Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by having a shortened attention span and impulsive, highly active behavior. The condition, typically diagnosed in childhood, continues into adulthood and often impacts both personal relationships as well as scholastic or work performance. ADHD is most often treated with psychostimulant medications, but these drugs are increasingly being abandoned due to their side effects and addictive nature. Herbal ADHD treatments such as ginkgo biloba, ginseng, American skullcap, German chamomile and gato kola are increasingly used in place of psychstimulant medications.
The herbal supplement ginko biloba is an extract from the leaves of the ginko tree. It is one of the most popular herbal ADHD treatments because it improves several ADHD issues. Irritability and becoming easily frustrated are traits common to people with ADHD, and ginko biloba seems to reduce these types of responses. In addition, ginko biloba seems to improve focus and concentration.
Ginseng is another popular herbal treatment for ADHD due to its beneficial effects on many ADHD symptoms. People with ADHD have been shown to have a deficit of dopamine and norepinephrine, thought to be one of the main reasons for the shortened attention span seen in ADHD sufferers. Ginseng appears to enhance the production of both dopamine and norepinephrine, resulting in improved focus. Brain scans have shown that people with ADHD also suffer from a deficiency of both glucose and oxygen. Ginseng also improves the metabolism of glucose, increasing energy availability in the brain, resulting in better cognitive function.
American Skullcap, or Scutellaria lateriflora, and German Chamomile are both known to produce a restful state. This type of effect is helpful to diminish the anxious and impulsive characteristics of ADHD. American skullcap also stimulates blood flow to the brain, improving overall cognitive function.
Gato kola contains high concentrations of vitamin B, important for transforming sugar into glucose. The availability of glucose directly impacts the whole body, but especially the energy consuming brain. Gota kola improves the mental abilities by helping to provide a ready supply of energy to the brain.
Several of these herbal ADHD treatments can be combined together to prevent the wide ranging problems of ADHD. Before trying any of the herbal ADHD treatments, a doctor should be consulted about doses and drug interactions. In some cases, psychostimulant drugs can be reduced in conjunction with herbal ADHD treatments. Psychostimulant drugs should never be stopped in favor of herbal remedies unless directed by a doctor.