pills and tablets

5 Natural Alternatives to Adderall

There has been a recent shortage of Adderall due to the increased number of prescriptions written during the pandemic. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to Adderall that may be helpful to you throughout the Adderall shortage. Some of these options you may wish to consider include:

  • Caffeine
  • Ginseng
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium

Please note that it is important to get guidance from a medical professional while navigating the Adderall shortage and searching for a suitable replacement. A consultation with your doctor is the perfect platform to determine which Adderall alternative is right for you.

Beat Addiction from Home with Elite Home Detox

Personalized Withdrawal Support for a Lasting Recovery. Our experts come to you. Contact us to start your journey today.

First, we will go over the purpose and risks of Adderall and how natural options may be beneficial during the current shortage.

Purpose and Risks of Adderall

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Adderall in treating children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or narcolepsy, a condition that causes severe daytime sleepiness.

Adderall is a stimulant containing the active ingredients amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, which carry a high risk of dependence and misuse, especially for people who have misused or been dependent on other drugs or alcohol in the past.

When misused, Adderall can lead to physical and psychological dependence and can also result in serious side effects, including:

pills and tablets
  • Aggression
  • Anorexia and unwanted weight loss
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart damage
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Psychosis
  • Severe insomnia
  • Skin disorders

Contributing factors to the current shortage of Adderall in the United States include production restrictions implemented by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a sudden and steep increase in the number of Adderall prescriptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the illegal sale and use of Adderall without a prescription.

The DEA limits how much Adderall and other stimulant ADHD medications can be produced based on current usage because these medications can cause issues with dependence and misuse.

However, there has been a sharp increase in Adderall prescriptions in recent years to address the increased anxiety many people are dealing with due to the pandemic. There were 37 million Adderall prescriptions in the United States in 2020; in 2021, that number increased to 41 million.

It is illegal to buy or use Adderall without a prescription, and people who use the drug for recreational purposes tend to take higher doses, further contributing to the shortage and harming those who need Adderall for legitimate reasons.

The FDA announced the national Adderall shortage on October 12, 2022, urging people taking Adderall to discuss possible substitutions with their doctor.

How Natural Alternatives May Help During The Current Shortage

Natural Adderall replacements are easy to acquire and use. They may also have fewer overall side effects, making them an ideal option on their own or in combination with Adderall during the current shortage.

Continue reading to learn about five natural substitutes for Adderall.

Caffeine is naturally found in cacao, coffee, and guarana plants and is added to other beverages and supplements.

Common sources of caffeine include:

  • Black tea
  • Coffee
  • Dark chocolate (cacao)
  • Energy drinks or shots
  • Green tea
  • Guarana seed extract (added to beverages and supplements)
  • Caffeinated sodas

How Caffeine Compares to Adderall

Some studies have shown that caffeine may help reduce ADHD symptoms in some people. The review established that a combination of caffeine and L-theanine may help improve symptoms associated with ADHD by increasing cognition and attention span and decreasing stress levels. However, caffeine may also result in insomnia.

A plant traditionally used for a myriad of medicinal purposes, Ginseng has two variants: Korean red (or Panax ginseng) and American ginseng. Both types contain the active ingredient ginsenosides, which are antioxidants and neuroprotective phytochemicals.

How Ginseng Compares to Adderall

Like Adderall, ginsenosides raise dopamine and epinephrine levels, which may help decrease impulsive behavior and improve focus and attention.

In one study, 18 children between the ages of six and 14 years old were given 2,000 mg of Korean red ginseng (KRG) daily (1,000 mg twice a day) for eight weeks to treat their ADHD. A computerized ADHD diagnostic system (ADS) was used to measure inattentiveness through omission errors. The treatment with KRG was shown to significantly reduce omission errors and inattentiveness. However, a large-scale study with more participants and studies about the efficacy of long-term KRG use is needed.

Native to East Asia, Ginkgo biloba is extracted from the leaves of the ginkgo tree.
In traditional Chinese medicine, ginkgo biloba may be used to help treat many illnesses, including:

  • Asthma
  • Circulatory problems
  • Fatigue
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo

In addition to helping treat these issues, ginkgo biloba may also be a clinically used treatment for children with ADHD, although more studies are needed to determine efficacy and safety.

How Ginkgo Biloba Compares to Adderall

While ginkgo biloba may positively influence ADHD symptoms, there is the potential for side effects, including:

  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Skin reactions
  • Constipation

What are the sources of vitamin B6, and how does vitamin B6 compare to Adderall? Continue reading to find out.

Sources of Vitamin B6

Easily obtained from many foods, you can also get vitamin B6 in the form of multivitamins, stand-alone supplements, or supplements that contain other B vitamins.

Dietary sources of vitamin B6 include:

  • Bananas
  • Beef liver
  • Chicken breast
  • Chickpeas
  • Cottage cheese
  • Onions
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Tofu

How Vitamin B6 Compares to Adderall

Vitamin B6 may be more similar to Adderall than any other over-the-counter alternative due to its ability to influence serotonin production. However, it still may not be as effective as Adderall.

A 2016 study found that people who have ADHD are more likely to have a vitamin B6 deficiency, which is a direct contributor to worsening ADHD symptoms.

Magnesium can help regulate neurotransmitters and may reduce hyperactivity and improve focus. Magnesium deficiency is linked with a higher incidence of ADHD in children.

Sources of magnesium include:

  • Dietary supplements like magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate, and magnesium oxide.
  • Foods like broccoli, brown rice, and chicken breast.
  • Medications such as some antacids and certain laxatives.

How Magnesium Compares to Adderall

Combining magnesium and vitamin B6 supplements has been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms and improve aggression, hyperactivity, and mental focus in children who were given the supplements for eight weeks. However, symptoms returned a few weeks after the children stopped taking magnesium and vitamin B6.

Getting Professional Help

If you are dependent on Adderall or misusing it, you should visit a detox and recovery specialist. You may also want to consider this option if you are unable to continue taking Adderall due to the current shortage because suddenly stopping use can cause powerful withdrawal symptoms.

A professional can help with a successful recovery by helping you safely stop taking Adderall, manage withdrawal symptoms, and find suitable alternative treatments for ADHD.

There are three types of detox available:

  • Inpatient detox requires you to live at the treatment facility and can last weeks or months. This type of treatment is recommended if you have tried outpatient or in-home detox without success or if living at home while receiving treatment makes it difficult for you to stay sober.
  • Outpatient detox gives you more flexibility to live at home while receiving treatment and keep up with commitments like school or work. This option generally involves one or two group therapy sessions each week and may be preferable if you cannot afford inpatient or in-home detox.
  • In-home detox gives you the benefits of outpatient treatment without needing to leave your home. Trained staff come to you instead of you going to them. This treatment option offers more privacy and discretion and fewer disruptions to your schedule.


There is currently a shortage of Adderall in the United States due to increased demand and government restrictions, but there are several alternatives to Adderall that can be used to help treat ADHD.

  • Caffeine is similar to Adderall because they are both stimulants and can help with ADHD symptoms, but caffeine may lead to insomnia.
  • Ginseng and Adderall both increase dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which may help improve focus and reduce impulsivity.
  • Ginkgo biloba may improve ADHD symptoms on its own or when used with ginseng, but it can cause side effects or make ADHD symptoms worse.
  • Vitamin B6 is the most similar to Adderall due to its role in serotonin production, and people who have ADHD are more likely to have low levels of vitamin B6.
  • Magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters and can be used with vitamin B6.

If you are dependent on or misusing Adderall, you may want to consider inpatient, outpatient, or in-home detox treatment. Getting professional help is the safest and most effective way to overcome an addiction to this medication.

EHD Can Help You Through The Withdrawal Process

Elite Home Detox is here for you if you need help withdrawing from Adderall or any other addictive drug. We can provide you with the one-on-one care you need while going through detoxification and withdrawal symptoms caused by addiction. And best of all, we come to you! You can make a full and lasting recovery in the comfort of your home with the help of our expert medical team. Contact us today to learn more.

Experience Care with Elite Home Detox