Last Modified on Jul 21, 2014
Find natural remedies for ADD and ADHD and natural supplements to reduce ADD symptoms. Many parents and adults with ADHD are finding success with home remedies! While diagnoses like ADD and ADHD are likely on the rise due to over-diagnosis, many of those diagnoses are legitimate. If you have a child who suffers with this difficult neurobehavioral condition or even if your deal with it yourself, effective coping mechanisms and treatments are crucial. While most doctors just want to put a “Band-Aid” on the condition by prescribing a medication, natural options help rebalance the system and effectively mediate the condition.
The Problem with Prescription Medication
While many prescription medications are used to treat ADD, these options can actually be dangerous. Among the most common options are stimulant drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. Many individuals who take these drugs end up with severe side effects such as painful headaches, insomnia, and depression. There have even been reported cases of sudden death, cardiac abnormalities, and serious heart problems.
Are There Any Natural Treatment Options?
While most treatments present some level of side effects, those associated with more natural treatments are extremely limited in comparison to those of prescription drugs. Natural options function to regulate the system and provide balance of the body overall. Consider these before trying a more aggressive approach.
1. Nutritional Supplements
Research suggests that ADD is connected to certain nutritional deficiencies, so nutritional supplements are a good way to mediate the condition. Magnesium and iodine are most often noted as linked to ADD, so you may want to give those a try first.
2. Dietary Changes
Most individuals have an adverse response to certain foods and food additives, so it should be no surprise that specific dietary changes can also mediate behavior linked to ADD. Try eliminating trigger foods until you experience a positive reaction. Many individuals with the condition react to sugar and gluten. Aim for a diet with whole foods – fruit, vegetables, and healthy proteins.
3. Consistent Routines
Consistency can also help an individual navigate ADD. A regular routine of sleeping, waking, completing daily tasks, exercising, and other activities helps the individual establish a norm for behavior.
While ADD is an aggressive disorder that affects all sectors of life, it can be treated without medication. Continue reading below for treatments from Earth Clinic readers who have tried various natural cures for ADD and let us know if you've discovered a treatment that works!
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Avoid Potato Chips
- Cod Liver Oil
- Dietary and Herbal Suggestions
- Dietary Changes
- Feingold Diet
- Fish Oil and Primrose Oil
- Fluoride Related
- General Feedback
- Grape Seed Oil
- Phosphatidyl Choline
- Remedies for Poor Concentration
- Remedies Needed
- Remove Red Dye
- Supplements and Indian Herbs
- Ted's Remedies
- Theories for Cause
- To Medicate or Not to Medicate
- Vetiver Oil
10/26/2011: Rubigirl from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada: "Jus wondering if ACV will help my sons with their learning troubles of adhd and add deficeit.. I have started to take if for the weight loss part of it.. And I rather like it.. But.. They have been medicated for soo long with the troubles.. If I could find a way to mask the smell and the taste.. They would drink it like juice I would hope... pls get back to me thank you .."Replies
10/26/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Rubigirl, magnesium deficiency has been linked to ADHD (do some research on that). Kids given magnesium have geat results. Iodine deficiency as well has been linked to ADHD.
I read recently that for kids with autism the parents first reach for magnesium and iodine to supplement the kids with."
08/23/2012: Callie from Alexandria, In replies: "Rubigirl, At our local health food store, they have an ACV bottled drink made with grape juice that is delicious. I'm wondering if a homemade version of that would be good for your kids? We have made some before with the no-sugar added grape juice and it tastes great."
[YEA] 04/22/2006: Dan from Minneapolis, MN: "Apple Cider Vinegar seems to reduce ADD symptoms, as well as anxiety and depression symptoms."Replies
08/27/2008: Susanne from Easton, PA replies: "How much apple cider vinegar and how often? My son needs constant redirecting his attention and focus in school. Thanks."
08/27/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "To Answer questions re children's or animal dosages: A reference found on curezone.com from Dr. Richard Schulze's Patient Handbook recommends figuring dosage by weight alone. Just put child's or animal's weight over l50 lbs (average adult weight) and do your math. child's wt. 30 lbs over l50 lbs. would give you l/5th of the adult dose for the child. Go to curezone.com for more detailed explanation. Even better print it out and keep it for ready reference when needed."
02/24/2010: Oepnlyhappy from Mcdonough, Ga replies: "I have adhd and acne (i'm detoxing and starting oil pulling). I have heard that vinegar is not good for acne or skin problems is that true????"
EC: Not according to our acne remedies page, where apple cider vinegar is the most popular cure with 44 Yeas!
[YEA] 08/11/2007: Candice from Foley, Alabama: "A friend of mines daughter was just diagnosed with ADHD and she said that the Dr. told her to get her off of potato chips it's the worse thing for children. She did admit that her daughter ate large bags of chips with soda's everyday. He also said chips affect adults in much the same way. First time I have ever heard a Dr. not give a child retlin. Hat's off to this Dr."Replies
[YEA] 10/22/2010: Lisa from Vancouver, Wa replies: "Actually, for adults with ADHD.... Potatos & Potato Chips Are AWESOME!!! They have Tyrptophan... So it helps my insomnia... I sleep so much better when I eat them before bed. Eggs have it also.... Americans have it all wrong... They eat hash browns & eggs for Breakfast... When actually they should be eaten as a Bedtime Snack."
05/26/2011: Ej from Central, Usa replies: "What planet are you from may I ask?? When has anything fried been good for you?? They use the worst rancet oils to cook with. French Fries, Potato chips are JUNK FOODS. Stay away from them and Sugars, Corn syrups, anything that ends in 'ose' is a form of sugar and is NOT good for you to consume.
These kids with Add and ADHA need to change their diets. Parents wake up and start feeding your kids nutrious foods not fried and sweet foods. Not foods out of the Freezer dept. Those are not meals; they are garbage and that is what you give for a meal and wonder why you, your kids are spaced out. Stay away from food colors too. No Cherry red drinks, popsicles. All colors. Very bad for kids.
Shop in the Produce section of the store or grow your own and feed you kids something that will benefit them. How can they grow on Fried foods and Sugars? No Processed food like lunch meats, hot dogs, all garbage. Wake up and stay away from meds.
