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54 ADHD Treatment Options Without Medication

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Looking to combat ADHD in a natural and healthy manner? Research shows that medication may not be the best way to deal with the symptoms of ADHD - a brain-based biological disorder affecting millions. This article contains information on what ADHD is, the dangers of treatment options (as adopted by western medicine), a few well known non-medication treatments, homeopathic & herbal remedies for ADHD, and also includes info on vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that have been shown to help combat the symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, we've provided a list of simple lifestyle changes that promote overall health and well-being.

Do you or your child find it hard to focus throughout the day? You aren't alone.

Millions of people struggle with issues that stem from attention deficit disorder (ADHD). More than just the inability to pay attention, ADHD can affect your memory, emotional control, and even interpersonal relationships. Living with untreated ADHD can compromise your quality of life, which is why seeking out an effective treatment option is so important.

But to understand what treatment options might be best, you need to know what causes ADHD is in the first place.

What is ADHD?

ADHD affects almost 11 percent of the global population. It is the most common developmental disorder today and is characterized by an inability to pay attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and general irritability. Most researchers agree that ADHD has a genetic component, but the condition still isn't well understood by the medical community.

Though the condition is often diagnosed in school-age children, ADHD's symptoms usually last for life. For this reason, many people with ADHD take medication for most of their lives to reduce their symptoms.

Unfortunately, ADHD medications often cause unpleasant side effects that outweigh many of the benefits that the medicine provides.

The Dangers of Standard Treatment Options for ADHD

The most popular ADHD drugs prescribed today are Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Strattera, and Vyvanse. While they work well for many people, concerned medical professionals are putting pressure on the FDA to issue warnings about their side effects.

The common side effects of these drugs include irritability, headaches and nausea, a racing heartbeat, dry mouth, sleep problems, anxiety, and little or no appetite. In extreme instances, some patients undergo radical personality changes, become addicted to the medication, or even experience suicidal thoughts.

There is also concern that some ADHD drugs might permanently alter kid's brains while they are developing. ADHD medications are often habit-forming, which means that a young student who goes through their school years relying on medication to focus will struggle to function productively once they graduate if they don't stay on their medication.

Best ADHD Treatments that Don't Involve Medication

Research on the overall effects of ADHD medication is still being conducted, and it might take years to fully understand what these products do to developing brains.

The good news? There are plenty of natural ways to treat ADHD that work as well as conventional medications.

Natural treatments are also often safer, and some of them do a better job of addressing the causes of ADHD symptoms like nutritional deficiencies or damaged nerves.

For convenience, these treatments are separated into five categories:

  1. homeopathic remedies
  2. herbal remedies
  3. beneficial vitamins, herbs, and amino acids
  4. natural supplements
  5. and lifestyle changes.

6 Homeopathic Remedies for ADHD

Homeopathic remedies for ADHD offer nontoxic, safe and effective ways to alleviate symptoms. Unlike conventional ADHD medication, homeopathic treatments are personalized for each patient to ensure their specific symptoms are addressed. Some people benefit more from homeopathic treatment than others, and these treatments tend to be most beneficial when paired with lifestyle changes or behavioral therapy.

Ready to dig deeper? Popular homeopathic remedies for ADHD include:

1. Stramonium

Obtained from the leaves and seeds of a fragrant flower, Datura stramonium has medicinal properties similar to alkaloids, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. For this reason, stramonium is one of the most effective homeopathic remedies for ADHD.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that Stramonium works to reduce ADHD symptoms in children and can suppress signs of violent, and hostile behavior. But be warned! At high doses, this plant can worsen the symptoms of ADHD and even induce hallucinations.

2. Hyoscyamus

Hyoscyamus niger comes from the same plant family as Stramonium, and its medicinal benefits are similar. This means that it's often used to alleviate ADHD symptoms like restlessness and hyperactivity.

For best results, the plant should be harvested at full bloom and soaked in alcohol for at least ten days to create a potent tincture. A controlled study from 1997 shows that it's effective for reducing outbursts and fidgeting, likely because of its ability to target the central nervous system to reduce mental tension.

3. Arsen iod

Prepared from iodine and trace amounts of arsenic, this homeopathic treatment isn't dangerous. Rather, it works to reduce temper tantrums and encourage emotional balance in children facing challenges.

4. Cina

This plant is an ancient homeopathic remedy for removing worms, but it's also useful for calming ADHD-induced temper tantrums and restlessness. For children who dislike being touched or looked at, or who display aggressive behavior, Cina can reduce their hyperactivity and inattentiveness.

