Are there natural alternatives to Adderall?
Adderall (dextroamphetamine sulfate) is a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It was first introduced in 1958 and it became popular among students who were unable to concentrate during school. However, many parents have been complaining about its side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and even violent behavior. Many doctors are recommending against using it on their children because of these problems.
There are several natural products which could replace or improve the effectiveness of Adderall. These include:
1. Magnesium Oxide – Magnesium oxide is a naturally occurring mineral found in certain plants and animals including almonds, brazil nuts, black walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hazelnuts and pineapples.
It is also known as Epsom salt or sea salt. Magnesium oxide has been shown to help reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Studies show that it may also prevent seizures caused by high levels of dopamine in the brain.
2. Phenylpiracetam – Piracetam is a nootropic agent that improves memory and learning ability.
It works by increasing synaptic transmission between nerve cells and improving communication within neurons. Phenylpiracetam is a version of this nootropic that crosses the blood-brain barrier more effectively, leading to improved alertness and concentration. It has also been shown to enhance physical and mental endurance.
3. Vinpocetine – This chemical increases blood flow to the brain and improves alertness and mental concentration.
It is also effective in treating memory impairment, irritability, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, head trauma, hypoxia and dizziness. It is usually available in capsule or tablet form and can be taken with or without food.
4. DMAE – DMAE is a compound which naturally occurs in the human brain.
It plays an important role in the function of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in motor control and various memory functions. DMAE helps to increase alertness, improve mood, reduce depression and boost cognitive function.
5. Alpha GPC – This compound occurs naturally in the brain and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
It is used to improve memory, learning ability, focus, mental clarity and mood. It is also effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
6. Tea – Certain types of tea have been shown to improve alertness and concentration while other types such as black tea can result in the opposite effect.
Green tea is known to improve mental performance and alertness.
7. Ganma – Ganma is a natural herb used in ancient Indian medicine to improve memory and concentration.
It has also been shown to reduce mental and motor fatigue. It is commonly available as dried herbs or in capsule form.
8. Kratom – Kratom has been used in Southeast Asia for centuries as a remedy for fatigue, lack of energy or depression.
It is commercially available in the form dried leaves and can be taken orally in capsules or tablets. It is also available in liquid tincture or resin form which is usually swallowed.
Kratom can have mild to moderate side effects such as nausea, constipation, weight loss, dry mouth, appetite loss, increased urination and some cases of insomnia.
9. Ginko Biloba – Also known as the “Mixed Berry of Enlightenment” in some parts of Europe, this natural herb is used to improve memory and concentration.
It has also been used to treat dementia, poor circulation, impotency and tinnitus. It is usually taken in the form of a pill or tablet.
Ginko Biloba can have some side effects such as headaches, stomach pain, diarrhea, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, dizziness and low blood pressure.
10. DHEA – Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroidal hormone that occurs naturally in the body. It helps to produce and regulate the hormones oestrogen and testosterone. It is known to improve memory, learning ability, alertness and concentration. It is commonly available as a supplement in capsule form.
DHEA can have some side effects including acne, oily skin, facial hair growth, abdominal pain, irritability, depression and anxiety.
There are several other natural supplements that can also be used to improve memory, focus and concentration. One should however, be very careful when taking any supplement and consult a physician before doing so.
Before starting any supplement, read the label and be aware of the ingredients. This will help you to determine if the supplement is right for you. In addition, there are certain medical conditions that can prevent one from taking certain supplements. It is best to know this information before hand.
Most of these supplements are safe when taken in the proper dosages. It is important to follow the instructions on the product.
General advice when taking any supplement is to be very careful when taking more than the recommended dosage. Some supplements can cause negative side effects, allergic reactions and other problems if taken in excessive amounts.
If you are unsure of the product or the effect it will have on your body, try taking a smaller dosage first and observe the effects. If there are no negative side effects, then the product should be safe to consume.
In any case, if you experience any adverse reactions after taking a supplement, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
The following is a checklist for general guidelines when taking any supplement:
1. Have you taken this supplement before, with positive results?
2. Do you know exactly what is in the supplement (ingredients)?
3. Does it have any negative effects on people with any medical conditions?
4. Do not exceed the recommended dosage.
5. It is best to get advice from a physician or professional before taking a supplement.
6. There can be interactions between supplements and certain drugs.
If you take other medications, seek advice before taking a supplement.
7. There can be interactions between supplements and certain foods.
This is especially important if you suffer from allergies.
8. There are some supplements that should not be taken during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
9. There are some supplements that may cause severe adverse reactions if you combine them with other supplements or prescription medications.
10. Always read the directions and follow the product guidelines. If there is any information that is unclear, do not take the supplement.
While it is true that supplements can improve your health and even prevent certain diseases or illnesses, it is also important to practice healthy habits and a proper diet in general. Supplements cannot replace a balanced diet. If you consume junk food, for example, then no amount of supplements are going to make up for it.
Also, if you smoke cigarettes or consume too much alcohol, no supplement is going to help you.
Finally, if you do not get enough exercise and rest, then again, no supplement is going to help you.
Supplements are meant to provide additional benefits to a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you do not have a healthy diet and lifestyle, then the supplements are not going to be as effective as they could be.
Sources & references used in this article:
AdderRx Review: Adderall alternative? Of course it’s not! by B Johnson – Safety, 2019 – vaga.org
“Adderall is definitely not a drug”: justifications for the illegal use of ADHD stimulants by AD DeSantis, AC Hane – Substance use & misuse, 2010 – Taylor & Francis
Use of complementary and alternative medicine among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by E Hanson, LA Kalish, E Bunce, C Curtis… – Journal of autism and …, 2007 – Springer
When we enhance cognition with Adderall, do we sacrifice creativity? A preliminary study by F Jacobelli, LA Watson – 2008 – AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn