15 of The Best Natural Remedies For ADHD

By Jennifer Giustra-Kozek, LPC, NBCC | Collective Evolution

In our quick-fix society, there are thousands of children each day marching to the nurse’s office and a countless number of adults dependent on ADHD medication, Ritalin (methylphenidate), or another psychostimulant drug to help them focus. However, medications often only put a Band-Aid on symptoms and pose a risk. In some cases, it alters one’s personality, and in others, the side-effects can include increased depression, anxiety, aggression, thoughts of suicide, and even psychosis.

Ongoing research suggests that early-life use of Ritalin (methylphenidate) affects brain development. A study published in Biological Psychiatry suggests that exposure to Ritalin in youth may later disrupt the growth of brain cells in the hippocampus, region of the brain critical to memory, spatial navigation, and behavioural inhibition. Damage can lead to memory problems, disorientation, and depression in adulthood. Unfortunately, these medications mimic similar properties as “drugs on the street” and have some of the same side-effects including, withdrawal, and dependency.


The Truth

ADHD is not all in our head; it lies in the body. And, the majority of those who suffer from attention, concentration and memory problems are missing vital nutritional elements in their diet, which throws their brain chemistry off balance.

The Good News

There are many nutrients and natural remedies that can treat ADHD symptoms more efficiently and more safely.

Here are 15 of the best ADHD natural remedies:

1) Protein

Everyone talks about how ADHD sufferers need more dopamine and serotonin, which usually translates into more medication. However, if we look at the physiology behind how neurotransmitters are made in the first place, most of them depend on an adequate intake of protein. Therefore, it’s essential that we eat an adequate supply of protein daily.

2) Omega-3 Fatty Acids (EPA & DHA)

These essential fatty acids play an essential role in reducing inflammation in the entire body. Omegas boost brain function, helping to increase mental focus, reduce depression, and manic symptoms. Dietary supplementation with fish oils (providing EPA and DHA) appears to alleviate ADHD-related symptoms in at least some children, and one study in the Internal Review of Psychiatry also found benefits for academic achievement. Sources high in omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, sardines, eggs; pasture raised meats, wild rice, walnuts, canola oil, hemp, chia, sunflower, flax and other seeds, nuts, and beans.

3) Carnitine

Often used in the treatment of ADHD, carnitine can help boost the effectiveness of omega-3s, improve memory, and play a role in the synthesis of dopamine. It also reduces toxicity and can improve behavioral problems like aggression and hyperactivity. Also, many individuals with ADHD have glucose deficiencies that inhibit the uptake of carnitine into the brain. Hence, supplementing with carnitine is believed to help increase the energy production in the mitochondria.

4) Primrose Oil

Primrose oil is high in gamma-linoleic acid (Omega-6) when coupled with Omega-3 is believed to boost the immune system, aids nerve health, and helps to maintain healthy glucose levels. In fact, one study conducted at the University of South Australia revealed that taking a combination of fish oil and evening primrose oil capsules along with a multivitamin/mineral reduced symptoms of ADHD by as much as 50%. There were improvements in attention span and memory and decreased restlessness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

5) DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)

Sardines, anchovies, and salmon also contain DMAE, a natural central nervous system stimulant produced by the body. The effect of DMAE is similar to a mild amphetamine and may help memory, mood, and concentration. It may also help to reduce hyperactivity and aggression. If your child does not eat these fish, I highly recommend talking to your health practitioner about supplementation. Be aware that this supplement could have a stimulant effect and may not be the best or right treatment for everyone. Starting with a low dose is often best to see how well it works.

6) B-Complex Vitamins

All the B vitamins work together synergistically to support critical functions in the brain. They play a vital role in the production of neurotransmitters in the brain and help the neurological system to work correctly by metabolizing fats and proteins into energy. As explained in the February 2016 edition of Nutrients, “The B vitamins represent a group of eight essential dietary micronutrients that work closely in concert at a cellular level and which are essential for every aspect of brain function.”


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