If you suffer from ADHD or you are a parent with a child with this disorder then you will understand the complex issues that are involved with ADHD and the problems associated with medication. Many parents are hesitant in using prescription medications with their children due to the side-effects and the fear of their children losing their ‘spark.’
Some parents have resorted to using natural remedies but there is uncertainty as to which natural medicines are effective for ADHD and which ones are a waste of time and money.
There are many ‘natural cures’ out there on the market with some wild claims but this article will let you know which ones have been clinically proven to work and which ones have had no studies or insufficient evidence.
SAMeSymptoms such as attention, restlessness and impulsivity have been shown in studies to be helped by the use of SAMe. This is only evident in adults with ADHD. SAMe assists the serotonin levels in the body.
Due to the increase in blood flow to the brain, Gingko has been shown to help some symptoms of ADHD.
Grape Seed (Vitis vinifera)Although grape seed does not necessarily help the symptoms of ADHD, it does help prevent oxidative damage to the brain.
This is only useful in children, not adults.
Flaxseed oil (Linum usitatissimum)
A study done in 2016 showed that Flaxseed oil does help symptoms such as impulsiveness, attention, self control and restlessness. Flaxseed contains ALA which is converted to EPA and DHA in the body. It is these two compounds which help ADHD symptoms. Flaxseed is a good alternative for kids that cannot tolerate fish oil or its capsules. Flaxseed can be consumed either by eating the seeds which have a pleasant nutty taste or you can purchase flaxseed meal which can be spread on things such as cereal.
Fish OilA study done in 2015 gave children with ADHD fish oil supplements so that their levels reached those of the normal Japanese population.
The study showed significant improvement in hyperactivity, behaviour and attention due to the levels of EPA and DHA. Fish oil is probably the most popular and well studied natural medicine for ADHD. Many parents use this remedy and can be sourced many different ways. In kids that are too young to take capsules (they are quite big), you can purchase liquid fish oil.
IronA study done only on boys with ADHD that were non-anaemic showed that supplementation with iron improved the symptoms.
There are a number of other natural medicines or remedies that claim to have some benefit, below are the ones that either have insufficient evidence or have been proven not to help.
- Lemon Balm
- Evening Primrose Oil
As mentioned before, many claims have been made with natural medicines but it is safer and more cost beneficial to only use those remedies that are supported by clinical research.