5. Tuberculinum

Strange has it sounds, this remedy relies on Tuberculinum bacillus, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. Infected tissue is dissolved in water, and the bacteria are removed and diluted to create an ADHD remedy that improves focus.

6. Verta alb

Coming from a plant in the Lily family, Verta alb is an alternative ADHD treatment that works to soothe nerves, reduce irritability, and improve focus.

11 Herbal Remedies for ADHD

Modern medicine is rooted in the potent properties of herbs, so it's hardly surprising that much of this plant material has impressive benefits for reducing the symptoms of ADHD. Herbal remedies can naturally improve mental clarity, aid memory formation, and soothe irritability, mental fatigue, and mood swings.

Below are some of the most popular herbal remedies for treating ADHD.

7. Ginseng

As a standard ingredient in energy drinks, ginseng also works to improve memory and concentration while soothing irritability and general nerves- making it ideal for treating ADHD. Ginseng's benefits come from ginsenosides, which are potent antioxidants which protect the brain's nerves from oxidative damage that might otherwise lead to ADHD. Stimulant-based ADHD medications affect the brain in the same way, but ginseng works without risk of side effects. Evidence from the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience shows that ADHD children given a daily dose of ginseng can see significant improvement in their symptoms in a matter of weeks.

8. Lemon Balm

This garden staple has impressive potential as an ADHD herbal remedy. By acting similar to stimulant medications, lemon balm can reduce your stress and relieve anxiety by reconnecting missing transmissions in your brain to lessen the symptoms of ADHD and keep you focused.

9. Bacopa

Known as Brahmi in traditional Indian medicine, Bacopa monnieri is known to increase the levels of essential neurotransmitters in the brain and boost overall neural transmissions. The herb contains phytochemicals that improve inter-brain communication and repairs the synapses between damaged neurons. For this reason, studies show that Bacopa extract can improve memory, moods, and mental focus, making it an ideal natural treatment for ADHD.

10. Guarana

Native to the Amazon rainforest, the guarana seed acts as a natural stimulant in surprisingly similar ways to ADHD stimulant drugs. This is because it contains xanthine alkaloids like caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine.

These alkaloids work to reduce mental fatigue, boost stamina, and increase energy levels in ways similar to caffeine without the crash. This means that guarana has a calming effect on hyperactive kids, and it can improve moods as well.

11. Eleuthero and Ashwagandha

Eleuthero and ashwagandha are both classified as adaptogens, which means that they work to help your body adapt to a variety of different environments. This means that they are well equipped to work as an herbal remedy for ADHD side effects like stress and anxiety.

12. Ginkgo

The herb gingko biloba has numerous medicinal uses, thanks to two groups of phytochemicals:

● bilobalides

● ginkgolides.

When used as an herbal remedy, gingko can improve memory, treat anxiety, and improve mental focus; subsequently reducing the symptoms of ADHD. Researchers believe that gingko works by blocking the reuptake of epinephrine and norepinephrine in the brain.

This can help ADHD patients let go of their stress so that they can focus on the big picture and make better behavioral choices. Gingko also contains powerful antioxidants that protect your brain against oxidative stress and damage by improving blood flow to keep it nourished.

13. Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola works as a natural stimulant for the nervous system, providing the benefits of ADHD drugs without the side effects. Often combined with gingko, gotu kola will improve cognitive functioning and boost memory formation. For this reason, it's a common ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine.

14. Rhodiola

Found naturally in the Arctic, Rhodiola is an adaptogen herb with plenty of benefits for treating ADHD, including boosting alertness and attention spans.

Thanks to two phytochemicals (rosavin and salidroside) the plant can counter both physical and mental stress. Rhodiola's effects are strong enough that some experts recommend that only12-year-old children and up should use it.

15. Pine Bark Extract

Renowned for its potent antioxidant properties, pine bark extract is a popular ingredient in ADHD supplements. In fact, the extract is more powerful than Vitamin C and E, and it's been found to improve concentration and lessen hyperactivity in ADHD children. These benefits are likely due to its ability to boost blood flow to the brain and reduce ADHD brain fog.

16. Valerian

Credited with increasing GABA levels in your brain, valerian naturally reduces stress and anxiety, which can make a significant difference in preventing ADHD outbursts in overstressed children.

17. Kava Kava

This traditional Polynesian remedy has long been used to promote feelings of calm and relieve anxiety, making it a way to ease the tension caused by overstimulation.