God provideds fruits, vegtables, nuts... Try it and watch a wonderful, pleasant change in your children."
02/06/2012: Aw from Brisbane, Australia replies: "What the? Lisa from Vancouver? Potato snacks don't have Tryptophan?? If they help insomnia it's only because you've taken in a huge carb dose that makes your body sleepy trying to digest it all.
EJ is right. Parents need to wake up and stop filling their kids with low nutritional junk, wondering why they're subsequently behaviourally difficult.
Eat your chips at bedtime if you like... But pay the price when start to wake up fatty boom-ba-la-da and wonder why you feel like rubbish. Trans-fats, preservatives etc. NOT good for ADHD."
[YEA] 10/20/2010: Corinna from London, England: "I used coffee with my 10 year old son who has mild adhd. It worked a miracle - a difference between manageable and unmangeable. I have since found out that coffee for adhd is a common advice in Germany and is recommanded by many doctors before going down the ritalin route. My son has one or two cups a day. However, if he eats anything with food colouring in it he is terrible for two days. He is otherwise on a immaculate diet free of any additives etc."Replies
10/22/2010: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Hi Corinna, ever thought of having him try a trampoline? It seems to work wonders and it is a lot healthier for a child than coffee. I have sessions with someone in Zurich because of my myopia and he told me that trampolining works well for children like your son because they get very worked up only in order to find the balance they miss and calm themselves down. I bet he would love the trampoline and you can buy a small one for the living room which is what I have."
[WARNING!] 01/05/2011: Justwantinganswers from Easton, Pa, United States replies: "I was diagnosed with ADHD with my severity level being somewhere around the 97th or 98th percentile while in college--studying psychology, ironically enough. I was part of a research study where cat scans and brain imaging was used to "map" the brains of the participants after different interventions. The researcher at my school and I began discussing the different results and I was surprised when she told me coffee would help people with ADHD. Often ADHD's underlying cause is a lack of functioning neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft of the neuron responsible for passing along information. Basically--there aren't enough little message carriers making it to their destination--the next neuron. So, the message that came from the original brain neuron intended for another brain neuron will often stop before it reaches the final destination. It's sort of like the neuron short circuiting and stopping temporarily--the signal gets lost. (I wish I could draw a diagram on here--it's how I finally understood it! ) Ritalin, Concerta, and many other ADHD "medicines" are really just stimulants. They work the same way coffee does. Basically, they stimulate the neurons to release more neurotransmitters than they are used to--which helps the message get to where it needs to.
However, some research in its infancy is starting to show that these stimulant drugs (and coffee falls into this category) can do more harm than good in the long run. Yes, the child may be sitting still right now, but with repeated stimulation of the nervous system comes issues. That means that the neurons are being overworked and overstressed constantly. In addition, your body has to process out much more stimulant than it is used to. Think about it--if you overstimulate your pituitary glad for too long, what happens? It breaks down. While much more research needs to be done on these effects, using caffeine and other stimulants to treat ADHD may not be the best idea."
01/08/2011: Maskeen from Dubai, Uae replies: "Try magnesium supplements instead. Mg glycinate/lysinate with bioperine. Adhd is the result of mg deficiency."
01/14/2011: Justwantinganswers from Easton, Pa replies: "Actually, Maskeen--I have been taking Mg since I was diagnosed and it hasn't been helping me one bit with ADHD. It has helped with my migraines (nearly gone), but the ADHD symptoms haven't changed. Most natural healers I have spoken with have said, when I asked, That Mg deficiency is NOT a cause of ADHD "proper" (being the lack of neurotransmitter function)."
03/11/2012: Quixote from Las Vegas, NV replies: "When I was a kid I there was no label for this but they recognized that some kids had these issues-sometime the problem is not the child but what they are learning-they are not interested and see no real reason to learn it-they tested me because they were so concerned but turned out my IQ was higher than most of my teachers. I just was not interested.... but of course that wont sell any drugs."
[YEA] 08/31/2008: Carolyn from Morrison, Oklahoma: "In the 1960's my brother was diagnosed with ADHD. Caffeine was his first choice to help him, in real ADHD patients, they react to sedatives as if it is speed, and anything that causes a normal person, to be hyper caused him to calm down, coffee has been a big help in my family to my brother, and cousins and nephews. It's only part of their therapy, but it helped keep them off ritalin and other strong drugs. A cup in the morning before school and it helped alot with my brother, during the morning etc."Replies
10/22/2010: Lisa from Vancouver, Wa replies: "I Concur! Adults with ADHD are made more mellow w/ caffeine -- My Favorite Choice is Chocolate--It has Magnesium, which, ADD & ADHD people are typically deficient in. Its hard to take Mag in pill form, cuz it causes the runs :-(... Chocolate is easier, although the refined sugar isn't so good, so if you can stand 70% cocoa Dark Chocolate... That's the way 2 go :-)"
02/04/2013: Jgoodroe from Clarksville, Tennessee replies: "I am 25 years old and received the ADHD diagnosis about 3 years ago. I had horrible issues in school my whole life and when I was younger ADHD was not really and issue as it is today. After I was put on Adderall my grades now in college are A's all the way. If caffeine would have done the trick for me I would have never had issues or I must need a mass dose of it to help me out. I have drank coffee since I was about 14. I also take magnesium but I see no difference with it without taking Adderall or added to it. Now my 5 year old is showing more and more signs of ADHD, I will not put her on meds at this early age so I am going to try a little caffeine and mg. Caffeine makes me normal not hyper at all, I wish it did!"
08/24/2011: Sal from Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa: "Hi there..... what are your views on cod liver oil? more specifically for treating ADD."Replies
09/08/2011: Shakira from Jhb, South Africa replies: "Hi Sal,
My kids who are both ADHD take a few drops of Omega 3 and 6 Oils with Scotts Emulsion. The difference is amazing. And coffee does actually calm them down as well."
[WARNING!] 05/01/2012: Gardengrl from Belfast, Me replies: "I was giving both myself and my children high vitamin cod liver oil with butter as recommended on westonprice.org and was hospitalized w/ hypervitaminosis a. I had increased intracranial pressure and almost died. I had only been taking this for about a month, and I belive I took 200000 units total during that time."
