The specific causes of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are currently unknown, with several factors being responsible in different people. ADHD is only dianosed by certain characteristic behavior patterns that are observed over time. Common behavior pattern categories in ADHD include inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.
Herbal remedies are often prescribed by holistic practitioners to treat mental illness and hyperactivity along with including riboflavin, magnesium, B-complex vitamins, and thiamine in the diet through foods or daily multivitamins. Some herbs such as 100% aloe vera juice, pumpkin seed extract, ginkgo biloba, evening primrose oil (an omega-6 fatty acid),and mahonia grape can promote nutritional delivery to the brain and balance neurotransmitters.
These herbs may be beneficial in the treatment of ADD and ADHD. Two Indian herbs, GotuKola and Ashwaganda, have been shown to be effective for concentration and release of anxiety. Chamomile, passionflower, and skullcap have also shown great promise. Generally, these herbs have dosage recommendations on the supplement package, but in rare cases where doses are not given, doses of ½ teaspoon into a well diluted tincture, three times a day, and mixed with fruit or vegetable juice is usually appropriate
Other recommended herbal and homeopathic remedies include Hyoscyamus, which is known to help alleviate over-excitability and restlessness. It also provides relief from frenetic outbursts and tic-type involuntary twitching. Another one is Verta Alb. This herb can help stabilize a person with ADHD. Arsen Iod is often used for the hyperactive-impulsive type child. A fourth remedy, Tuberculinum, is also touted as a treatment for the symptoms of ADHD.
The International Cod Liver Omega-3 Foundation recommends the use of a Cod Liver Oil based (CLO3) as one of the alternatives to traditional prescription medications such as Ritalin to treat mental illness and hyperactivity in children. Omega-3 (also referred to as n-3 or w-3) is the name of a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Oil-based fish and dietary supplements are the richest and most generally available sources of omega-3. Some of these sources include fish oil and cod liver oil. Krill, bread, and fruit juices are also effective.
The compounds referred to as omega-3s are Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docusahexaenoic Acid (DHA). Omega-3s found in plant and vegetable sources are not as effective as cod liver oil or other fish oils. The best and most effective source is only found in fish such as mackerel, salmon, fresh tuna, and fish oil, specifically cod liver oil.
Experts recommend a minimum daily intake of 450 mg of fish oil omega-3s in order to fortify joint, brain, and cardiovascular health, particularly in children with ADD or ADHD. A research study published in 2002 concluded that there is a significant benefit to using Omega-3 dietary supplements to treat ADD/ADHD.
Unfortunately, the prescribing of multiple medications to treat ADD/ADHD has created a “polypharmacy” culture in a drug obsessed society, where we first turn to drugs to mask the symptoms rather than changing nutrition, lifestyle or adding herbs to treat the cause. Your first and best single form of treatment should be with natural remedies. If these do not appear effective then talk to your doctor or psychiatrist to explore other options.