What Was I Saying? A Look at ADD & ADHD


Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are conditions that have become very prominent in our society. They are most often attached to children who are struggling in school; homework is forgotten, attention wanders during class, and misbehavior is not uncommon. But adults also struggle, with work, school, home life and social activities.

ADD/ADHD is a condition where parts of the brain are functioning at a lower level of activity due to decreased neurotransmitter activity. There is strong evidence to suggest that ADD/ADHD may be genetic. While things like excessive sugar intake and long hours in front of the television will exacerbate the issue, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not the cause.

Those of us with Attention Deficit can tell you that it is not an excuse to be lazy. It means we have to try much harder with fewer results. It’s not because we don’t care or unintelligent. In fact, people with ADD/ADHD often find they have to be more resourceful and creative, developing coping mechanisms to do things like make it through school or hold down a job.

Sometimes, usually for children, medications are prescribed. An older drug, Ritalin, is the most well know. But pharmaceuticals aren’t always the best choice, and for some they aren’t even beneficial.

So, how do you handle ADD/ADHD naturally? There are herbs that can be helpful, but they should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is an Ayurvedic herb that is believed to help revitalize brain cells, and promote calmness and clarity. Ginseng (Panax ginseng or Panax quinquefolius) and Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) are two herbs native to Asia that have been used medicinally for thousands of years for mental clarity and function. Ginkgo trees can live to be 1,000 years old and are used to help treat dementia and memory loss. Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) increases bloodflow to the brain helps ease agitation.

Yoga, Tai Chi, Reiki and/or meditation are also important for helping relax, de-stress, and focus. Vetiver essential oil has been proven in studies to be the most effective in addressing ADD/ADHD, but other oils such as Lavender and Cedarwood, and the essential oil blend In Tune, have also be shown to improve focus. When using essential oils for any therapeutic purpose, it is very important to be sure that you’re using only pure, therapeutic grade oils.

So before you give up and resign yourself to a life of frustration and fragments, read some books, do some yoga and talk to a naturopathic healthcare practitioner about your options.

These facts and opinions are those of a certified Master Herbalist and Dipl. Natural Health Consultant, and are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace consult with your qualified healthcare practitioner.

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