ADHD and Homeopathy
thanks to Brad Chase for this article
1 Homeopathy and ADHD:
2 Summary of Studies Investigating the Efficacy of Homeopathy for ADHD
2.1 Homeopathy vs. Ritalin
2.2 The Placebo Study
2.3 The Double-Blind and Placebo Study
3 Homeopathic Remedies for ADHD:
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, affects nearly 3-5% of all children, and often continues into adulthood. Though there are stimulant medications available to treat ADHD, they come with several side effects.
Homeopathic remedies may help in alleviating some symptoms, making it easier for children to participate in normal social and school activities.
Homeopathy and ADHD:
Many adults and parents of ADHD inflicted children opt for homeopathic remedies because they are nontoxic, safe, and effective. When used along with diet and lifestyle changes, this alternative ADHD treatment can show significant improvements.
Though there have been mixed results in clinical trials regarding the efficacy of homeopathic treatment for ADHD, anecdotal evidences indicate that some homeopathic remedies might effectively alleviate ADHD symptoms in children.
Homeopathic treatments are safer than conventional ADHD treatments involving drugs such as Ritalin. Therefore, it is advisable to start ADHD therapies with homeopathy.
The homeopathic approach to ADHD treatment differs from that of conventional medicine in two important ways.
First, homeopathic intervention is individualized for each patient. Therefore, the homeopathy remedy used for each ADHD sufferer differs from another. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
The merit of this approach is that instead of using a single drug such as Ritalin for everyone diagnosed with ADHD, homeopathy practitioners can better target their patients through specific symptoms.
However, this approach strongly depends on the ability of the homeopathy practitioner. Varying results will be obtained by ADHD patients depending on the skill level of the homeopath.
Secondly, homeopathy treats medical conditions with smaller, safer doses of remedies that may, in high doses, worsen the symptoms of those diseases.
This approach is also found in modern medicine. In fact, Ritalin is an amphetamine-like drug which should trigger excitation and hyperactivity. Other such drugs used in medicine include digitalis for treating heart diseases and vaccination shots.
However, small doses of these potent remedies tend to do quite the opposite of what larger doses do. Therefore, the small doses of homeopathic remedies slow ADHD sufferers down instead of making them hyperactive.
Summary of Studies Investigating the Efficacy of Homeopathy for ADHD
Homeopathy vs. Ritalin
Ritalin is the most popular drug used in the treatment of ADHD especially in children. It works for about 70% of ADHD sufferers. For these reasons, it is the perfect baseline against which other ADHD treatments are compared.
To compare the efficacy of homeopathic ADHD treatments against Ritalin, a 2001 study done in Switzerland involving 115 children diagnosed with the condition. Some of them were examined for symptoms then prescribed individualized homeopathy remedies. Another group of the study participants was placed on Ritalin for three and a half months.
At the end of the study, 75% of the ADHD children responded to homeopathic treatments compared to 65% of them who responded to Ritalin.
The children were also tested on the CGI (Conners Global Index) scale. The CGI scale is one of the recognized standards for measuring the symptoms of hyperactivity and degrees of attention deficits.
For this study, the children who received homeopathic remedies experienced a 55% improvement on the CGI scale while the Ritalin children showed a 48% improvement.
The Placebo Study
A 2005 study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics examined the efficacy of homeopathic remedies for treating ADHD through a crossover study spanning 14 weeks.
Half of the ADHD children who partook in this study were given homeopathic remedies while the other half was given placebos. Then after 6 weeks the placebo group began on homeopathic remedies and vice versa.
At the point of switching the study participants’ medications (the crossover point), they were tested on the CGI scale. Similar tests were also done before and at the end of the study.
The results of the study showed that the CGI ratings as well as the parents’ and teachers’ evaluations of these children showed a marked improvement during the homeopathic treatment as compared to the placebo period.
The Double-Blind and Placebo Study
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of homeopathic remedies was conducted in 1997 with 43 ADHD children. The children were randomly assigned either a placebo or a homeopathic remedy and their response studied over 10 days.
The results showed that homeopathy provides measurable improvements for children diagnosed with ADHD.
Homeopathic Remedies for ADHD:
Many homeopathic remedies are available without a prescription; however, self-treatment is not recommended. You must consult your homeopath for the right remedy and correct dosage. Some popular homeopathic remedies for ADHD are:
Datura stramoniumIt is obtained from the leaves and seeds of Datura stramonium, an annual herb with fragrant flowers and soft leaves. Its medicinal activities are linked to the alkaloids, scopolamine and hyoscyamine.
Stramonium is one of the most effective homeopathic remedies for ADHD. It is a classic example of homeopathic remedies because while it is beneficial for reducing hyperactivity at low doses, it causes delirium and hallucination at high doses.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Stramonium can be used to reduce ADHD symptoms in children. It is helpful in reducing signs of violent, and hostile behavior.
This homeopathic remedy is also beneficial for children who are afraid of the dark or who suffer from some kind of post-traumatic disorder.
This homeopathic remedy is useful for children who dislike being touched or looked at. Such children may display aggressive behavior when reprimanded or touched.
Cina is used to calm ill-tempered children who grind their teeth when irritated. It helps in reducing hyperactivity and inattentiveness in children.
henbaneIt is obtained from the leaves of nightshade or black henbane, Hyoscyamus niger. It belongs to the same plant family as Stramonium, contains the same set of alkaloids, and has the same medicinal activity.
This homeopathic remedy is known to alleviate symptoms such as restlessness and hyperactivity.
In a controlled study conducted in 1997, Hyoscyamus showed positive results in reducing outbursts, fidgeting, and hyperactive behaviors.
This is a solution prepared from the disinfected Tuberculinum bacillus, the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis. To prepare it, the tuberculosis infected tissue of man or animal is taken then disinfected and dissolved in decontaminated water. The bacterium is then removed before this solution is further diluted and shaken.
This ADHD homeopathic treatment is recommended for restless children who seek constant stimulation or change. It helps in reducing destructive behavior, irritability, and feeling of dissatisfaction.
5. Verta alb:
verta albThis homeopathic remedy is prepared from a perennial plant belonging to the Lily family. It soothes the nerve, improves concentration and focus, and reduces irritability and temper tantrums.
This alternative treatment for ADHD is used to calm the nerves. It is often recommended by experts, as an alternative treatment for children with behavioral disorders.
6. Arsen iod:
This extract reduces temperamental outbursts, encourages balance, and controls tantrums. It also tends to diminish frustration that can occur while acquiring new skills.
It is prepared from arsenic and iodine.
If your child is diagnosed with ADHD then you may consider using natural remedies that specifically focus on ADHD treatment for children. Herbal supplements such as Listol can also be used to treat ADHD naturally.
Remember that every child is unique and will react differently to remedies, so allow the ADHD homeopathic remedies some time to show effects. Always consult your doctor before starting a new homeopathic treatment or changing the current dosage.