I recently wrote about the immense benefits of Omega-3 Supplements for individuals with ADHD. Since this post, I started researching other natural ways to treat common symptoms of ADHD. If you haven’t read the post about omega-3 yet, check it out, as I will make references throughout this post. Here are four more natural ADHD treatments.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
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 levels found, the more severe the ADHD symptoms were. Symptoms improve over time when children with low iron and ADHD take an iron supplement. 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. Never give an iron supplement without checking with a doctor first. Too much iron can interfere with absorbing other nutrients and minerals, so low iron first needs to be confirmed first by a professional. Bring this up with your pediatrician or family physician.
If low iron is confirmed your doctor will probably recommend their referred 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, intermittently rechecking iron levels.
You can also offer your child plenty of iron-rich foods. Some foods with high iron include red meats, tuna, peanut butter, cheerios (they are iron fortified), peas, and eggs.
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 is uniquely wonderful and has a pile of benefits.
Different types of sandalwood can be found throughout the world. As far as therapeutic benefits, Indian sandalwood is considered the best. However, it is the most expensive so most products on the market are made with Austrailian sandalwood.
There are a couple benefits that make it so useful as a natural ADHD treatment.
Sandalwood improves working memory and stimulates betters concentration. Combined with its ability to reduce stress, this oil can be used to help make an environment more suitable for learning.
The sedating effects of sandalwood can help induce calmness and reduce anxiety as well as restlessness. It can also be used to wind down and improve sleep.
Other Health Benefits
It can help soothe the stomach and digestive issues and naturally relaxes the intestines, which will help with gas pains.
Another awesome essential oil for ADHD is vetiver. Plus, check out this list of 10 best essential oils for autism and ADHD to learn about other essential oils that can be used as natural ADHD treatments.
Zinc, just like iron and omega-3, plays an important role in dopamine production.
Zinc is an important contributor to the metabolism of neurotransmitters (including dopamine). Many children with ADHD have low zinc levels compared to their peers. Studies completed on using zinc supplements along with methylphenidate (Ritalin, Biphentin) have shown improvements in hyperactivity (Source).
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for the body, needed for 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 as it depletes your levels.
Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency include restlessness, hyperactivity, meltdowns, impaired social skills, noise sensitivity, teeth grinding, irritability, and aggressiveness. Considering the similarity in symptoms of ADHD (and autism) and magnesium deficiency it’s easy to see how not having enough magnesium could amplify symptoms.
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 (needed to absorb magnesium) for autism, including 12 double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, making it one of most studied nutritional treatments for autism.
Almost all of these studies found that 45-50% of children and adults with autism benefited from high-dose supplementation of magnesium and vitamin B6 (Source).
My family uses the Smartypants Kids Complete Supplement since it has Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, and Chromium. I think it’s an excellent supplement if you’re looking for natural ADHD treatments.
I have been enjoying my research on natural ADHD treatments. My son is on medication and his symptoms were quite severe so the completely natural route would not work best for us. But, I am working on finding our balance between the two. I think natural ADHD treatments can really complement medication for those who do medicate, like us. And also make symptoms more manageable for those who don’t medicate.