The Chinese have a very old medical tradition that makes use of herbs and homeopathic remedies to treat a number of disorders. Unlike Western medicine, which focuses on treating the symptoms with pharmaceutical drugs, Chinese medicine uses natural means to restore the flow of energy in the body and bring back balance to the bodily systems, thereby curing the disease. Traditionally, one visits a Chinese herbalist and explains one’s symptoms. The herbalist makes a concoction of herbs known to address the symptoms being experienced. Pharmaceutical drugs are designed to handle a general set of symptoms, but each Chinese herbal concoction is custom-made for a person’s particular illness and set of symptoms. This is probably why Chinese medicine is so effective and why many people turn to this approach when Western medicine fails.
There is a body of scientific evidence that documents how Chinese medicine can treat common disorders and some chronic conditions. However, these studies are often discredited by mainstream medicine simply because Chinese medicine does not use the same testing standards as the West. Yet the benefits of Chinese medicine are still worth considering, especially since doctors are currently investigating the efficacy of Chinese herbs as natural remedies for ADHD. The following formulations have potential to be natural cures for ADHD because they have treated similar symptoms in the past.
Tiaoshen liquor is made up of skullcap root, Oriental white ginseng extract, and Chinese thorowax root. The tincture was especially formulated to control hyperactive behavior in children, and its claims have been tested by Chinese scientists. 100 children with ADHD Hyperactive Type who participated in the studyreceived a dose of Tiaoshen liquor every day for several weeks, and the trial ended with positive results. Parent observations reported that 94% of the participants were less hyperactive, had improved attention spans, and performed better at school.
Also known as wit-increasing syrup, yizhi syrup is made of ingredients similar to those in Tioashen liquor. When tested on 66 hyperactive children, 84% experienced reduced ADHD symptoms, improved behavior, and better academic performance. Through urine sample testing, researchers confirmed that yizhi syrup can increase the production of dopamine and norepinephrine.
Chinese medicine versus Western medicine
One study made a direct comparison between the effects of Chinese medicine and Western medicine in treating ADHD. 80 children were given an herbal concoction made up of herbs known to reduce hyperactivity and invigorate the spleen: Scutellaria baicalensis, Ligustrum lucidum, Lophatherum gracile, Astragalus membranaceus, Codonopsis pilosula, Bupleurum Chinese, and an herb called “thread of ivory.” The rest of the children received 5-15 mg Ritalin tablets two times a day.
The children were monitored for three months and were subjected to EEG scans, IQ tests, and symptom scales. At the end of the trial, researchers observed that 29% in the Chinese medicine group gained 10 IQ points, had normal EEG levels, and no longer met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. 58% gained some improvements, while 13% had no improvements at all. The Ritalin group had similar results: 30% no longer met the diagnostic criteria, 60% showed some symptoms, and 10% had no improvements.
What this study shows is that in terms of effectiveness, there is very little difference between Chinese medicine and Western medicine. In terms of side effects, however, Ritalin and other ADHD medications are known to cause permanent damage with long-term use. Aside from rare allergic reactions, people do not experience any serious side effects from using Chinese herbs. So if you are looking for natural remedies for ADHD, consult a certified practitioner of Chinese medicine.