This is a thorny issue that raises a plethora of questions. There is no doubt that extreme hyperactivity occurs and can be related to dietary factors.This having been said there is an unfortunate tendency for children to be labelled `hyperactive' simply because the teacher or parents do not the attention for a very active, perceptive, inquisitive or creative child.
The Merck manual points out, quite rightly, that claims that a child is hyperactive often reflect the tolerance level of the annoyed person.Since when has not fitting into the normal mold been a disease? The useof psycho-pharmaceuticals to control these children sounds a little bitlike Soviet psychiatrists giving major tranquilizers to dissidents because they must (obviously) be insane to question the status quo. Rather than sedating our children so they can deal with their world, why not change the nature of schooling so it is more challenging and exciting?
Where the child is experiencing a real problem there may be some help that can be provided herbally, provided that two areas are being addressed insome way:
- Psychological factors are paramount, but as already hinted at these are not herbal issues.
- Food irritants. There is increasing evidence that chemical irritants have a role in this problem. They may be pollutants (such as heavy metals)or artificial food additives (such as colorings or flavors).
For details and support with these two areas please contact The Feingold Association, sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
The Feingold Association
56 Winston Drive
Smithtown, NY 11787 (516) 543-4658
The herbal contribution is in two areas, calming the nervous system and helping the liver detoxify.
Herbs to consider in supporting a broad treatment plan. that must also include dietary and psychological aspects, might be:
Something else that the phytotherapist can help with is exhaustion in the parents!
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)
Tilia spp. (Linden Blossom)
Matricaria recutita (Chamomile)
Carduus marianum (Milk Thistle)