Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

As Naturopathic practitioners our duty of care is to take into account all aspects of an individuals health. This means mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Naturopaths also provide Complimentary medicine and education to support treatments prescribed by Medical practitioners.

Taking this into account we can then offer a number of options that will assist you.

1. Education of your condition.
2. Offering Natural alternatives to prescribed medication – providing you obtain consent from medical specialist.
3. Information concerning medications – including common side effects and dosages.
4. Complimentary medicines that minimise side effects of medication.

It is estimated that about 4.4% of adults suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder ADD, however, the condition often goes unrecognised in adults.


  • Inability to concentrate or sustain attention, inability to regulatetheir focus on a situation or problem or overstimulation of non-relevant stimuli
  • Limited organisational skills, trouble following instructions or listening, fidgeting
  • Periods of inactivity followed by periods of hyperactivity
  • Easily distracted, forgetful
  • Periods of inappropriate aggressiveness and intensity of emotions.


  • Liver function is an important consideration due to the livers role in detoxification of heavy metals and cleansing of the blood and digestive system.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases contributing to maldigestion of nutrients.
  • Food allergies and sensitivities to foods such as wheat (gluten), soy, sugar, dairy, corn, shellfish, nuts, food additives and dyes and preservatives.
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Drug induced – high or repeated doses of caffeine and stimulants.
  • Nervous system stress


  • Excessive consumption of Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), excessive consumption of sucrose, food additive tartrazine in the diet
  • Excessive mineral levels in the blood and brain such as lead and copper are associated with ADD
  • A causative factor may be impaired blood circulation to their putamen (a region of the Cerebrum of the brain, this part of the brain is responsible for flow of information)
  • Protein deficiencies


There is a very close association between diet and learning disorders and the symptoms can be minimised with some simple dietary changes.

  • Avoid all preservatives, colours and additives in the diet
  • Ensure adequate amounts of quality protein
  • Ensure proper hydration
  • Avoid sugar
  • Avoid any allergic foods


  • Fish oil is the main supplemental source of omega 3 and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) which is an essential fatty acid needed by the brain for neurotransmitters to effectively exchange information from the brain to the nervous system. I suggest a dosage of at least 1000mg DHA/ day. The increased requirement for the omega-3 essential fatty acids in people with ADD/ADHD has been extensively studied
  • Support liver function with herbal medicines such as Dandelion, St Marys Thistle and Glutamine
  • Nutrients such as Zinc, Vitamin B6 , Vitamin B3, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iodine, Folic Acid, Iron, Magnesium and Vitamin C are considered to be important to take also to provide nervous system and brain support
  • Supplemental 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) or Sam-E may be beneficial due to its role as a precursor for the production of Serotonin, a Neurotransmitter that is commonly depleted in ADHD patients
  • Glutamine may help the nervous system by improving nerve fibre conduction
  • Tyrosine due to its ability to improve the metabolism of dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter that works in conjunction with Serotonin to normalise mental functions
  • Phosphatidylserine and choline (lecithin) also nourish the nervous system and improve the conduction of information to the brain
  • Probiotics may be of benefit to ensure high levels of friendly bacteria which have been found to be low in people with ADD. Many naturopaths see a direct relationship between the health of the gut and the brain
  • Brahmi is a herb traditionally used to encourage brain function and circulation
  • Ginkgo biloba is a herb that people with ADD respond extremely well to due to its effect on peripheral circulation. It is given to people to increase memory retention, concentration and alertness