12 Herbs That Help Stop ADHD

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

You can read dozens and dozens of books and articles about ADHD, what it is, and the symptoms it causes, but you can basically narrow it down with these three characteristics: distraction, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. The onset of these symptoms are often seen in early childhood but some cases aren’t properly diagnosed until adulthood. Yes, if you were not aware of this, adults can also suffer from ADHD.

Many of the drugs that are prescribed for ADHD are worse than the disease itself. Many holistic doctors see this disorder as a physical problem that can be helped with proper nutrition and therapeutic herbs. When you consider the sugary fast food and junk food diets most kids are fed, this is not surprising.

One of the first things that should be considered is a proper diet. Remove as much sugar from the diet as possible and add plenty of whole, natural foods, especially raw or lightly steamed vegetables. Make fresh fruit a dessert instead of candy. Make water with fruit juice a treat in place of sugary sodas. You cannot begin to find the source of the problem until you have ruled out a nutritional deficiency. After a good diet has been established for a minimum of 3 months, then you can begin to add these herbal remedies to your routine. Read also how sufficient amounts of one fatty acid might be a solution to ADHD.

Keep reading and find out the top 12 herbs that are recommended by holistic doctors for the treatment of ADHD.


1. St. John’s Wort

Scientists have shown that St. John’s Wort has shown tremendous promise for those with ADHD. St. John’s Wort has calming properties that help children sleep, especially children who are on medication who find that they are sleepy during the day but not at night. St. John’s Wort regulates serotonin and GABA, which improve moods and gives one a sense of relaxation. This herb also encourages the body to produce dopamine and norepinephrine, hormones that help stop depression.



2. Lemon Balm

This is perhaps one of the most used herbs for treating ADHD. It has a reputation for making positive changes, improving focus, attention span, and mental clarity. This works very well when combined with other herbal sedatives such as valerian or passion fruit. Lemon balm will reduce feelings of anxiety, fidgeting, nervousness, and restlessness. This herb has been used for centuries to improve sleep and the appetite, as well as reducing stress. One of the really good things about lemon balm is that it will improve night time sleep while not causing daytime drowsiness. Lemon balm is one of the mildest herbs around and is known to be completely safe for children.


3. Skullcap

This is an herb well known or being a sedative, nervous system restorative and cerebral vasodilator. This is a great herb for agitation, nervous exhaustion, restless sleep or insomnia, and nervous system weakness. Skullcap is great for poor concentration and general irritability. Skullcap is a type of nerve tonic that will normalize by nourishing the central nervous system.

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Fresh ginseng root

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4. Ginseng

Ginseng is one of the strangest things; it increases energy while relaxing you at the same time. This makes ginseng a terrific alternative for those with ADHD. Ginseng improves attention span and research shows that it stimulates the dopamine pathways, something that is deficient in those suffering from ADHD. Ginseng has also been shown to normalize an important neurotransmitter that is frequently out of balance, norepinephrine. Subjects who have taken Panax Ginseng as an alternative treatment have shown marked improvements with hyperactivity and lack of attention.


5.  Red Clover Blossom

This is a terrific herb to add to any tea blend. Known to be a blood purifier, it is also a gentle way to relax the nerves. Using red clover blossom would help remove toxins and impurities from the body due to bad eating habits while calming the nerves.



6. Chamomile

As you already know, many persons with ADHD have difficulty sleeping and using chamomile can help with that issue. Chamomile has long been used as a sleep aide as it produces a calming effect in body. Several studies seem to support these beliefs. Research shows that chamomile is an excellent tonic for both feelings of anxiety and insomnia. One study conducted in Italy showed that chamomile works directly on the central nervous system and relaxes the body. The researchers in this study also found that hyperactivity and distraction were greatly reduced by the use of chamomile.  Chamomile is known to induce a deeper sleep and appears to stop nightmares. This is a very mild and safe sedative that, like lemon balm, is safe for even very young children.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

7.  Passion Flower

Passion flower is a well-known herbal medicine for treating those with general feelings of anxiety disorder that affect those with ADHD. Research shows that passion flower has a therapeutic effect when it comes to modulating GABA receptors in the brain.


8. Valerian

Valerian is another well-known calming herb that is best used in conjunction with other calming agents such as lemon balm or chamomile. Valerian is a very useful herb for those with ADHD and it encourages many beneficial reactions. You will find valerian in combination with other herbs in many formulas made for those with ADHD. Valerian decreases anxiety levels, restlessness, and calms the nerves.


9. Licorice Root

Licorice root is recommended for those who have severe problems with hyperactivity. This herb can play an important part in the proper functioning of the adrenal glands, endocrine system, and sweat glands, which will help tremendously with mood swings. Licorice root helps with the stabilizing of blood sugar levels. This is important as many persons with ADHD have high levels of glucose and licorice root will help to keep these levels more normal. Licorice has long been used for its medicinal and healing compounds.

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Bunch of lavender flowers

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10. Lavender

Although you might only think of lavender in aromatherapy, lavender shows promise for those suffering from ADHD.  Almost everyone with ADHD suffers from sleep problems, anxiety, and nervousness. By relieving tension and inducing sleep, lavender can reduce these common problems. Although lavender is most commonly used as an oil, it can also be used throughout the house via dried flowers, potpourri, bath oils, lotions, scented candles, or even dunk as a tea. The University of Maryland conducted a study that showed that lavender oil worked better than rosemary oil as far as cognition skills and mood improvement is concerned. Lavender was also shown to improve concentration levels and lower anxiety levels.


11. Gingko Biloba

Although using gingko to help with those suffering from ADHD is somewhat new, studies have shown good results so far. Researchers think that gingko can increase the blood flow to the brain and central nervous system while lowering levels of oxidative stress. Gingko is known to improve the metabolism of glucose in the brain and improve moods. One study suggests that to help with symptoms of ADHD, that gingko biloba should be mixed with American Ginseng.


SEE ALSO: 15 of the Best Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices on the Planet

12. Kava Kava

Frequently referred to simply as Kava, this herb has been used for its calming effects. Like lemon balm and chamomile, kava is considered to be safe for children. This herb has been shown to be effective in helping to calm those who suffer from ADHD. It can be taken as a tea or in a capsule supplement form.  Kava doesn’t dull the senses and is fast acting as well. It lowers anxiety levels by working on the receptors in the amygdala area of the brain, which is that part of the brain that controls feelings of fear and anxiety. Kava works by improving a person’s sense of contentment while relieving tension, anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. If you are unsure which herb to start with, kava would be a good one as it affects most areas that plague sufferers of ADHD, works quickly, yet is mild enough even for young children.