A growing concern in America is hyperactivity and impulsivity in children. Diagnosis of hyperactivity and ADHD has risen dramatically in the past few years. It’s estimated that 6.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. With that diagnosis, often comes medication, but is there a natural hyperactivity remedy you can try?
What Does Hyperactivity or ADHD Look Like?
Although hyperactivity seems to manifest differently for young boys versus young girls, the overall characteristics of someone diagnosed with ADHD are:
- Acting out
- Difficulty focusing
- Academic struggles
- Withdrawn or inattentive attitude
Some suggest that hyperactivity can be controlled with lifestyle changes, such as morning exercise, better eating habits, sufficient sleep, regulated blood sugar, or even less screen time. In addition, there are also safe and effective natural options to help with hyperactivity. It’s important to note, before giving any herbs or supplements to your child, be sure to discuss potential risks and benefits with your child’s doctor.
1. Red Clover Blossom
This herb can help to reduce depression and help with mood. Red clover helps produce dopamine which sends feel good chemicals to the brain. It’s also good for reducing inflammation and removing toxins from the blood, which is helpful for ADHD children who were exposed to chemicals. It’s often taken as a tea.
Another herbal remedy commonly taken in tea form is chamomile. It’s a natural relaxant and is a gentle option. It can also aid in better sleep if taken before bed.
3. Lime Blossom
Lime blossom is a stronger, but still safe option. This herb may reduce stress and relieve tension, which can impact a child’s ability to focus.
4. Valerian Root
This can be used as an effective sedative or sleep aid, but is not habit forming. Children need upwards of ten hours of sleep each night, and adequate sleep is helpful in lessoning the symptoms of ADHD. Valerian root has been used to treat insomnia and genuinely leads to better quality sleep. You can find this root in a powder form or as a tea.
Although catnip may cause you pet to behave widely, it’s another relaxant and sleep aid when it comes to hyperactivity. It’s safe for children and can lesson anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. Steep catnip in a tea alone or combine it with chamomile and lime blossom for a relaxing blend.
6. California Poppy
Another sedative to help with lack of sleep and hyperactivity. It can also ease nervous agitation. Combined with magnesium, California poppy can also help treat anxiety.
7. Wild Lettuce
This herb is commonly mixed with other herbs and provides a safe and mild natural hyperactivity remedy. It acts as a sedative and helps to improve sleep. It is also used to calm restlessness and excitability in children, making it a great option for those with hyperactivity.
8. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is both antiviral and antibacterial. Just like the herbs mentioned above, it can be used to calm nerves. This can help to lessen fidgeting and other symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity.
9. Avena (wild oats)
Oats have a number of uses, and treating hyperactivity is one of them. Hyperactivity is a form of stress, and avena sativa can help to reduce stress and anxiety, lessoning behavioral symptoms of AHDS or hyperactivity.
Zinc supports brain health and aids in neurotransmission. It’s been suggested that children with ADHD have low levels of zinc. Naturally, a zinc supplement or a diet rich in foods containing zinc may be helpful.
11. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3s are important in any diet, but they can be an especially helpful natural hyperactivity remedy. This essential fatty acid it crucial when it comes to brain health and cognitive function. A healthy and functioning brain is less likely to show signs of ADHD.
Like with zinc, low levels of iron, or a deficiency seems to be more common in children with ADHD. A study found that participants taking ADHD drugs had higher iron levels in the brain. An iron deficiency can result in irritability, learning disabilities, and cognitive impairment.
Magnesium is incredibly important to overall health. It regulates sleep and can improve overall mood, it’s no wonder many ADHD children are found to be deficient in this mineral. Low levels of magnesium can cause irritability, short attention spans, and confusion. A magnesium supplement or a magnesium rich diet can be helpful for hyperactive children.
14. Ginkgo Biloba
This herb is known for it’s memory boosting capabilities and improving the ability to focus. Ginkgo biloba can also lower anxiety and help with depression. Children with hyperactivity or ADHD might find taking gingko biloba helps clear “brain fog” and focus on projects or school work more easily.
Another herb you’ve probably heard of is ginseng. It increases memory, concentration, and alertness, all of which can help someone diagnosed with ADHD. Gingsenosides are the key active ingredient that make ginseng such a beneficial natural remedy.
16. Gotu Kola
Also know as penny wort, this herb helps with depression while improving memory. It’s also helpful for alleviating the restlessness that’s common in ADHD and hyperactive kids. Gotu Kola can help combat short attention spans, anxiety, and depression as well.
The Feingold Diet
With more and more evidence that hyperactivity my be affected by environmental factors, such as artificial food dyes and excess sugars in our diets, many are turning to dietary changes. Some of the foods we recommend never feeding your kids contain the ingredients this diet aims to remove. The Feingold Diet, developed by Ben Feingold, MD, an allergist, is an elimination diet designed to treat hyperactivity. It focuses on removing artificial food dyes, preservatives, and foods with salicylates, like oranges and apples. Many parents reported a noticeable change in their child’s behavior after following the Feingold Diet and research found the impact on behavior only seemed to increase in instances where more foods were eliminated from the diet. The authors of the study estimated that 30 percent of kids with ADHD experienced a reduction in symptoms when they initially eliminated foods such as wheat, rye, barley, eggs, dairy, corn, yeast, soy, citrus, eggs, chocolate and peanuts.