Lemon balm ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) research has concentrated primarily on children with subclinical findings of hyperactivity and related activity problems.
Researchers in Germany have tested a valerian/lemon balm supplement in children with hyperactivity related complaints.
In 2014, a study tested 169 patients from age 6 to 12 years during a seven week long treatment program using a valerian/lemon balm supplement.
All the children suffered from hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and difficulty concentrating, but did not meet all the criteria for an official ADD/ADHD (attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) diagnosis.
Each child received a daily supplement of 640 mg. valerian root extract with 320 mg. lemon balm extract and were evaluated at two weeks and at seven weeks.
During the study, only two children out of 169 children experienced a mild transient reaction with the supplement which stopped when the supplement was discontinued.
Since the symptoms did not return when the supplement was resumed, any causal relation was considered unlikely.
The children were rated on the following behaviors:
problems with concentrating,
impaired social behavior,
problems falling asleep or sleeping all night long,
school behavior, and
Sixteen patients did not complete the seven week study due to insufficient compliance or multiple other reasons.
After the end of the study, 29 patients stopped the medication because their symptoms had improved or vanished while 48 continued the supplements.
Twenty-nine patients also stopped the supplements because they reported insufficient effectiveness.
During the lemon balm ADHD (hyperactivity behavior) study, all reported symptoms improved considerably with the following specific improvements:
hyperactivity was reduced from 61% to 13%,
impulsiveness was reduced from 59% to 22%,
difficulties focusing were reduced from 75% to 14%,
difficulties falling asleep were reduced from 37.6% to 9.1%,
difficulties sleeping all night were reduced from 19.4% to 6.1%,
and the reported burden on the families was reduced from 58% to 18%.
Other improvements were noted in physical capability, social behavior, and compliance with duties.
The researchers also noted that research with these two herbs show that there are no side effects such as drowsiness or impaired thinking that may cause problems associated with some prescription drugs.
They also recommend that only clinically proven supplements be used for therapy as those herbal extracts will be standardized for effective ingredients (Gromball J et al: Hyperactivity, concentration difficulties and impulsiveness improve during seven weeks' treatment with valerian root and lemon balm extracts in primary school children, Phytomedicine July-August 2014, p1098-103.).
This standardized valerian/lemon balm supplement has shown dramatic improvements in another study with children who were experiencing restlessness and trouble sleeping and is reported in the Hyperactivity section in my new book:
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