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Case #1

Natural Alternatives for ADD
Copyright 1997 by Mary Conley, MNH
All Rights Reserved

My son, now age 16, has suffered with ADD all his life. In second grade he was diagnosed as borderline, but classroom performance has always been a problem. His symptoms included:

inability to keep attention span for longer than 20 minutes at a time; irritability at being asked to do tasks that involved complex thinking; fatigue at the end of the school day; irritability at being asked to do homework and prepare for tests; poor reading skills, vocabulary skills, and low self esteem a feeling of not being as good as others in his class; calling himself "a dummy" or being in "the dumb class"

I have found three treatment phases to be of utmost value: Diet; phytomeds (nutraceuticals); and Crimson Columbine Flower Essence.

Diet - We found that there were certain foods that triggered the above symptoms. If he ate anything containing: red dye and other artificial colorings and flavorings; sugar (especially chocolate); preservatives and chemical additives; and caffeine he would be bouncing off the walls with scattered thinking within the hour. So we switched to natural foods with plenty of fresh vegetables (grown on our farm), fresh fruits organically grown, nuts and grains, juices and fresh water. At times his nutritional supplements included liquid calcium and magnesium (for calming); a B complex supplement (for anxiety and headaches); choline (to improve memory and attention); and herb teas with chamomile, hawthorne (if his blood pressure arose as it can with ADD), and hyssop. To sleep before a test he would use the herb valerian or from the Bach Flower Remedies the Rescue Remedy or Larch. For exam performance anxiety a low dose (30x) of the homeopathic gelseum semivirens would help him the morning before the exam.

Phytomedicinals - we found that these concentrated plant substances had a good benefit. I worked through a company called Mannatech (and it is an MLM company but I loved their products). I admired the fact that they make their research readily available to the public and could answer my questions. I found that active saccharides are only one of 8 known "essential saccharides" necessary for proper cell communication. Because of the changes in our food industry most of us only get one or two of these saccharides in our daily diets. When we are deficient in the others there is improper communication between cells, neural pathways don't work properly and oxygen does not circulate properly. Ambritose contained all 8 saccharides so he started on 3 caps per day along with the Phyt-Aloe and made a marked improvement. It was slow and can take up to three months, but he is progressing.

Flower Essences - lastly through my participation in the Athena List I found the use of flower essences (Crimson Columbine) to be the most helpful. Athena is moderated by Dr. Eileen Nauman who is a homeopath, teacher and lecturer, and author of several books among them "poisons That Heal." She is conducting research into this essence for it's assistance in ADD. Her information can be downloaded from visiting: and going to the flower essence section (no commercial interest).

My son is in his 11th week of her study and has had remarkable progress in his self esteem, ability to take and remember notes, homework preparation and delivery, and the ability not only to get his thoughts verbalized but written down as well. The essences are safe and were a godsend.

There are natural alternatives for ADD but I wish to stress that each of us is different. It is only through research, wise consumption of products out there on the market, and close contact with professionals in the holistic and natural fields that barriers can be broken down and healing allowed to occur.


Mary Conley holds a Master of Science Degree in Natural Health and Nutrition. She is also an herbalist growing her own culinary and medicinal herbs; making her own remedies; and teaching locally.

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