Calming Herbs for Mental Hyperactivity
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Renee Thompson
Posted on: November 02, 2004

I have a son who was born with tuberous sclerosis, a genetic disease, involving his brain. He is epileptic, autistic (not severely though) and has some behavior problems (ADHD is a symptom of tuberous sclerosis). His seizures are under control, thank God to Sabril (Canadian medicine). What I am interested in finding out is, if there is something I could use to help calm my son down. He is not actually physically active all the time, but mentally. It was suggested by the child psychiatrist that he be given Ritalin. I do not care to have him on a drug like that. Do you have any ideas? I know a little about herbs, I got into them 7 years ago, then my life turned upside down, things changed, and I have gotten side-tracked from them.

Herbs that nourish and calm the nervous system include oats (taken as a tea or tincture of the milky stage oat tops and as large flake, steel cut oatmeal in porridge) and skullcap. General calming herbs include chamomile and lavender. Herbs that can be used as sedatives include valerian, California poppy, hops, linden flower, passionflower and wild lettuce. Small doses of these herbs allow relaxation. Larger doses are used for sedation. Because a common side effect of the drug Sabril is depression, it is important that if you are using sedative herbs, you use only small doses and take note of your son’s reactions to it, to avoid side effects.

For a tea, the dosage for a child of 5 to 12 years would be one half teaspoon of one of the herbs listed above (or of a mixture of these herbs) in a cup of boiling water, covered and steeped for 15 minutes; take half a cup, three times a day. Over 12 years of age, the adult dosage of one teaspoon per cup may be used.

Please see our web page at www.richters.com for more information on attention deficit disorder. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter "attention" for the search.

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