Five Calming Herbs for ADHD
Kids are naturally energetic and active, and their abundant energy often seems scattered and undirected to the adult eye. While most children are aware about the right place and the right time to move, children with ADHD have a problem controlling their impulses and energy levels. The good news is that natural ADHD treatments like exercise and diet can do much to calm a hyperactive child. You may also want to complement these ADHD natural treatments with the calming herbs listed below.
Red clover blossom
Red clover blossoms are normally used for their blood purifying properties, which is great for ADHD children who have been exposed to environmental toxins. But what most people don't know is that red clover is also a gentle relaxant that can be used for long periods of time. Red clover is usually taken as tea; steep the herb into a cup of water for 20 minutes and sweeten with honey.
A new study from Germany shows that when inhaled, jasmine essential oils can promote good sleep, relieve anxiety, and enhances mood. This is because jasmine fragrance increases the influence of GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces excess brain activity and promotes calm feelings. In fact, researchers discovered that jasmine fragrance is five times more calming than chemical sedatives! If your ADHD child has a hard time sleeping, place a few drops of jasmine essential oil on an aromatherapy burner at least an hour before bedtime. You can also infuse your child's bath with jasmine essential oils.
Avena sativa is a type of nerve tonic and relaxant made from the seeds of wild oats. Besides calming people under stress, avena sativa is rich in nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B1, and B2, which are usually deficient in children with ADHD. It's also a great source of soluble fiber and complex carbohydrates.
Hsiao Yao Wan
The Chinese call ADHD the "sweet bug disease" because of the sleeplessness, restlessness, and itchy sensations experienced by children diagnosed with the disorder. In China, a popular herbal patent formula called Hsiao yao wan is normally given to hyperactive children. Made of herbs like bupluerum root, Chinese angelica root, Chinese peony root, and wild mint herb, Hsiao yao wan has been found to regulate mood and calm hyperactive behavior without causing sleepiness. Ask for it at a Chinese herbal store near you.
The European herb valerian root has been used as a sedative for centuries, but only recently did researchers discover why this happens. It turns out that valerian root has a lignan that attaches itself to the brain receptors responsible for regulating the body's sleeping or waking rhythms. Caffeine latches onto the same receptors, except it has an opposite stimulant effect. Give your child valerian root supplements if he or she has difficulty sleeping.
Dr. Yannick Pauli is an expert on natural approaches to ADHD and the author of the popular self-help home-program The Unritalin Solution. He is Director of the Centre Neurofit in Lausanne, Switzerland and has a passion taking care of children with ADHD. Click on the link for more great information about what is ADHD.