20 Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids that Treat ADHD

These natural treatments for ADHD might be found right in the food in your fridge. There are plenty of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that can recalibrate your brain if taken in enough concentration to keep ADHD's side effects under control.

If you want an all-natural method for treating ADHD, consider adding more of the following nutrients to your diet.

18. B Vitamins

Each of the twelve B vitamins is involved in almost every biochemical process in your body, but vitamin B6 and B12 are the most important for treating the symptoms of ADHD.

Vitamin B6 regulates how you process carbohydrates, which directly contributes to healthy brain chemistry. In fact, vitamin B6 deficiency will lead to short attention spans, irritability, and fatigue, which are common symptoms of ADHD.

Researchers aren't sure why this is, but it's likely because the vitamin is essential for producing neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Vitamin B12 deficiency also creates ADHD symptoms, meaning that boosting your levels can improve neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

This vitamin controls energy production and regulation, suggesting that too little of it can lead to difficulty falling asleep at night and staying awake during the day. Daily doses of B vitamins will keep your brain functioning as usual. And because your body can flush out what you don't need, there's no risk of overdosing.

19. Zinc

Zinc regulates neurotransmitters like dopamine that keep you even-keeled and able to focus. This means that depleting your body of zinc will lead to hyperactivity and inattentiveness, just like ADHD. Research shows that children with ADHD symptoms are often low in zinc.

For this reason, zinc supplements are regularly recommended to improve dopamine levels and improve information processing and decision-making abilities for kids with ADHD. High doses of this mineral can be damaging, so make sure you talk to a doctor before administering it to your child.

20. Noopept

This neuropeptide works to produce stronger brain tissue, a better mood, support for memory formation, and improved concentration abilities. It's also renowned for improving brain elasticity and reducing degeneration.

21. Iron

Too little iron in your blood leads to irritability, fatigue, and, counterintuitively, hyperactivity. It's hardly surprising that low iron levels are typical in people with ADHD, though it's not clear if low iron is causing the ADHD symptoms, or if individuals with ADHD can't absorb iron efficiently.

Regardless, it's clear that increasing iron levels through diet or supplements can prevent the brain from neurological damage and improve ADHD symptoms.

22. Magnesium

Like iron and zinc, too little magnesium can lead to ADHD-like symptoms, including mental confusion, irritability, and a lower attention span. This is because magnesium is required to prevent brain damage by protecting essential neurotransmitters. ADHD children often are low on magnesium, meaning that boosting their levels can reduce their hyperactive behavior and lengthen their attention span. Magnesium can also improve sleep quality by reducing restlessness for kids when they try to go to bed.

23. L-Tyrosine

As one of the body's most crucial amino acids, L-tyrosine is an essential component for the brain-benefiting compound dopamine. For this reason, L-tyrosine supplements can increase the brain's neural connections and help ADHD patients control their hyperactive tendencies and better maintain their mental focus. While the amino acid is found naturally in nuts, cheese, and turkey, you might need to take a supplement to get a more significant concentration.

24. Vitamin D

At the time of writing, there are still more questions than answers about the role that vitamin D plays in ADHD treatment. That being said, it's known that the vitamin improves the brain's glutathione levels, which is an antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage to maintain brain health.

Likewise, vitamin D contributes to the creation of the brain chemical dopamine, a neurotransmitter renowned for alleviating ADHD symptoms.

25. Antioxidant Vitamins

Antioxidant vitamins include vitamins A, C, and E; all of which have benefits for treating ADHD. These vitamins can prevent neurodegeneration by protecting the nerves and supporting healthy brain development for young children.

Vitamin C is critically important for healthy functioning, as it is used to relieve chemicals, metals, and other toxins from your body through the liver. Sugar-filled modern diets lower your vitamin C absorption levels, which can reduce your ability to absorb iron and hinder healthy brain functioning. The vitamins also ease ADHD side effects in other ways. Vitamins A and E improve eyesight which can reduce the instances of wandering eyes and inattentiveness in kids who otherwise struggle to read the board.

26. Essential Fatty Acids

Fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids) are critical for promoting healthy brain functioning. For this reason, many experts recommend using them as a natural remedy for ADHD. Most Americans are deficient in fatty acids, which poses problems because getting the recommended dose can reduce ADHD symptoms by up to 40 percent.

Fish oil is an ideal source, and it is found to improve mental skills in children while lowering their hyperactivity and inattentiveness.

