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Natural Remedies for ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. The diagnosis is applied to children and adults who experience attention deficit, physical hyperactivity and impulsivity, other symptoms being disorganization, forgetfulness, emotional difficulties and inability to comply with instructions.
Medication is often used to help normalize brain activity. The drugs prescribed for ADHD stimulate the brain cells to release more of the neurotransmitters called dopamine and norepinephrine, but because of their side effects many people turn to treating ADHD naturally with herbs and dietary supplements.
Natural Remedies for ADHD
There are many natural remedies that you can use – in addition to or in place of standard medical therapy - to reduce the effects of ADHD on performance and behavior. In all cases it is important to discuss with your doctor before taking any natural ADHD remedy.
Herbs for ADHD (used for for elimination of heavy metals)
Intoxication with heavy metals like mercury, lead and cadmium contributes aggressively to the deterioration of neurological function and has been linked to ADHD.
Red clover, Pau d’arco, coriander (cilantro), bladderwrack and nettle aid the elimination of heavy metals in individuals who have been exposed to environmental toxins.
Red clover is used to purify the blood from toxins and to reduce inflammation.
Pau d’arco assists in removing poisons from the liver tissue. Taken in the recommended dosage it promotes healthy liver function. On the other hand overdose could cause liver damage, so always ask for your physician’s advice on what the recommended dosage should be for you.
Coriander (cilantro) is a powerful, natural cleansing agent. The chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and loosen them from the tissue. Many people suffering from mercury exposure report a reduction in the often-cited feeling of disorientation after consuming regularly large amounts of cilantro over an extended period.
Bladderwrack, a cold water seaweed, contains alginate which helps to excrete toxins from the body.
Nettle has a gentle, stimulating effect on the lymphatic system, enhancing the excretion of wastes through the kidneys.
These herbs can be combined with other cleansing herbs like milk thistle, turmeric, grape vine, barberry, dandelion and burdock to detoxify the system and protect against toxic damage.
Natural stimulants for ADHD
Other natural remedies for ADHD are the herbs that promote normal brain function and neurotransmitter production.
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is considered a brain tonic. Because it improves memory and concentration and promotes intelligence it is excellent for children with ADHD. Moreover, Gotu kola can be a useful remedy for adult ADHD due to its calming effect, relieving stress and anxiety.
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri / Herpestis monniera / Brahmi) enhances brain function and learning ability, improves memory and concentration, calms anxiety and mental turbulence. It is an effective natural remedy for ADHD in children, having a positive effect on learning difficulties, behavioral problems, hyperactivity, restlessness and anxiety.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) enhances cognitive function (thinking, learning and memory) by improving blood circulation in the brain. Clinical studies suggest that ginkgo biloba also improves social behavior and relieves anxiety and depression.
Wild Oats (Avena sativa) are highly nutritious, full of protein, magnesium, silica, iron and vitamins, which are vital to a healthy nervous system. Consumption of wild oats helps with anxiety, tension and nervous exhaustion.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora
Vervain (Verbena officinalis) is an excellent nerve tonic and mood stabilizer. Vervain has been used to help treat nervous depression and hyperactivity.
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) – not to be confused with Gotu kola (Centella asiatica), which is also called Brahmi in northern India – is another natural remedy for ADHD due to its capacity to improve memory, anxiety, hyperactivity, restlessness and insomnia. Other benefits are increased resilience to stress and less nervous tension.
Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) increases the efficiency of nerve impulses, improves memory, stamina and physical performance and symptoms of ADHD in children.
Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is used as a natural remedy for ADHD because of its ability to improve memory and concentration and increase mental stamina.
Natural non-stimulants for ADHD
Some other natural remedies for ADHD are the herbs considered non-stimulants because they decrease nervous tension, calm hyperactivity and aid sleep but without diminishing the individual’s vitality.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera / Winter Cherry) is used for behavioral problems and poor memory and concentration associated with ADHD.
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) enhances memory and concentration, calms excitability, restlessness and anxiety and relieves insomnia. It is suitable for calming children and improves behavioral problems in children with ADHD.
Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) calms anxiety and tension, aids sleep, induces relaxation.
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is beneficial to alleviate some of the symptoms of adult ADHD like nervous exhaustion, tension, anxiety.
Hops (Humulus lupulus) have tonic and nervine properties, reduce irritability and induce a restful sleep.
Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) helps with anxiety, nervousness, restlessness and insomnia, without producing dependence.
Lime flower (Tilia cordata) relieves tension, restlessness and agitation, calms exam nerves.
Vitamins for ADHD
- B vitamins - especially B3, B6, and B12; it is recommended to take a vitamin B complex
- Vitamin C - required by the brain to make neurotransmitters like dopamine, which increases alertness and attention
- Vitamin D – helps with depression, mood swings, cognitive and psychological problems
- Vitamin E – protects brain tissue from free radicals and improves brain circulation
Other ADHD supplements
- Magnesium - calms the nervous system, improves concentration and boosts the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that induces a feeling of well-being
- Zinc – regulates dopamine, a key neurotransmitter which relieves ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity and antisocial behavior
- Iron – improves symptoms in iron-deficient children with ADHD (caution: a blood test and your doctor’s approval are needed before taking iron supplements)
- Fish oil - due to its high level of omega-3 essential fatty acids, stimulates brain and nerve function and improves ADHD symptoms such as lack of concentration and hyperactivity
ADHD natural remedies and supplements can be used together with behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy and work best in the context of healthy living habits (good nutrition, plenty of sleep and daily exercise).