In the United States, nearly 20 percent of teenage boys have attention deficit disorder. (About 10 percent of girls in this age group are also said to have this condition.)
However, this is a very controversial diagnosis, with various theories as to why it’s become so prevalent.
This translates into millions of children taking prescription drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall. Both medications have potentially serious side effects.
There’s growing concern these drugs can potentially cause long-term changes in the brain, and also lead to an increased incidence of clinical depression later in life.
Unfortunately, we hear anecdotal reports of educators pushing parents to medicate their children. (I personally can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me they don’t really want to put their child on a particular drug, but the teacher is insisting.)
Although medication seems like a quick fix, it has some disadvantages.
Treating ADHD Naturally
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Nor surprisingly, it appears as if some parents want alternatives, at least judging by the number of natural focus remedies now on the market, including special essential oil blends designed to increase attention.
There’s also a lot of interest in dietary interventions for ADHD. (I’ll cover this in more detail toward the end of the article.)
Natural Alternatives to ADHD Medications
Please understand that I’m not a doctor. I can’t give medical advice. Nor can I promise that any natural remedy will solve a particular problem. I’m not responsible for treatment decisions or outcomes. All I can do is share information and studies, for discussion purposes only.
I also like to share my own story of how I’ve recovered from a potentially crippling nerve disease, with good food and natural remedies. Most important, I hope to encourage my readers to seek solutions that may not always be the most obvious, and to seek second and even third opinions.
Some health experts, believe the label of ADHD is being applied too liberally.
Is Ritalin Safe For Children?
One problem is that there’s been shifting criteria surrounding the ADHD label. So there’s no clear information whether increased physical activity is just a behavior trait or a chemical “imbalance.”
Right now, an estimated 3 million children in the United States alone take Ritalin or a similar drug, according to a 2012 article published in the New York Times. (But I’ve seen other estimates putting this figure higher, at 6 million.) These drugs are prescribed to increase focus at school, and to curb impulsive behavior.
One of the leading critics of prescribing Ritalin to treat what he believes are simple “conflicts” between children and the adults in their lives is Dr. Peter Breggin, MD. He’s the author of a number of books on the dangers of psychiatric drugs, one of which you can see below, which is called, The Ritalin Fact Book.
The Ritalin controversy has raged for years. But lately, it’s gained new fuel. Research shows this and other drugs may be more risky than we’ve been lead to believe. One of the most widely cited studies, conducted on rats, was released in 2004 at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The authors noted that children diagnosed with ADHD, and given medication, had a higher likelihood of depression in adulthood.
Ritalin can also cause various side effects, some of them serious. (This information can be easily obtained doing an Internet search.)
Essential Oils and ADHD
A small body of scientific evidence shows that essential oils may potentially support the nervous system. This includes a widely cited paper by Dr. Terry Friedmann, MD. He’s found that vetiver oil can help children with ADHD.
Most mainstream medical doctors would probably say more studies are needed. But this takes time, and funding. Pharmaceutical firms seem to be more interested in exploring ways to bring the latest drug to market. In the meantime, though, millions of children are being medicated.
Consequently, many parents are looking for safer solutions, such as natural essential oils, in hopes of avoiding medication.
Can Essential Oils Help ADHD?
One increasingly popular option is using essential oils. There are a number of focus blends on the market. But the one I write about most often is made by Plant Therapy. This company sells excellent oils. They’re available online. One thing I love about Plant Therapy oils is that they’re not sold by multilevel marketing distributors.
Plant Therapy is one brand of essential oil I recommend to my readers. I use Plant Therapy oils myself, so I know how good they are.
Also, the company’s KidSafe line is formulated with the help of world famous aromatherapy expert Robert Tisserand. Below you can see the A+ Attention Synergy Blend. One of its ingredients is vetiver oil. It’s common practice to mix oils together in a recipe, because the various ingredients creates a synergy.
Plant Therapy A+ AttentionPlant Therapy Attention Roll On
Attention Deficit Diet For Children
It’s widely believed that certain foods may trigger the symptoms associated with ADHD. However, there’s little clinical research that proves this theory. Nevertheless, many holistic health practitioners do recommend special diets for children with neurological problems, including ADHD.
Even the very mainstream site WebMD endorses a healthier diet for children with ADHD.
It only makes sense that good nutrition can help your child, as well as the rest of your family. On this site, I strongly encourage my readers to eat well. I know it’s difficult. Many people work full time and don’t have enough time to cook healthy meals at home.
In my house we eat mostly organic food. I prepare it myself. Making healthy meals involved a learning curve. I’d come to rely upon processed foods and takeout. But I was really lucky. A good friend help me make the switch to real foods. She figuratively “held my hand” as I learned to cook again.
Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms Diet
Since I realize everyone doesn’t have this level of support, I like to tell my readers about Real Plans. This is designed for people who need a little help learning how to cook healthier meals, or stick to a special diet. Once a week, you’re given a shopping list. This contains everything you need to make a week’s worth of healthy, wholesome meals. It also includes gluten-free and dairy-free options.
Homeopathy for ADHD
Homeopathic remedies are often used to treat a wide range of neurological problems. I’ve been using homeopathic remedies with my own children for years.
I have seen some formulas designed to increase focus. I don’t know enough about them to recommend them. But I can tell you that you’ll probably see the best results if you find a skilled personal homeopath. You may have to do a little searching. For instance, someone who works at your local health food store might know of a good homeopath. You can also try calling various chiropractors in your area. Sometimes, these professionals work together. Here are some tips on finding a good homeopath.
Attention Deficit Disorder Diet Changes
The recipes are delicious. My diet is wheat-free and milk-free because of my nerve condition. Real Plans had a recipe for beef Stroganoff. It didn’t include these problematic foods. It was incredible. In fact, it was so good that I could even serve it to company.
Real Plans is time-saving service can literally pay for itself, because it can cut down on food waste. I highly recommend it to my readers who need this kind of help, even if they only sign up for a month. There’s absolutely no risk, because there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. For more information, click on the image below.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.
For More Reading
WebMD on Healthy Diet For ADHD
Ritalin and Depression Research
New York Times Opinion Piece on Ritalin