What are ADHD Natural Remedies?

Koren Allen
Koren Allen
Ginseng may be a useful natural treatment for ADHD.
Ginseng may be a useful natural treatment for ADHD.

While it is common to prescribe medication for children and adults with ADHD, many people are worried about the possible side effects of the medication, particularly after long-term use. There are several ADHD natural remedies that may be helpful in managing the troubling symptoms of ADHD in both children and adults. Many people prefer to try more conservative treatments before trying prescription medication. Most of the following remedies can be used alone, or in combination with ADHD meds, to help control negative symptoms and enjoy the positive aspects of this condition. However, your overall treatment plan should be supervised by your physician.

Ginko biloba may provide relief for people with ADHD, but should be used with caution due to possible side effects.
Ginko biloba may provide relief for people with ADHD, but should be used with caution due to possible side effects.

It seems that every day, science is finding new connections between our diets and our health conditions. Some studies, while not conclusive, have shown a possible link between some common food allergies and ADHD symptoms. Many parents of children with ADHD have eliminated these allergens from their children's diets, with noted improvement. The most common allergens include foods with artificial colorings, wheat, milk, and foods that contain salicylates, such as berries, grapes, and tomatoes. Many parents also report that cutting out all simple sugars from their children's diets seems to help with impulsivity and restlessness.

Children with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention in class and having long conversations.
Children with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention in class and having long conversations.

In addition to food allergies, some experts believe that dietary deficiencies may play a role in ADHD symptoms. Deficiencies in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids can be corrected by adding more cold-water fish to the diet. There has been some evidence that zinc deficiency is related to problems with brain function, particularly in those with ADHD. Zinc supplements should be used carefully, however, because they may interfere with iron levels. As with any supplement, always check with your doctor before using.

Children with ADHD may benefit from pet therapy.
Children with ADHD may benefit from pet therapy.

Of all the ADHD natural remedies available, one of the most often overlooked is physical exercise. If hyperactivity and restlessness are causing problems, the natural solution is to engage in vigorous physical activity to release some of the excess energy that is creating the problem. This is true in adults as well as children. Besides releasing excess energy, physical activity also releases endorphins in the brain, which can bring about a calmer and more focused mental state.

Exercise releases endorphins that help establish a calmer and more focused state.
Exercise releases endorphins that help establish a calmer and more focused state.

There are also a number of herbal supplements that may help with your overall ADHD treatment plan. Because herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, use reasonable caution when taking them. If you or your child is taking medication for ADHD, you should always check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure herbal supplements will not interact with your prescription medication. Some commonly used ADHD natural remedies include melatonin, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba.

Other ADHD natural remedies involve techniques that help to calm and focus the mind. Meditation and massage therapy have both been reported to help people with ADHD become more focused. Newer methods include music therapy and a related technique called interactive metronome therapy. The rhythmic patterns used in both of these techniques are thought to improve concentration and motor control.

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Discussion Comments

turquoise

I'm not sure if it's entirely right to reach this conclusion, but I think that simply avoiding foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dyes and taking vitamin supplements, especially organic fish oil with omega 3 can do wonders for ADHD and just attention disorders generally.

I reached this conclusion because I had heard a doctor speak about sweeteners on television once. His explanation was a little too technical but it really helped me understand how these things damage our health.

He explained that omega 3's attach themselves to neurons in the brain and allow for neurons to communicate freely with one another. When we drink diet sodas and foods with artificial sweeteners, the substance in aspartame takes the place of omega 3s and attaches to the neuron instead. So the neurons cannot communicate as well anymore. That's why they say that consuming too much diet products can lead to or worsen Alzheimers. I've also heard fish oil supplements suggested to people with ADHD- my cousin being one of them.

I think the best natural remedy for ADHD is probably eating as naturally as possible and avoiding anything artificial.

ysmina

Is it true that yoga can lessen the need for ADHD medications and even replace them?

A friend of mine mentioned this to me. Her son has ADHD and the doctor recommended that her son do yoga or enroll in martial arts classes in addition to medication. These exercises are supposed to help relax the hyperactive mind. It sounds like a great idea, I wonder how long it would take to see the positive effects.

Medication is like a double edged sword I think. While it fixes one thing, it hurts another. Especially for children. I am so hesitant to give my kids any medications in fear of its side effects. It would be great if we could deal with ADHD naturally with practices like yoga.

cayenne

Interesting - I've heard of all of these, I think, EXCEPT massage. I wonder how well that would work for children - I think it would work better for adults.

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    • Ginseng may be a useful natural treatment for ADHD.
      By: Uros Petrovic
      Ginseng may be a useful natural treatment for ADHD.
    • Ginko biloba may provide relief for people with ADHD, but should be used with caution due to possible side effects.
      By: evgenyb
      Ginko biloba may provide relief for people with ADHD, but should be used with caution due to possible side effects.
    • Children with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention in class and having long conversations.
      By: sepy
      Children with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention in class and having long conversations.
    • Children with ADHD may benefit from pet therapy.
      By: robhainer
      Children with ADHD may benefit from pet therapy.
    • Exercise releases endorphins that help establish a calmer and more focused state.
      By: michaeljung
      Exercise releases endorphins that help establish a calmer and more focused state.