Tag Archives: Children With Adhd

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

Understanding Childhood ADHD – Symptoms, Behaviors & Causes

boy with addThe acronym ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder (ADD). It has become quite a common condition among children as well as a source of concern and controversy among parents.

Children with diagnosed ADHD generally have problems paying attention or concentrating. They can’t seem to follow directions with ease and are easily bored and often frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move or fidget constantly and are very impulsive in their actions.

It would be simple to assume that any of these behaviors are common in children and are of no concern whatsoever. Nevertheless, a myriad of symptoms that present themselves in unison, consistently seem to point to ADHD rather than to a case of a merely spirited youngster.

Oftentimes, the symptoms occur more frequently than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD. These behaviors are so insidious that they interfere with the child’s ability to function at school and at home.

Symptoms of ADHD are generally grouped into three main categories: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.


When inattention is a problem, the child is very easily distracted. He or she is unable to follow directions at all or to properly follow them in an organized sequence. As a result, tasks are left unfinished.

The child also appears to not be listening when spoken to directly. He or she will make careless mistakes over and over and will appear frustrated or contrary. Even in the case of daily activities, he will need reminders constantly and will struggle to stay organized. He will express dislike for activities that require sustained effort and will prefer to remain in his own world or daydreaming.


Hyperactivity is another hallmark behavior found in children with ADHD. The child  often squirms, fidgets or bounces when sitting and has difficulty playing quietly with toys or games. He or she is always moving around, sometimes running or climbing on things unaware of the danger.

In school situations, the child does not remain seated when expected to do so. He talks excessively and out of turn without understanding how to take turns.


Impulsivity can be found in almost every diagnosed case of ADHD. It can be a source of frustration not only for the child but also for those around him. Besides not waiting for his or her turn during activities or games, the child blurts answers or comments at odd times during a conversation or while the teacher is talking. He or she interrupts others but dislikes being interrupted himself. Not understanding that impulsive behavior is often interpreted as rudeness by others, the child feels undeservedly reprimanded.

Although the exact cause of ADHD is not known, researchers continue to study the brain for answers. Researchers believe that there are several conclusive factors that contribute to the condition. These are:

  • Heredity: ADHD seems to run in families. This fact suggests a strong genetic predisposition. Thus, children may inherit a tendency to develop ADHD from their parents.
  • Chemical imbalance: Experts believe that an imbalance of certain substances  essential in communication between nerve cells called neurotransmitters, may be a factor in the development of ADHD.
  • Brain changes: It has been documented that areas of the brain that control attention are much less active in children with ADHD than in children without the disorder.

A variety of other factors may also contribute to the development of ADHD. In many cases, poor nutrition, certain prenatal infections and substance abuse (including cigarette and alcohol) during pregnancy seem to be triggers since they can affect the development of the baby’s brain.

Later in childhood lead exposure can also affect brain development and may lead to ADHD symptoms. Of course, injury to the brain due to an accident may trigger ADHD symptoms as well.


Medicine Net, “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=42948 Accessed September 14, 2011.

Web MD, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Is ADHD?” http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd Accessed September 14, 2011.

What is ADHD

What is ADHD? An Overview – Part 1

What is ADHD?ADHD sometimes known as childhood hyperkinesis is a condition with symptoms of inattentiveness, over activity and impulsivity. For this host of problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a child’s age and development.

The direct causes of ADHD are unknown but it is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood. It affects about 3 – 5% of school aged children. Interestingly, ADHD is diagnosed much more often in boys than in girls.

ADHD seems to run in families, but it is not clear how it is passed from generation to generation. Whatever the cause may be, it seems to be set in motion early in life as the brain is developing. Imaging studies indicate that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children.

There are a number of condition such as depression, sleep disorders, learning disabilities, tics and other behavior problems that may be confused with ADHD. Every child suspected of having ADHD should be carefully examined by a doctor to rule out other conditions or reasons for the behavior that might need prior treatment.

In fact, many of the children diagnosed with ADHD show at least one other developmental or behavioral problem. At times, they may even have a psychiatric problem, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of ADHD

The symptoms of ADHD are separated into three main categories.

  1. Lack of attention or inattentiveness
  2. Hyperactivity
  3. Impulsive behavior or impulsivity

Some children with ADHD primarily have symptoms that fall mainly into one category. Others may have a combination. Those with inattentiveness symptoms alone are less disruptive to others and are more likely to not be diagnosed with ADHD.


Inattentive symptoms are described as a consistent failure to give close attention to details. The child often makes careless mistakes in schoolwork and has difficulty keeping attention during tasks or playtime. He or she does not seem to listen when spoken to directly and as a result does not follow through on instructions.

The child also has difficulty organizing tasks and activities in a sequential fashion. Tends to avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork).


Hyperactivity symptoms are persistent and disruptive. The child fidgets with his hands or feet or squirms in his seat, often getting up when remaining seated is expected. He runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations and does not seem to be able to be part of quiet play. He or she seems to be “on the go” and talks excessively and out of turn.


Impulsivity can also be present when the child blurts out answers before questions have been completed and without waiting for his turn to speak. He constantly interrupts or intrudes on others by disrupting games, for instance.

It is quite difficult to arrive at a correct conclusion when it comes to ADHD. The paradox is that all too often, difficult children are incorrectly labeled with ADHD while many children who do have ADHD remain undiagnosed.

In either case, treatable learning disabilities or mood problems are often missed and the children remain untreated. To simplify the process, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued guidelines to bring more clarity and accuracy.

To start with, the diagnosis must be based on very specific symptoms, which must be present in more than one setting:

  • Children should have no less than 6 attention symptoms and 6 hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms. Symptoms are present before age 7.
  • The symptoms present themselves for at least 6 months and are seen in two or more settings.
  • The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere at home, school and with relationships with peers.

In older children, ADHD can be considered to be in partial remission when they still show symptoms but no longer meet the full criteria of the disorder.

In any case, the child should have an evaluation by a medical professional if ADHD is suspected. Evaluation may include parent and teacher questionnaires that describe the behavior in detail.

It is recommended that psychological evaluation of the child as well as the family is completed. Other developmental, mental, nutritional, physical, and psychosocial examination should be performed to better pinpoint the diagnosis.


National Institute of Health, MedlinePlus. “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)” http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001551.htm Accessed August 30, 2011.

New York Times, Times Health Guide. “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/overview.html Accessed August 30, 2011