Traditionally the use of herbal remedies for ADHD has been to ease some of the associated symptoms like insomnia, sleeping problems and depression. Furthermore there are some medicinal herbs that are known to sharpen mental focus and increase clarity.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), also known as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition which affects between 3% and 5% of the population. Impulsiveness and inattention are its chief characteristics, and it is usually first diagnosed in childhood. It is twice as common in boys compared to girls, and in 5% to 10% of cases continues into adulthood.
The exact causes of this condition are unclear, but it is thought that it is influenced by a complex combination of external and neurochemical factors and although the use of herbal remedies for ADHD may be of great value and work wonders for some people not everyone might feel the same.
It seems that is important to look to several areas in determining the right approach for a specific child, including but not limited to, food or environmental allergens, balanced diet, sugar intake, minerals, vitamins, herbs and exercise.
Common Medicinal Herbs Used as Herbal Remedies for ADHD Symptoms
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba )
Ginkgo biloba is one of the most commonly used natural treatments for the brain. It increases the brain’s performance by increasing the blood flow to it. This allows it consume more oxygen and so increase cognitive ability. The circulatory system is thereby enhanced helping the brain to function at its optimum level.
This medicinal herb also acts as an anti-oxidant, thereby protecting nerve cells. Using ginkgo biloba reduces damage by free radicals, which cause harm to cells and their DNA. The harmful effects of free radicals are believed to be a major contributing factor in the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia in the elderly. This ability of ginkgo to protect the brain is the reason why so many herbalists throughout the USA and Europe recommend it as one of the main herbal remedies for ADHD (ADD).
Maritime Pine Bark (Pinus pinaster)
This herb is used mainly in extract form for its antioxidant properties, although its needles are recognized for their vitamin C. Antioxidants have been determined by many researchers to play a significant role in the repairing and protecting of the body’s cells. They help to protect against free radicals, which researchers have discovered are damaging byproducts of metabolism and exposure to environmental pollutants. Some areas that have been linked to the damage of free radicals are aging, heart disease and cancer.
It has only been in recent years that free radicals have also been considered as a possible contributing factor in ADD/ADHD. Maritime pine bark is only one of the anti-oxidant herbs currently recommended. Some herbalists have also reported successes with grape-seed extract – a better known anti-oxidant.
Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
One of the more commonly known herbal remedies for ADHD. it works to increase alertness and improve the brain’s memory function. In a recent study, presented to the American Stroke Association, it was found to have improved the memory of those taking the herb as opposed to a similar group of people who took a placebo.
Ginseng is also known by herbalists to boost immune systems and interacts with the body to assist in reacting to stress. For these reasons Siberian ginseng could be helpful in treating ADHD, as it protects and boosts the brain in a variety of ways.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica )
Gotu kola could be of help for ADHD. It has been used for centuries in Asia to treat skin diseases and improve brain function. It is thought to stimulate the mind by decreasing anxiety, whilst increasing alertness.
Gotu kola is a mild antibacterial, as well as being mildly adaptogen, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory. It is also known to be anxiolytic, a stimulant to the circulatory stimulant, and cerebral tonic.
Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata )
This herb is recommended by herbalists as an herbal treatment for ADHD. It helps to even out mood swings and increases concentration. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, it was found to have positive benefits in treating generalized anxiety disorder.
Other herbs that have been used as herbal remedies for ADHD (ADD).
- Rhodiola – (Rhodiola rosea)
- Skullcap – (Scutellaria lateriflora)
- St. John’s wort – (Hypericum perforatum)
- Chamomile – (Matricaria recutita)
- Fennel – (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Valerian – (Valeriana Officinalis )
- Calendula – (Calendula officinalis)
- Oat Straw – (Avena sativa )
- Rooibos – (Aspalathus linearis)
- Stinging nettle – (Urtica dioica)
- Flaxseed – (Linum usitatissimum)