The Herbal Alternatives for ADHD

Children diagnosed with ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are prone to poor concentration, hyperactivity, low emotional development levels and irritability. They are unable to sleep for long periods of time, and when awake, are unable to sit still or stay at one activity for long. This disorder affects both the parents and the children adversely – the older folks do not have a moment’s rest while the kids themselves suffer at school because they’re unable to concentrate on lessons or other activities. Some children are affected by thyroid disorders when they hit puberty. ADHD continues into adulthood, and if not treated, can have adverse effects on both personal and professional aspects.

Allopathic medicines do help in controlling the disorder but there are side effects that make this option dicey in nature. Most of the drugs prescribed in the treatment of ADHD are antidepressants that are mild forms of amphetamines and so tend to cause sleeplessness and a buildup of nervous energy in the children. Those with epileptic tendencies are also prone to seizures when on these drugs. Some children suffer from a reduction in red blood cells and platelet counts.

Herbal remedies on the other hand are as effective as their allopathic counterparts in getting the disorder under control when administered in the right doses. Some herbs that are exceptionally useful in this discipline are Gingko Biloba, Scuttelaria, German Chamomile, Hawthorn, Avena Sativa, Rooibos, Lemon Balm, Gotu Kola, Lobelia and Valerian. There are various ready made herbal prescriptions made using these drugs that are available at local stores or on the Internet that you could try as an alternative to antidepressants to treat your ADHD child.

The Chinese have a similar herbal cure for the disorder which they believe is caused by the imbalance of yin and yang in the kidney, with the yang overcompensating for the lack of yin. Accordingly, Chinese herbal remedies focus on enhancing the yin, calming down the excessive yang, and opening up the openings to the heart so that the brain is able to function efficiently. The herbs used for these purposes are rehmannia, deer antler gelatin, tortoise shell, lyceum, cornus, acorus, curcuma, dragon bone, dragon teeth, oyster shell, succimun, cinnabar, phellodendron, anemarrhena, alpinia, and polygala.

Other natural remedies you can try at home to calm your ADHD child include going low on the sugar in any form and getting your child to play outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. Make sure their diet includes lots of fresh vegetables and fruits that provide adequate protein and other nutrients. Some foods cause allergies that may bring on ADHD, so get your child tested to see what foods agree with him/her and what don’t. You could also protect them from sensory overloads – visual, audio and mental – that affect their ability to focus and bring on the aggressiveness and irritability. Brain exercises that help them focus on one particular activity work well with some children while adults may benefit from both physical and mental activities. ADHD is treatable and controllable, with the right amount of patience, medication and care.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of the online nursing programs. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com.

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