Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder characterized by lack of concentration, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
It is the most commonly diagnosed developmental disorder, affecting 8 - 12% of school-aged children and some continue to have symptoms even after they grow up.
ADHD symptoms generally appear before age 7 and can cause problems in school activities and social settings.
Though there are several prescription ADHD medications (Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta), all of these stimulants come with potential side effects.
Hence, individuals inflicted with ADHD and parents of children with ADHD seek natural remedies to treat this condition. In this article, we will discuss about 3 natural ADHD remedies:
1. Herbs for ADHD:
There are certain herbs and herbal medicines that are known to alleviate ADHD symptoms and promote overall emotional well-being in children and adults.
The combination of ADHD herbs, along with healthy nutrients, can improve mental clarity or focus while helping memory and concentration problems, irritability, mental fatigue, and mood swings.
Lemon Balm is known to improve mental performance, attention span, accuracy, and memory power in children. Chamomile is primarily known to support relaxation and promote an overall sense of calmness and emotional well-being.
Kava kava is used as a natural sedative that aids in relieving tension, anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness in children. Passion flower helps to induce sleep, and relieve muscle spasms.
Some of the other popular herbs that can be used to alleviate ADHD symptoms are Valerian, Ginkgo Biloba, Siberian ginseng, Skullcap, and Hawthorne.
You may consider taking natural ADHD supplements such as Listol, ADD-care, Learning Factors, and Focus Formula, which contain safe and potent natural herbs.
3 Herbs for ADHD
Triterpenes are the active ingredients of gotu kola. These medicinal compounds contribute to collagen synthesis but, more importantly, they also contribute to neurotransmitter synthesis.
By promoting the production of certain neurotransmitters, gotu kola contributes to functional brain chemistry. In this way it helps to improve memory, learning, attentiveness and other mental functions.
Gingko biloba is a common herbal remedy. For ADHD, it improves memory while reducing anxiety and depression.
This herb also indirectly contributes to a healthy nervous system by promoting the transport of nutrients to the cells of the nervous system, by increasing blood flow to the brain, and by mopping up destructive free radicals through its antioxidant properties.
Pine Bark Extract
Pine bark extract also has a strong antioxidant property. It is commonly included in ADHD supplements for this reason. The antioxidant effect of this herb can help maintain the development of a healthy nervous system.
As an antioxidant, pine bark extract is more powerful than both Vitamin C and E.
What is Your #1 Health Concern?
Click here to submit answer.No email required.
2. Homeopathic Remedies for ADHD:
Homeopathic remedies are used to treat ADHD and alleviate symptoms, making it easier for children and adults to perform their normal day-to-day activities.
Studies have found that homeopathy is effective in reducing hyperactivity and impulsiveness in children. It also helps improve attention span and concentration.
Although there have been mixed results in clinical trials regarding the efficacy of homeopathic remedies for ADHD, anecdotal evidences provided by families and homeopaths indicate that well-prescribed remedies may offer relief in some cases.
According to University of Maryland Medical Center, Stramonium is an effective homeopathy remedy for children with ADHD, especially those who show excessive fears. Hyoscyamus is useful for children who are excessively high-spirited and impulsive.
Some of the other homeopathic remedies for ADHD include Tuberculinum, Arsen iod, and Verta alb. When used along with changes in lifestyle and diet, homeopathic remedies can show significant improvements in ADHD symptoms.
3 Homeopathic Remedies for ADHD
Stramonium is obtained from the plant, Datura stramonium. Datura has a number of common names including thorn apple, devil’s weed, Jimson weed, Jamesontown weed and moonflower. It belongs to the nightshade family.
Datura is an annual herb with smooth, toothed leaves and fragrant flowers. The parts of the plant from which stramonium, the homeopathic remedy, is extracted are the seeds and leaves.
Datura is a poisonous plant which induces hallucinations and delirium when ingested. The medicinal compounds found in the plant are alkaloids such as scopolamine, atropine and hyoscyamine. These plant chemicals are classified as anticholinergics and are responsible for both the therapeutic and side effects of stramonium.
Like every homeopathic remedy, low doses of stramonium are used to treat the very symptoms that it causes in high doses. As a result, stramonium is one of the most effective homeopathic remedy for ADHD.
The alkaloids in stramonium work at the cholinergic pathway of the central nervous system. There, they inhibit the effects of acetylcholine to reduces hyperactivity in ADHD patients. By this same mechanism, stramonium improves mental focus and attention.
Cina is obtained from the plant Artemisia cina. The plant is also known as santonica, wormseed and Levant wormseed.
Cina is an ancient homeopathic remedy for expelling worms. It was extensively used for this purpose by the Romans and Chinese.
Apart from its use as a worm expellant, cina is used for treating seizures and convulsions as well as temper tantrums, restlessness and night terrors associated with ADHD.
The leaves and dried flower heads of the plant are used in homeopathy. These plant parts contain santonin which is the medicinal compound in cina.
Cina is supplied as a grayish-green powder with a bitter taste and aromatic odor.
Hyoscyamus also belongs to the nightshade family. Its botanical name is Hyoscyamus niger, also known as black henbane or stinking nightshade.
The medicinal contents of hyoscyamus are scopolamine and hyoscyamine. To prepare the homeopathy remedy, the plant is harvested in full bloom and cut into pieces before soaking in alcohol for 10 days. Every part of the plant is used in this extraction process.
After extraction, the solution is filtered and then diluted to remove its toxicity.
Hyoscyamus is used in the treatment of convulsions as well as for emotional and behavioral disorders. It also provides relief from pain and has a calming effect on people.
Since hyoscyamus contains the same alkaloids as stramonium, it provides similar benefits for ADHD patients. These alkaloids are antimuscarinic anticholinergic agents. This means that the compete against acetylcholine in the central nervous system. In this way, the active agents of hyoscyamus reduce hyperactivity and mental confusion.
3. Home Remedies for ADHD:
You can support your medical treatment with home remedies and changes in diet and lifestyle to effectively treat ADHD symptoms.
You must consume fresh vegetables and foods that contain iron, zinc, magnesium, and other essential vitamins.
Avoid foods that contain artificial preservatives and additives. You should also check your consumption of wheat, corn, dairy, and nut-based products as these may cause allergies.
3 Home Remedies for ADHD
Treating ADHD with diet is as much about what you exclude as well as what you include in your diet. Currently, most experts agree that certain food contents can increase hyperactivity especially in children.
Since 1975, when Benjamin Feingold argued that food colorings, preservatives, flavors and other food additives can worsen the symptoms of ADHD, a lot of studies have been done to find a link between them and the medical condition.
With mounting evidences for that link, the American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that ADHD children avoid certain food additives in their diets.
Food additives to avoid include artificial colors especially yellow and red; and preservatives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), aspartame and nitrites.
Other food items to reduce in the diet of people diagnosed with ADHD include sugar and caffeine.
Vitamins & Supplements
Zinc is an important supplement for treating ADHD. It can be found in beans, nuts, dairy products, sea food, fortified cereals and whole grains.
While scientists have found links between zinc deficiency and inattentiveness as well as improvement of ADHD symptoms with zinc supplementation, it is important to note that not all ADHD cases improve with zinc. Still, a high percentage of ADHD children also have zinc deficiencies.
Other vitamins and supplements found effective in the treatment of ADHD are Vitamin B6, fish oil and GABA.
Exercises, especially calming ones, contribute significantly to relaxation and maintaining control over ADHD symptoms.
This non-medicinal treatment is useful for training the body to calmly respond to a flurry of external stimuli especially during stressful activities.
Periods of inactivity can help ADHD children refocus their mental energies and improve their attention spans.