Can homeopathic treatments help with ADHD? Learn what the science says about alternative mental health therapies.
A 2012 study found homeopathy equally as effective as conventional therapy for treating ear infections.
I spent a year of my medical training on a clinical research rotation for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Our research focused on whether naturopathic interventions such as dietary counseling, nutritional or botanical supplementation and other CAM therapies might be helpful in treating ADHD.
We did see definite, worthwhile improvements with these types of interventions and lifestyle changes, but what really stood out were the effects we would see using homeopathic treatments. We formulated these treatments according to homeopathic guidelines, which indicate treating the whole person, so each patient got a unique remedy we felt fit their specific situation. Although I’d seen other successes in the use of homeopathy, this was noticeably significant. Many times, the families would find they couldn’t make the other interventions work—changing diets, taking supplements or increasing exercise—so the only treatment they would successfully complete would be the homeopathic one.
The families would come back and say that, after the homeopathic treatment, they began to see improvements, and those changes enabled them to follow up with some of the other changes. The workings of homeopathy are mysterious; they defy current scientific understanding. That can make it easy for some experts to shrug off homeopathy’s successes as coincidental findings or placebo effects. Yet three randomized, double-blind studies from 1997 to 2005 show significant improvement with the homeopathic approach to ADHD; what’s more, the studies showed that improvements often lasted up to one-and-a-half years with only one to two doses of the remedies. Considering the cost and side effects of conventional approaches to ADHD, even the American Academy of Pediatrics has said that the homeopathic approach is worth a closer look. Despite homeopathy’s mysterious nature, such results have been seen in other areas as well: For example, a 2012 study found homeopathy to be equally effective as conventional therapy in treating ear infections (acute otitis media).
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