[YEA] 06/10/2014: Jennifer from Raymond, Ab: "EMPowerplus Advanced is a natural multivitamin and mineral supplement that has 25 medical journal publications so far showing its effectiveness on the symptoms of depression, bipolar, adhd, anxiety and stress related symptoms after a catastrophic event. The idea is that medications commonly "cover up" symptoms while micronutrients attempt to help the brain repair itself, so to speak."
[YEA] 05/13/2008: Terese from Cedar Rapids, Iowa: "ADHD: Daycare wanted to drug my son when he was 3. Want to know the ironic thing? Hillary Clinton referenced his daycare in her book, "It Takes a Village." I fought tooth and nail. I finally gave in and put him on ritalin, dexadrene (sp), concerta, strattera. These are all of the drugs I tried on him at different times. Needless to say my son almost died in the ER of an overdose. It's funny because it was supposed to be a "low dosage". You trust your doctor and do what they say because it is good for you right? WRONG! I didn't know any better.
I took my son's life and well being into my own hands. First I had to acknowledge the fact that I needed to have a spine and stop giving him empty threats. I let him get away with anything because I would get to the point where I was just so tired from working all day- I couldn't parent. I needed a break. I wouldn't follow through with things, etc. When I did he was just his bouncing self. I finally set rules, followed through, and there were consequences. Do not join CHADD. They are funded by drug companies. They will think you are a freak for not putting your kid on meds. I got absolutely no support there. I got pamphlets on why I should give my kid a pill. I do not believe they are there to support you. They are there to push drugs. Follow the money if you don't believe me.
First thing I did was watched Dr. Fred Baughman's video on ADHD. You can purchase that at www.adhdfraud.org - I bawled when I watched it. Completely amazing. It is worth every penny. You might be able to find it free online if you search well enough. You have to watch this video before you do anything else.
#2. I read every page and watched all of the YouTube videos of Steve Plog, founder of www.resultsproject.net - READ EVERY PAGE.
#3. I got my son a lab test from Steve Plog's site for delayed food allergies. Delayed food allergies are different from your classic food allergies. My son was allergic to everything I was feeding him. Wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, beef, all citrus, peanuts. We had to do research on a wheat free gluten free soy free dairy free diet. No, he was not a celiac but we had to say that so schools would adhere to his dietary needs, but we started packing lunches anyway. You have to change your lifestyle and we did. That is what prompted me to go vegan but that is another story. He still eats chicken and loves bacon. The best book I found for making him goodies like pizza, breads, and cakes was by Cindy Moseley "Great Foods Without Worry". It was my saving grace.
#4. I read everything on the drugging of children on www.spice-of-life.com - Click on "Articles" and read.
#5. I absolutely cut out pop, all juice "drinks", anything with Splenda, Sweet N Low, NutraSweet--ANYTHING WITH ASPARTAME. Wanna know why? Because it is cancer! A sweet slow death. Don't believe me? Go read www.dorway.com and see for yourself. I get all of the drink things from www.steviasmart.com - He absolutely LOVES the chocolate drink. And what do we do without dairy? We drink rice milk and almond milk. Stop cooking with vegetable, soy, corn, canola, and animal fat oils. Cook with extra virgin coconut oil instead. Read up online about the benefits of extra virgin coconut oil. My favorite is http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com/virgin_coconut_oil.htm
#6. Find a doctor who does not believe in drugging children (I know that seems hard but they are out there). Look for alternative doctors. Call around and ask around.
#7. You wean your kid off drugs. It is your responsibility. I am not a doctor, but I have lived almost 9 years of hell.
It is against the law for a teacher to reccommend that you drug your kid. If any teacher tells you to get meds. Ask her if she is a doctor. Tell her it is illegal to practice medicine without a license and that she could be fined and arrested for that.
I have slowly introduced certain foods back into my son's diet. The only things that makes him go through the roof are soy and beef.
I put my son on 2 - 250 mg pills of L- Tryptophan (NOW brand)and give him 2 time released melatonin (Source Naturals) pills every morning. He gets another dose at school before lunch. I pulled him out of regular schools and got him into a private school. He is a normal kid, just like everyone else. He also takes a daily vitamin at night. I have a flourishing 9 year old boy now in the 3rd grade. He also gets flax seed oil from www.omeganutrition.com -
Don't ever let anyone convince you to drug your child. You are the parent and you know what is best. Set rules and boundaries. Kids that are "over active" need structure, routine, rules, consistency, and boundaries. Even kids that aren't "over active" do. Let your kids be kids but be their parent.rnrnIf you have any questions feel free to post under me and I will check back to answer them.
P.S. My son in a public school was sent to the office every day. His scores were passing on his report cards. This year in a private school, and last year... he took his Iowa Test of Basic Skills tests. Everything except LISTENING SKILLS were at almost a 5th grade level. So, for anyone to tell me that I am crazy.... you can stick it where the sun don't shine for all I care. I have living proof that what I did with my own son works. Different strokes for different folks. I do not believe in ADHD. I believe in drug companies making a profit off kids being kids. Follow the money."Replies
06/04/2008: Jill from Portland, Oregon replies: "I read the article on ADHD by Terese written on 5/13/08. I found all the information very helpful. I would like to talk to her and get some more information on how her son is doing now and how to start this process for my son. Thank you for your help, Jill"
08/03/2008: Holly from Big Pine Key, FL replies: "Thanks for the info in ADHD. I am so excited to learn more on the subject. I know I had it as a child, but learned how to cope, and have a son now 10 diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. I have to share custody with his father and their family doesn't even want to hear about diet being an issue, so he gets lots of fast food and processed foods no matter what I try. so I try to do what I can when I have him, He was breastfed for 2 years, mostly for security and comfort during the last year, just at bedtime, we had experienced a hurricane and then his father and I seperated so the comfort was mainly before bed to help him to fall asleep. We had to move 5 times that year until i was able to get us settled. I raised him on my own for the most part until he was 8, his dad was moving away and back and away, and so on, now he is close by and so involved more which my son needs, but not having the same views on nutrition and such make it hard. I am chef and teacher, so food is not something I take lightly, but I am made out to be the bad guy when I get upset when I find out my son has been to fast food joints with his fathers side. I plan on trying many things on this site that I haven't tried, and if anyone has any suggestions please feel free to respond! May God's peace surround you always."
