|Homeopathy: An Alternative Treatment for ADHD
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common behavioral
disorder among children. Children with ADHD often seem to be distracted,
impulsive, and restless. While ADHD is most commonly associated with children,
more than half struggle with this disorder for their entire
lives—and find it continually interfering with
education, career, family and social life. While effective conventional
medicines are available and prescribed more and more, many people prefer to find
alternatives to lifelong drug therapy—in part to avoid
side effects of medications, which include insomnia, anxiety, and appetite loss.
One alternative treatment that deserves a closer look is homeopathy.
Homeopathy, pioneered by German doctor Samuel Hahnemann, is based in part on
the idea that "like cures like." The same substance that causes a disease's
symptoms to appear in a healthy person is able to cure a person suffering from a
disease with the same symptoms. Hahnemann also determined that minute amounts of
a substance prove to be the most effective treatments. Homeopathic remedies are
considered to be very safe treatments because the concentration of the active
ingredient in each dose is so small.
Homeopathic medicine has been shown to be a good alternative for treating
ADHD. In a 1997 clinical study, 43 children with ADHD received either placebo or
homeopathic treatment for 10 days. Parents and caregivers rated behavior before
and after treatment. The study's author found that there was significant symptom
improvement in those taking the homeopathic remedies. Furthermore, two months
later, follow-up interviews with those who had improved showed continued
improvement in 57 percent of the children.
For children with ADHD, homeopathy has been reported to improve attention,
grades, ability to complete school work, cooperativeness, self-esteem, and
social skills; decrease physical, mental, or emotional problems; and decrease
restlessness, impulsivity, aggressiveness, and inappropriate behaviors. Some of
the more common remedies for ADHD are Chamomilla,
Arsenicum album, and Argentum nitricum. It may take a
couple of weeks for the effects of a homeopathic remedy to be seen; once begun,
however, improvement generally continues over the following months.
Before you visit a homeopath for ADHD, speak with your physician. Some
conventional medical treatments may influence a homeopathic remedy. Your doctor
may be able to refer you to a qualified homeopath, but if not, there are many
resources available to direct you. Good credentials to look for in a homeopath
include certification by the American Board of Homeotherapeutics, the
Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians, or the Council on Homeopathic
Certification (confers a Certification in Classical Homeopathy). These
certifications are indicated by the letters following the practitioner's name:
D.Ht., D.H.A.N.P., or C.C.H., respectively. Many homeopaths are medical doctors;
in most states, homeopaths are required to be licensed healthcare providers. Be
sure to consult an experienced homeopath for the correct remedy and potency for
you or your child.
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Reichenberg-Ullman J, Ullman R. Ritalin-Free Kids. Rocklin, CA: Prima,
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attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the prescribing of methylphenidate
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Shealy, CN. The Complete Family Guide to Alternative Medicine: An
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& Noble, Inc.; 1996.
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|Review Date: September 2000|
|Reviewed By: Integrative Medicine editorial|
Copyright © 2004 A.D.A.M., Inc
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