Hyoscyamus, is it appropriate to treat ADHD? Many of the symptoms given in the linked article, are produced by a lack of teaching and training when the child is at the young enough stage where most parents just laugh at their antics and don’t bother teaching them what is right and wrong (younger than age 2 most of the time), claiming they are just being cute. Many parents who have this attitude toward very early behaviour, also tend to brush the kids off and not parent them with time and effort, preferring to shut them up in a corner or a room and ignore them while watching TV or gaming or yacking on the phone. Lack of enough physical activity, lack of proper early nutrition, lack of sleep (many parents don’t structure their kids sleep schedule, let alone meal schedule at extremely young ages prior to preschool and often even into preschool and elementary school they still don’t structure sleep and nutrition, let alone exercise!), all contribute to poor emotional, social, relational and mental processes and development.
A lady I did sound for one time, did a full-day workshop teaching educators how to tell the signs of lack of nutrition, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise in their students, and the various ways these educators could bring these into the classroom, giving studies showing the benefits of doing this at school or the club if it wasn’t done at home, and how to talk to parents about doing it at home too.
Dyslexia has ways of education that while different from the rest of the student population, work very well, and I have a dyslexic grown kid in my home who got that way due to elementary age vaccines! I have a brother who was labelled dyslexic, but in ways that my parents stepped in to stop when he was back in elementary school. It isn’t something you need to medicate.
Tourette’s syndrome on the other hand, is neurological and would require some form of treatment to get under control. There are various foods that can be used to treat neurological conditions and generally support the central or peripheral nervous systems (or both).
ODD, oppositional defiance disorder could very easily stem from the first paragraph again that I’ve written above, with the addition that family and social life is stressful, potentially abusive in some way, most likely emotional/social/relational rather than physical, and the child’s relational/social/emotional needs are being neglected to the point the child feels they have to lash back to defend themselves and to fight to stand up for themselves.
It would appear that the herb being discussed in this article is intended to replace poor parenting and poor educational situations. Very few actual physical/chemical causes are listed as something this herb will treat.
What I will agree with the author on, is that diet plays a big role in how a child develops! Red food colouring would send my brother wingy as a kid, and we tried to stay away from processed foods with the colours red/orange/purple/pink, etc. He couldn’t handle it. For the author, their child couldn’t handle corn or corn-derived ingredients. In his young adult years, we discovered that red and blue food colouring were bad for my son. Poor nutrition or bad nutrition has been proven to have negative effects on the developing brains of children.
EDIT: February 8, 2022
The idea that better nutrition can be just what the child needs, is borne out by a news release by Orthomolecular.org, where in August 2008, they observed that far too many children were being medicated for conditions such as depression, ADHD, obesity and others, rather than being fed enough of the right nutrition for their growing bodies. It is incredibly important to be providing a nutritional diet as complete as possible, and some children will need more of a given vitamin or mineral than others. Another release that month decried that in the US, children as young as 8yrs old are being given anti-cholesterol drugs when all they need is the B vitamin: Niacin or Vitamin B3. Vitamin C, B Complex, D and E are 100% necessary to be ensuring your child obtains every single day! The best way to get Vitamin D into them, is kicking them outside to play for an hour or more every day. Even if all they do is sit in the middle of the yard pouting, that Vitamin D from the sun hitting their skin, will be of benefit.
EDIT March 13, 2023
A 1975 tri-paper (one paper presenting the other two) I was reading recently, made another eye-opening statement about mega-vitamin orthomolecular therapy versus parenting:
“Several school children who attained initial improvement subsequently began to regress for a period of time despite continued treatment. An observant school social worker who investigated these informed me that in a few instances she found that the parents assumed that the “vitamins” would also take over the job of “parenting.””
Apparently the desire to have things or substances do the parenting, rather than the parents themselves, is not anything new to current generations, but existed back when I was little.
But what children are exposed to for social circles in and out of the home, as well as audio/visual entertainment will also affect them negatively too. So diet must take into account nutrition, books, music, movies, games, television, device usage, kinds of adult conversation overheard, friends, etc. Audio intake begins in the womb. What the unborn child hears around them, the words, the reactions, the overreactions, the feelings, music, audio from TV, movies, games, etc, all begin to shape that child’s view of their world even before they are born. What they are exposed to as a baby and into their toddler years has a direct impact on how they will view and interact with their world as they grow and mature. If their world says it’s ok for adults to be exposing themselves, masturbating, etc, the child will subconsciously expect it’s ok for them too and get confused or even angry when they discover there is a double standard, one for the older folk and one for them. What children are exposed to has a direct influence on their development physically (brain) and on their development socially, mentally and relationally.
So I’d have to say, for most of the reasons given that Hyoscyamus supposedly addresses, I’d have to say NO! Using this herb and others like it for those reasons is a cop-out on bad parenting and poor educational expectations by all levels of a child’s education in and out of the school setting. A thought for consideration is that if this herb truly does influence how a child responds to the world around them, it is rendering them in a suggestive state no different than feeding them acetaminophen. On the one hand, being in a suggestive state could be seen as a good thing for educational purposes, but that very same reason is also why it’s a bad thing! You don’t want the child lulled into a state of suggested behaviour, you want to teach them how to tackle life as life is with the personality God gave them, not as we insist in pretending the world to be, with a personality we force on them. For the reasons given where chemical and physical/physiological health issues are present, perhaps this herb can help and as such, could help youth or adults as well.
But firm parenting of children under the age of 2 is 100% necessary to prevent the verbal, social and physical misbehaviours this herb claims to modify. Don’t accept certain behaviours because they are funny at that age! Don’t accept certain behaviours because “they won’t understand the discipline” at that age! Hogwash! The lesson sometimes has to come before the logic makes sense. The dots will connect in the future as they get old enough to understand why it was wrong then and why it’s wrong now for certain behaviour. By the time they understand those dots, the desired behaviour is normal. But I could seriously go off on the absolute importance of nutrition at that age too, and the imperative status of an insisted-upon regular sleep schedule (which isn’t fun for either parent or child for a year or so at least), and the imperative nature of ensuring the child gets enough physical exercise in a day, every day!
To say a herb can make up for all these shortcomings is kind of rich in my personal opinion. It takes responsibility away from the parent and onto a drug, whether that drug is obtained from nature, or obtained from manmade sources. I will never advocate the abdication of parenting to drugs.
The big thing to keep in mind is that in general, barring the extremely few diagnoses where neurological chemicals are missing, ADHD is NOT a medical condition, it is a high-comprehension situation going unaddressed by all adults involved. When this is dealt with, the child grows up and can do jobs that require attention going 3 ways to Sunday, such as managing a hockey game, or being a camp games coordinator for example. If you can’t focus on 5 things at once, those jobs are not for you, but someone with high comprehension can do them just fine. Today we label them ADHD and try to medicate them down to focussing on just one thing at a time, which does more harm than good. But as the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine began observing back in the early 70’s, if there is a nutritional deficiency (ignore the immunization note in the article) behind the ADHD behaviour, it is more than likely related to a lack of Niacin – Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. Some children, youth, and adults, need far more of these vitamins than the Recommended Daily Intake suggests. Gradually increasing supplemental vitamins until tolerance is reached and then backing off a few hundred mg’s, has often been enough to see positive change either within days of the increased vitamin intake, or within months of it, depending on the level of healing required and the level of deficiency being amended. Being as I prefer to encourage wholefood nutrition and wholefood medicine, look for foods that contain more of these nutrients and creatively weave those into the child’s daily diet.