Children and challenging behaviour - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Herbs work by nourishing and protecting the blood vessels and nerve cells which, when not well nourished and protected, don’t work as they should. This results in poor impulse control and less self-reflection, as can be witnessed in children who are classified as having 'challenging behaviours'. It is my opinion that narcotics that are prescribed by the medical profession are harmful and are not an adequate or holistically thought of approach to children with these concerns.

As we know more about the brain and its response to trauma you can clearly see anger, frustration and poor rationalisation of emotions as a result of a trigger event. Trigger events may be small ( in our mind) or something as big as abuse, but in general , in a loving family where abuse is obviously not occurring ( such as your loving home) events like separation, inconsistent routines and the ability to play one parent off the other is enough to see these brain chemicals and nervous system affected.

The system in question is called the psycho-neuro-endocrine system .

This simply means – Emotions affecting neurotransmitters affecting hormones. Emotions are BTW, Hormonal in origin. Brain imbalance occurs when Serotonin, Dopamine , Oxytocin and Endorphins are out balance.

When kids act up they are seeking to balance one of these hormones- usually its Dopamine in order to feel better. Dopamine is the addiction hormone.

In an adult this behaviour may be called something like Mood disorder , but because children has to go to school and conform, they is act up because most children in this category need Zero stress triggers in order to process everything that they feel and experience day to day.

Being overwhelmed will result in either acting up (when they know they need to be sitting still!), or withdrawn/inattentive or non engaging behaviour. Aggression occurs as the result of all these pressures not letting up as well as poor sleep, poor nutrition etc.

Children need to Learn to sit and accept their emotional discomfort ( which is also his high energy adrenalin running through their body) without actually knowing that the emotions they are feeling really are a substance triggered by thoughts!

Learning that the emotion that one is feeling can go when one accepts the feeling rather fight it is helps to drive the self discipline which is essential for developing impulse control which the frontal lobe ( executive functioning ) controls.

Teaching controlled breathing in breathing games will help a lot. Breathwork resources . Regular slow Breathing – deeply- helps to activate the vagus nerve which will trigger the rest/digest part of the parasympathetic nervous system. Its wonderful for creating calm .

Children can also be helped by allowing independent expression in respectful play. Best done in nature away from devices. Nature and animals both work to stabilise serotonin. See my chart below.


Herbal Support

Herbs do not sedate nor make your drowsy. What herbs do is:

  • Nourish the nervous system so it communicaets better with the endocrine system
  • Detoxes the blood stream and system from excess hormones ( like too much adrenalin) helping to stablise hormones and therfore moods
  • Nourishes and protect the cirulcation – in partcular the brain imporving cognition and promoting the use of the impulse control
  • Super antioxidants protect healthy cells from the oxidation process.
  • Helps to create restorative sleep patterns which are essential for children to grow up well adjusted emotionally.

Read about Maritime Pine bark and immunity

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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