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Herbal Remedies for ADHD

Making Choices In ADHD Treatment

As many as 11 percent of children and adolescents aged 4
to 17 had been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as
of 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Treatment choices are difficult
when facing an ADHD diagnosis. Increasing numbers of people with ADHD are being
prescribed and benefitting from methylphenidate (Ritalin). Others struggle with
side effects from the medication. These include dizziness, decreased appetite,
difficulty sleeping, and digestive issues. Some don’t get relief from Ritalin
at all.

There are alternative treatments for
ADHD, but there is yet limited scientific evidence showing their effectiveness.
Special diets say you should eliminate sugary foods, artificial food colorings,
and additives, and eat more sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Yoga and meditation
may be helpful. Neurofeedback training is yet another option.

What about herbal supplements? Read
more to learn if they could help improve symptoms.

Herbal Tea

herbal tea

A recent study found that children with ADHD had more problems falling
asleep, sleeping soundly, and getting going in the morning. Researchers
suggested that additional treatments might be helpful. 

Herbal teas that contain chamomile,
spearmint, lemon grass, and other herbs and flowers are generally considered to
be safe options for children and adults who want to relax. They’re often
recommended as a way to encourage rest and sleep. These teas may be best used
before bedtime.

Ginkgo Biloba

gingko

Ginkgo biloba has long been recommended
for improving memory and increasing mental sharpness. Study results on the use
of ginkgo in ADHD are mixed.

A  2014 study, for example, found that symptoms improved for people with ADHD
who took a ginkgo extract. Children who took 240 mg of Ginkgo biloba extract daily for three to five
weeks showed a reduction in ADHD symptoms with few negative side effects.

Another study from 2010 found slightly different results. Participants took either
a dose of ginkgo or methylphenidate (Ritalin) for six weeks. Both groups
experienced improvements, but Ritalin was more effective. Still, this study
also showed potential benefits from ginkgo.

Brahmi

brahmi

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) is also
known as water hyssop. It’s a marsh plant that grows wild in India. The herb is
made from the leaves and stems of the plant. It has been used for centuries to improve
brain function and memory. Studies on humans are mixed, but some have been
positive. The herb is often recommended as an alternative treatment for ADHD
today.

A  2013 study found that adults taking
brahmi showed improvements in their ability to retain new information. Another study also found benefits. Participants taking a brahmi extract
showed significantly improved performance in their memory and brain function.

Gotu Kola

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica)
grows naturally in Asia, South Africa, and the South Pacific. It’s high in
nutrients that are needed for healthy brain function. These include vitamin B1,
B2, and B6.

Gotu kola may benefit those with ADHD. It helps enhance
mental clarity and reduce anxiety levels. A 2000 study showed that gotu kola helped reduce anxiety in
participants.

Green Oats

Green oats are unripe oats. The product, also known as
“wild oat extract,” comes from the crop before it matures. Green oats are sold
under the name Avena sativa. They have long been
thought to help calm nerves and treat stress and anxiety.

Early studies show that green oat extract may boost
attention and concentration. A 2011 study found that people taking the extract made fewer errors on a
test measuring the ability to remain on task. Another study also found that people taking Avena sativa showed improvement in cognitive
performance.

Ginseng

Ginseng, an herbal remedy from China,
has a reputation for stimulating brain function and increasing energy. The “red
ginseng” variety also has some potential to calm symptoms of ADHD.

A 2011 study looked at 18 children between
6 and 14 years old who were diagnosed with ADHD. Researchers gave 1,000 mg of
ginseng to each one for eight weeks. They reported improvements in anxiety,
personality, and social functioning.

Pine Bark (Pycnogenol)

Pine Bark

Pycnogenol is a plant extract from the bark of the French
maritime pine tree. Researchers gave 61 children with ADHD either 1 mg of
pycnogenol or a placebo once a day for four weeks in a 2006 study. Results showed that the pycnogenol reduced hyperactivity and
improved attention and concentration. The placebo showed no benefits.

Another study found that the extract helped normalize antioxidant levels
in children with ADHD. One study published in 2007 showed that pycnogenol lowered stress hormones by 26
percent. It also decreased the amount of the neurostimulant dopamine by nearly
11 percent in people with ADHD.

Combinations May Work Better

Some studies have indicated that combining some of these
herbs may produce better results than using one alone. A small study in Canada studied children with ADHD who took both American ginseng
and Ginkgo biloba twice a day for four weeks. The
participants experienced improvements in social problems, hyperactivity, and
impulsivity.

There are not many completed studies
of the efficacy of herbal ADHD remedies. A 2011 review of complementary treatments for ADHD found that pine bark and a
Chinese herbal blend may be effective and brahmi shows promise, but requires
further research.

With so many options, your best bet
may be to check with your doctor, an herbal specialist, or naturopath for more
information. 

Posted by: Dr.Health

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