Natural Alternatives: Wild Oat Seed, ZAN, Zinc Sulphate for ADHD

Some people and studies report that natural or alternative ADHD treatments are helpful for various symptoms of ADHD. Here we look at Wild Oat Seed, ZAN, and zinc sulfate for ADHD.

Natural Alternatives for Treating ADHD

Wild Oat Seed - Avena Sativa

The following is excerpted from the Health Search newspaper published by Wilson Publications, Owensboro, KY 42303
Used in folk medicine for over two thousand years, modern science in the form of a German Kommission E monograph validates the usage of wild oat seed as a sedative in nervous disorders including acute and chronic anxiety, stress and excitatory states. Wild oat seed is excellent for strengthening the entire nervous system. Oats are used in treating nervous debility, exhaustion especially when associated with depression, and all types of disorders resulting from the body's inability to deal with stress. Wild oat seed is also reputed to help break habits such as drug and alcohol addiction.


Greta recently wrote to us with the following information about Zan.......

"I just wanted to say that your site is absolutely fantastic. My son has been diagnosed as ADHD since the age of 18 months, and went on to ritalin at the age of six. He spent a year on Ritalin, but always had trouble eating. Over this summer, I have taken him off Ritalin and started him on the natural alternative ZAN. He has now been taking ZAN for three weeks and the difference in him is remarkable. He is a happy, but bubbly child. I am not suggesting that zan is the total cure, but his first week back at school has brought comments like "terrific", "a happy day" etc. There is still some way to go, but he now feels in control of himself (something that he did not feel on Ritalin). Zan has had the effect of calming him without the side effects that he was suffering whilst on Ritalin. Please don't think that I am anti-Ritalin. As a parent, there were times when I think I would do almost anything to achieve a calmer son. Indeed this was the reason that I first put him on Ritalin. However, since taking Zan he is really happy. As he told me this weekend: " I feel better taking the one tablet (zan) than taking the white ones (Ritalin)".

Greta has just emailed us back to say that unfortunatly Zan does not seem to be working for her son anymore.............

"Unfortunately since last e-mailing you, the Zan compound that my son was taking is not proving to be effective. During the initial two weeks there were no major difficulties with his behaviour, but obviously I jumped the gun. During the third week, his behaviour deteriorated and he had now returned to a low Ritalin dose. I realise that this pattern may just apply to my son."

Linda wrote.............

"My son has been using Zan for about a year now. Although it doesn't make him perfect, it has really helped alot, especially with his social skills/ability to get along with people. With the help of Zan, together with homeopathy & avoiding food sensitivities, he is about 85% better. "

Zinc Sulphate

A Doctor in Tripoli, Lebanon, wrote to us recently with the following information about Zinc Sulphate .......
"I have been treating a 9-year-old girl with confirmed ADD with Zinc Sulphate 40 mg/day for 6 weeks and she showed an 80%improvement in her problems. Her school performances and her ability to concentrate were dramatically ameliorated.

This is a preliminary result of a prospective study and it is premature to draw any conclusions. It is premature at this time to recommend Zinc Sulphate as part of a treatment regiment for ADD."

The Doctor also asked if anyone had any data/research on the use of Zinc Sulphate in this way.

Martin wrote.......

"I have been viewing your excellent web site and was interested in the section on natural remedies, in particular the document about Zinc.

My son was diagnosed with ADHD in 1996 and he was given Ritalin, however we did not think it worked that well, in the sense that he was a bit vacuous after taking it and very hyper when it wore off. The child psychiatrist agreed and suggested that the behavioural therapy we were engaged in might be more effective.

About that time we read an article that suggested the use of Zinc supplements for hyperactivity. After consulting our GP who said that it wouldn't do any harm, we tried it and the benefits were apparent after a short period of time. The fidgets and squirms reduced significantly and he became more co-operative. I don't think that its a cure-all and it has less impact on the attention deficit. In fact, I would say that he is more the classic ADD rather than ADHD now.

Of course, you have to take into account that there are other factors such as the behavioural therapy, the co-operation with the school and the fact that he is growing up. Nonetheless, my wife and I do believe that Zinc has been very beneficial. Reducing the hyperactivity just makes managing the rest of it easier for us, the school and himself. He can pay attention more simply because he is less fidgety, even though you still have to engage his attention and keep him on task. I would recommend anyone with an ADHD kid to give it go, I don't think you have anything to lose.

As an aside, I was very interested to see the wealth of information that there is now on ADHD on the net and the general acceptance of the "condition". I first found out about ADHD through a Compuserve forum back in 1995 at a time when we were pulling our hair out about his behaviour. It was me who suggested to a child psychologist attached to his school that he may have ADHD and this was subsequently confirmed by the psychiatrist.

At that time, very few teachers had even heard of ADHD and it was a bit of struggle trying to convince them that he wasn't just badly behaved. In four years things have changed significantly, so much so that last summer I attended a seminar by an American psychologist about the 1-2-3 method of behaviour management, it was attended by at least 400 people over 60% being teachers. Progress indeed and its largely thanks to the voluntary groups like yourselves.

Its been an interesting time being a parent of an ADD child since things have improved, prior to that it was total pain. But of course its a self discovery process for us adults as well, especially when you realise that he is a product of your genes and you have the same issues to deal with as him. So I take zinc too and can confirm it does help, as I said its no cure-all but its all part of managing the process. "

Dr. Devan from India wrote to us saying...

"I have treated quite a few children with ADD with fish oil (docohexenoic acid -marketed as Maxepa ) and with zinc and iron...the results are very encouraging and many are fully cured. Those interested may come down to see my work.

In the light of these results, ADD is a disorder that children should not suffer.

A little explanation is in order.

The brain is primarily fat especially essential fatty acids....the best source of which is fish oil extracts.Neuronal transmission is essentially therfore dependent on proper myelinisation just like in an electrical circuit.In multiple electrical circuits, when there is a short circuit, proper transmission gets impeded.When transmission is rectified, to focus attention, the transmitted data need to be collected and collated...for this memory has to be effective and for that the primary area in the brain where memory is concretized is in the hippocampus where zinc is an essential trace mineral.

Therefore ADD children must be treated by a combination of fish oil and zinc...the results are then incredible.

Please post this at your site..any concerned parent may contact me directly.

Thanks for the concern and help

With regards

Dr. Devan"

You can contact Dr Devan by email at:

We have recently been advised of some concerns regarding Zinc and adverse effects at high doses. We have taken some extracts about this from

"Zinc can impair the immune system at daily doses as low as 50 mg (in addition to the 15 mg in a typical diet). Vitamin A can cause liver damage and possibly birth defects at daily doses of 10,000 IU or more. Vitamin B-6 can cause (reversible) nerve damage at doses of 200 mg or more."

Please remember we do not endorse any treatments and strongly advise you to check with your doctor before using, stopping or changing a treatment.


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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 27). Natural Alternatives: Wild Oat Seed, ZAN, Zinc Sulphate for ADHD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Last Updated: February 13, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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