08/06/2008: Reid from Herrin, IL replies: "Sodas are made with High Fructose Corn Syrup. Corn is a GRAIN NOT a veg. They give corn to cows before slaughter to fatten them up. HFCS turns directly into fat NOT energy like normal sugar. HFCS not only makes you fat it damages the liver and pancreus. It was linked to mine and 3-4 other friends diabetes. I stopped all sodas diet or HFCS and my fasting sugar has went from 130 to 90."
EC: Soda manufactured in Mexico and India (along with a bunch of other countries) are made with sugar, not corn syrup. You can find these sodas at international grocery stores, just make sure to read the ingredients to confirm before you buy!
11/11/2008: Rosemary from Atlanta, Georgia replies: "Believe it or not, I work with a lot of parents whose children have ADHD. My 14 year old son just told me last week that he needs medical help. He is tired of not being able to concentrate and getting in trouble in class. He also has a predisposition for anxiety that he inherited from me, which does not help things. I have been trying out different vitamin supplements and ACV to no avail. He just recently began living with his father and I cannot control his diet. He would probably starve if I were to enforce the removal of sugars in his diet anyway, and just sneak junk food other places. It's funny how I have a whole lot of advice for other parents whose kids have ADHD, even though I never advocate medicine. But now that he is REQUESTING meds, I am flabbergasted and do not know where to turn. I will start to read the websites mentioned but I am really upset about this. Anyone with teenagers having any success, please respond!!!"
[YEA] 01/18/2009: Jude from Louisville, Ky replies: "The Doctor wanted to put my son on ADHD medicine when he was 4 years old, I almost fainted I told him I would have to think about it, but I knew there was no thinking about it that was not going to happen I would have to find another way. This was in 1978 so I went straight to the library after about 3 hours I wasn't finding anything and then it hit me like a ton of bricks it had to be what he was eating. AT THAT MOMENT everything changed I pulled everything that was processed, sugared, refined or had artificial flavoring or colorings in it and got rid of it. He had whole grain cereal fruit and fruit juice in the morning all he wanted. fish,eggs salad,fruit juice in the afternoon and chicken, green vegetables and whole grain bread with real butter for dinner fruit and fresh veggies were always available at anytime.He had no difficulty with dairy so that was always there.He had a marked improvement in 24 hours and I don't know if people realize how much food dye is in kool-aid just removing that will make a difference but removing sugar and processes food for 48 hrs will show a big difference in kids. He is 34 now and I can still tell weather he has been eating right or junking it up. I tell everybody I know with small children if you cant make big changes remove food dyes, processed food and sugar. I know its hard to cook like that I used to cook everything on Sunday and freeze it and pull it out as needed you will get the hang of it after a while. I was hard when he started school because he would slip up sometimes but if I kept everything else in range it was manageable. There were no food allergies."
03/31/2009: Jennifer from Atlanta, GA replies: "Is Terese from Cedar Rapids still checking this website? I need to talk with her. My 3 year old son was just diagnosed with severe ADHD and severe ODD. The developmental pediatrician wants to put him on Clonodine. In an attempt to avoid medicating him, we have removed all processed foods, preservatives, food colorings, wheat, gluten, dairy, nuts, and fruits with high levels of salicylic acids. He has improved but we are still having issues with him at school (he has a one-on-one facilitator in a special program at his preschool). My husband and I are at our wits end. I was wondering if I could talk with or e-mail Terese who seemed to have some good ideas and got her son on the right track."
05/06/2009: Michael from Spokane, Wa replies: "I've been dealing with ADHD for 22 years now and I can tell you all without the slightest degree of hesitation that Ritalin is pure evil. As of late however I've reconsidered subjecting myself to the self imposed zombification that is induced by this medication. I'm scared shitless. Finding this site and these articles has been rather encouraging. I'm now aware of supplemental vitamin and dieting that may help alleviate the more...constraining aspects of ADHD. Obviously I don't sound like someone who suffers from it, but I assure you all that I do and it is a constant struggle...battles are not won...it is a constant fight. However stubborness alone will no longer suffice. As for children I've read that you should have the doctors check their tonsils. Sometimes the removal of them can be beneficial. Also I've begun taking an anti-stress pill. It's a vitamin pill, not a drug. I've always been against drugs...I suppose drinking counts as well, so in light of my current lifestyle I'm something of a hypocrite.
Someone here wrote something about structure...and they are absolutely right about saying how children need it, regardless of their psychological state of being. Order within ones life often produces order within the mind. What you see your child doing is merely the tip of the ice berg. It is chaos...untamed wildness. If I had to compare my mind today to what it was then...
Today my mind is as a rabid animal. Then it was as a race car that kept going faster and faster. It is torture.
Unfortunately I'm rather absentminded so I've left my email on the off chance that someone has any questions about my life experience with ADHD. If you have the right questions I'm sure I can answer them. I'd like to help as many people as possible...it makes me feel useful, and by extension...normal.
Which brings me to my final point.
You are your childs best friend. Without you they will crumble. This is true with many children, but only with children who suffer from ADHD is it a certainty. No matter what you decide to do, you must be with them every step of the way. No amount of medication, drugs or otherwise, will be an adequate substitute for a parents love.
I speak from experience, because I have seen many others who were not so lucky as I am. You see...I thrive in isolation. But when I was a child and my mother had left my siblings and I for whatever her reasons were at the time...two years...the foundation on which our lives are built crumbles when the only person who loves and understands us abandons us. I can think of nothing so horrible as a child suffering from ADHD forced to confront it alone.
Of course I'm perhaps being a bit melodramatic, or over exaggerating things to make us seem as though we are as delicate as glass houses. But even if you won't believe how terrible it really is to suffer from this monstrous thing...understand that we are listening on some level. We do hear and understand what you say and how you say it. When you tell us you love us we hear that too...and it can make all the difference.
Right then...hopefully that helped someone."
