If you or your child have been diagnosed with ADHD, but you’re reluctant to treat it with medication, you’re not alone. Many people are hesitant to use medication for ADHD that can cause a lot of nasty side effects.

What natural remedies for ADHD are there? There are many natural remedies for ADHD that are highly effective, which is excellent news. Treatment options like proper nutrition, behavioral therapy, and the remedies listed below are very effective at managing ADHD symptoms.

What is ADHD?

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder. The main symptoms of ADHD are:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity (poor impulse control)
  • Difficulty paying attention or concentrating
  • Constantly moving or fidgeting
  • Forgetfulness
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Interrupting conversations or other children playing

ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children, but it affects adults as well. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, just under 10% of kids in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD.

ADD is an older term used to describe children with ADHD who didn’t move around or fidget excessively. Now, children with these symptoms are usually diagnosed with inattentive ADHD.

ADHD can be traced back to the biology of the brain. The ADHD brain works and sends signals differently than a neurotypical brain. ADHD brains are smaller in areas that control emotions, motivation, and memory.

Chemicals called neurotransmitters carry signals from one cell in the brain to the next. ADHD brains tend to have less of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Fewer neurotransmitters mean parts of the brain don’t signal to each other very effectively.

With ADHD, PANDAS, autism, and other related mental health and neurological conditions, we frequently see trends that point back to similar root causes: inflammation, detoxification problems, nutritional deficiencies, and immune weakness.

Benefits & Downsides of ADHD Medication

Medication is usually the first treatment pediatricians recommend. Stimulant medications like Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall are most commonly prescribed to treat ADHD. These medicines help increase dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.

While they are not “curative” (meaning they don’t actually cure the root causes of ADHD), stimulant medications can be highly effective in treating ADHD, particularly in the short term. Children often experience significant improvements in their symptoms after taking these drugs.

Those improvements may be overshadowed by side effects, however.

ADHD medication comes with a lot of side effects, unfortunately. These side effects include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Decreased appetite
  • Moodiness, particularly when the medication starts to wear off
  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased heart rate
  • And more

It can be scary to give yourself or your child medication with all of these side effects. And, medicine only addresses the symptoms of ADHD, not the root cause.

Want to avoid taking these drugs? There are alternative treatments to address the biological cause of ADHD without the downsides of medication.

How can I address ADHD without medication? To manage ADHD without medication, you can control what you put in your body (food, toxic chemicals, etc.) and how you care for your mind using psychological treatments and therapies.

What helps ADHD naturally? Proper nutrition, lifestyle choices, and behavioral therapy help ADHD naturally. These complementary solutions work together to make big improvements in ADHD symptoms.

Is there a natural supplement for ADHD? There are many natural supplements for ADHD that can support wellness, which we discuss in detail below.

In addition, ADHD can be improved by getting all of the nutrients your body needs. Supplements like a complete multivitamin with minerals, fish oil, and magnesium can also help.

10 ADHD Triggers To Avoid

People with ADHD should keep a close eye on their lifestyle choices. Some triggers can actually make ADHD symptoms worse. This is particularly true of many common food additives, which are frequently linked to ADHD.

The top 10 ADHD triggers are:

  1. Sugar and refined carbohydrates, which can cause inflammation and intensify ADHD symptoms
  2. Caffeine, which can amplify the symptoms of ADHD in some people if they take too much
  3. Sleep apnea, which can actually cause ADHD symptoms in children
  4. Pesticides — exposure in children is linked to ADHD
  5. Artificial food colors and dyes
  6. Sodium benzoate, a preservative linked to ADHD
  7. Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin
  8. Monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer
  9. Carrageenan, used to blend and thicken foods and drinks
  10. Proteins that have been modified, hydrolyzed, or textured

16 Best Natural Remedies for ADHD

If you don’t want to treat your or your child’s ADHD with medication, there are very effective natural remedies you can try. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best natural remedies to make it easier for you to treat ADHD naturally.

Effective natural remedies for ADHD include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Fish oil supplements
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • L-Tryptophan
  • Melatonin
  • Ginseng
  • Physical activity
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Neurofeedback
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Outdoor play
  • Reduced screen time

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that are strongly associated with ADHD and its behaviors. Kids with higher levels of omega-3s in their blood are less likely to have ADHD symptoms.

Research has shown that taking an omega-3 supplement can help reduce ADHD symptoms. One study even suggested that a combination omega-3 and omega-6 supplement may treat ADHD just as well as methylphenidate (Ritalin).

If your kiddos are too small to take traditional omega-3 supplements (which includes fish oil, discussed below), you can also try cod liver oil.

Fish Oil Supplements

Fish oil supplements, specifically, may help address the underlying causes of ADHD. Fish oil is full of brain-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The fatty acids in fish oils, DHA and EPA, help the brain function normally and keep brain cells healthy.

Researchers have found that fish oil supplements can help kids have fewer hyperactive behaviors. These supplements can help improve attention in kids with ADHD, too.


