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August 18, 2009 at 6:07 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Alternative Drug Treatment For Preschoolers

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, he or she is usually prescribed an amphetamine to treat the symptoms. But many parents hesitate to give their children such strong drugs because of their potential for disturbing side effects. If you are looking for alternative ADHD treatment options to use instead of (or in addition to) prescribed medication, you have many different choices.

Caffeine and ADHD

Caffeine has been used as an alternative stimulant to traditionally prescribed amphetamines, but it has not been found to be more effective. Caffeine may provide more benefits for your preschooler when combined with Ritalin .

Caffeine-free herbal stimulants for ADHD

When purchasing herbal supplements, it is important to be sure of their quality. Speak with your doctor to make sure they don't interfere with your child's other medications.

  • Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain and oxygenation in tissues. It is also an antioxidant. Ginkgo helps the brain metabolize glucose and increases the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. The benefits of ginkgo increase with continued use.
  • Brahmi, or Bacopa monniera, is an Indian herb used as a cognitive enhancer. It protects the brain from free radicals and improves cognitive and learning functions.
  • Siberian Ginseng normalizes physiological function, stimulates brain activity and increases work performance. It also improves strength, memory, growth rates and blood flow to the brain.
  • Gotu Kola, also known as Centella asiatica or Hydrocotyle asiatica, reduces corticosterone levels in your blood when you are stressed. It is used for nervous and cognitive disorders, as well as vascular problems in the brain. It does not come from the kola nut, which contains caffeine.
  • Green Oats, Avena sativa, are used as an antispasmodic and nerve tonic. It has cumulative benefits that come from continued use.

Chinese herbal formulas for ADHD

Chinese herbs are used to balance the body's systems. This strategy lends itself to the treatment of ADHD in children because the neurological, biochemical and behavioral symptoms of ADHD have no simple cause or cure. Chinese herbs are prescribed according to the particular symptoms of your individual child. An example of an herbal formula developed by a trained practitioner:

  • Gardenia fruit
  • Hematite
  • Red jujube fruit
  • Poria sclerotium
  • Cinnamon twig
  • Dragon bone
  • Calcined oyster shell
  • Oriental white ginseng root
  • Pinellia rhizome
  • Skullcap root
  • Chinese thorowax root

Western herbal formulas for ADHD

Western herbal formulas are often taken in conjunction with diet changes . Many formulas have relaxing and stimulating components. An example of an herbal formula created by a western practitioner:

  • Orange essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Schisandra
  • Chamomile
  • Skullcap
  • Siberian ginseng
  • Oats
  • Kava Kava
  • St. John's wort

Diet suggestions for ADHD

Making changes in your child's diet can have a huge impact on his or her ADHD symptoms. Here are some foods that are thought to be beneficial:

  • Protein
  • Magnesium and calcium
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Foods with vitamin B

Foods that are commonly avoided:

  • Salt
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Additives and preservatives
  • sugar


Photo Credit: vns2009

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