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4 Natural ADHD Treatments That Are Backed By Science

What’s inside this article: A look at four natural ways of managing ADHD symptoms, along with what scientific research supports these treatments. Plus, a look at the best supplements for ADHD and a link to a printable symptom tracker to monitor the impact of ADHD symptoms over time.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

After writing about the benefits of Omega-3 Supplements for common ADHD symptoms, I started doing a lot of research about other natural ADHD treatments.

My focus was on finding natural ADHD treatments that have been proven, through scientific studies, to work.

Here are four more natural ADHD treatments.

Natural ADHD Treatments

1.Iron Supplements

According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 84% of children with ADHD were iron deficient. In comparison, only 18% of their peers had low iron. You can read the study here.

This study also discovered that the lower the child’s iron levels were, the more severe the ADHD symptoms were.

Additionally, symptoms improved over time when children with low iron and ADHD take an iron supplement. 

It’s believed that this is because iron contributes to the inefficient production of dopamine. Low iron disrupts protein synthesis, which is needed for the brain to produce dopamine.

If you are concerned about your child’s iron levels consult your doctor for a blood test. You should never give an iron supplement without consulting with a doctor first because too much iron can interfere with absorbing other nutrients and minerals.

If low iron is confirmed your doctor will probably recommend their preferred brand to you, and it will be available at the pharmacy without a prescription.

Our family physician recommends Fer-In-Sol drops and we used them for about 6 months, while intermittently rechecking iron levels.

Foods High in Iron

You can also offer your child plenty of iron-rich foods. Some foods with high iron include:

  • Red meat
  • Tuna
  • Peanut butter
  • Cheerios (or other iron-fortified cereal)
  • Peas
  • Eggs
  • Dark leafy vegetables (for example kale, spinach)
  • Whole grain bread
4 Natural ADHD Treatments - Manage ADHD Naturally - #ADHDKids #ChildDevelopment #HealthyKids

2. Sandalwood Essential Oil

Since discovering sandalwood essential oil, I use it in a diffuser at home all the time (This is the diffuser I own). The smell of sandalwood is uniquely wonderful and has tons of benefits.

Different types of sandalwood are found throughout the world. As far as therapeutic benefits are concerned, Indian sandalwood is considered the best.

However, it is also the most expensive. So, most products on the market are actually made using Australian sandalwood.

There are a couple of reasons Sandalwood makes a great natural ADHD treatment.

It’s Memory Boosting

Sandalwood improves working memory and stimulates better concentration.

Combined with its ability to reduce stress, this oil can also help make an environment more suitable for learning.

Try diffusing this oil while your child does homework or studies for a test.

It has sedating effects

The sedating effects of sandalwood can help induce calmness and reduce anxiety as well as restlessness.

You can also use sandalwood to wind down and improve sleep. (Did you know that 75% of children with ADHD experience disordered sleep? Read more here)

Other Health Benefits

Sandalwood also soothes stomach pain and digestive issues and naturally relaxes the intestines, which helps with gas pains.


Related: Top 11 Essential Oils for ADHD and Autism


3. Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral that our bodies need. Just like iron and omega-3, zinc plays an important role in dopamine production.

Zinc is also a contributor to the metabolism of neurotransmitters (including dopamine).

Many children with ADHD have low zinc levels compared to their peers.

Studies completed with children using zinc supplements along with the medication methylphenidate (Ritalin, Biphentin) have shown improvements in hyperactivity (Source).

Best Zinc Supplement for Kids

The SmartyPants Kids Complete Mineral Supplement is the best choice if you’re looking for a nutritional supplement high in Zinc, containing 45% of the daily value.

Most multivitamins don’t contain high enough doses of the important minerals our bodies need.

Natural ADHD Treatments - Image of Smarty Pants Mineral Complete showing the benefits of various minerals in the supplement for children.

Foods High in Zinc

  • Ground beef
  • Shellfish
  • legumes (for example, chickpeas and lentils)
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Sweet potatoes

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for the body. We need it for literally hundreds of different functions within our cells.

Almost everyone is deficient in magnesium.

If your diet contains white sugar, white bread, or white rice you probably aren’t getting enough magnesium because these foods deplete your magnesium levels.

Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency include

  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Meltdowns
  • Impaired social skills
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Teeth grinding
  • Irritability
  • Aggressiveness

You may have noticed while reading that list that a lot of those are also symptoms of ADHD

Unfortunately, a lot of the food we eat is so over-processed that it’s been completely depleted of minerals like magnesium.

There are over 20 studies on magnesium and vitamin B6 (we need B6 to absorb magnesium) for autism, including 12 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, making it one of the most studied nutritional treatments for autism. And those nutritional benefits are great for ADHD too.

Almost all of these studies found that 45-50% of children and adults benefited from high-dose supplementation of magnesium and vitamin B6 (Source).

Best Multi-Vitamin for Kids

The SmartyPants Kids Complete Daily Vitamin (taken along with the mineral supplement) is an excellent choice because it has additional zinc, magnesium, calcium, and chromium. Plus, the B6 your child needs for their body to absorb the magnesium.

SmartyPants vitamins have proven to be some of the best supplements on the market for ADHD.

Image showing two flavors of Smarty Pants Kids Complete Multi-Vitamin

Is your Child’s Diet Making ADHD Symptoms Worse

Currently, research is raising more and more concerns regarding red dye 40 and other artificial food colors.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) believes that current scientific research is “too substantial to dismiss” but more research into red dye 40 needs to be conducted to fully understand its effects.

It’s believed to exaberate hyperactivity in all children, especially those with ADHD.

This dye is also used in some surprising foods, like chocolate pudding and sometimes pickles – it’s not only in red treats.

Learn more about red dye here.

Monitoring ADHD Symptoms

It’s important to monitor the severity of your child’s ADHD symptoms over time so you can assess how well (or how poorly) your child’s ADHD treatment plan is working.

Read: How to Tell if Your Child’s ADHD Treatment is Working and also download the free symptom tracker to bring along to doctor appointments.

Best Vitamins for ADHD

When choosing the best vitamins for ADHD, I recommend the SmartyPants brand for all of your supplements because of the quality of their ingredients.

SmartyPants uses the ingredients that are most easily absorbed by the body. This means your body is able to actually use the nutrients in the supplements.

For example, most supplements use “Cyanocobalamin” to supply vitamin B12. However, SmartyPants uses “Methylcobalamin”, which is the body’s preferred source of B12.

For their omega-3 supplements, which I think is the most important supplement for ADHD, they use fish oil from small, wild-caught fish because they contain fewer contaminants and toxins, like mercury. The result is an omega-3 supplement that is better for you.

4 Naturals and Effective Treatments for ADHD - These 4 med-free treatments are proven by science to improve ADHD symptoms in kids #ADHDKids #Autism #ChildDevelopment #HealthyKids #ChildrensMentalHealth #MentalHealth #ADHD #Parenting #ChildDevelopment

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  2. […] single child with an ADHD diagnosis should be taking an omega-3 supplement and a mineral supplement containing magnesium. The brain requires these important nutrients in order to produce serotonin, which is a […]

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