10/12/2009: Taryn from Tacoma, Wa replies: "My son has struggled with ADHD since he was about 3 years old. He had constant ear infections for the first 3 years of his life. Antibiotics were given every time. I believe he has leaky gut do to these antibiotics. He would contsantly be sick, throwing up, diahhrea. The doctors never told me to replenish his body with acidophilus after being treated with the antibiotics. I since discovered with my 2 year old son that dairy was the culprit for the ear infections. Food allergies can cause many problems for your child. Elimination diet and a food allergy test not done by a main stream doctor. You need to find a Naturopathic Doctor that specializes in food allergies. Look on the internet in your area. Meridian Valley Lab in Renton, Washington does this test. You might even be able to get a test kit mailed to you and mail it back to them. Dairy, wheat, soy, corn, nuts are in everything and hard to digest. Doris Rapp, MD "Is this Your Child" is an excellent book for children with ADHD/ADD. There are many alternative foods out there for you, it just takes time to learn about them and change your way of eating. Every health problem you come across can be treated with what you ae putting in or on your body. Knowledge is key and reading all the info provided here helps. Both my sons have not been to a doctor except for a check up in 3 years. Not so much as a runny nose. This is after I changed our diet to allergen free foods. They can have these foods once in a while for special occasion and I can still keep them healthy. It is also important to take pro biotics (refrigerated), digestive enzymes, flax or fish oil (cold pressed) and good multi vitamins made from whole foods that do not have wheat, soy, dairy, corn etc. You and your children are worth it. Never give up!"
04/14/2011: G Clark from Phiadelphia, Pa, Usa replies: "Thank you Theresa for your insite and personal experience with ADHD. I am currently having the same issues with my son. They are trying to diagnosis him with ADHD/ODD. He is hyperactive as well and doesn't listen to the staff at his school. After reviewing your post. I decided to do research as well as take your advise and Ted suggestions. I have cut out the sugar, processed food and artifical flavors. You don't say how often and how much of a dosage that was given to your son. Please give me any advise or further instruction that would help.
Thank you!! Best wishes!"
04/14/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "G Clark, I have mentioned this a few times (I don't have any relationship to this Dr at all) but have you heard of the GAPS diet. You can google it. It has had some excellent results with ADHD kids. The reason I am looking into it is that my son has speech developmental issues and I think it will help. Basically Dr McBride is saying that the ADHD is caused by toxins in the body, namely the gut and to fix the problem you have to heal the gut and rid the body of the toxins. I would be interested to hear what you say after you see her youtube videos. Many of these kids have digestive issues (including my son)."
04/15/2011: G Clark from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "Thanks for the advise Debbie. I have taken a look at the GAPS diet. I may give that a try as well. There seems to be a lot of perparing involved. I really appreciate the advise. Thank you!"
04/15/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "G Clarke yes the GAPS diet is a lot of hard work. I am wanting to start my son on it as he has a developmental delay (will probably do it myself). I am trying to find the green coconuts. I just found some grass fed beef (to help make the broth).
Here are some amazing stories of people who have had great results:
04/15/2011: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Debbie and G Clarke,
I have been following your thread and wanted to mention some things that might help you both in your journey. Besides the GAP diet there is amazing info by Donna Gates and her Body Ecology diet. She has a whole group dedicated to turn autism and ADD around through her diet. I have heard her speak and she is amazing and dedicated to this mission. She has been at it for over 10 years. You might want to go to her site and read about it. There's lots of really good info there. She offers recipes and you can get her book The Body Ecology Diet which I use myself and have given it as gifts to friends. She also recommends fermented foods. You can watch her making them on youtube.
I know you both are referring to ADD but this info might be very pertinent to you. I know Debbie that you mentioned you were trying to get green coconuts. Is that to make fermented coconut water? Donna's products are made in Australia and I know she is the only one to offer unpasteurized fresh coconut water which is bottled. It is offered here in the US at health food stores in the frozen section so you might want to check into that. Her group she has for families incorporating her diet, BED is called BEDROK. It's a support group for helping implement fundamental diet changes to families. Anyway, I hope this info helps you."
04/16/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Thanks Lisa I will investigate the Body Ecology Diet. I did see the Donna Gates video on youtube with Dr. McBride. I had actually started making a sourdough fermented bread about a month ago but stopped because I got sick and didn't stir the starter enough and it "died". The fermented food products make a lot of sense to me.
G Clarke, something else that I have been doing and it seems to be working for my son is Vitamin C. When I started he did have the croup and some asthma (and ended up 1 night in hospital). I started giving him the Vit C to clear his congestion (Dr had prescribed antibiotics and he had had 3 doses of Prednisone) and had read that Vitamin C detoxes the body of heavy metals and I though it may help him if that were a problem. I was juicing lemons and adding honey and vitamin C powder - put the mixture in a small container on top of a cup of hot water long enough for the honey to melt and mixed it all together. I then used the plastic syringe for medications to syringe that mixture into my son's mouth. (About 1/4 tspn Vit C - 4 or 5 times a day).
I did notice a marked improvement in his speech in a couple of weeks. He wouldn't sing except maybe one word at the end of each line in a song if that and he had to be coaxed for that one maybe two words. He is about to turn 4. He has the speech of about a 2 1/2 year old.
Anyway it is now about 4 weeks after I have been giving him the vitamin C. He has started singing songs without prompting from me. I was waiting in the Doctors office a couple of days ago (I wanted his blood tested to see if he was lacking in any nutrients) and my son was singing on the top of his voice the song of Twinkle Twinkle little Star. admittedly he missed quite a few words but he has gone from only singing one word when I sing with him to belting out a song in the Dr's office with no coaching from me (and to applause from onlookers). He is also wanting now to sing other songs and rhymes - never interested before.
I can't quite believe it is a coincidence that he has improved so quickly. I definitely think the Vitamin C has helped to detox his body.
Also I have been giving him Cilanto (corriander) chopped up in a yoghurt & garlic sauce mixed in his food. Cilantro also is know to get rid of heavy metals in the body. I also give him probiotics and digestive enzymes every day.
His speech is still not there but there is a lot of improvement. I am also going to try either of the GAPS/ and the BED diets. I need to get the books and study which one we may be doing. In the meantime keep adding to what I am doing. As I type this he is singing Twinkle Twinkle to himself so something is working."
