Many parents think that anything must be better than amphetamine type drugs for their kids and they start to look at all sorts of alternatives. Advice for ADHD parents is freely given by the pharmaceutical companies and the countless forums on the Internet. But it really is a jungle and how can you know what is the best alternative herbal treatment?
Now some parents and experts say that St John’s Wort which is a herb used to treat mild depression with some success, can also be useful in treating ADHD. But a recent study published the JAMA (Journal for the American Medical Association) suggests that it makes no difference at all.
Negative results from one small study on St. John’s Wort
The study was a very small one in that only 54 children took part and they were divided into the usual two groups. At the end of the study, the researchers came to the conclusion that this herb had no measurable effect on the ADHD symptoms of the children.
There was another problem in that the herb seemed to interfere with the efficacy of other medications, such as sedatives. It would be wise to wait until further studies are done before rushing out to buy this particular herbal supplement. It is however very effective in treating mild depression apparently, although some people feel rather sedated and are still depressed.
One of the authors of that ADHD study, however is Dr.Joseph Biederman who has been under investigation for failing to declare very large sums of money that he received form drug companies in advocating the psychostimulant drugs. It seems strange that he would bother researching such a little known and rarely used supplement such as St. John’s Wort.
This is just one piece of the jigsaw which has implicated the big pharmaceutical companies in practices which are purely designed as publicity stunts to discredit alternative and natural treatments .
Some of the herbs used for treating ADHD
There are many other much more effective herbs which can be used successfully with ADHD and these should be considered, rather than going for St. John’s Wort which might be useful if the child were suffering from a form of depression which is, of course, a co- morbid condition with ADHD.
These herbs are :-
- Skullcap which is effective for calming kids down although it many interact negatively with other sedative meds.
- Gingko can be beneficial for many ADHD symptoms and may be good for boosting the memory, calming kids down and also for helping them to focus. That makes it one of the most interesting herbal alternatives for ADHD.
- Brahmi is great for calming hyperactivity while not having any sedative effect. It can really help kids to focus and help with attention span too.
How to look for a reputable and safe supplier.
Let us suppose you have decided (with some medical advice) to try some herbal remedies for your child who has ADHD. Here are some guidelines about how to go about that :-
- Look for a reputable supplier who has been in the business for a long time.
- Ideally they should be a registered FDA facility or at least one which is inspected by them
- The company must have the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) label.
- It should be following GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) procedures which are very strict.
- Be aware that there may be some herb/drug reaction which is why it is so important to keep your doctor in the picture.
- The company uses the full spectrum method for herbal extraction and clearly states this on its products or its website.
- There is an adequate guarantee of at least three months which can allow you to try the remedies without any risk of losing out financially.
Many companies and herbalists do not give full and unbiased advice for ADHD parents. That is one reason why there are still companies who do not follow the above criteria which are flourishing in the USA to-day. It pays to be vigilant.
Robert Locke has written extensively on ADHD and parenting for many years. You can check out about natural ADHD treatment here.