Chamomile tea has been shown to demonstrate remarkable ADHD-reducing effects in children. This herbal tea is commonly seen in natural sleep aid supplements and teas, and is regarded as safe to give to kids. Hyperactivity in children may be due to an anxiety disorder, ADHD, hyperthyroidism, or even an inner-ear disorder. Such issues are complex to diagnose, and often even more complicated to treat. When possible, natural ADD treatments like chamomile are a good place to start.
Spotting the Symptoms
All kids can be hyperactive from time to time, kids are natural bundles of energy. With ADHD, however, hyperactivity is very pronounced. Clinically-diagnosed ADHD is best regarded as an inordinate degree of over-activity to the point that the child is clearly suffering. Hyperactivity may be an issue if your child exhibits one or more of the following symptoms:
- Nonstop talking.
- Moves quickly and clumsily.
- Keeps moving even when sitting down.
- Has to pick up everything and play with it.
- Has trouble sitting still.
In ADHD, children don’t just move a lot, they also can’t slow their brains down easily. This is actually the result of their brains working more slowly than normal, not faster, as would be intuitive. Whether the cause of hyperactivity is ADHD or something else, before putting your child on heavy psychiatric medication, you may want to consider a well-known, natural treatment that can be very effective: Chamomile.
Chamomile is one of the oldest medicinal herbs known to man. It is a daisy-like flower that is commonly made into medicinal tea. There are two common varieties: German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. It has been traditionally used for centuries for many purposes, including as a mild sedative. Some of the other purposes are as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and mild astringent. It has been used both to induce sedation, and for insomnia.
The sedative effects of Chamomile may be due to benzodiazepine-like effects on the brain, resulting in hypnotic activity [1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/#R47]. In other words, it acts like some of the pharmaceutical medications for anxiety. It is, however, more mild, and lacks the side effects. In one study, ten cardiac patients fell into a deep sleep that lasted for 90 minutes after consuming chamomile tea [2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4490671]. This is one example of the many studies that show that it can be effective for relaxation.
Its sedative effects may be the reason that the Canadian Pediatric Society says that it is effective in the treatment of children with ADHD [3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796535/]. ADHD is a disorder in which hyperactivity is present. Not only is Chamomile effective for hyperactivity, but according to WebMD, it is also safe for children [4. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/herbs-for-kids-feature#2]. The only danger it could pose is for a child that is allergic to it. It is a plant-based medicine, so children with allergies should avoid using it, and a doctor should be consulted before use.
Pharmaceutical Medications for Hyperactivity
ADHD drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are available with a prescription. These are central nervous stimulants, and two of the most popular drugs for hyperactivity in children. They can be very effective, but they come with a long list of nasty side effects, and the potential for addiction. Use of these medications can even result in overstimulation of the nervous system, making hyperactivity worse. Below is a summary of the side effects of Adderall, taken from RxList.com [5. http://www.rxlist.com/adderall-xr-capsules-side-effects-drug-center.htm]:
The side effect list of Ritalin posted on RxList is just as long and just as bad [7. http://www.rxlist.com/ritalin-side-effects-drug-center.htm]:
- sleep problems (insomnia),
- stomach pain,
- loss of appetite,
- weight loss,
With side effects like these, choosing an herbal alternative starts to look attractive. Chamomile is a much safer, gentler alternative to pharmaceutical drugs for hyperactivity. In fact, the only side effect that drugs.com lists is an allergic reaction. It should be noted that allergic reactions can be severe, even life threatening, so as stated earlier it is good to use Chamomile with care, and always consult a doctor first.
Ways to Use Chamomile
Chamomile can be prepared in a number of ways for kids. It can be taken orally, either as a tea or as a tincture, which is a liquid extract of the herb. Tinctures are typically made using alcohol, so you’ll want to make sure that for children the tincture is nonalcoholic. If your little ones are having trouble calming down before bed, you can put ten drops of chamomile oil in a bath.
If you find that your child has issues with hyperactivity, but are looking for a drug-free alternative that is safe and effective, Chamomile is a great option. With its few side effects and proven results, it is an excellent natural way to help kids calm down without resorting to heavy medication. Chamomile tea is available in most grocery stores and local health food stores, and from online retailers like Amazon.