04/28/2011: G Clark from Phiadelphia, Pa, Usa replies: "Hi!!
Thanks Debbie and Lisa for your feedback and updates. I am going to start with the supplements and I will decide which diet that would be more suitable for me to start. I look forward to hearing any more updates and improvements. I will also post updates.
Best wishes! G Clark"
[YEA] 10/26/2011: Dial999 from Brisbane, Australia replies: "The moment he was born he showed aggression and the midwives said "We've never seen a baby do that before". My son has adhd. It seemed as if the lights were on, but nobody was home for his first 11 years, we couldn't seem to get through to him. He's 27 now. I did the diet, did the ritalin, did the chiropractor, did everything. Somehow, I knew that preserving his self esteem was paramount. In class he failed, with friends he failed, with family he failed. We had to get some success into his life. We tried a few things and found acting was what he could succeed at, others admired him. He took to computers and was the 'expert', others admired him. His diet was clean, that was a biggie that actually helped all of us in the long run. We decided to forgo the ritalin. I had to become an expert in child rearing, long before the Nanny gave us a few pointers. I was his advocate, having a few standups with doctors and teachers who didn't believe ADHD existed at that time. He's turned out a sociable, happy young man. He still can't organise his way out of a paper bag, which brings a few work related problems, but if his bosses can work out his strengths and use them, then he becomes their most valued employee. Same with his flatmates, if they can ignore the mess, he's great fun to live with.
My mum and sister have ADHD, and so do a lot of my friends (I'm the only one who understands them and will be their friend). As far as I'm concerned, ADHD is simply a variation of normal. Nature makes a variety of people so that we can survive. When war, tsunami, earthquake or hurricane hits, who is out there first on the front line with fearless and boundless energy? Not me.... Them. We need them. Don't try and fix what ain't broke, just manage them, small doses helps!"
10/29/2011: Eeore from Sydney, Australia replies: "My son has ADHD, refused drugs, tried diet as teenager taken cannabis and developed schizophrenia went to doctors and the drugs started till he had put on heaps of weight and got type 2 diabetes. They then decided his time with them was finished and they changed their diagnosis ( after 2yrs) He has taken to alcohol ( lge qty - bottle rum a day- straight ) to cope and refuses all drugs even his diabetic meds and insulin. He now refuses to eat any vegetables and I try to make food with veggies grated in to disguise when he eats with us. He is 26 now - he has no friends as refuses to go out- and does not want to even talk to us. Any ideas from anyone that I might be able to suggest to him?"
10/29/2011: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi Eeore - You mentioned that your 26-year-old son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, as well as ADHD. Have you seen these pages on Earth Clinic regarding schizophrenia?
Unfortunately, since you mentioned that your son consumes 1 large bottle of rum a day, I imagine any vitamins or diet would have limited impact. Is it possible for him to be admitted to a rehab facility? Once there, he will find others at rehab who are going through the same thing he is and he won't feel so alone. He may even find a buddy who can help him through life's up and downs when he gets out.
It must be very difficult for you - don't give up. Your son probably feels that the doctors let him down (sounds like they did) but I hope he is open to getting the professional help he so desperately needs. Take care, Bess"
10/29/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Eeore for ADHD, research iodine supplementation. There has been great success with it. Also for schizophrenia Dr. Hoffer cured people with mega doses of Niacin. Go to Doctoryourself.com and search "schizophrenia Dr. Hoffer".
The iodine does need companion nutrients with it. Go to the remedies section here and read up on iodine - the companion nutrients are listed.
Maybe once the ADHD and the schizophrenia have been healed you can look at the vegetables."
10/30/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Eeore, Dr. Hoffer also had great success treating alcoholics with Niacin therapy so your son will be helped so much with the niacin alone. Here is a link to the article. Please research this website for Dr. Hoffer... Lots of great info. Also alcohol depletes your body of many nutients including Vitamin E so maybe you could add some to his diet and also colloidal minerals (liquid form).
11/22/2011: Diane from Prince George, Bc Canada replies: "There is an amazing success story of a family with severe mental illness (suicide, attempted suicides, homicidal tendencies, extreme behaviors) who cured the symptoms using vitamins and were able to become "normal" and eliminate all allopathic medications. They are marketing the vitamins "Empowerplus" or EMP."
12/10/2011: Linda from Lalaland, Thecreek, Usa replies: "Eeore,
There is a book which should do you a world of good, "Alcoholism and Nutrition", written by Dr. Roger Williams, MD. It is an old book, mine is a paperback. Dr. Williams had great success healing alcoholism using the tasteless, colorless amino acid named L-Glutamine, often added into food or juice, etc.
According to Dr. Williams, L-Glutamine stops the "craving" for alcohol, making it easier to quit drinking.
You might have to find it in a used bookstore, but if you will, I am sure it will be tremendously useful for you and your son.
03/22/2012: Jennifer J from Denham Springs, La replies: "Theresa, I am so so glad I found your blog!!! I have been fighting the schools, Dr.s, myself, etc on drugging my child. This whole process started in Nov 2011. I finally gave in and took my son to a Nuro Dr who diagnosed him with ADHA, High Focusing Difficuilty, Lack of Impulse COntrol and ADD. So we went thru the entire list of drugs till we found Dexa something that does work. However, IT'S A DRUG! And it scares me to death. I am in the begining stages of finding a healthier way to treat him. He is seeing his PCP tomorrow and I will have him tested for delayed food allergies as you suggested. I just wanted you to know that I am glad I found you and your story. I want the best for my child and I do not think that the doctors know best for our kids. Thank you! -Jennifer"
01/28/2013: ~angel from Chi Town, Ill replies: "05/06/2009: Michael from Spokane, Wa
Thank you so very much for sharing your story... You have no idea how reading it tonight was God sent for me! ;) thank you for making a difference.."
