Heal thy Body, Heal thy Brain

Discusses alternative treatment for attention deficit disorder (ADD) among children. Standard drug used in treating ADD; How a healthy diet prevents ADD from occurring; Suggested natural medicine for ADD.

By PT Staff, published July 1, 1997 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

Q: I wonder what you think of the natural approach our family took to ourson's attention deficit disorder (ADD). We limited the sugar in his diet, added GINKGO BILOBA to increase oxygen in his brain, and BEE POLLEN to reduce allergies. He seems much better.

A: I'm very glad to hear that you're using this approach. Standard treatment is usually the drug Ritalin, but a natural approach often helps tremendously. Most children eat too much sugar, including snack and junk foods several times a day. Sugar consumption can disturb the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, and a healthy diet prevents this from occurring.

Allergies and sensitivities to food can be a powerful trigger of hyperactive behavior. An allergic reaction involves the release of histamine, which functions as a neurotransmitter and in excess can cause irritability, nervousness or "brain fog." Bee pollen is one solution, but I prefer elimination of suspected foods and use of natural antihistamines such as QUERCETIN, a bioflavonoid and STINGING NETTLES, an herb.

I also recommend OMEGA-3 fatty acids because they help nerve transmission in the brain. These can be found in FLAXSEED OIL and in FISH OILS. This combined approach can be extremely effective, and may eliminate or significantly reduce the need for drug treatment of ADD.