Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD is a common childhood disorder that may include hyperactivity or an inability to focus. Another form of this disorder is attention deficit disorder (ADD). Both children and adults can have ADHD.

What causes ADHD?

Although scientists are not entirely sure what causes ADHD, they think the following may play a role:

Heredity: ADHD tends to run in families. Researches speculate that there may be a certain gene that causes ADHD.

Food Additives: Some researchers hypothesize that certain food additives can make children more prone to not paying attention.

Pre-natal Factors: Some studies suggest that there might be a link to tobacco and alcohol use by the mother when pregnant and a child's propensity to develop ADHD.

Brain Injury: Traumatic brain injury may cause ADHD-like symptoms in children.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

There are many symptoms of ADHD. Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are common to children of young ages. If your child has a lot of the following symptoms and has been exhibiting them for over six months, they may have ADHD. Consult your health care provider to be sure.

Inattention Symptoms

Hyperactivity Symptoms

is easily distracted

fidgets or squirms in his/her seat

constantly loses important things like homework or assignments

non-stop talking

does not listen when spoken to

extremely impatient

struggles to follow instructions

has trouble doing quiet tasks

daydreams or moves slowly 

runs around trying to touch everything in sight

becomes bored with a task after only a few minutes 

is constantly moving or in motion

finds organizing things difficult 

interrupts other conversations

misses important details 

says inappropriate comments regardless of consequences

becomes easily confused

shows emotions without restraint

has difficulty processing information 

has trouble waiting for his/her turn in games


It's important to note that ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, and while these remedies have been used traditionally, scientific research on their effectiveness for ADHD is limited. Consultation with a qualified healthcare professional is crucial before considering the use of Chinese herbal remedies for ADHD. Here are some natural Chinese herbal remedies that are sometimes associated with addressing symptoms of ADHD:

Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo biloba is known for its potential to improve cognitive function and increase blood flow to the brain. It may be used in TCM to support mental clarity and focus.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica): Also known as "Ji Xue Cao," gotu kola is believed to have calming properties and is sometimes used in TCM to promote mental balance.

Polygala Root (Polygala tenuifolia): Known as "Yuan Zhi," polygala root is used in TCM to potentially enhance memory and cognitive function, which might benefit individuals with ADHD.

Rehmannia (Rehmannia glutinosa): Rehmannia is sometimes used in TCM to address restlessness and improve concentration. It is believed to have a calming effect on the mind.

Schisandra Berry (Schisandra chinensis): Referred to as "Wu Wei Zi," schisandra berry is used in TCM for its potential to support mental focus and reduce stress.

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Licorice root has been used in TCM to enhance adrenal function and potentially help with stress management.

Bupleurum Root (Bupleurum chinense): Bupleurum root is sometimes used in TCM formulations to address emotional imbalances and promote relaxation.

Dang Shen (Codonopsis pilosula): Dang shen is believed to have adaptogenic properties that can support overall energy levels and potentially help with focus.

It's important to note that using herbal remedies to address ADHD requires careful consideration and consultation with a healthcare professional. ADHD is a complex condition that may involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors. Comprehensive treatment for ADHD often involves a combination of behavioral interventions, therapy, and in some cases, medication.

If you're interested in exploring Chinese herbal remedies for ADHD, consult a qualified TCM practitioner or healthcare provider who can assess your individual situation and guide you in making informed decisions about potential treatments.


"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)." NIMH RSS. National Institute of Mental Health. <>.