Natural Remedies for ADD and ADHD Symptoms

How will they help
and what's behind ADD and ADHD?

Natural remedies for ADD make sense when you understand the little-known factors behind ADD and ADHD symptoms. Discover what forward-thinking doctors know about the mystery of ADHD symptoms and why home remedies are your best choice to stop them.

If you’re looking for natural remedies for ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADHD, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, good for you! Your own home is the place where you can transform your child’s health, or your own, if you’re dealing with ADD in adults.

A few short decades ago, ADD was almost unknown. Now, millions of children and adults are medicated for ADD or ADHD symptoms every year. Is this really necessary?

In 2003, in the U.S., ten percent of boys between ages 6 and 14 were on ADHD drugs. The numbers have been growing ever since.

Doctors are told that drugs for ADHD and ADD are harmless and children should continue taking them for the rest of their lives!

But the facts are different. Tragically, prescription medications for ADD have been linked to suicide in some children.

Trouble sleeping and heart palpitation are common side effects of ADHD medications © Karen Alison

More common side effects are irritability, trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, and psychotic episodes. Natural remedies for ADD do a much better job of calming children down, helping them focus and improving brain function, without all the distressing side effects.

Some ADHD drugs are amphetamines which are known to be addictive and can lead to future drug abuse. As your child becomes a teenager, how do you tell him or her that it’s okay to take these dangerous medications when they come from a doctor but it’s not okay to self-medicate with the same drugs?

These drugs are now being prescribed for children younger than 6. Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, says that, “Between 2000 and 2003, spending on ADHD for preschoolers increased 369 percent.” !!!

Is there really so much ADHD in children? Or is something else going on?

The New York Times reported that sales of ADHD drugs soared from 1.7 billion in 2002 to almost 9 billion in 2012! So there’s big money at stake to medicate your child. Really big.

Natural remedies for ADD and
ADHD symptoms deal with causes…

ADHD is considered a mental or psychiatric disorder that shows up as problems with behaviour, learning, and development.

NIH, the National Institutes of Health says that "...environmental factors likely [play] a role in the development of the condition." And that the brains of children with ADHD show delayed development.

But what's underneath this delayed development? Children’s brains - and their behaviour – are affected by factors that you CAN control, using natural remedies for ADD and ADHD.

They include:

  • gut flora
  • food choices and nutritional deficiencies
  • food allergies or sensitivities and other allergies
  • chemical toxins and heavy metals
  • electronic exposure
  • spending unstructured time in nature

These are health issues you simply cannot change with drugs. While medication may temporarily control a child's behaviour, it cannot provide the nutrients that help children's brains develop or remove toxins from your home that may be affecting your child.

To learn more about ADHD drugs and their side effects, take a look at this chart.

Why is there so much ADHD now?

Here’s a closer look at the factors behind ADD and ADHD symptoms. Fortunately, you can take control of them with natural remedies for ADD...

Unbalanced gut flora

The gut has a HUGE impact on our brains and behaviour. It’s sometimes called “the second brain.” When the microbes in the gut – or digestive system – are out of balance, they cause havoc.

Your child’s immune system, physical health, emotions, behaviour and learning are all affected by her gut! Disrupted flora can make children anxious, hyperactive, aggressive, or depressed.

Gut microbes often drive food cravings - especially for sweets. Toxic microbes can leak through the walls of the intestines into the bloodstream where they're carried to the brain and make it difficult for children to calm themselves, think clearly, concentrate or communicate well.

Unfortunately, many children have disrupted gut flora from infancy. The state of your child’s flora will impact his or her entire life if left untreated. This is no exaggeration!

What causes problems for gut flora?

Early antibiotic use, Caesarean birth, chemicals in food and household products, and lack of important nutrients in your child’s diet. Even children who are born in the usual way can have problems.


Because the baby's gut flora begins forming when the infant goes through the birth canal. The flora in the birth canal comes from the gut/bowel and the father shares his flora with the mother. If the parents have abnormal or disrupted flora, that is passed on to the baby.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride says that gut flora has been worsening through the generations since World War II, because of the discovery of antibiotics.

Fortunately, there are great natural remedies for ADD that will help you get that gut flora back on track so it supports your child’s brain and behaviour.

Junk food, fast food and nutritional deficiencies

Children need real food to help them thrive. The problem is, too much of what we eat today is pretend food. That’s what nutrition expert, Raymond Francis, calls it.

Pretend foods cause nutritional deficiencies © Karen Alison

Pretend foods lead to allergies, digestive problems, and malnutrition – not to mention ADHD symptoms.

These foods (and drinks) have no nutrition of their own. So what happens is this: when your child consumes junk food and soda, her body has to find a way to metabolize (process) them. To do that, it uses up vitamins and minerals that are already in teeth, bones and the digestive tract. 

That means that in your child’s growing body, there aren’t many nutrients left for his developing brain and nervous system to use (and the brain needs a lot of nutrition.) It’s a lose-lose situation.

Kids who have nutritional deficiencies end up restless and anxious, withdrawn and depressed or a combination of both.

And it gets worse…

Junk foods and fast food can actually harm your child’s brain with chemical preservatives, flavour enhancers like MSG, and artificial sweeteners.

Some of these chemicals are called “excitotoxins.” They over-stimulate neurons – the brain’s communication system – making them fire so fast that they become exhausted… and die.

