Today we will discuss some home remedies for Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a brain disorder where a person suffers from extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). This particular disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Usually these mood swings happen within short period of time and the frequency can vary from a few times a year to several times a week.
No one knows the exact cause behind the bipolar disorder but the suspects include genetics, hormonal imbalance, imbalance of brain chemicals, physical changes in the brain, stress, drug or alcohol abuse and even a traumatic experience. Bipolar disorder is not only traumatic for the person going through them but also those who live with the patient. These moods swings severely affect the life of the patient and their relationships. The following home remedies are just adjunct treatment. Best would be to first consult a qualified doctor first since those diagnosed with bipolar disorder need extensive and long term treatments.
1. Fish Oil
Fish oils are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, also beneficial for hypothyroidism. Fish oils help in improving functionality of brain, overcome depression and contains EPAcid and DHAcid which are crucial for nerve tissue health and hormone production. All these properties make Fish oils very beneficial in treatment of bipolar disorder.
- Take fish oil supplement with dosage consultation with your doctor.
- Also include fatty fishes in your regular diet which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids like trout, salmon, herring etc.
Brahmi (also known as bacopa) is herb which also acts as a mild stimulant and sedative. This makes it beneficial in treating bipolar disorder because it also helps in enhancing the memory and eases mental strain.
- You can take this herb in supplement form with dosage consultation with your doctor.
- Get an stimulating head massage with brahmi oil.
- Also you can try to drink a few teaspoons of brahmi juice freshly extracted from brahmi leaves for several weeks.
- Alternately you also consume brahmi ghee by frying the fresh brahmi leaves in clarified butter.
Ashwagandha is another herb which helps improve the symptoms of bipolar disorder. It is known to act as a nervine tonic. It said to contain sensorial, an ingredient in ashwagandha which is suspected to improve 3 separate cognitive functions in those suffering from bipolar disorder; It can help with auditory-verbal working memory, reaction time and social cognition.
- A standardized extract from Ashwagandha root and leaves upto 500mg daily.
4. Valerian Root
Valerian root is another herb usually used as an alternative medicine for sleep problems, anxiety and mood disorders. IT is known for its strong sedative properties which can help calm the nervous system. This is because Valerian root stimulates feelings of calmness along with reducing nervous tension, stress, anxiety, restlessness and mild to moderate mood swings.
- Easily available in various forms in the market such as tea bags, liquid extract, capsules and dried valerian root.
- Consult herbalist or doctor for dosage.
5. Passion Flower
Passion flower is another plant which has sedative properties. These properties are known to reduce anxiety and excitability experienced during the manic episodes of bipolar disorder thus introducing calmness. Passion flower is also beneficial for treating insomnia. While herbs normally do not carry severe side effects, passion flower may cause upset stomach therefore it is best advised to consult a doctor before taking this herb.
- In a cup of hot water, add a teaspoon of passion flower and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain it and drink a few times a day.
Magnesium is known to work as a mood balancer. It also tends to reduce the symptoms of mania and promotes good sleep making it beneficial for treating bipolar disorder. Magnesium is important for the body and its deficiency is known to induce anxiety and insomnia too. The body’s magnesium levels are said to be naturally depleted during periods of stress and hard work.
- Best would be to add magnesium rich foods in your regular diet such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, spinach, cashews, black and soy beans etc.
- Alternately you can also take magnesium supplements.
7. B Vitamins
Our body also particularly needs B vitamins. They are essential for balancing hormones and regulating the moods. Sufficient presence of B vitamins tend to decrease symptoms of bipolar disorder such as irritability, mood swings, depression, fatigue and anxiety. Additional each B vitamins has its own personal benefits such as B1 (thiamine) helps in improving blood circulation within our body, B6 (pyridoxine) combats irritability and B9 (folic acid) is essential for maintaining brain functions also helps with fertility. The deficiency of B12 is usually linked to psychosis, depression, mania etc.
- Best to take vitamin B-complex supplements which provide adequate levels of the different vitamins our body needs.
- Also add vitamin B rich foods in your regular diet including eggs, milk, whole grains etc.
8. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is another herb particularly prevalent in treating mild to moderate depression due it being a natural anti-depressant. IT is also known to balance and affect the brain chemicals essential for bipolar disorder.
- This herb is also dangerous if taken without proper doctor’s consultation as it may trigger mania and can also react with other medications.
Licorice is another herb which is a natural anti-depressant but with lesser side effects than St. John’s Wort. It is also known to affect the hormone production, making it helpful in treating bipolar disorder.
- In hot cup of water, add a teaspoon of dried licorice root.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes before straining.
- Drink this licorice tea on regular basis.
10. Massage Therapy
Professional massage by an expert using traditional massage techniques is extremely beneficial for those suffering from bipolar disorder. Not only does it help in reducing the stress, depression, anxiety etc. but also affects the hormones and neurotransmitters along with promoting relaxation and mild sedation.
- Alternately, acupuncture or Ayurvedic procedures like shirodhara (oil stream therapy) and panchakarma treatment performed by an expert for a calming and relaxing effect are also good.
- Please note that this particular remedy is not for unstable bipolar patients.