ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, is a growing problem facing children today. ADD is a type of hyperactivity disorder most commonly found in children, but it can also be present in adults. It is currently the most commonly diagnosed behavior disorder in children and is believed to afflict more than two million children. Ritalin and similar stimulating drugs are often used to treat this illness. However, studies indicate use of these drugs may have long-term effects on the brain long after its effective use is over. Because of this, many parents seek out use of homeopathic or natural remedies for treatment. Use of non mainstream treatments is heavily debated and studies showing effectiveness are largely inconclusive.
Modification of the diet is reported to have lasting positive results on children suffering from ADD. The popularity of this theory was advanced by Dr. Benjamin Feingold who claimed the increase in children diagnosed with ADD directly coincided with the increase in artificial sweeteners and preservatives in food. Reducing the amount of these in the diet can produce the desired outcome. Sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and caffeine can all contribute to undesired behavior evident in children with ADD. Reducing the amounts of these types of food items will be beneficial and help with overall health as they have little or no nutritional value.
Using vitamins such as B6 have been reported to increase alertness in children suffering from ADD, though no conclusive studies have been accepted. Zinc was also a popular vitamin to use to assist in reducing the behavioral effects of ADD. Currently, using multivitamins to enhance the diet is reported to be the best option.
Caution should be used when mixing herbs as certain doses of herbs and certain combinations can cause harm. It is suggested to consult with a homeopath for advice on which herbs to use before treatment. Use of Pycnogenol, an extract of pine tree bark, is claimed to improve the attention span; however studies have been inconclusive. Improvements in attention, blood flow to the brain, cognitive retention and stress relief are reported to be available in certain herbs such as ginkgo, ginseng, brahmi, green oats and gotu kola.
Audio Visual Stimulation
There have been reported cases of great success using audio video stimulation. A process called entrainment is used to alter patterns of brainwaves. This method is not yet widely popular but has reported significant successful treatments. It is an inexpensive treatment; however it is not covered by most insurance companies.
Research all available treatment options for ADD before committing to one. Using various herbs and drugs can have a negative effect, so use with caution and under the supervision of a physician or homeopath. With the growing frequency of ADD diagnoses, finding effective cures is of utmost importance.