According to the CDC, 11% of all children in the U.S. aged 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD. In addition, 4.4% of U.S. adults are reported to have ADHD. One of the primary treatments for ADHD and ADD has been Ritalin (methylphenidate), which is a powerful stimulant that can cause many side effects, including trouble sleeping, anxiety, weight loss, psychosis, allergic reactions, prolonged erection, abuse and heart problems. Due to these and other concerns, an alternative to Ritalin and other stimulants could potentially benefit millions of people suffering from ADHD and ADD.
A new study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology compared Ritalin to Saffron, which is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. They treated children ages 6-17 who had been diagnosed with ADHD and found Saffron to be as equally as effective as Ritalin. Although additional studies are needed, including examining the use of Saffron in the adult ADHD population, these findings are certainly very promising and provide a good possible alternative to using stimulants to treat ADHD and ADD.