07/21/2014: L J from Los Angeles, California replies: "People should know the negative effects of giving their children RITALIN.. It has been shown to give the child later an addiction to heroin and cocaine..current studies have surfaced linking Ritalin to drug addiction. It seems that after the RITALIN is ingested into the stomach it turns into a substance almost identical to that of heroin and or cocaine. Therefore creating a drug addicted child/teen from the effects of RITALIN. Parents beware of this pharmaceutical claiming to help fix your child..it's a crime that these prescriptions are even in existence. Xoxo L J"
08/30/2011: Klraine from Memphis, Tn, Usa: "Hello,
I am so glad to have found this website. Both of my children are affected by a genetic syndrome called Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome. Basically, they lack an enzyme necessary to create enough cholesterol in the body (our body manufactures some cholesterol). They are mildly affected on the spectrum of this disorder. They were both originally mis-diagnosed as autistic.
Fast-forward 9 years! Some of my childrens' issues may be a result of this syndrome but I still think much of their problems can be helped. My son has ADHD bigtime. He can hardly concentrate. I have always told my husband and mother that I could tell "where he is at" just by looking at him. He seems foggy sometimes, very distracted and out of it. But he is NOT always like this. He has really great times of clarity too and is more focused and less hyper and has no volatile outbursts. WHen he is "in the fog" he is more hyper, unfocused, volatile and aggressive and so forth. He has been gluten free for 3 months now and it has helped with the over-all fatigue issue I was seeing this summer. He is also dairy free for the most part. As a little boy he had so many ear infections I lost count. He was on antibiotic after antibiotic. Through the years he also took Risperdal for aggression and we tried other ADD/ADHD meds which did not help. He always has bad side effects and I can't stand seeing my son not acting like himself. He is complicated but I really believe there is a more optimum level of health for him! I have to believe that!
Now for my daughter. She is much less affected by the syndrome and is in a private school and at grade level. She began having these throwing up episodes and had an upper GI. Later, through much prayer, I discovered she had a Salicylate Sensitivity. Now her diet is so limited and challenging and I am afraid she is not getting enough healthy foods to eat.
I am also gluten/dairy free now because of being diagnosed with Celiac disease. I have been dealing with overall fatigue for years and now more recently brain fogginess.
Honestly, between my son and I being dairy and gluten free, my daugters Salicylate issues and my husband not doing dairy or red meat~~~ mealtime is stressful and causes me anxiety.
TED, I need your help! Or anyone for that matter!
thank you very much!"Replies
08/30/2011: Debbie from Melbourne, Australia replies: "Klraine, here is a great video for you to watch on the dangers of MSG and Aspartame and how they can be related to why so many of our kids are getting autism and ADHD.
http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=2963728494205235281&ei=iSukSYDPGoG0wgPQ9Jm5AQ&q=russell blaylock aspartame&hl=en&emb=1
I also read recently that most/if not all illnesses are actually related to a mineral deficiency.
Here is a great ebook for you to read (only 80 pages). It is by a Japanese Doctor. Really eye opening. I wish every Doctor would read it.
08/31/2011: Klraine from Memphis, Tn, Usa replies: "Hi Debbie, I appreciate the information. I am thankful that my kids don't do anything with aspartame but I think some yogurt has it~ so I do need to check on that. MSG is a bad one too and will keep that in mind. I have been trying to cut way back on any food with preservatives, artificial colorings and sweeteners etc. And fruit juices, sugar etc. I am eager to read this e-book and will get to that in the next day. Thank you!"
12/17/2010: Citykitty from West Frankfort, Il: "The feingold diet was being used back in 1975 for ADD/LD. It is now finally being accepted by the so called medical society. Good luck... It was our immediate answer some 30 years ago."Replies
04/17/2011: Mallymuff from Melbourne, Vic Australia replies: "A must read for children with ADHD : "The Hidden Drug Dietary Phosphate" by Hertha Hafer, a German research Pharmacist who has had hands-on experience - raising an extremely hyperactive son. Many success stories documented when patients followed a low phosphate diet."
06/04/2012: Sauron from Toronto, Ontario, Canada: "I am unable to take fish oils due to the high Vitamin A content ( anything with high Vit A leaves me stiff and in a wreck *it's a long story*) so I thought of giving evening primrose oil a try for the ADD that I have. At times, I am just disorganised and distracted and spend the entire day idling instead of doing what I have to do. I would be so much more accomplished but for my focus.
How does EPO fit in to this need? Thanks in advance."Replies
06/06/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky replies: "Sauron, try some zinc to help your body utilize the Vit-A. Evening Primrose or Black Currant would definately be a step in the right direction BUT may need the help of Flax Seed Oil to get therapeutic results."
[YEA] 12/09/2007: Roxanne from Perth, Western Australia: "High Potency Fish Oil w/ Virgin Evening Primrose Oil Has Made My Little Boy "Normal" I have two children aged 3.5yrs and 21 months. My eldest was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder at the start of the year (Jan 2007). Because my eldest son is classed as Autistic, the health professional seem to think that my youngest may have a problem. Okay, my youngest is very hyperactive, used to run into things (like the kitchen table) and not feel any pain and he had a serious biting problem that went waaaayyy beyond teething. After geting sick and tired of hearing "your youngest maybe suspected Autistic/ADD" I decided to see a homeopath and ask (beg) for help. The lady there was wonderful and recommended that I try a mixture of high potency fish oil that also contained virgin evening primrose oil that was recommended for children and adults of all ages. Well, after a week of giving him 5ml a day (mixed with food), our little boy is all cool. calm and collected. He stills runs around but he has stopped running into walls and tables. The biting was gone and he interacts well with his autistic brother. He has also started talking again. And to think, only 2 weeks have passed now and he will only improve. Just wanted to share this with you. Thanks, Roxy"Replies
08/07/2009: Lil_jin21 from Saugus, Ca, USA replies: "Hello, My eldest son is also very active. He's very hyper and constantly jumpy and fidgety and loud. I was wondering where you got your Fish Oil and Primrose? I'm searching online and cannot find it. Do I buy each separately and mix them together with his food? He is 4 years old. and I'm constantly getting hassle from my family about his hyperness. I took him to his doctor to review him, but he hasn't really given me an answer. I would like to try this in the mean time. Thank you. Melissa"
12/17/2010: Sharon from Utica, Mich replies: "Try your organic store, or whole food store for the fish oil and primrose oil."
