With the recently publicized findings on methylphenidate (Ritalin) and its harmful cardiac effects in children, parents are searching for an alternate way of treating their children’s ADHD.
Ritalin, though it is known for calming children with ADHD, occupies more of the neural transporters responsible for getting high, than cocaine. Long term, this causes unwanted and irreversible changes in the brain.
In Ayurvedic Medicine, a wide range of clinically-tested nootropic herbs are used for treating all kinds of brain-related disorders.
Based on the results of both modern research as well as the 5000+ years of Ayurvedic Medicine’s existence, these nootropics have proven to be just as, if not, more effective than most psychotropic drugs used in Allopathic (modern) medicine.
Ritalin’s Natural Alternative:
One specific medicinal herb that stands out when it comes to ADHD, is Bacopa Monnieri. This is one of the many “Brain tonic” herbs mentioned in Ayurveda, and has been given much praise for its positive effects on the brain and mind. In Ayurveda, this herb is called “Mandookparni” and is referred to as a rejuvenating medicine for the mental faculty.
– Memory loss
– Schizophrenia, and several others.
In fact, these uses of Bacopa, date back to as early as 5000 B.C.
Nowadays, Bacopa is being used for conditions like ADHD and has shown promising results in the practices of many Ayurvedic doctors. Modern research too, continues to support these claims, time and time again.
In one study, conducted on 31 children with ADHD, the symptom of restlessness reduced in 93% of the children, while self-control improved in 89%. Bacopa was also well tolerated by these children. (1)
Why is Bacopa better than Ritalin?
Unlike most pharmaceutical psychotropic drugs, Bacopa has no major side effects. The only known side effect is mild drowsiness, however, this is not seen in most cases. Long term use of Bacopa yields no negative results and it is a well-tolerated herb.
You can overdose on Bacopa. Remember, medicinal herbs can be dangerous if misused. Bacopa may also interact with other herbs, drugs or supplements. Please use your intelligence and have an Ayurvedic doctor guide you when using this herb.
Every cell is a product of nutrition, therefore, dietary/nutritional support is essential in the management of any chronic condition. Follow a brain-friendly diet which includes:
1. Fatty acids
– Adequate amounts of healthy dietary fats such as Avocado, Eggs, Ghee, Salmon, nuts, and seeds. These are required as fatty acids are the building blocks of brain tissue.
Emerging research is proving that Omega 3s are effective in a wide range of neurological and psychiatric illness including ADHD, Schizophrenia, and even Depression (2).
In fact, in clinical trials, Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation has been linked to a reduction in the symptoms of ADHD (3)(4).
2. Vitamins, Minerals, and Amino-Acids
– B-vitamins including choline as well as other nutrients like Tryptophan and Magnesium are essential for neurological health and formation of neurotransmitters. A great option for getting almost all of these nutrients would be Organic Eggs. Supplementing is also recommended (under a doctor’s supervision)
– Also, make sure they are getting lot’s of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables (blueberries, apples, pomegranate, spinach, broccoli) to prevent and fight neuro-inflammation, which causes neuron loss and is a potential threat with the use of Ritalin. Spices like ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon are also promising options for reducing neuroinflammation.
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.