Inattentive type ADHD, Herbal Teas, Supplements and Cheerios

As many of you may remember from my previous post on herbal teas, my inattentive type ADHD child was drinking some morning tea to see if it improved his attention. He tried Peony, Bacopa, lemon balm, and ginseng. The white peony did not seem to make a difference. The Ginseng he still takes.

My Inattentive type ADHD son continues to take the Ginseng, as do I. There are many positive studies linking Ginseng to positive health outcomes.  Positive studies also exist for other products that are referred to as Ginseng but that are really other adoptogens such as Indian Ginseng (Ashwagandha) and Asiatic Ginseng (Rhodiola). All the 'Ginsengs' are adoptogens which seems to help with stress. Stress seems to worsen all brain related problems so Ginseng cannot hurt with the treatment of ADHD.

A reader recently pointed out to me that Daniel Amen, MD, the ADHD physician who diagnosis the different types of ADHD based on SPECT scans, recommends Rhodiola for patients with symptoms of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo. I had not heard anything about Rhodiola but there are, in fact, several studies in the literature indicating that it might be useful for symptoms of sluggishness. More than Chinese Ginseng, Rhodiola seems to have some stimulating effects.

Bacopa tea and Lemon balm tea: He reported that he liked the lemon balm tea and that it was calming and that he thought that the Bacopa tea tasted horrible. I thought the tea was horrible as well but now we take the pills that appear to be helping.

The amino acids (Tyrosine, L-Carnitine, phosphatidylserine) have been studied extensively as treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder in children and adults. They seem to, in many people with ADHD, work for the first few weeks and then stop working. Some scientists believe that you must have the exact amount and combinations of certain vitamins on board for the amino acids to make a difference and if these combinations are missing, the amino acids will have no effect.

Pycnogenol has been studied and seems to help somewhat with Inattentive type ADHD and memory but not necessarily with ADHD. The Omega-3 fatty acids are supposed to help with brain function and my kids take these as a supplement and have for a while. Zinc and magnesium may help with symptoms of ADHD as may choline. My children also take multivitamins that have iron, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and choline.

At the risk of sounding like a Cheerios commercial, I will say that I believe that this cereal is a helpful ADHD diet tool for treating Attention Deficit.  Multi-grain cheerios taste great and are packed with nutrients.  This particular kind of Cheerios is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are important for maintaining good health. Remember that zinc is a mineral that is helpful for keeping our enzymes in working order and that supports our immune system functions, nerve function and that is also good for our senses and our hair health. Multi-grain Cheerios provide 30 percent of our daily needed allowance zinc.  Multi-grain Cheerios also contain Folate. Folate is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs in the B vitamin category. It is important because it plays a role in the processing of the amino acids, and also plays roles in many cellular functions in the body. 

Many old herbal remedies have helped with Inattentive type ADHD, memory and attention.  The Ginsengs that I mention above are herbs that have been used for years to enhance  memory but there are others such as Rosemary aroma, grape seed oil, onion and garlic that may help as well.  The study of complementary medicine is in it's infancy here in the U.S. and I believe that as some of these native remedies are studied more extensively, we might find surprising cures growing right in our gardens.


  1. Thank you for doing so much research for us families with ADHD. My daughter takes several supplements (iron, vitamin D, Omega 3's, and a multi) I think we will experiement a little with the Ginseng too.

  2. Thanks for commenting. Let me know what you think of the Ginseng,

  3. I am a big tea lover. This is a great great tea that I discovered long before my professional diagnosis (and longer before the un-professional one by my wife works in special education) that I found, for some odd magical reason, helped focus me, calmed my racing thoughts, and eased other general signs and symptoms of PI. Hind-sight is wonderfully interesting to me when it comes to looking back on these things.
    It's very light with a vague citrus-iness to it. I haven't been able to find it sold as teabags anymore, but it is still available loose.

    After my diagnosis and while doing the research about ADHD (which was what led me to this site), I tried a few herbal remedies, and I took notes. Ginseng ended up being a little effective, but much cheaper to take as a tea. Pycnogenol seemed to really effect only memory, meaning I'd remember where things were or to leave on time but other parts, including cascading thoughts, disorganization, focus, and the emotions that come with, where all still present. Omega-3s (in gummi form naturally) were also noticeably helpful.
    Still, the most effective 'herbal' remedy I found was plain and simple black coffee.

  4. That Stash web site looks fantastic. I found this sampler of 52 teas that I think I am going to buy for my mom for the holidays. She is a huge tea consumer. I will order the triple gingseng too,my son reading over my shoulder wants about 4 other teas that they offer as well. I like tea a lot but I agree with you, my heart (and my attention) is at the bottom of that coffee cup.

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  6. Thank You so much for reading and please share this site to anyone who you think might find it helpful. Thanks again.

  7. Natural supplements just like ginseng are very effective and they have a lot of positive results.

  8. Nice post. Actually, drinking herbal teas can be an alternative to coffee. It will give you potential healing benefits for your body.

  9. Get "Cheong-Kwan-Jang" by KGC brand, if going for Ginseng. Koreans are very particular about their ginseng and this brand is the most trusted for near a 100 years. Must get it directly from KGC though, since there are tons of forged products out there.

  10. I am worried about the Cheerios recommendation. I know you swear by them. But a simple Googling of "gluten ADHD" comes up with SO much anecdotal evidence that *some* people show so much improvement by removing them from the diet (MG Cheerios contains gluten).


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