Amphetamine drug use is being heavily promoted in the public schools and in conventional doctors’ offices, and I’m concerned. I was always taught that amphetamines — the class of drugs that includes meth, speed, and ecstacy — were dangerous. However, nowadays amphetamines are being handed out like candy when they’re relabeled as “medications” called Adderal, Ritalin, Focalin, Concerta, Metadate, and other names that mask any resemblance to illegal street drugs. Just because something is prescribed by a doctor or school nurse does not mean it is safe or even effective.

Attention deficit disorder is a common condition in both children and adults, and Chinese Medicine has held effective remedies for ADHD for centuries. This condition is viewed as an imbalance in the 5 elements — Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water — that affects the brain and other systems of the body. Therefore, there are 5 main types of ADHD, and they each require different treatment strategies.

Individuals with an excess of Wood energy tend to be very physically active, competitive, confrontational, stubborn, and unable to focus on what they perceive as “boring.” A Wood type may desire to become an astronaut or professional skydiver — not a librarian. A Fire type individual, on the other hand, is very emotional and likes to make people laugh. They want to be either a rockstar or professional comedian. Those with an excess of Earth energy love to socialize with people and eat food — especially breads and sweets. They thrive in group settings, but alone they prefer to eat or nap. In contrast, a Metal person is usually an introvert and very detail-oriented. They usually thrive in the math and science disciplines, but shutter at the thought of group projects. They may not complete their work because they get lost in the details. The last type – the Water type — is a philosopher or “old soul.” They may appear spacey and totally oblivious to their surroundings because they are deep in thought. When severely out of balance, they can become disconnected and suicidal.

Herbs with nootropic abilities, such as albizzia bark, acorus rhizome, and poria mushroom, have been used effectively for both children and adults for centuries to increase mental focus on “boring” tasks without altering personality or causing the dangerous physical side effects commonly associated with amphetamines and psychostimulants.

There are also nutritional strategies to increase mental focus, performance, and even IQ. These include removal of artificial colors and preservatives, reduction of foods high in salicylates, and inclusion of healthy fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, MCT oil, egg yolks, duck fat, and lard. Useful supplements include 5-metatetrahydrafolate (5-MTHF), acetyl-L-carnitine, triglyceride-bound DHA, and amino acids (for neurotransmitter production).

These are not the only tricks in my repertoire. Most individuals require personalized strategies for overcoming health imbalances. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that works best for everybody because no two people are exactly alike. Set up a Full Case Review with me today for help developing a personalized approach for your situation.