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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 520198, 15 pages
Review Article

Traditional Oriental Herbal Medicine for Children and Adolescents with ADHD: A Systematic Review

Department of Pediatrics, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-702, Republic of Korea

Received 23 July 2012; Revised 27 September 2012; Accepted 14 October 2012

Academic Editor: Jörg Melzer

Copyright © 2012 Yuk Wo Wong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To evaluate the efficacy of traditional Oriental herbal medicines (TOHM) for children and adolescents with ADHD. Methods. Randomized clinical trials published from January 1, 1990, to December 31, 2010, in English, Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language which evaluated the use of TOHM on ADHD subjects of 18 years old or below, diagnosed based on DSM-IV, were searched from MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsyINFO, Cochrane Library, and 10 other databases. Results. Twelve studies involving 1189 subjects met the inclusion criteria. In general, the included studies claimed that TOHM has similar efficacy to methylphenidate and at the same time has fewer side effects compared to methylphenidate. Some studies also suggested that the effect of TOHM sustained better than methylphenidate. However, solid conclusions could not be drawn because the included studies were not of high quality. Risk of bias issues such as randomization, allocation, concealment and blinding were not addressed in most of the studies, and the risk of publication bias could not be ruled out. Conclusion. Currently, there is not strong evidence to say that TOHM is effective in treating the core symptoms of ADHD.