Integrative Medicine Blog
Ayurvedic Herbal Extract May be Beneficial in Supporting Children with ADHD
Have you considered an ayurvedic alternative for ADHD?
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity or difficulty in controlling behavior. With children going back to school at this time of year, ADHD can affect a child’s academic performance and can also affect home life and social relationships with family members and peers (Harpin, 2005).
Bacopa monnieri is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to support cognitive health (Pase et al, 2012). The authors of one research study investigated the effectiveness of a standardized Bacopa extract for the treatment of ADHD symptoms in children (Dave et al, 2014).This clinical trial was conducted as an open-label study in Mumbai, India from 2008 to 2010 and involved thirty-one participants of age 6 years old to 12 years old. Each child participating in the study was given the standardized Bacopa extract at a specific dosage for a period of 6 months. The Parent Rating Scale was measured at baseline and after 6 months of herbal intervention to assess for change in ADHD symptoms and showed that restlessness scores were reduced in 93% of the children, attention-deficit scores were reduced in 85% of the children, and impulsivity scores were reduced in 67% of the children. Further studies with comparison against placebo could strengthen these research findings. One critique of this study is that Teacher Rating Scales are known to be more reliable outcome measures for ADHD symptoms when compared to Parent Rating Scales (Tripp, 2006). Repeating this clinical trial with the measurement of Teacher Rating Scales would provide better research data to interpret. In summary, a standardized extract of the Ayurvedic herb Bacopa may be beneficial in supporting children who deal with ADHD.
- Dave UP, Dingankar SR, Saxena VS, et al. An open-label study to elucidate the effects of standardized Bacopa monnieri extract in the management of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Adv Mind Body Med. 2014; 28(2):10-5.
- Harpin VA. The effect of ADHD on the life of an individual, their family, and community from preschool to adult life. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2005; 90:i2-i7.
- Pase MP, Kean J, Sarris J, Neale C, Scholey AB, Stough C. The cognitive-enhancing effects of Bacopa monnieri: a systematic review of randomized, controlled human clinical trials. J Altern Complement Med. 2012; 18(7):647-52.
- Tripp G, Schaughency EA, Clarke B. Parent and teacher rating scales in the evaluation of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: contribution to diagnosis and differential diagnosis in clinically referred children. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2006; 27(3):209-18.