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ADHD Natural Remedies: Pycnogenol

Is it possible that the sap of a majestic tree from the southwest of France may by one of the keys to overcoming attention deficit hyperactivity disorder for many children?

A growing number of studies show that pycnogenol, derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, is an effective natural substance that helps reduce symptoms of ADHD in children and adults. European clinics have actually been using pycnogenol for its healing properties since it was first extracted in 1947, but only recently have researchers designed studies and clinical trials to test whether it can help treat ADHD.  These studies reveal that pycnogenol can benefit ADHD children in several ways:

Supports neurotransmitter activity

Pycnogenol works as a natural neurotransmitter regulator. According to Marcia Zimmerman, a California-based researcher, pycnogenol helps regulate the enzymes that control the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, resulting in improved function and controlled excitatory responses.  Clinical trials on pycnogenol have shown higher levels of improved concentration, cognition, and attention in children when they took pycnogenol supplements than when they were taking their medications.  

Works as a super antioxidant

Pycnogenol is the only natural substance that works as a "super antioxidant," meaning it can easily cross the blood-brain barrier to protect brain cells from harmful compounds.  As an antioxidant, it also indirectly treats omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies by protecting the fragile fatty acids until they make their way to the brain.

Maintains the integrity of the circulatory system

Pycnogenol can strengthen fragile or damaged blood vessels, resulting in enhanced circulation and improvement in the delivery of important brain nutrients such as calcium, zinc, and magnesium.  This function is significant because a deficiency in these minerals often triggers ADHD-like symptoms. Elevated levels of calcium, zinc, and magnesium in the brain have been linked to improved behavior and reduced symptoms in children with ADHD.   

Reduces stress hormones

A study done by the Department of Child Psychology in Bratislava discovered that children with ADHD tend to have high levels of stress hormones, which causes arousal and excitement.  To see whether pycnogenol could reduce stress hormones in ADHD children, the intervention group was given daily doses of 1 mg of pycnogenol per 2.2 pounds of body weight. After a month, urine tests revealed lowered stress hormones, and improved behavior was observed in children who took the pycnogenol supplement. Lowered stress hormones meant that the brain could regain control over reactions to stimuli and impulses, thus reducing instances of impulsivity and inattention.

These studies suggest that pycnogenol is very effective in managing the symptoms of the disorder.   Pycnogenol is commercially available as a food supplement, with a recommended dose of 1 mg for 1 kg of body weight.  Before giving pycnogenol to your child, it would be wise to consult your health care practitioner and integrate pycnogenol supplements along with a holistic treatment plan to overcoming ADHD naturally, such as suggested in the UnRitalin Solution.