Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder is a type of mental illness that causes a person to go through frequent mood swings. A person experiences frequent mood swings from extremely high (manic) to extremely low (depressive) in a very short span of time. These mood swings can be awful for both the person suffering from it and the ones living with them.
Unfortunately, the exact cause of bipolar disorder is still not known. The causes and risk factors of bipolar disorder are genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalance, stress, chemical imbalance in the brain, physical changes, substance abuse, and traumatic experiences.
A person needs proper long-term treatment once diagnosed with this type of disorder. Doctors generally prescribe medications such as antidepressants to control the manic episodes occurring due to bipolar disorder. Using natural or home remedies with ongoing medical treatments will help in providing relief from symptoms occurring due to bipolar disorder.
Here are some home remedies to treat bipolar disorder:
- Fish oil
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can help in treating bipolar disorder. The eicosatetraenoic and docosahexaenoic acids present in omega-3 oils stabilizes hormone production and improves nerve tissue health. It also improves the functionality of the brain and overcome depression.
- Water Hyssop
Bacopa, or Brahmi is another useful herb for treating bipolar disorder. It acts as mild stimulant and works as a sedative. Bacopa also helps in enhancing memory. It also helps in relieving mental strain.
- Valerian root
Known for its strong sedative properties, valerian root helps in calming the nervous system. Valerian root often finds its use as an alternative medicine for treating anxiety, sleep problems, and mood disorders.
- Passion flower
Just like the valerian root, passion flower can reduce anxiety and excitability that are experienced during a manic phase of bipolar disorder. It also helps in treating with insomnia. Although consuming passion flower has no known side effects, it can sometimes cause an upset stomach. You can consume passion flower by adding one teaspoon of passion flower in a cup of hot water, simmer it for 10 minutes, strain, and drink it as tea several times a day, depending on how severe the episodes are.
It work as a nervine tonic that improves the symptoms of bipolar disorder. It also helps with auditory-verbal working memory and improves reaction time and social cognition.
It works similar to lithium and acts as a perfect mood balancer. It helps in reducing the symptoms of mania. Magnesium also improves your sleep and is useful for treating insomnia, which is a symptom of bipolar disorder. You can either take magnesium in the form of oral supplements or by including magnesium-rich food in your diet such as spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and black beans.
It is a type of herb that has been in use for managing stress. Rhodiola rosea is also known to show positive effects on people who are struggling with depression. Some studies suggest that although this herb won’t ease depression like an antidepressant, it has very few or no side effects.
S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe is a coenzyme that is naturally found in the body. Its supplements can help in reducing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as depression. However, it should be consumed with utmost care and under the guidance of a physician as overdosing SAMe can result in Manic episodes.
- St. John’s Wort
It is a herb that is often used in Europe and is often used as a mood enhancer. St. John’s Wort has side effects similar to those of antidepressant medications.
- Light therapy
This type of therapy is implemented for people with bipolar disorder who experience interrupted circadian rhythms. This means that their biological clock is not working well. Light therapy includes timed exposure to of light and darkness. It also involves a forced change of sleep times.
It is one of those natural mindfulness cognitive-based therapies that help people suffering with bipolar disorder to control both manic episodes and depression.
- Traditional Chinese therapy
It is a type of approach that relies on comprehensive changes in daily habits using a combination of herbs. Although there is not much evidence that suggests it helps in reducing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, it certainly helps in enhancing some mood that are associated with bipolar disorders.
These complementary and non-pharmaceutical treatments help in reducing the symptoms of bipolar disorder. It is important to consult your therapist before going for all of the above-mentioned therapies even though they have very few or no side effects.