27. Probiotics

Initial research reveals that one unexpected cause of ADHD in children and adults might be elevated levels of yeast and unhealthy bacteria in their digestive systems. If this is true, then taking probiotics can restore balance in the gut and reduce its impact on brain functioning.

More research is needed, but the link between probiotics and less severe ADHD symptoms seems promising.

28. Protein

Protein is critical for keeping your brain from starving, and too little in your diet may lead to surges of blood sugar that trigger hyperactivity. Ensure that there's protein present on every plate, and you'll keep your brain in better health.

29. Phosphatidylserine

This neural chemical is made of omega-3 fatty acids and the amino acid serine. By improving your brain's dopamine levels, phosphatidylserine can naturally enhance your mood and cognitive abilities and reduce stress.

30. Melatonin

If ADHD keeps you too wired to sleep well, a melatonin supplement can restore your regular sleep rhythm. This natural antioxidant is more potent than vitamin C, and its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier means that it can help protect your brain from free radical damage.

A recent study on ADHD children found that melatonin supplements improved sleep problems for half of them, though parents should know that large doses are potentially dangerous.

31. DMAE

As a form of choline that the brain needs to function correctly, DMAE can reduce brain degeneration caused by aging and prevent age-related problems like memory loss and confusion.

32. Glycine

This protein amino acid is necessary for all physical functions, and your body can make it naturally. However, ADHD patients often need more than the general population, so it pays to add it to your diet in supplement form.

33. GABA

GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) acts as a neurotransmitter for essential brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. Too little GABA can make you more susceptible to depression and anxiety, two common ADHD symptoms.

34. L-carnitine

This natural amino acid helps your body improve its energy supply, and a study shows that over half of ADHD boys given an L-carnitine supplement saw improvement in their symptoms. However, the supplement hasn't been thoroughly tested on children yet, so it's best to proceed with caution before administering it.

35. Piracetam

Like GABA, piracetam works to modulate essential brain chemicals to protect brain functioning and reduce overall anxiety.

36. Aniracetam

As a concentrated form of piracetam, aniracetam works to improve the signal speed in your brain to create both long-term and short-term memories while also boosting mood and energy levels.

37. Calcium

Though calcium is praised for building healthy bones, it also works to improve brain health by improving your memory and preventing brain cells from aging too quickly.

10 Best Natural Supplements for Treating ADHD Naturally

Sourcing every individual ingredient that treats ADHD is tricky, which is why many people prefer instead to take a natural supplement that combines various beneficial compounds together.

The following supplements contain many potent ingredients for staving off the symptoms of ADHD, meaning that they are an excellent choice for regaining control of your health without adverse side effects.

38. True Focus

Developed and manufactured by Now Foods, True Focus is designed to provide the brain with dopamine and norepinephrine to prevent racing thoughts and promote alertness and clear thinking. The formula contains vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, l-tyrosine, taurine, potassium, DMAE, gingko biloba, and l-phenylalanine.

39. Focus Formula

Manufactured by Native Remedies, Focus Formula is a liquid herbal remedy designed to treat ADHD symptoms by supporting the nervous system, circulation, and overall brain health. The formulation of this 100% herbal formula is designed to improve focus and mental concentration for all ages by promoting the flow of nutrients to the brain. Its ingredients include gingko biloba, Gotu kola, skullcap, German chamomile, green oats, rooibos, and nettle extract.

40. Potent Mind and Memory

Biogreen Labs manufactures this ADHD supplement, which is designed to boost brain function and mental clarity. Based on traditional Chinese and Indian medicinal techniques for memory formation, this product includes the following blend of amino acids and herbs: L-glutamine, ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, DMAE, huperzine-A, Bacopa monnieri, and N-acetyl-L-carnitine.

41. Instant ATT

Created by the company with the same name, Instant ATT is claimed to improve memory and focus. Its ingredients include St. John's wort, ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, Bacopa monnieri, vinpocetine, DMAE, huperzine-A, and N-acetyl-L carnitine.

42. Listol

This natural supplement is manufactured by Progressivehealth.com and reduces ADHD symptoms in both children and adults. Formulated with vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, GABA powder, and DMAE, Listol is designed to rebalance nutrient levels, reduce impulsive behavior, and improve mental focus.

43. OptiNeuro

Just as the name implies, OptiNeuro is a supplement formulated with natural herbs, amino acids, and vitamins to boost metal performance for ‘optimal' results. Within its formula areGuarana, l-theanine, acetyl-l-carnitine, choline, bacopa, l-alpha glyceryl phosphorylcholine, acetyl-l-tyrosine, trimethylglycine, phosphatidylcholine, vitamin B3, piperine, coenzyme Q10, vitamin B12, vitamin B5.

