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ADHD Herbal Remedies – Chinese Medicine

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The Chinese have a very old medicinal tradition that uses herbs and homeopathic remedies to treat a range of ailments. Unlike Western medicine, which focuses on treating the symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs, Chinese medicine uses natural remedies to restore the flow of energy in the body and rebalance the body’s systems, thereby curing the disease. Traditionally, you visit a Chinese herbalist and explain your symptoms to him. The herbalist creates a blend of herbs that are known to address the symptoms being experienced. Pharmaceutical drugs are designed to treat a general set of symptoms, but each Chinese herbal preparation is tailored for a person’s specific illness and set of symptoms. This is probably why Chinese medicine is so effective and why many people turn to this approach when Western medicine fails.

There is a wealth of scientific evidence documenting how Chinese medicine can treat common conditions and some chronic conditions. However, these studies are often discredited by mainstream medicine simply because Chinese medicine does not use the same testing standards as the West. Nonetheless, the benefits of Chinese medicine are still worth considering, especially since doctors are currently investigating the effectiveness of Chinese herbs as natural remedies for ADHD. The following formulations have the potential to be natural remedies for ADHD as they have historically treated similar symptoms.

Tiaoshen Liqueur

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Tiaoshen Liqueur consists of skullcap root, oriental white ginseng extract and Chinese thorowax root. The tincture was specially formulated to control hyperactive behavior in children, and its claims have been tested by Chinese scientists. 100 children with hyperactive ADHD type who took part in the study received a daily dose of Tiaoshen liquor for several weeks, and the study ended with positive results. Parent observations reported that 94% of participants were less hyperactive, had improved attention spans, and performed better in school.

Yizhi syrup

Yizhi syrup, also known as joke-enhancing syrup, is made from ingredients similar to those in Tioashen liquor. When tested on 66 hyperactive children, 84% had fewer ADHD symptoms, improved behavior, and better academic performance. Through urine sample testing, the researchers confirmed that Yizhi syrup can increase the production of dopamine and norepinephrine.

Chinese medicine versus western medicine

One study made a direct comparison between the effects of Chinese medicine and Western medicine in treating ADHD. 80 children were given a herbal blend consisting of herbs known to reduce hyperactivity and strengthen the spleen: Scutellaria baicalensis, Ligustrum lucidum, Lophatherum gracile, Astragalus membranaceus, Codonopsis pilosula, Bupleurum Chinese, and an herb called “ivory thread.” The remaining children received 5-15 mg Ritalin tablets twice daily.

The children were monitored for three months and underwent EEG scans, IQ tests and symptom scales. At the end of the study, researchers found that 29% in the Chinese medicine group gained 10 IQ points, had normal EEG readings, and no longer met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. 58% saw some improvement, while 13% had no improvement at all. The Ritalin group had similar results: 30% no longer met diagnostic criteria, 60% had some symptoms, and 10% had no improvement.

What this study shows is that there is very little difference between Chinese medicine and Western medicine in terms of effectiveness. However, in terms of side effects, Ritalin and other ADHD medications are known to cause permanent damage with long-term use. Aside from rare allergic reactions, there are no serious side effects from using Chinese herbs. So if you are looking for natural remedies for ADHD, consult with a certified Chinese medicine practitioner.

Thanks to Dr. Yannick Pauli

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