ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a controversial condition that continues to be in the media spotlight. The reason for the controversy is the treatment of ADHD, which involves stimulant medications. There are alternative herbal and homeopathic treatments that are yet to be approved by the FDA but are believed by some to help certain children more than medication would. Please consult a physician before trying any of the methods listed below.
Herbs for ADHD
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) leaves contain extracts that help to increase local blood flow to the brain and oxygen to the tissues. Over time, that can help a child with ADHD gain more focus. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), which has antioxidant properties, has long been used as a cognitive enhancer in Indian medicine. It protects the brain from free-radical damage, and it may stimulate improved cognitive function and learning. Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) reduces adrenalin levels in the blood during stress and has been used for nervous and vascular brain disorders. Green oats (Avena sativa) work as a nerve tonic and a mild antispasmodic and can have similar effects to caffeine over time. Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) stimulates brain activity and helps the brain to be more energy efficient. It also has an antistress effect, thus counteracting both ADHD anxiety and a lack of brain focus. Other herbs connected with helping children with ADHD maintain focus and concentration include rooibos, annual nettle, German chamomile, skullcap, kava and Reishi mushroom.
Homeopathy for ADHD
Homeopathic remedies can often be linked to very specific symptoms relating to ADHD. For example, Baryta iodatum is used for those who have difficulty concentrating; who are hurried, restless, nervous and irritable; and who have a ravenous appetite. Cornus circinatus is recommended for children who aren't interested in thinking, reading or working, and who can't hold thoughts very long, have a tendency toward flatulence and exhibit weakness upon waking. Kali bromatum is prescribed for restless children who constantly have to be doing something with their hands, such as throwing. Consulting with a homeopathic practitioner could be worthwhile, as there are more than 30 homeopathic remedies used to treat children with ADHD.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
The diagnosis of ADHD has become so common that there is a chance other afflictions have been overlooked. Sugar and food additives may cause hyperactivity. Common food allergies including dairy, soy, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, egg whites and tree nuts should be considered. Try removing sugar and any of those common allergens one-by-one from a child's diet to see if his behaviour changes when the potential allergen has been eliminated. Children's eyesight should also be checked because poor eyesight mimics the focus symptoms of ADHD.