Bipolar disorder is marked by unexpected mood swings that vary from bouts of depression to periods of mania. The disorder affects both men and women in a similar way and usually surfaces between the age group of 15 – 25. Bipolar disorder does not have a cure and requires lifelong treatment, which includes a combination of prescription medications, therapy, support groups and lifestyle changes.
Some alternative treatments like the herbal remedies might be helpful in this regard. Herbs are being used for hundreds of years to cure and heal an array of physical and mental ailments. Although using herbal remedies are quite safe, it is better to consult your physician before trying them. Some of the herbs can interact with certain medicines and could lead to severe and perhaps harmful side effects.
Herbal Remedies to Treat Bipolar Disorder
St. John’s Wort
This herb is primarily used to decrease anxiety, improve mood, lethargy, and relieve depression related to insomnia. St. John’s Wort can be beneficial in treating the symptoms of bipolar only if the patient is in depressed state else the herb might actually result in a manic episode.
According to author Michael Castleman, St. John’s Wort mimics the action of monoamine oxidase due to the presence of the chemical hypericin. The herb must be strictly avoided if you are on other anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications. It is important to consult a medical doctor before using the herb. In some rare cases it might cause nausea and headaches.
Gotu kola is an Ayurvedic herb and is used to combat depression and calm anxiety. It also relieves the symptoms related to the depression phase of this disorder. However, speak to a doctor before using it. As the herb interacts with other medicines, people who are on diabetes medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, sedatives or diuretics must be supervised by a general practitioner.
Dr. Jim Haggerty is a physician, who writes for the website Psych Central. He suggests using black cohosh as a sedative and nervous system depressant. It is quite effective for a person suffering from bipolar and in a manic stage.
However, the herb might have some side effects like vomiting, joint pain, vertigo, visual disturbances, nausea and slow heart rate. Hence, discuss with a general practitioner before using the herb.
This herb is closely associated with ceremonial and traditional beverages of Fiji and Hawaii. Kava Kava is well-known for its sedating properties. It can calm down the nervous system and helps in controlling anxiety, nervousness and racing thoughts, which usually occur during manic stages of bipolar disorder.
Besides, it relieves depressive symptoms as well. If you want to address your bipolar symptoms it is suggested to consult your physician because it might cause side effects like skin dehydration, daytime drowsiness, loss of appetite and numbness.
This herb found in the Peruvian Andes was initially considered as an aphrodisiac. Passionflower may not enhance the libido, but it provides other medicinal benefits. The herb has tranquilizing and sedative properties and it relieves anxiety and excitability during the manic stage of bipolar disorder.
The herb also reduces the effects associated with insomnia both during depressive and manic phases. You need to check with a general practitioner before taking this herb. Although side effects of passionflower are rare, it might sometimes result in stomach upset.
Catnip tea was used by the Chinese herbalists to soothe the symptoms related to coughs and colds more than two thousand years ago. It was also suggested to chew the leaves of this herb to alleviate toothache. The chemicals known as nepetalactone isomers present in Catnip have a calming and soothing effect.
These chemicals relieve insomnia. The herb is also known for its mood-enhancing properties. Consult your doctor before using this herb. Occasionally, it might cause stomach upset.
Damiana (Turnera Aphrodisiaca)
This herb is used in the traditional remedy for depression. It has an effect on the hormonal system. However, its energizing quality may sometimes be dangerous for patients with bipolar disorder.
The extract of this herb is used to improve memory and there is clinical evidence to prove this claim. It has antioxidant properties and is prescribed for treating dementia. It increases the flow of blood to the brain.
Pycogenol and Grapeseed Oil
Both are powerful antioxidants and are used in treating Bipolar disorder.
Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium)
The energizing effect of this herb is effective in treating patients whose depression accompany extreme lethargy and fatigue.
Licorice (Liquiritia officinalis, Glycyrrhiza glabra)
This herb is used in treating bipolar disorder. It enhances the production of hormones including those, which are active in the brain and digestive tract.
Sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus)
This herb like licorice helps in the production of hormones and also calms the nerves.
Photo Credit: https://ufandshands.org/bipolar-disorder
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.