Bipolar disorder is also called as maniac-depressive disorder. It is mental illness in which a person experiences severe mood swings. The severity and symptoms may vary from person to person. In a short period of time the person suffering from bipolar disorder can experience extreme moods such as anger, depression, irritability, anxiety, etc. It becomes very difficult for the people living with them to cope up with such behaviors of the patient.
Causes of Bipolar Disorder
The exact causes of bipolar disorder are not known but here are some of the possible causes for the condition.
- Genetic predisposition
- Hormonal imbalance
- Imbalance in brain chemicals
- Physical changes in brain
- Alcohol abuse
- Traumatic experience
Home Remedies for Bipolar Disorder
Persons diagnosed with bipolar disorder require extensive treatment and care. Medicines prescribed by the doctor are effective but has some side effects. So it is better to opt for natural treatments or hone remedies for the problem. However, these herbs or natural treatments must be taken only after consulting a naturopath or herbalist.
1. Fish Oil
Fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and heart. The EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) content in the fish oil is essential for hormone production and nerve tissue health. It improves the functionality of brain and helps to overcome depression. One can also eat fish such as albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring and trout which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Consult the doctor for exact dosage and instructions.
Brahmi is a famous Indian herb that has been used in Ayurveda to treat brain related diseases. It has mild sedative and stimulating properties that help in curing bipolar disorder. It also enhances memory and relieves stress.
- Drink 2-3 teaspoons of brahmi juice daily for several weeks
- Prepare brahmi ghee obtained by frying brahmi in clarified butter
- Brahmi supplements are also available which can be taken after consulting a naturopath
- An invigorating and relaxing massage on the head with brahmi oil works wonders
Ashwagandha acts as a nerve tonic and is useful in the treatment of bipolar disorder. A research carried out by the University of Pittsburgh found that ashwagandha can improve 3 separate cognitive functions in bipolar patients. They are
- Auditory-verbal working memory
- Reaction time
- Social cognition
- Take 500mp of standardized extract of Ashwagandha roots daily
- Add a spoon of ashwagandha powder to warm milk and drink it before bed
- Take ashwagandha supplements after consulting the doctor
4. Valerian Roots
- Valerian roots have strong sedative property which calms down the nervous system. It is often used as an alternative medicine to treat insomnia, anxiety and mood swings. It promotes a feeling of calmness and thus reduces stress and anxiety in patients with bipolar disorder.
- Make a valerian tea by steeping the valerian tea bag in hot water for 5-10 minutes
- It is also available in the form of capsules which can be taken after prescription
- The liquid extracts of valerian roots are also available
5. Passion Flower
Passion flower has sedative properties that reduce stress in anxiety feeling in patients suffering from bipolar disorder. It controls the maniac episodes of bipolar disorder and also treats insomnia. This herb ma cause stomach upset in some people and so it must be taken only after consulting a doctor.
- Add one teaspoon of dried passion flower to a cup of hot water
- Steep for 10-15 minutes
- Strain the mixture and drink the tea
- Repeat this 2-3 times a day for several weeks to see results
Magnesium has same benefits as lithium but has fewer health risks. It works as mood balancer and treats insomnia. Usually the deficiency of magnesium in the body causes insomnia and so it must be taken in moderation. During stress and hard work, the magnesium levels are continuously depleted.
- Take magnesium supplements orally
- Eat magnesium rich food such as spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, soya beans and black beans.
7. Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex is necessary for the patients with bipolar disorder. It regulates the moods and alleviates symptoms like anxiety, irritability, mood swings, depression and fatigue. Especially vitamin B1, B6, B9 and B12 are important for people suffering from this disorder.
- Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamin improves blood circulation in the brain and body.
- Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine combats irritability
- Vitamin B9, commonly known as Folic acid is very important for maintaining proper brain functions and synthesis of key brain chemicals
- Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is required for the manufacturing of certain neurotransmitters. The deficiency of this vitamin is associated with symptoms like mania, irritability, psychosis, depression and fatigue
- Take vitamin B-complex supplements with proper proportions of all these vitamins
- Also include vitamin B rich food like milk, eggs, fortified cereals, whole grains, leafy vegetables and soy products in the daily diet
8. john’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a popular herb known for its anti-depressant properties. It helps in treating moderate depression and also stimulates various brain chemicals. People suffering from bipolar disorder must take this herb only after consulting a doctor as it interacts with lot of OTC drugs.
The above home remedies must be used only as an adjunct treatment in curing bipolar disorder. The proper medical treatment and medicine course must be completed for this disease to cure it completely.
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