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ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

General characteristics

General characteristics

ADHD and ADD (Attention Deficit disorder) are both relatively new 'diseases' and have a long list of physical and emotional indicators attributed to them. These fall into the categories 'attention difficulties', 'impulsivity' and 'hyperactivity'. It is considered to be more common in male children but can occur in adults also. Many sufferers show signs of restlessness, anger, frustration, compulsive behaviour, depression, social anxieties and the inability to concentrate. Nervous activity is excessively high in most cases and emotions are often unstable and uncontrollable.


Brain chemistry seems to be disrupted with a lack of certain chemicals involved in transmitting nerve signals. Other aggrevating factors include blood sugar imbalance, nutritional deficiencies (essential fatty acids, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins), regular consumption of 'junk' foods, food or other allergies, environmental toxins (including household chemicals), fluorescent lighting, stress, too much television or other visual stimulation and dental fillings.

Healing objectives are to remedy any nutritional deficiencies and to improve lifestyle with exercise, proper rest and the elimination of possible day to day toxins.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Eat organic foods where possible as pesticides can aggrevate the entire system.

Eat a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds to provide good nutrition and to avoid constipation.

Eat small regular meals with at least 1 portion of wholegrains if possible to encourage an even and regular blood sugar balance. If you need to snack between meals try nuts, seeds, dried fruits or muesli bars. Sugary snacks or refined carbohydrate foods like biscuits and pastries will cause blood sugar peaks and crashes, further aggravating the nervous system.

Have a bowl of muesli for breakfast with plenty of oats, seeds, dried fruits and your favourite nuts.

Foods rich in essential fatty acids (EFA's), zinc, calcium and magnesium have a beneficial action on the nervous system. Try taking cold pressed oil of hemp, flax or evening primrose seed oil daily.

Avoid processed foods, junk foods and fizzy and bottled drinks. Many of these will contain artificial sweeteners, colours and other additives that can upset and unbalance the nervous system and emotions.

Some artificial colourings have been found to produce allergy like responses and many people benefit from avoiding them altogether.

Some people report positive results from drinking coffee, it calms them down where most would be stimulated (the rationale behind prescribing the stimulant Ritalin). However, in the long term (as with Ritalin),  this will only serve to stress the nervous system and deplete it further so use cautiously and sparingly. A piece of dark chocolate may be a better substitute if this kind of approach is taken.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

A daily herbal tea containing equal parts of oatstraw, nettle and raspberry leaf will feed an overactive nervous system and provide plenty of calcium and magnesium.

Siberian ginseng helps the body to deal with and recover from the effects of stress and anxiety. Use a teaspoon of tincture inwater 3 times daily.

Calming herbs such as vervain, skullcap, chamomile, gotu kola, passion flower, lemon balm and st johns wort will make the person feel calmer and more in control. Use the dried herbs as a tea, equal parts, 1 teaspoon per cup three times daily.

Add equal parts ginkgo dried leaf or tincture to the above formula.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Visit this excellent website and scroll down the page for some truly staggering and inspirational stories of how people have sucessfully beaten ADHD through wise diet and lifestyle changes.

Make sure the person has plenty of fun and stimulating physical exercise throughout the day.

Use more natural, environmentally friendly household cleaners and products such as shampoos, air fresheners, washing powders, surface cleaners and the like. Most popular brands are loaded with toxic chemicals that can burden an over-stimulated body.

Practise deep belly breathing for 5-10 minutes every day to encourage a greater sense of relaxation.

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