44. Added Attention

Manufactured by Buried Treasure, Added Attention is a liquid ADHD supplement that is designed to improve your focus, memory, and mood while preventing attention lapses. Its active ingredients include sugar, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylcholine, endomembrane, chromium, phosphatidylinositol, omega-3, grapeseed extract, lemon balm, gotu kola, chamomile, GABA, and DMAE.

45. Focusene

This blend of herbs and vitamins are formulated together to counteract the symptoms of ADHD by making tasks more manageable, improving focus, reducing distractions, and boosting overall mood. It contains vitamin B6, DMAE, forskolin, l-phenylalanine, acetyl-l carnitine, and l-theanine.

46. Brain Link

Formulated and manufactured by Pain and Stress Center, Brain Link contains the amino acids your brain needs to work more efficiently for better clarity and focus, potentially improving cognitive performance, memory, and attention. The formula includes a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and a daily serving provides half of your daily recommended vitamin intake.

47. Adderplex

This supplement is designed to provide similar results for your brain as traditional ADHD medications by boosting memory abilities and focusing power. Adderplex's formula contains glutamine, ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, DMAE, vinpocetine, St. John's wort, and bacopa.

Which Natural Supplement is Best?

Determining which ADHD supplement is right for you isn't easy, as most products contain relatively similar ingredients. However, the best supplements are the ones which contain ingredients that are scientifically proven to boost mental clarity and prevent attention problems. Likewise, studies show that people with ADHD are often deficient in one or more essential nutrients. ADHD supplements that contain blends of herbs, amino acids, and vitamins can replenish these levels.

When looking for ADHD supplements to try yourself, consider options that are formulated with ingredients like zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, GABA, and omega-3 fatty acids, as they all are scientifically proven to reduce ADHD symptoms.

7 Home Remedies for ADHD

Sometimes, an ADHD supplement isn't enough to defeat your symptoms. In these cases, the best way to treat the symptoms of ADHD comes down to modifying your behavior.

Changes in your diet, exercise level, and even sleep schedule can make a big difference in how overpowering the side effects are, and implementing these behavioral changes can make as much of a difference as taking conventional medicine.

48. Eat a Balanced Diet

Proper nutrition sets your entire body up for success, and your brain is no exception. By filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with protein, and the final quarter with complex carbs, you can prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking and ensure you get a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients to support better brain health.

49. Regular Exercise

What CAN'T exercise do for your body? As a natural way to relieve stress, anxiety, and pent-up energy, exercise is especially beneficial for anyone with ADHD. Thirty minutes three times a week is the minimum, and calming activities like yoga are helpful for slowing down an overactive brain.

50. Use Essential Oils

Studies show that the potent aromatic properties of certain plants (their essential oils) can make a positive difference in your ability to focus and concentrate. Cedarwood and vetiver oil seem to be the most effective at calming and focusing ADHD children, though peppermint oil is also famous for improving memory and alertness, and lavender has an impressive calming effect.

51. Get Organized

ADHD makes it hard for people to stay organized. You can help ADHD children stay on top of their clutter by providing specific places for everything from homework to their backpack to help them remember where everything is.

Adults with ADHD can also benefit from additional structure in their lives, like using address books or daily planners to keep track of important events.

52. Get More Sleep

It often takes ADHD patients longer to fall asleep at night, which is why they seemingly need more sleep than the general population. Strive to get between 8-10 hours of sleep a night, though some children do best with up to twelve.

If you struggle to fall asleep, consider diffusing a calming essential oil like lavender in the room.

53. Focus on the Good

Children with ADHD are all too used to being reprimanded, so make it your mission to reward good behavior every time you see it. This will incentivize them to continue to improve.

54. Seek Out Behavior Therapy

An ADHD child can be difficult for a family to handle on their own, but seeking the aid of a therapist can lighten the load. The entire family can benefit from treatment, as it will teach everyone coping mechanisms for preventing meltdowns, improving concentration, and improving everyone's quality of life.

You Can Treat ADHD Naturally

ADHD affects millions of children and adults across the world each year, and it can compromise your quality of life and cause significant losses in productivity. Natural ADHD treatments are a viable treatment option for ADHD at any age, especially when combined with other positive lifestyle changes.

If you prefer not to expose yourself to the side effects of ADHD medication, consider these natural treatment options instead.

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