Herbal Adjuvants in the Treatment of ADHD
It is a matter of concern for parents and medical professionals alike that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become increasingly prevalent among children.
The most recent report by the CDC based on parent interviews shows that about 4.4 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD. From the children who were diagnosed by a physician, about 2.5 million of them are currently on medication.
Pharmacological treatment of ADHD is still a controversial topic due to its troubling side effects. For this reason, more and more parents are turning towards alternative treatments instead of standard medication for their children.
The most common ADHD medications prescribed today are methylphenidate or amphetamine. They are both stimulant drugs. While they have been proven to be effective in most of the children, they also have a high risk for abuse and have many side effects.
Side effects listed as frequent are weight changes, appetite changes, insomnia, and nervous tics not previously present. It is a fact that the number of children on these drugs is alarmingly growing and the total production of methylphenidate and amphetamine has increased by up to 2000% since 1991. Half of the drugs used for the treatment of ADHD are being prescribed by pediatricians.
Due to the significant side effects of these medications, many parents are now looking into alternative options for effectively dealing with ADHD. Research on herbal treatments has shown promising benefits while keeping the type and severity of the side-effects to a minimum.
Caffeine has been the focus of a lot of attention as a potential remedy because of its stimulant properties. Numerous studies have shown that caffeine is beneficial to children with ADHD.
Although it seems to help manage some of the symptoms, the benefits from caffeine are not nearly as good as those seen with pharmacological treatments. The many potential side effects from caffeine consumption in children are also a source of concern to parents.
There are a few herbal remedies that have shown some promise with hardly any side effects. They are ginkgo biloba, brahmi, siberian ginseng, gotu kola and green oats. All of these herbs enhance alertness without caffeine and appear to help those dealing with ADHD.
Ginkgo biloba leaves show promise because they increase blood flow to the brain and act as an antioxidant to nervous tissue. This herb is indicated for other brain ailments particularly in the elderly.
Brahmi also acts as an antioxidant and has been shown to facilitate learning and cognition.
Siberian ginseng, when used as part of a long term treatment, appears to increase brain activity in general and boosts work output.
Gotu kola is a mild adaptive, with antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is a gentle sedative and most importantly, a cerebral tonic. Also known as centella asiatica, it may be useful in the treatment of anxiety.
Green oats are known as a nervine and general brain tonic and demonstrate a stimulating effect over time. On the other hand, they have a positive short term effect in treating sleep problems.
The use of herbal remedies for ADHD shows great promise. Parents are trying to employ natural treatments in order to ameliorate the risk of abuse found in medications as well as possible side effects.
As always, enlist the help of an expert in the field. An herbalist may recommend other supplementation and dietary changes in addition to herbs for the treatment of ADHD.
For those who prefer a simple solution, there is an herbal formula for ADHD on the market. It is made by Native Remedies and it is called Focus Formula. It contains extracts of the above ingredients and many others that are proven to help concentration and to provide balance to the nervous system and the brain. We highly recommend the product. To learn more click here.
NaturalNews.com, “Use Herbal Remedies for ADHD” http://www.naturalnews.com/026081_adhd_remedies_herbal.html Accessed November 15, 2011