ADHD is a difficult condition to handle. And individuals suffering from the ailment tend to be very uncooperative and unresponsive to medical treatments (and alternative remedies). Although the most preferred form of treatment for ADHD in both adults and children happen to be medications like Adderall and Ritalin, studies have noted that long term use of these medications can lead to harmful side effects.These medications are known to act as psycho-stimulants and are effective in improving concentration and confidence in individuals suffering from ADHD.
However, the medications can cause several potential side effects like headaches, rapid weight loss, abdominal pain, insomnia, and depression etc. In the worst case scenario, prolonged use of these medications can lead to psychiatric problems and stunted growth.
This may be the reason why many individuals are opting for natural remedies to treat conditions like ADHD nowadays. These natural remedies may not be as effective as standard medications prescribed for the condition. And the patient’s response to the remedies may be slow. However, the possibility of minimal or no side effects can sound comforting for both an individual with ADHD and the person treating him/her.
Effective Natural Remedies For ADHD
So if you are on the lookout for simple and effective remedies for ADHD that do not cause any potential side effects, here is a list of options you can try out.
Learn To Recognize Behavioral Symptoms
Individuals suffering from ADHD tend to be hyper sensitive to everything around them. And you can’t blame them for their behavior! Individuals with ADHD usually have very sensitive nervous systems that respond abnormally to even the slightest of changes around them. This is probably why individuals with the condition tend to experience frequent bouts of anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, inattentiveness and mood swings etc.
The surprising fact however, is that individuals with ADHD tend to get attracted to foods and activities that stimulate (or aggravates) their already heightened (overactive) sensory systems.Your first step in treating an individual with ADHD is to identify his/her specific behavioral traits. Recognizing how he/she behaves in various situations can help you chalk up an appropriate treatment plan for him/her.
Start A Basic Routine And Stick To It
Individuals with ADHD find it hard to concentrate on regular routines. They would be more attracted to new activities and changes rather than focusing on regularizing existing habits and activities. Your goal would be to build a plan that would help relax, calm and nurture the individual in order to help him/her focus on regular tendencies. Since his/her mind would be hyperactive, you would need to work around it in order to make him/her see things rationally.
Find out his/her likes and dislikes and work around this area. Try avoiding things he/she dislikes and help him/her concentrate on things that please him/her.Set regular timings for daily chores like waking up,eating, bathing, relaxing, exercising and sleeping etc. Use his/her likes to motivate him/her to follow the routine. With time, he/she would get accustomed to following the set routine and would become more regularized in his/her actions.
You can also begin to slowly reintroduce things he/she detests in his/her daily life.Clubbing these with things he/she likes would enable him/her to accept them as a part of the routine as well. For instance, if he/she detests reading books but likes coloring, you can get a book that contains both words and pictures. This way you can motivate him/her to read through the book in order to reach and color the pictures.It would take some time and effort on your part but would work out well in the end.
Stick To A Regular Diet
It is considered wise to do your homework and find out the best foods you can opt for an individual suffering from ADHD. It is also considered wise to refrain from giving him/her foods that would aggravate the condition.For instance, foods that contain excess sugars, preservatives, food dyes and other chemical additives are known to exacerbate ADHD and its symptoms in individuals.
On the other hand, foods like whole grains, organic unrefined oils and cooked vegetables can soothe the nervous system and improve recognition, concentration and behavior within a short span of time. So try avoiding the foods that may directly or indirectly contribute to his/her condition, and opt for the alternatives that offer significant relief from ADHD and its symptoms.
Opt For Nutritional Supplements
Individuals suffering from ADHD can benefit from regular doses of B complex vitamins(50 mg) or fish oils (100-200 mg) that target the central nervous system and brain function. In addition to providing essential nutrients to the nervous system and brain, these supplements would help stabilize these regions significantly, thereby improving mental focus, mood stability and overall brain function to great extents.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Individuals suffering from ADHD tend to be over-stimulated after doing a chore, coming home from outside or before going to bed at night etc. These would be the times when the body and mind are hyperactive and generally unresponsive to medications. And this would probably be the right time for you to try some relaxation exercises to help the individual in question get relief from the condition and its symptoms.
Opt for a 10 minute relaxation program that would enable him/her to breathe deeply and relax his/her nerves. Ask him/her to lie down flat on his/her back and cover him/her with a warm blanket. Instruct him/her to close his/her eyes and think of something he/she likes as he/she breathes.If he/she has trouble understanding you, lie down next to him/her and show him/her what he/she needs to do. It may take some time for him/her to understand the process and follow it correctly. So be patient and let him/her work to soothe his/her central nervous system and improve brain function.
Give A Body Massage
A bedtime massage can be very helpful for ADHD individuals who have difficulty sleeping at night. Massaging the entire body with organic unrefined oils would help counter balance the hyper activeness his/her body and mind experience, thereby making it easier for him/her to relax.
Opt for a weekly body massage wherein you would need to apply some oil onto your hands and rub it into the skin gently. Cover almost all the areas of the body from head to toe, making sure that the oil gets absorbed by the skin nicely. You can use basic variants like sesame, almond or olive oils for these massages.
Wait for the oil to soak for a few minutes before wiping off excess oil from the skin surface. In addition to a complete body massage every week, you can opt for a foot massage before bedtime every night to enable the individual to sleep peacefully.
Use Natural Herbs As Replacements For Standard Medications
There are many herbs that help in soothing and nourishing the central nervous system without causing any major side effects. These include herbs like chamomile, passion flower, lemon balm, brahmi, hops, skullcap, St. John’s Wort and Valerian etc.
These herbs can be used as effective natural remedies for ADHD provided you consult a doctor about them beforehand. You can use these herbs in teas, tinctures or other herbal concoctions on a regular basis to get relief from ADHD and its symptoms. Make sure you consult with a doctor beforehand about possible side effects of using these herbs. And make sure you follow the instructions in the package to the ‘T’.
Keep Him/Her Away From EMR
Many individuals have the general notion that watching TV or playing computer/mobile games would help individuals with ADHD focus better on details.Even though this may be true to an extent, it cannot be ignored that too much exposure to EMR (electromagnetic radiation) from these devices can further agitate the nervous system and increase sensitivity.
In many cases, individuals with ADHD who have had too much exposure to EMR and electronic stimulation have been found out to suffer from frequent headaches, concentration issues, memory issues, dizziness, insomnia and chronic fatigue etc. Therefore, it is considered wise to keep individuals with ADHD away from devices that emit electromagnetic radiations. Limiting the use of these devices can also help prevent the aggravation of ADHD symptoms to a great extent.