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ADHD Natural Remedies: Ayurvedic Herbs

Conventional medicine is not the only approach available to take care of chronic disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. One helpful alternative strategy for people with ADHD is Ayurveda, a 3,000-year-old healing system from India.  Ayurveda focuses on how energy affects the functions and actions of the human body.  According to Ayurveda, disease is the manifestation of an imbalance in dosha, the underlying energies that work on the body.  A disease or condition is treated by removing the factors causing the symptoms, which in turn restores the balance in dosha. 

Ayurvedic specialists believe that ADHD is the result of the chronic activation of vata, the energy of action that controls the electrical impulses and movements in the body.  Without vata, other bodily functions remain inert; on the flipside, an aggravated vata affects the movement of other doshas in the body.  Ayurvedic practitioners believe that this is the root cause of ADHD. Unlike children born five decades ago, the vata of children today is overstimulated due to the frenetic pace of the modern world.  In a child's life, there is hardly any room for calmness and quiet; they are constantly surrounded by action, noise, motion through video games, TV shows, or flashy toys. For children with naturally high levels of vata , excess movement and stimuli makes them prone to exhibit behavioral and hyperactivity problems.

The Ayurvedic treatment for ADHD is designed to balance the vata dosha by creating a calming environment combined with nourishing vata herbs: 

Vata-reducing herbs

Ash-wagandha, wild oats, goku kola, and shatavari are known to calm down restless, nervous, and easily distractible children.

Pitta herbs

The pitta-calming herbs like sandalwood, chamomile, coriander, bringaraj, and shatavari are used on angry and aggressive children.

Nervine herbs

Nervine herbs like chamomile, skullcap, and limeflower help calm a hyperactive child during the day and aid in restful sleep at night. These can be given three times daily in decoction, in teas, in a bath, or in a sleep pillow.


Passionflower is among the best tranquilizing herbs in Ayurvedic medicine because it relieves a lot of stress-related symptoms. Besides working as an anti-spasmodic and sedative, passionflower also calms the nerves, relaxes tension in the muscles, and alleviates pain. It also extends its benefits to the central nervous system by improving blood circulation, thus allowing important nutrients to reach the brain. Passionflower is also used to relieve gastrointestinal problems and spasms in the gut. 


One of the most important herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine, brahmi helps revitalize brain cells, remove toxins from the body, get rid of a sugar habit, and aid in memory and concentration.  Brahmi is also used to aid in the recovery of substance abuse because it cleanses the blood and kidneys.  Taken with anti-vata herbs, it can also reduce vata.

If you are interested in knowing more about Ayurvedic herbs, contact an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner or consult our resource section on ADHD herbal remedies, where we discuss Ayurvedic herbs in more detail.