ADHD - dealing with it naturally

by Judie Gade


A sentence any mother fears hearing is "Your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder". Yet it need not be a negative in you or your child's life.

In my dealings with ADHD kids, I find most of them loving, creative & loyal if given the opportunity. They will bend over backwards to please those who show them kindness, patience, loyalty & humour.

Yes, they can be annoying, obsessive, anxious and needing instant gratification: "I WANT IT NOW!" With training, love and a healthy environment, they can achieve way beyond the ordinary to the extra-ordinary.

So, what are the main traits of an ADHD child?:

  • Inattentive ... creating other things in their mind
  • Impulsive ... quick decision maker; capable of hero status
  • Easily distracted ... takes in everything
  • Chronic procrastination -
  • Poor short-term memory
  • Poor organisation
  • Fidgets
  • Obsessive about certain things


In these enlightened times, natural, complimentary therapies are often sought, prior to trying more conventional medicines when figuring out a treatment plan for ADHD.

Herb teas, aromatherapy & flower essences are 3 of the least expensive to use. Aromatherapy and flower essences also compliment more conventional medicines, such as stimulant therapy.

Herbs

With primary school-aged children, there needs to be an element of caution when taking herbs.They are, after all, nature's medicine.
Herbs should not be used with stimulant medications, unless approved by a medical practitioner.

The 4 herbs deemed by Dalpura as safe for school-aged children are:Herb to be avoided being given to children: Guarana Powder (Paullinia cupana): Can cause symptoms of caffeine toxicity.                            Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis): Taken in tea form, it has been associated with an increased risk of mouth cancer & other cancers.

  1. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis). Used by natural therapists for ADHD, increasing appetite & for nervousness. It also appears to have an effect on reducing agitation. This has GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) status in the USA
  2. German Chamomile Flowers (Matricaria recutita). Used by doctors and natural therapists for restlessness, insomnia & gastro-intestinal inflammation. GRAS status
  3. Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata). Used by natural therapists for ADHD, insomnia, anxiety & excitability. GRAS status. Not for use during pregnancy.
  4. Peppermint (Mentha piperita). Traditionally used for loss of appetite & stomach upsets.

ADHD kids often have sleep problems, get overly excited, are anxious & have appetite issues (especially if on stimulant therapy).

Relying on herbs or medications to solve issues in the child's life does not solve the problem. Diet, social skills training and specialised parenting techniques are also needed.

Aromatherapy

Do not be fooled that essential oils are totally safe. They are not. Oils are absorbed through the skin and olfactory bulb in the nose. In more vulnerable sections of our population, such as children, babies, pregnant women and the elderly, caution should be applied.

Oils can have a direct effect on organs and the brain, , and should not be used indiscriminately.

At Dalpura, we combine oils with caution, and base blends on clinical aromatherapy guidelines. Only organic oils are used from certified organic processors, as with our teas.

Three of the safest oils for ADHD school-aged children are:

  • Lavender (Lavendula augustofolia): Soothing and calming. Studies have shown a positive effect in ADHD children.
  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum): For concentration. Has a stimulant effect.
  • Mandarin (Citrus reticulata): Uplifting. Good for anxiety states.


Oils can be used in burners, bath oils & in carrier oils onto the skin. Essential oils should never be used directly on the skin without being in carrier oil, & are in different ratios to the carrier oil, depending on the application and age of the person.

Bush Flower Essences

Probably the most well-known of the flower remedies in the Bach's Rescue Remedy. In Australia, we have our own version that is equally as good: Bush Flower Essences.

Aboriginals have long known of the power of Mother Earth, in particular what plants can offer us. Flower essences work on our emotional states.

ADHD kids find these gentle essences easy to take themselves. Taken orally by dropper, they also help kids to take responsibility for their own emotional health.

Specific flowers have negative conditions that they respond to with positive outcomes.  Dalpura has developed a special essence for the more impulsive, distracted & emotional kids.

  • Negative conditions & corresponding positive outcomes may include:
  • Being on the go, impatient ... slowing down, inner peace
  • Scattered thinking & indecision ... clear mind, thinking more centred.
  • Feeling overwhelmed & stressed by making decisions ... focused and comprehending new ideas.
  • Peer group pressure, needing social approval, feeling unsafe ... socialising & emotional growth
  • Depleted self-confidence & affected by the taunting by others ... releases anguish caused by self-doubt & insensitivity by others.


Judie Gade is from Dalpura Tea Blends & Aromatherapy and is an ADHD Coach & Counsellor.  She has written for the Australian Primary & Secondary School Principals Associations.

She has run ADDventurous Women support group for ADHD women for several years. Contact Julie at mindspace@froggy.com.au

 
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