Low levels of magnesium may also lead to ADHD. Giving children magnesium supplements can make them less hyperactive. When combined with vitamin B6, magnesium supplements can also help kids pay better attention at school.


Iron is essential for brain function and nervous system health. Low iron levels may also make ADHD symptoms worse.

A small study showed that giving iron-deficient kids an iron supplement reduced ADHD-related behavior.


Zinc is another mineral that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD.

Multiple studies have shown that taking a zinc supplement can actually improve ADHD. Zinc supplements have a more substantial effect on ADHD in zinc-deficient children.

B Vitamins

B vitamins help our bodies make the neurotransmitters involved in ADHD. People with ADHD tend to have lower levels of vitamins B2, B6, and B9, unsurprisingly.

Levels of vitamins B2 and B9 are also directly related to the severity of ADHD symptoms.

Vitamin D

Kids who have ADHD often don’t have enough vitamin D in their bodies. Vitamin D plays a part in making and releasing serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters associated with ADHD.

Giving children a vitamin D supplement helps reduce impulsivity, a symptom of ADHD.


Our bodies use amino acids like tryptophan to make the neurotransmitters involved in ADHD, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin.

Researchers found that taking an L-tryptophan supplement significantly improved ADHD symptoms.


There is a very strong relationship between ADHD and poor sleep. People with ADHD tend to have a hard time falling asleep and may struggle with insomnia. There’s also a strong link between sleep apnea and ADHD.

Melatonin can help with ADHD symptoms because it helps you fall asleep faster, giving your brain much-needed rest. In a study of children with ADHD, melatonin helped improve ADHD-related behavior and mood. The subjects also did not experience any severe side effects.


Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to protect the brain and improve brain health. Ginseng is neuroprotective, and it may help with ADHD symptoms.

Two randomized controlled trials found positive effects of Korean red ginseng supplements on ADHD. The ginseng supplements helped improve attention and make children less hyperactive compared to a placebo.

Physical Activity

Simply getting in more physical activity can drastically improve ADHD symptoms. A meta-analysis of studies found aerobic exercise helps kids improve:

  • Attention
  • Impulsivity
  • Hyperactivity
  • Anxiety
  • Executive function
  • Social disorder symptoms

Exercise can help release important neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Plus, exercise helps increase blood flow through the brain, helping it get the oxygen and nutrients it needs.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that helps patients recognize and change their negative thought patterns. People with ADHD struggle in school and social settings, so they often also struggle with negative thoughts. CBT helps treat these thinking patterns.

A recent meta-analysis of studies looked at CBT for the treatment of ADHD. The authors found that CBT effectively improved ADHD symptoms. CBT appears to be an excellent natural remedy for ADHD.


Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback, records electrical activity on the scalp to show brain activity in real-time. Patients practice actively controlling their brainwaves to retrain how their brains work.

Neurofeedback strongly improves impulsivity and inattention in people with ADHD. It also helps reduce hyperactive behavior. Impressively, the results can last for 6 months or more.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a mental practice that brings a person’s attention to the present moment. During meditation, you’re encouraged to notice any thoughts you have but not to judge them as “good” or “bad.”

This type of meditation is a very effective remedy for ADHD. Mindfulness meditation helps improve executive function, anxiety, and other ADHD symptoms. It also allows patients with ADHD to feel better about themselves and their symptoms.

Outdoor Play

Outdoor play is an unconventional but effective natural remedy for ADHD. Research has shown that children who had more exposure to green spaces had less severe ADHD symptoms. Symptoms improved regardless of gender, family income, or diagnosis (ADD vs. ADHD).

Simply giving children more time to play outdoors in nature is a wonderful way to reduce ADHD symptoms. Researchers found children benefited the most from greenspaces with a lot of room to move and run around.

Reduced Screen Time

The amount of time your child spends in front of a screen may be directly related to their ADHD symptoms. More screen time leads to more severe symptoms.

Children who spend more than 2 hours in front of a screen daily are much more likely to have “significant” ADHD symptoms. Getting too much screen time can cause kids to have trouble paying attention, making ADHD symptoms worse.

What is the best natural supplement for ADHD? The best natural supplement for ADHD is a proper diet. A well-rounded diet will provide the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients the brain needs. Your healthcare professional may recommend a multivitamin supplement in addition to diet.

Schedule your appointment today!

ADHD, PANS/PANDAS, autism, and other neurological conditions are becoming more and more common in children over the years. In many ways, these are different results of the same root issues.

The same core difficulties are often to blame: inflammation, detoxification problems, nutritional deficiencies, and immune weakness.

We’ve seen incredible success with our patients using a comprehensive, integrative treatment plan that addresses these root causes. Regardless of the initial diagnoses, this type of treatment is so successful that we’ve developed the motto of “many labels, one approach.”

Let’s create a plan to tackle your child’s ADHD naturally. Schedule an appointment with us to talk through the natural treatment options that would work well for your child. We would love to tailor a treatment plan to your child’s unique needs.


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