A lifetime of eating and drinking excitotoxins leads to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Yeow!

But here’s a curious thing…

The mineral magnesium will block your brain’s uptake of excitotoxins like glutamate (MSG), aspartate (artificial sweeteners), and cysteine – if you have enough of it in your body.

But 95% of children with ADD symptoms are magnesium deficient!

This excellent article has a list of foods containing excitotoxins.

Studies with young offenders and food show that improving your child’s diet will radically change his emotions and behaviour for the better.

Adults also need to eat real food – instead of junk food – so our brains are fuelled to work properly and our emotions are balanced. Good nutrition feeds your cells and helps prevent serious diseases like diabetes, cancer, obesity and Alzheimer’s, not to mention early death!

Food allergies and intolerances

In her book “The Impossible Child”, Dr. Doris Rapp shows that food allergies and intolerances (as well as reactions to chemicals and other allergens) severely affect children’s abilities to learn and behave. Some foods can actually make a child scream!

Dr. James Braly says that, “About 70 percent of children with untreated celiac disease show exactly the same abnormalities in brain-wave patterns as those who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.  … food allergens, including wheat… cause abnormal brain waves.”

Allergenic foods – and other allergens such as mold, dust and chemicals can make children react with:

  • dyslexia 
  • temper tantrums, screaming episodes, aggression
  • changes in speech and coordination
  • gastro-intestinal problems – stomach aches, gas, etc.
  • cravings for certain foods, especially sweets
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • crying for no apparent reason
  • bed-wetting
  • and many other symptoms.

Knowing what foods and other substances to avoid will make your child’s life much easier and happier (not to mention yours!) Food is one of the key natural remedies for ADD and treatments for ADHD.

Chemical toxins and heavy metals

Did you know that chemicals in ordinary products you use everyday affect the way your child’s brain works?

This is information you’ll never read on any label. Fabric softener, scented laundry detergent, and flame-retardants in clothing act as neurotoxins or, literally, brain poisons. They prevent brain signals from working the way they’re supposed to.

What about chemical household cleaners? Same scary deal.

As for heavy metals… lead, copper, cadmium, mercury and aluminum toxicity disrupt your child’s behaviour and learning abilities. They also block the absorption of important nutrients, so your child’s developing brain doesn’t get what it needs.

Children have a much harder time dealing with these chemical and metal poisons than adults. Their bodies are much smaller and their immune and nervous systems are still developing so they are more easily damaged.

Since WWII, the number of chemicals and chemical combinations in our homes and lives has exploded. No wonder ADHD and ADD symptoms seem to be at epidemic levels!

The electronic world versus the natural one

Does too much exposure to computers, television and wireless devices cause ADHD symptoms?

A study at the Yale School of Medicine showed that pregnant mice exposed to cell phone radiation gave birth to infants who showed ADD symptoms and impairment of the pre-frontal cortex (which controls rational thinking and goal-oriented behaviour.)

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods says: “Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle maintains that each hour of TV watched per day by preschoolers increases by 10 percent the likelihood that they will develop concentration problems and other symptoms of attention-deficit disorders by age seven.”

While many scientists believe that studies linking electro-magnetic frequencies (EMFs) and health problems including ADHD are inconclusive, I think it’s worth remembering this:

Electricity and electronic devices are recent arrivals on the human scene. For most of human life on Earth, there was no electricity or EMFs except for those that occurred naturally. So humans were not receiving a daily mega-dose of wireless frequencies.

Cell phones and other electronic devices have not been around long enough for good long-term studies on their effects, so my preference is to err on the side of caution.

The other aspect of ADHD symptoms and electronic devices, of course, is speed of information. Studies show that small children who watch several hours of TV daily have shorter attention spans.

The natural world has a remarkable ability to calm children with ADHD © Karen Alison

Benefits of Nature

On the other hand, the natural world has a remarkable ability to calm children with ADHD and even to help autistic ones. Nature is a surprisingly effective natural remedy for ADD, if an unexpected one.

Since so many of us live in cities, we often forget about the healing power of being in a natural environment.

Richard Louv points out that hyperactive children relax when they are allowed to wander in nature, explore, go fishing and enjoy the natural world without the kind of expectations that are involved in organized sports or other more structured outdoor activities.

He cites studies by the Human-Environment Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois which “found that green outdoor spaces foster creative play, improve children’s access to positive adult interaction – and relieve the symptoms of attention-deficit disorders. The greener the setting, the more the relief. By comparison, activities indoors, such as watching TV, or outdoors on paved, non-green areas, increase these children’s symptoms.”

This applies to adults, too. Nature is calming and relieves stress.

Everything that slows us down and forces patience,
everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature,
is a blessing. ― May Sarton

More articles about natural remedies for ADD and ADHD

7 Crucial natural remedies for ADHD and ADD... Discover the must-have mineral that is missing in up to 95% of children with ADHD, and 6 more life-changing home remedies for ADD and ADHD.

The Gut-Brain Connection and how to heal it for ADD and ADHD symptoms... Use these powerful natural remedies for ADD and ADHD to heal the gut and its effects on the brain. Your brain – or your child’s – reaps HUGE benefits when you heal “leaky gut syndrome” and balance gut flora. Skin improves, too!

ADD in Adults... What you need to know as an adult with ADD  or ADHD and the natural remedies for ADD that help.

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