4 Herbs to Lessen ADD/ADHD Symptoms

4 Herbs to Lessen ADD/ADHD Symptoms

At one time or another, like many other people, you probably have had trouble focusing. Maybe stress has distracted you causing anxiety and restlessness. It can be normal to respond this way, however, if symptoms are constantly happening you may be suffering from chronic attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children are most afflicted by these conditions with upwards of sixty-million needing some kind of pharmaceutical intervention.

According to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Altogether, 77% were receiving treatment. Of these children:

  • About 30% were treated with medication alone.
  • About 15% received behavioral treatment alone.
  • About 32% children with ADHD received both medication treatment and behavioral treatment.

Although medication can be extremely helpful and in certain cases is able to bridge cognitive chemical compromises, these 4 herbs to lessen the effects of ADD/ADHD may help. With your doctor’s approval, especially if you are pregnant and/or taking any medication, utilizing your body’s ability to merge with a plant derived adjunct remedy might be an advantageous choice.

A French Pine Tree

It is the French maritime pine tree which holds a host of compounds found to alleviate ADD/ADHD symptoms. Pycnogenol (pick-noj-en-all) is one such compound with a significantly high score when applied during laboratory research. 

According to an archival study published in European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry,

“Pycnogenol showed its potentiality in improving ADHD symptoms in patients. Most notably, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 61 participants (ages 6–14 years) reported that Pycnogenol treatment (1 mg/kg/day) for 1 month alleviated ADHD symptoms, particularly episodic hyperactivity and inattentiveness, and improved visual-motor coordination”

The Focus Herb

Walk along some streets in Manhattan, NYC and you may step on and then smell the pungent odor of gingko biloba. Originally found in Southeast Asia this nut is not tasty enough as a food but as a capsulized supplement may offer deep focus assistance. 

One study of gingko biloba published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience,

“After 2 weeks of treatment, the proportion of the subjects exhibiting improvement ranged from 31% for the anxious-shy attribute to 67% for the psychosomatic attribute. After 4 weeks of treatment, the proportion of subjects exhibiting improvement ranged from 44% for the social problems attribute to 74% for the Conners’ ADHD index and the DSM-IV hyperactive-impulsive attribute.”

Calm Sedation

Often linked to calming the central nervous system (CNS), valerian root has been used for centuries as a sedating tea. It has been shown to bring the static noise in the mind to a dull roar with calmative and antispasmodic properties. 

Research Gate reported a paper in Alternative Medicine Review titled ‘Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies for Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)’ which stated that, 

“Valerenic acid, one of it’s [valerian root] key compounds, inhibits the breakdown of GABA [gamma-aminobutyric acid – an amino acid which acts to inhibit the transmission of nerve impulses] in the CNS, making it an alternative option for disorders characterized by restlessness. ESCOP [European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy] approves of the use of valerian for children ages 3-12 years, assuming medical supervision.”

Another study from archival research in Health SA Gesondheid – Journal of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences stated within a pilot study on the efficacy of Valeriana officinalis mother tincture and Valeriana officinalis 3X in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that,

“Valeriana officinalis MT and Valeriana officinalis 3X were used in this study and a statistically significant improvement was found in the behaviour of the treatment groups according to the scores…These improvements were especially noticeable after two weeks of treatment, with particular reference to sustained attention, anxiety and impulsivity and/or hyperactivity. The preliminary findings of this pilot study indicate the positive role of Valeriana officinalis in the management of ADHD.”

Natural SSRI

SSRI stands for ‘Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor’ which has been the abbreviation attached to a long list of pharmaceuticals used in ADD/ADHD treatment. It essentially ‘reuptakes’ production of serotonin which is known as the “feel good hormone” and distributes it to the brain bringing a steady flow of calm. However, if the dosage is too high some people can become numb, robotic, or overly joyful. 

Utilizing a plant-derived herb called St. John’s Wort may be able to gently move along serotonin without side effects or dosage compromise. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment published, ‘A meta-analysis on the efficacy and safety of St John’s wort extract in depression therapy in comparison with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in adults’ which included data from twenty-seven studies from a total of 3,126 patients with depression, a common side effect symptom of ADD/ADHD. 

It was shown and concluded that,

“St John’s wort extract did not differ from SSRIs in clinical response, remission, and mean reduction…St John’s wort extract had a significantly lower rate of adverse events compared to SSRIs and had fewer withdrawals due to adverse events. St John’s wort extract had superior safety in the management of patients with depression. Both St John’s wort extract and SSRIs are effective in treating mild-to-moderate depression. St John’s wort extract is safer than SSRIs.”

St. John’s Wort can make you photosensitive which means you may be more sensitive to sunburn  so if you’re taking it, cover up. 

These 4 herbs to lessen the effects of ADD/ADHD show how some easily affordable and accessible remedies may be closer than you think. Talk to your doctor to see if one or more may help.