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A List of the Best Herbs for Autism

Updated on April 26, 2015
Herbs can improve the focus of your autistic child
Herbs can improve the focus of your autistic child | Source

Herbs can help with autism behaviors

Although there is no permanent cure for autism, there are many steps that parents can take for treating specific symptoms found in children on the spectrum. One of these things is using herbs that reduce anxiety, control hyperactivity, promote calmness and improve concentration.

Take a look at a list of some of the best autism herbs and pick the ones that you may want to try with your child. Do remember to consult your child's doctor before trying these herbs as they may have unknown side-effects. This is especially necessary if your child is already on some sort of modern medication.

The extract of the gingko tree is a useful herb for autism
The extract of the gingko tree is a useful herb for autism | Source

Gingko Biloba

One of the best herbs for autism, gingko biloba is an extract of the gingko tree and has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 200 million years. This herb is mostly used for improving memory and concentration, things that may require improvement in children on the spectrum.

Its positive effects come from compounds called ginkgolide and flavone glycoside, which increase blood flow to the brain. This results in better oxygen supply to the tissues and improvement in brain-related functions.

Gingko biloba also has a calming effect on the nervous system, especially when used in combination with evening primrose oil, another useful herb for autism.

Gotu Kola

Gotu kola contains three types of glycosides, namely, asiaticoside, madecassoside, and brahmoside. These compounds help in decreasing the anxiety and stress of autistic individuals by lowering the levels of adrenal corticosterone in the blood. It has also been found to improve concentration.


Bacopa, popularly known as brahmi, is an ayurvedic herb mostly used for improving memory. The herb also acts as a mild sedative and is often used to treat epilepsy and insomnia in India.

This autism herb may have antioxidant effects as well which means that it protects the cells of your body, specifically of the cerebral tissues, from free radical damage. Use of this herb can lead to better memory, better concentration, calmness and improved cognitive skills.

Green Oats

Scientifically known as Avena Sativa, green oats is an herb that acts as a nerve tonic. The herb will strengthen the child's brain and nervous system and help gain better control over movements.


This herb can help reduce the hyperactivity found in children on the spectrum. Valerian also helps in improving focus and has a calming effect on the nerves. So, if you want to try out something to improve your child's concentration and reduce his hyperactivity, try out valerian.

Valerian has a sedating effect on the brain. So, avoid using it if your child is very young.

Wild Lettuce

Wild lettuce can be found in most parts of Europe. It is often used for promoting better sleep as well as reducing anxiety.

The mild sedative effect of this herb can help treat the excessive excitement and nervousness found in children on the spectrum. It's calming effect on the nerves helps promote better control and balance and improved concentration and learning.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is often used in combination with other calming herbs. The herb can help in reducing your child's anxieties and uncontrollable temper tantrums, It's calming effect will promote better sleep for your child.


Passionflower or Passiflora incarnata is another calming autism herb that can help reduce anxiety and stress. It is often combined with valerian or kava (Piper methysticum) to get better results.

Asian Ginseng

Asian ginseng promotes alertness and may help improve the focus of your autistic child. It has also been found to improve thinking and learning and helps in improving performance on tasks that require mental arithmetic, memory and concentration.

You can further enhance the positive effects of this herb by combining it with gingko biloba (mentioned above). It may also help autistic individuals in dealing with stress, both physical and mental, in a better way.

Try these herbs with your autistic child

This is no way a comprehensive list of herbs for autism. There are many other herbal remedies that have been used by parents successfully with children on the spectrum. However, most of these herbs have not been scientifically tested and may also have side-effects. It is, therefore, advisable to consult a qualified herbal practitioner and your child's regular physician before actually using these herbs.

Get to know your child in a better way

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© 2012 Roohi Khan


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