By Joseph Parish
Many of my friends and acquaintances are aware that I am a firm believer in using natural products over chemical and pharmaceutical substitutes. Recently, I was visiting a friend and as usual our topic of conversation centered upon preparedness and possible apocalypse events occurring during our lifetime. As we watched his two children playing joyfully in his backyard he shifted his concern to what could substitute for his children’s current prescription drug Ritalin if and when the commercial product were to no longer be accessible.
As most people are aware ADHD is major behavioral disorder which is distinguish by an inability to concentrate, heavy anxiety sessions, sporadic memory loss, an array of mood swings, feelings of hyperactivity and restlessness followed by fatigue. The two popularly prescribed medications are Ritalin and its cousin Dexedrine used exclusively for those patients suffering from ADHD. In today’s society our nation’s children are using these prescribed medications in record numbers.
According to medical specialists the basis for ADHD are toxins often associated with chemical exposures which lead to a reduced supply of oxygen traveling to the brain. This condition is frequently manifested by the symptoms previously referenced. These chemical exposures can originate from a vast array of conditions from home construction or renovation, to standard housekeeping product. It has been noted that additional causes have been attributed to the chemical make-up of newly purchased carpeting or paneling, pest control procedures or in some cases the use of petroleum products used in the composition of such everyday items as permanent markers (hexane). We also can not over-look the chemical additives and preservatives which are frequently used in our processed foods such as MSG or Nutra-Sweet. All these conditions contribute to the death of brain cells and the reduction of oxygen circulation which ultimately impairs learning and contributes to behavioral disturbances. With the introduction of Ritalin and Dexedrine behavior is kept in check by stimulating the brain stems and allowing the child to stay focused and in better control of their behavior patterns.
There are several down-falls with the use of these drugs. The first is that they offer the user an effect which is similar to the experience felt in the use of amphetamines. In addition, food allergies can flare up from their use such as sensitivities to gluten, dairy products and even chocolate candy.
At this point in our discussion it would do us well to be able to have some guidelines in recognizing these chemical exposures. Start by looking for dark circles under the child’s eyes along with possible red tops on their ears. Now if you notice these symptoms don’t rush out to your local pharmacy for a toxic prescription but rather start utilizing natural herbs, practice healthy nutrition principles and feature an abundance of wholesome foods in your child’s diet. This is essentially the simplest remedy you can find to correct any imbalance within your child’s body. Above all you must avoid further contamination with the offending chemical exposures. Move your child to a safer environment, eliminate any alleged allergens from their diet and begin monitoring the changes in their behavior.
Let’s first talk about weaning your child off Ritalin if they are on currently taking the product. This process could take two to three weeks while the herbal substitutes are being administered. The program would consist of specific dietary modifications, adequate exercise complimented with natural herbal inclusions. Eliminate sugar from the child’s diet; these could include fruit juices and foods heavy with preservatives. Place your interests on establishing an effective whole food diet. Add a Magnesium supplement to the child’s daily vitamin input. The following herbal combinations have shown positive benefits towards reducing the need for Ritalin.
- Chinese Zizyphus
- Gotu kola flavored with cinnamon, anise, and a touch of cloves
- Hawthorn berry
- Lemon balm (tone and balance the nervous system)
Prepare the kola as a glycerol extract made in the ratio of 1:5 and administered at the rate of 20 drops 2 to 3 times daily. Remember, exercise is an important element for combating ADHD so ensure your child has plenty of it in his daily routine.
The German’s who are extremely versed on natural products often provide their over zealous children with a cup of Chamomile tea containing a small dose of valerian root. Valerian root is an over the counter product found in health food stores or your local Wal-Mart.
I would like to leave you with an interesting note that an educator friend passed on to me. Many children who are not diagnosed with ADD or ADHD have been known to do much better at school when they were placed on Ritalin. These children were easier to teach lessons too and presented a more pleasant atmosphere for the teachers. Now please, I am not telling you to rush out and obtain a prescription drug for your child but making a point that the above regiment of natural products will not harm those children which are not ADAH positive in the least.
A bit of internet research is certain to reveal addition herbal remedies which would prove useful as an emergency substitute in place of Ritalin. Herbs are by no means an instant solution to the behavior problem but can readily aid in resolving many issues when used in a healthy diet. Never act merely upon the recommendations of others when it comes to the welfare of your family’s health – always consult a physician prior to using this method.