Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, is a mental illness in which a person experiences frequent mood swings.
Within a short time period, a person can experience mood swings from extreme high to extreme low. The frequent mood swings can be awful for the person going through them along with those who live with him or her.
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is still not known. Some of the possible causes and risk factors for this mental disorder are a genetic predisposition, stress, hormonal imbalance, an imbalance in brain chemicals, physical changes in the brain, drug or alcohol abuse, and some traumatic experience.
Once diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a person needs extensive and long-term treatment.
Generally medications are prescribed by doctors, but those who are interested in natural treatment, can also consider herbal remedies. Make sure to consult a qualified naturopath or medical herbalist for proper guidance.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for bipolar disorder.
1. Fish Oil
Being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can help in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Its EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) content is essential for hormone production and nerve tissue health. Fish oil improves the functionality of brain and helps overcome depression.
So, take fish oil supplements. For proper dosage, consult your doctor. Also, you can regularly eat fatty fish such as albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring and trout which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Brahmi, also known as bacopa, is another useful herb for bipolar disorder because it works as a mild stimulant as well as sedative. It also helps enhance memory and relieves mental strain.
- Drink a few teaspoons of juice extracted from brahmi leaves daily for several weeks. Another option is consume brahmi ghee prepared by frying brahmi leaves in clarified butter (ghee).
- Alternatively, take this herb in supplement form. For proper dosage, consult your doctor.
- An invigorating head massage with brahmi oil is also beneficial.
Ashwagandha works as a nervine tonic to improve the symptoms of bipolar disorder. A 2013 study by the University of Pittsburgh found that sensorial, an ingredient in ashwagandha can improve 3 separate cognitive functions in those suffering from bipolar disorder as it can help with auditory-verbal working memory, reaction time and social cognition.
Take 500 mg standardized extract of Ashwagandha root and leaves daily for several weeks.
4. Valerian Root
Valerian root is known for its strong sedative properties which can help calm the nervous system. It is often used as an alternative medicine for anxiety, sleep problems and mood disorders.
Valerian promotes feelings of calmness and reduces nervous tension and stress along with anxiety, restlessness and mild to moderate mood changes.
This herb is easily available in the market in various forms such as dried valerian root, tea bags, capsules, and liquid extract.
5. Passion Flower
Passion flower has sedative properties that can reduce anxiety and excitability experienced during the manic episodes of bipolar disorder. It also helps treat insomnia.
Although this herb has no side effects, yet at times it may cause stomach upset. However, before taking this herb it is advisable to discuss with your doctor.
- Add 1 teaspoon of this herb to a cup of hot water.
- Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain and drink this tea a few times a day.
Magnesium works in a way similar to lithium but with fewer health risks. It works as a mood balancer and reduces the symptoms of mania.
It also promotes good sleep. In fact, magnesium deficiency often leads to insomnia and anxiety. Magnesium levels are naturally depleted during periods of stress and hard work.
- Take oral magnesium supplements.
- You can also include magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, soybeans, and black beans in your diet.