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Herbs for ADD: A Patient's Guide

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 11/8/2010

Have you considered trying herbs for ADD? If so, read on to learn more about the herbs that can be used and what symptoms they can help to alleviate.

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    ADD, also known as attention deficit disorder, is a very common mental disorder affecting millions of children. This disorder can also persist into adulthood. This chronic condition is characterized by difficulty paying attention and impulsive behavior. Traditional medications that are used to treat this disorder often cause undesirable side effects so many patients are consulting their physicians about herbs for ADD to help lessen their symptoms.

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    ADD Symptoms

    Children and adults with this disorder are often affected by certain symptoms. Common symptoms include fidgety hands, excessive running and climbing, squirming when sitting, being distracted easily, requiring a lot of supervision, trouble playing quietly, trouble sticking to a project or activity, and talking excessively. Other symptoms can include short attention span, being extremely emotional, confusion, restlessness, inflexibility, coordination problems, unpredictability, impatience, food cravings or allergies, and trouble sleeping.

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    Anti-Anxiety Herbs

    Those with this condition may experience anxiety. Traditional anti-anxiety medications can cause a variety of side effects such as drowsiness and sedation. There are herbs that can help to calm anxiety without causing such symptoms. These include St. John's wort, chamomile, and kava kava. St. John's wort may also be beneficial in alleviating fear and depression.

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    Herbs for Nervousness, Stress, and Insomnia

    herbs for add lavender Certain herbs may be beneficial in alleviating these symptoms in patients with ADD. These include St. John's wort, orange essential oil, kava kava, lavender essential oil, skullcap, schisandra, chamomile, and oats. Schisandra may also help lessen night sweats. Kava kava may help to alleviate tension headaches. Lavender essential oil and skullcap may help to fight exhaustion.

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    Concentration and Nervous System

    Certain herbs may help to improve concentration and other herbs may be beneficial in restoring balance to the nervous system and brain and help to promote relaxation. Herbs that may be beneficial in improving concentration include gingko biloba. Herbs that may help restore balance to the nervous system and brain and help to promote relaxation include mineral salts, lemon balm, gotu kola, gingko biloba, and passion flower.

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    How to Take These Herbs

    These herbs come in a variety of forms. Some, such as chamomile can be consumed as a tea. Others can be consumed in capsule form, such as skullcap. Some are used as tinctures, such as passion flower. The essential oils can be used in a similar fashion to an air freshener via oil burner.

    Regardless of how a patient takes one or more of these herbs for ADD, they should always consult a physician first. This is especially important for patients taking medications, supplements, or other herbs, and those who have other medical conditions because a dangerous interaction could occur with certain ones.

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    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.

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    Resources

    Mayo Clinic. (2009). Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children. Retrieved on February 6, 2010 from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adhd/DS00275/

    University of Maryland Medical Center. (2009). Herbs and Supplements for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Retrieved on February 11, 2010 from the University of Maryland Medical Center: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/attention-deficit-002385.htm

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    Image Credits

    Lavender: csontoslea – sxc.hu