Homeopathy effective for children with ADHD
(Compiled by Peter Viksveen, European Network for Homeopathy Research ENHR. For information, please refer to www.homeopathy-ecch.eu and outside Europe, www.homeopathy-ich.org)
Homeopathy is effective in treating children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children with ADHD suffer from disturbances in mood, behaviour and school performance. About one child in every school class suffers from ADHD. Up to 64% of parents of children with ADHD choose complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat their children and homeopathy is one of the preferred treatment modalities.
No curative conventional treatment exists, but homeopaths have considerable positive experience in treating children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, as well as children with other types of concentration, learning and behavioural difficulties. Research supports homeopaths’ positive clinical experience.
Research – evidence of improvement with homeopathic treatment
Four clinical trials including a total of 263 children diagnosed with ADHD treated with classical homeopathy have been published. Three of these were so-called randomised double-blinded trials where the children, their parents, practitioners and researchers did not know whether the child had received a homeopathic medicine or an inactive placebo pill until after the study was finalised. Results suggest that beneficial effect continues long after treatment has been completed.
The study of highest methodological quality showed a significant effect of homeopathy over a twelve week period. One and a half years later the children were still 63 % better. Their mood was more stable and they had improved short time memory.
A second study showed a significant effect of homeopathy compared to placebo and children were still 57 % better 2 months after treatment. A third study found significant improvement in both the homeopathy and placebo groups, which indicates that the homeopathic consultation may also positively influence the state of these children. A fourth (non-blinded) study showed that a minimum of 73% improvement in 75 % of 115 children diagnosed with ADHD.
Conventional drugs can have serious side effects – homeopathy is safe
No serious side-effects were reported in any of the homeopathy trials with children diagnosed with ADHD. The safety of homeopathy is one of the main reasons why parents choose homeopathy for their children. Conventional treatment in ADHD is inadequate and includes the risk of adverse effects. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that conventional ADHD drugs may cause cardiovascular disease. Sufficient time and more research is needed
More research should be carried out to further determine the effect of homeopathy for children suffering from ADHD. A minimum treatment period of one year should be allowed for in order to properly treat these children and to assess potential long-term benefit.
For safe and effective homeopathic treatment of their children, parents should make sure that the practitioner they consult is a registered member of an ECCH or ICH Member Association. In New Zealand consult a homeopath registered with New Zealand Council of Homeopaths.
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