactory pathway, can heal and improve brain function.

To intra-brain communication:

sniff, rub temples, bathe in oils:

lavender   calms, uplifts

rosemary   focus,   isolation

 chronic habituation

 loss of motivation

sacred basil   cerebral insufficiency

 O2 to brain

bergamot       dopamine


kava kava      melissa

nettle              blue vervain

schizandra          venus fly trap

Holy Basil
Red and Green
Vervain, Blue

Nutrients that have proven helpful with ADHD

Use muscle testing, O-ring testing or energy scanning to select remedies and dosages.

Essential fatty acids—to restore cerebral membranes fish oil (EPA/DHA) with EPO (gamma linolenic acid) Omega Combination by Efamol
with zinc needed for fatty acid metabolism 30 mg per day

Magnesium is nature's relaxant—minimum of 200 mg per day to counteract excitotoxins

Proanthocyanadins--plant bioflavanids

ginko to increase circulation to brain

bilberry improves brain sorting function

pycnogenol acts as antioxidant in brain to counteract free radicals/excitotoxins

Vitamin E—the best brain antioxidant 200 to 2,000 I.U. per day to quench free radicals

B vitamins especially B3, B6, B12 folate to nourish nerve tissues

Multi-vitamin containing chromium and vanadium to maintain stable blood sugar to fuel brain

Increase protein & eliminate white sugar to maintain steady blood sugar fuel to brain

whey protein

rice protein powder

soy protein powder




good for blood sugar irregularities

Avoid food allergies for your blood type also avoid food additives, dyes read Eat Right for Your Type by D'Amato

Tea to heal the nervous system—l cup per day to calm and nourish nerve tissues

equal parts of:  oat berries
nettle leaf
lemon balm

Treating Exposure to Excitotoxins

The sensation experienced after exposure to excitotoxins may resemble fight or flight—an inability to concentrate, retain or sort information. The paleolithic body was not designed to do math problems while running away from the saber toothed tiger, but rather to mobilize reserves of energy for flight. The modern body responds to inhaled chemicals with a fight or flight response, and if this response runs unchecked, brain damage ensues.

Chemical Exposures (see Resources: books) illustrates the pattern of excitation followed by withdrawal as an isolated event and then as overlapping events as occurs in the real world.

It is the "hyper" response that causes the brain numbing results; the widhdrawal creates the craving for caffeine or other stimulants. Nutritional and homeopathic ways to treat excitotoxin exposure are described next.

All products in blue or purple can be ordered from this website. Print out order form and mail with payment.

Use muscle testing, O-ring testing or energy scanning/dousing to select remedies and dosages.

After Excitotoxin Exposure:

Single homeopathics (choose one) to be taken every 10-15 minutes until reaction subsides:

vaccinium myrtyllus (bilberry) 30C
zincum metallicum 30C
chrysanthemum coronarium 30C


Bilberry 100:1 Jarrow Formulas

Ginko: grape Jarrow Formulas





fresh juice of beet/carrot/celery

Homeopathic mixes:
10 drops taken every 15 minutes until reaction subsides:

Heron HerbalsPerfume Mix:

(with frontal headache)

caffeinum 30C

sympathetic nerve 15C

mucosa rhinopharangeal 9C

Detoxing bath:

epsom salt with borax 1:1

1 cup:1 cup

Heron HerbalsBrainstem Detox Mix:

(with back of head headache)

vaccimium myrtyllus. 30C

natrum carbonicum. 30C

calcarea causticum 30C

head/atlas under water

temperature: moderate

1 cup:1 cup


Smart Drugs—Essential Oils, Nutrients and Herbs

To heal brain lesions:


sphingolin myelin sheath protein

by Ecological Formulas

DHA by Jarrow Formulas

Heron Herbals




vinca rosea

To clear volatile compounds:

A V O I D all exposures - one molecule rekindles reaction

Essential oils:

sniff, steam or shampoo with:

therebentinefree radicals

stimulates pituitary-adrenal axis

sweet orangeexcess yang in nervous system

protects yin

black birchclarifying

Heron Herbals



cereuswild indigo

Chinese skullcap

To soothe frontal brain depression:

Essential oils:

sniff, diffuse

ylang ylang   relaxes anxious mind

 post traumatic stress disorder

lemon  pessimism

peppermint  temporal lobe congestion

clary sage  agitation

creates a feeling-sensory connection

Heron Herbals




borage flowering tops

To soothe allergies:

Essential oils:

sniff, diffuse

roman chamomille  suppressed anger


lemon balm cranky child's tea


Heron Herbals



prickly ash

To treat infections:

Essential oils:

taken internally—see directions below

lemoncleansing, clarifying,

 metabolic toxicosis

therebentineanti-parasite, anti-bacteria


Heron Herbals



Heron Herbals



Heron Herbals


Treating the Emotional Aspects of ADHD with Flower Essences

Flower essences are homeopathics designed to restore emotional equilibrium by reminding you of your balanced place. Flower essences can return you to your emotional center. Dosages vary from 5 drops hourly to 10 drops once a day, depending on severity of symptoms. There is no toxicity associated with flower essences, they are pure energy in water. You dilute 5 drops from the stock bottle (which contains alcohol as a preservative) into a 1 oz. dropper bottle filled with good quality (not tap) water.

Flowers of the Soul  BELLFLOWER Essence

Wood Element

An embrace of unconditional love for your inner child.

For over coming a childhood filled with criticism.

For feeling not OK, not good enough, not lovable.

Flowers of the Soul  CHINESE ELEUTHERO Essence

Uplifting. To feel that life is full of promise.

For victim mentality, feeling life is a dead end.

Positive image: birdsong at dawn.


Metal Element

Angelica Blossom

Flowers of the Soul  CHINESE HIBISCUS Essence

Connecting you to your deepest passions.

Fire Element

Flowers of the Soul  GOLDENSEAL Essence

Water Element

Opens nerve endings in the brain to receive light.

Moves kundalini energy up spine - opens crown chakra.

For healing impaired cognitive function after chemical exposure.

Flowers of the Soul  GREAT ANGELICA Essence

Earth/Metal Elements

For accepting the perfection of yourself and of every moment.

Letting go. “Be here now”

Giving up the struggle to get, to do, to be

Flowers of the Soul  HOBBLEBUSH VIBURNUM Essence

For those with no time.

Creates spacious time.

Wood Element

Flowers of the Soul  ROSEMARY Essence

For seeing the big picture

Fire Element

Flowers of the Soul  STAR FLOWER Essence

Water Element

Connection with your star home, star ancestor, star wisdom.

Our individual star holds the energy template/pattern for us, past & future.

For those who wish to renegotiate their earthly karma.

Positive image: umbilical light cord connects to our distant star.

Flowers of the Soul  SWEET VIOLET Essence

Wood Element

For insecurity that can be painful, paralyzing.

Fear of failure.

Flowers of the Soul  SWEET SCENTED BEDSTRAW Essence

Earth Element

For breaking free of repetitive patterns.

Food and drug addictions; cyclical ups and downs.

Discovering what really nourishes you.

Positive image: plowing (not rototilling) new ground to plant a garden.

Flowers of the Soul  WILD GINGER Essence

Water Element

To create a reflective inner place of knowing that is

far away from stress, chaos, busyness.

Positive image: an inner reflective pool—a mirror of truth.


Directions for uses of essential oils:

Use muscle testing, O-ring testing, or energy scanning/dousing to determine remedies and dosage.

To take internally:
dosage of 1-5 drops in teaspoon of honey or in gel cap with olive oil taken before meals with warm water

To sniff:
inhale deeply without touching oil to nostrils or will burn, especially the birch oil

To shampoo:
add 3-10 drops to each palmful of shampoo before spread on head, lather in as usual

To diffuse:
steam diffusers are better than candles because they don't cook the oils

To bathe:
add 5-20 drops of oil to a tablespoon of milk or vodka and add to bath water after tub is filled

Fatty acid analysis available from: Body Bio, Patricia & Ed Kane 888-320-8338

Neurotoxicity screening available from: Raymond Singer, Ph.D. (505) 466-1100


ADHD web site:

Video demos showing severe neurologic reactions to air pollutants (carpets, school air) available from:

Anderson Laboratories, Inc., PO Box 323, W. Hartford, VT 05084

Web site:


Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Russell Barkley, M.D.

Chemical Exposures: Low Levels/High Stakes by Ashford & Miller

Eat Right for Your Type by Peter D'Adamo

Energetics of Western Herbs, 2 vols. by Peter Holmes

Healthy Homes, Healthy Kids by Shoemaker & Vitale

Help for the Hyperactive Child

Solving the Puzzle of Your Hard to Raise Child by William Crook

The Impossible Child

Is This Your Child? By Doris Rapp

The Neurotoxicity Guidebook by Raymond Singer (see above)

Index of Articles:

» Healing ADHD «  | Balancing Immunity  Antibiotic Alternatives | Energy Scanning |

  Healing ADHD | Lyme Disease | Autism |Vaccination Survival Kit | Natural Hormone Replacement


Health Calls  |   Heron Herbals   |  Flowers of the Soul   |  Training   |  Guestbook

Return to top.