Note: Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness which should be treated under expert supervision. Thus, it is highly recommended to get the condition diagnosed and treated professionally.
Home remedies serve as an adjunct treatment to help calm the mind and reduce the symptoms. Moreover, only the first few remedies covered in this post have been found to be beneficial scientifically (further studies are still required).
So, we would very much recommend that you take proper professional help for the treatment of this condition instead of solely relying on the home remedies.
Schizophrenia is a chronic and challenging brain disorder in which a person experiences difficulty in making differences between reality and imaginary things.
Common symptoms associated with schizophrenia are delusions, hallucinations, thought disorders, abnormal motor behavior, incoherent speech, disorganized behavior, emotional flatness, neglecting basic personal hygiene, and others. It is also linked to suicidal thoughts and behavior.
The exact cause of schizophrenia is not known, yet it is believed to be a combination of genetic, psychological, physical and environmental factors.
Factors like stress during pregnancy, pre-natal viral infections, taking mind-altering drugs during young adulthood, and different brain chemistry and structure may also contribute to this problem.
Schizophrenia can be managed and controlled with proper treatment and support from family members and friends. Some natural home remedies can also help reduce the number of schizophrenic episodes, depending on the severity of the disorder.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for schizophrenia.
1. Panax Ginseng
Panax ginseng is considered good for improving memory, thinking and concentration. In a 2008 study, Canadian researchers found that Panax ginseng helped reduce the some of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including flat affect (lack of emotional expression) in the patients. It is believed to hit the same brain receptors as antipsychotic drugs.
You can take 200 mg of Panax ginseng daily for several weeks after consulting your doctor.
Note: Do not confuse Panax ginseng with American and Siberian ginseng.
2. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is being studied by the scientific communities as an adjunctive treatment for schizophrenia as it may help enhance the effectiveness of antipsychotics. It is also believed to protect against neural damage caused by antipsychotics.
The typical dosage of Ginkgo biloba is 360 mg of a standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba daily in divided doses for up to 16 weeks.
3. Fish Oil
People suffering from schizophrenia tend to have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood as it is associated with a depletion of certain fatty acids. Thus, fish oil supplements high in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) can help reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia.
A 2010 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that omega-3 PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) can help reduce the risk of developing psychotic illnesses.
- Take 1 to 4 grams of fish oil supplements daily. Consult your doctor for proper dosage, especially if you are taking blood thinning medications, or medications for diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
- Also, include salmon, sardine, trout and other cold water fish in your diet. Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and other seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Brahmi, also called bacopa, is popularly used in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance cognitive ability. Animal studies indicate that it can also help improve schizophrenia.
Although the exact mechanism as to how it works is not known, it is believed to help stabilize certain chemicals in the brain. It also exhibits neuroprotective properties.
Take 500 mg of brahmi extract daily, at least for 1 month.
Antioxidant vitamins like vitamins A, C and E are considered helpful in reducing the severity of schizophrenia. Vitamin C is also an anti-stress vitamin. Research indicates that there could be a possible role for oxidative stress in the development of this brain disorder. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
- Include antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, strawberries, lemons, oranges, Indian gooseberry (amla), spinach and carrots in your diet.
- You can also take multivitamins and vitamin supplements. Consult your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
Regular exercise is good for maintaining physical as well as mental well-being for schizophrenics. It helps improve your mood and alleviate anxiety and depression.
Engage in at 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. You can try walking, jogging or strength training exercise.
Yoga, too, is considered helpful as an add-on therapy for schizophrenia as it can help reduce psychotic symptoms, produce neurobiological changes and improve cognition and the quality of life.
Ashwagandha is another calming herb useful for depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders due to its anxiolytic and antidepressant effect.
According a 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, this herb can offer blood glucose and cholesterol lowering effects to combat the side effects of antipsychotics associated with higher incidence of metabolic syndrome.
Take 500 mg ashwagandha supplement capsules, 4 times a day for at least 1 month.
Chamomile has soothing and calming properties. It also promotes restful sleep and thus is useful for those suffering from schizophrenia.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to 1 cup of hot water.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain the solution.
- Drink it daily in the evening.
Basil leaves have excellent antioxidant properties and also promote brain functionality to improve the symptoms of schizophrenia.
- Steep a few basil leaves in hot water for about 5 minutes.
- Strain and sweeten with honey.
- Drink this tea twice daily.
10. Green Cardamom
The seeds of green cardamom can also be used to help deal with schizophrenia as they are good for the nervous system
- Steep 1 teaspoon of powdered cardamom seeds in 1 cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Strain it and sweeten with some sugar or honey.
- Drink this tea twice a day.
- Do not skip your medications.
- Stay away from drugs and smoking as they may worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia and make the treatment less effective.
- Schizophrenic patients and their family members can join self-help and support groups.
- Consider getting help from professional case managers and caregivers at day programs.