January 17, 2017
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder, typically first diagnosed when an affected individual is elementary school age.
It is identified by behavior that makes it difficult for affected individuals to function effectively, or mature and develop as other children normally do. In general, people with ADHD behave in ways that show a pattern of:
- Hyperactivity: Extremely high and changeable levels of agitated actions
- Inattentiveness: Distracted, unfocused, unable to complete activities
- Impulsivity: Acts hastily, without thinking of what could happen as a result
While most children and adults may occasionally behave in ways that seem hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive, it is the intensity and consistency of this sort of behavior that could result in an ADHD diagnosis.
List of natural remedies for ADHD
General interest in complementary and alternative medicine continues to grow. Particularly in light of concerns about the safety and effectiveness of standard medical treatments, half of all parents of children with ADHD use alternative treatments in some way, according to studies cited in Neural Plasticity.
From taking supplements and avoiding food coloring to breathing exercises, a wide variety of natural remedies have been used to address ADHD and the symptoms that accompany it.
According to studies reviewed in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics, the natural supplements with the most evidence to support their use are:
- Polyunsaturated fat supplements: For heart health and a possible reduction in inappropriate behavior and speech
- Melatonin: May help with problems going to sleep
- Iron and zinc: Could help to reduce ADHD symptoms when children are not getting sufficient amounts in their diets
Other clinical trials have found that a number of herbal treatments and nutritional supplements may be helpful in treating ADHD, according to a 2016 study. This include:
- French Maritime pine bark extract, or pycnogenol: May increase visual-motor coordination and reduce hyperactivity and inattentiveness
- Ginseng: Could reduce hyperactivity and inattentiveness
- Ningdong: A Chinese medicinal that may be as effective at reducing ADHD symptoms as Western prescription medication
- Bacopa: An Ayurvedic treatment, which preliminary studies suggested could reduce restlessness and improve self-control in children with ADHD
Combination therapy, in which one or more natural remedies are used in combination with each other or prescription medication, shows promise in addressing the many ways in which ADHD can affect individuals.
However, more research is needed to determine its efficacy and safety, as well as the strength at which it can be used safely in humans if found to be effective.
Lifestyle changes that can help
Some practices – such as biofeedback, exercise, and connecting with nature – are widely considered to be calming. Researchers are studying these activities to see if they really do reduce symptoms of ADHD.
Neurofeedback, in which individuals with ADHD learn how to perform tasks while trying to maintain typical, and not hyper-aroused, brainwave patterns, has shown promising results. However, it is an expensive process and is only in the early stages of development.
Some studies have suggested that studying yoga, particularly it’s breathing, focusing, and relaxation components, can help to relieve certain symptoms of ADHD. Yoga and regular exercise of any kind are also regarded as a helpful and stress-reducing activity for parents and children with ADHD to pursue together.
Other studies have suggested that children with ADHD saw an improvement in their ability to concentrate after spending time in a green space. More…