12/17/2010: Brooke from Montgomery, Tx, Usa replies: "I have two boys and when they were young, people told me they should get checked by a Dr. And me, being all into natural remedies, I told them they are crazy! I would NEVER put my boys on anything other than vitamins or minerals! I found that Vitamin B, D, folic acid, fish oils, primrose oil, and Castor oil rubbed onto their tummy under their diaper, or later - under their pj's did the trick. They are now 12 and 11 and they are both wonderful, beautiful boys that are healthy and have no problems! They are A, B students with no signs of hyperactivity! And no - I did not mix it into their food - when they where little, I got the liquid forms and put it into orange juice or any other type of juice, and now they take them in the pill form.
I feel that kids should not have any caffeine through drinks or chocolate and they should be on a high vegetable and fruit diet, with meats. You can ask your health food store for the vitamin mixes that can be added to juice, they have them in liquid form and some, like calcium have them in chewable form. We still give them a calcium in chewable because they always liked the taste - it tastes like vanilla. I would never put my child on to a drug to cure hyperactivity though!"
11/23/2012: Native Born Citizen from Virginia Beach, Virginia: "Regarding ADHD, Dr. Oz just had a show on ADHD in adult women. The sympoms are different for women and can vary in intensity from person to person. Adult women with ADHD tend to be tired, anxious, unable to organize, are distracted, and can't focus. These phenomena tend to interfere with their relationships and work.
Retired neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock says that fluoride poisoning can cause profound neurolgical disorders including ADHD. Any treatment program must obviously address fluoride poisoning and how to keep it out of the system since fluoride is in pesticides, water, many drugs, and toothpaste. See:
Dr. Lendon Smith used to drug ADHD children; he later was against it. Instead he advised fish oil, B vitamins, multivitamins, sugar avoidance, avoidance of allergens like milk if ear infections present, and so on.
If you can't digest fish oil, take a digestive enzyme with it."
01/30/2011: Michelle from Jerusaelm, Israel: "Need Advice
Ok so I am 19 years old and was just diagnosed with ADHD. Now my mother is a special education teacher and so never had me tested because she thought that it would just negatively affect me, since I was a straight A honor role student. The real issues started now that I'm in college; I failed some of my classes and 3 of my teachers recommended that I get tested independently, so I did. Turns out I have ADHD (like my mom, and 3 siblings) I was prescribed Ritalin for test/exam days and wanted to hear someone's opinion, I don't speak to my mother so asking her isn't really an option.
Everyone says meds for kids is bad and I agree with that, but what about for adults?"Replies
01/30/2011: Steph from Benton Harbor, Michigan replies: "You might want to do a search on pyroluria and it's relationship to ADHD. Taking vitamin B6 and zinc may be helpful to you."
01/30/2011: Michelle from Jeruaelm, Israel replies: "The thing is, I already take zinc supplements..."
01/30/2011: John from Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory replies: "I dont think ADHD is an illness. You are up on other people and I see it as a good thing. Find your own space and time and do your own things apart from others when and if necessary. Try balancing your chakras. Go to youtube and search for them. The singing bowl is soothing and great.
If I were you, I will not poison myself with doctor's prescription."
04/04/2011: Been There from Washington, Dc replies: "Michelle, this site is wonderful, and I would try the supplements and suggestions for AD/HD suggested here. However, I don't agree with the majority of opinions here that all AD/HD drugs are terrible. No one but you can make that decision, and if you've tried other things and they haven't worked (incidentally, does anyone realize how hard - no, impossible - it is for those of us with AD/HD to consistently stick to a routine?), go ahead and try pharmaceuticals. When I went on Vyvanse it changed my life. Not just in terms of completing tasks, but in so many other ways I just assumed I was "bad" or "weak" at -- setting boundaries in relationships, because I was no longer highly distractible and could no longer be railroaded by more focused people in my life; having the energy to have a social life, because I was no longer exhausted from the hamster-wheel of thoughts running around my brain; having people realize I was intelligent, because I didn't ramble on like a crazy person but could follow a thought to its logical conclusion; the ability to clean a kitchen counter from one side to the other without having to consciously think through every step, paralyzed over what to do first; actually having fun with my kids (imagine that! ) because I wasn't rattled by every single sound/action they did that distracted me that I could get it together to go somewhere and be in the moment with them. Etc., etc.
I'm not on it now anymore because I had side effects and I didn't want to increase my dose when the effects wore off -- so I'm hardly an evangelist for pharma drugs, and I agree they can be over-prescribed/falsely prescribed. But now, I know what my true "normal" is like. I know what to aim for. I've ended the cycle of shame and unmet expectations that's haunted me for all of my life. Currently I'm working the supplements, diet, sleep, exercise (3-5x aerobic exercise/week stimulates the same part of the brain the pharma drugs do) and it's working out fine for me. Also an AD/HD coach helps keep me on track (look for a therapist who works with AD/HD). All good, but don't let anyone judge you for cautiously, judiciously trying something to see if it works for you and your body. You've already spent your lifetime judging yourself and being frustrated on a daily basis. "
01/28/2013: ~angel from Chi Town, Ill replies: "TO..04/04/2011: Been There from Washington, Dc
Amen to that!! best of luck to you.. your story just described my 27 year old son, who is now un treated (not by choice) & on a 24 hr roller coaster;/ thank you for your story;) it really touched me as so many other stories have..."
01/28/2013: Catherine from Wellington, New Zealand replies: "Hi, I have just read "NIACIN: The real story" by Abram Hoffer and there is a lot of info about ADHD and the benefit of niacin in treatment. Worth reading I think, you can get it on kindle from Amazon.. Best of luck"
10/04/2012: Al from Alvena, Sk.,canada: "I was doing research on grape seed oil/extract when I came across a reference to it helping people with ADD/ADHD and thinking that my cousins son (7 years old) had one of those because of his behavior I told my cousin about it. She tried him on it with good results in that he quit hitting and was able to concentrate on one thing for a much longer time. I later found out that he was autistic and that too much made him chatter excessively so she was careful to not give him too much - less than 1mg per pound of body weight.
Unfortunately we only know what it did for him short term as about five months after he started on it both him and his mother were killed in a car accident. Some people I know that tried the liquid form of grape seed extract had stomach problems from it so I recommend the caplet form which is just the solids of the grape seed and skins after pressing the oil out. I hope this info helps some of you out. Al"