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A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.

Depression

In addition to feeling unwell, depression is a distressing ailment, which has an effect on all facets of an individual's life - counting physical, psychological as well as emotional. This illness has an influence on a person's sense of worth as well as insight regarding others and any individual enduring depression finds it difficult to perform his or her routine common activities.In fact, depression exists in a variety of forms, varying from gentle, dysthymia (continuing melancholy) to changing moods of euphoria as well as desolation (maniac to bipolar depression) to the most severe form - despondency. In effect, despondency result in a complete failure to perform and even gives rise to suicidal thoughts.

It may be noted that depression does not appear to have any solitary primary reason. However, experts are of the view that this ailment is attributable to an imbalance in the production of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) by the brain. Neurotransmitters or chemical messengers are responsible for carrying indications from one nerve cell to another. In effect, a depressive incident may be set off following the death of a beloved, losing a job, having undergone the bitter experiences of a divorce, any critical ailment or a different grave problem. Pressure or anxiety, scarcity of daylight during the winter months, any reaction to medications (like beta-blockers), excessive alcohol consumption, deficiencies of nutrients, smoking as well as food allergies may also result in depression. Improper functioning methods of dealing with culpability, fury as well as other sentiments may also be concerned with depression.

Supplements and herbs

Specific herbs and supplements are known to be effective in curing depression. For instance, any one suffering from this mental and emotional problem, including those who are taking anti-depressant medications, may find all the vitamins as well as minerals mentioned in this article below beneficial for their condition. In fact, you should bear in mind that the herbs as well as 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) may be added to, but ought not to be blended with anti-depressant medications without consulting your physician and seeking his or her approval. Moreover, people who are using prescription drugs ought to never discontinue taking them without the approval of their physician.

It has been found that even low levels of vitamin C and B vitamins contribute to depressive feelings. All these nutrients actually facilitate in the production of neurotransmitters by the brain and may well augment the effectuality of the anti-depressant medications. In addition, calcium and magnesium also are useful in treating depression as they relax the nerves and may be especially useful when depression causes sleep disturbances.

St. John's wort is a useful as well as a safe herb for treating mild depression and can be used as a substitute for prescription drugs, which usually have a number of adverse side effects. On the other hand, the herb ginkgo biloba seems to neutralize depression better compared to St. John's wort in the instance of people above 50 years of age and may well be successfully used in place of St. John's wort. 5-HTP, a variety of the amino acid tryptophan, also appear to be effectual in enhancing mood and it may be blended with ginkgo or St. John's wort, provided you have the consent of your physician to do so. On the other hand, the herb kava kava may be used independently to cure depression. Alternately, it may also be used in conjugation with ginkgo, 5-HTP or St. John's wort, especially when an individual is depressed as well as restless or nervous. Currently, 5-HTP is under appraisal in the United States, as this substance is known to cause some adverse side effects.

LIGHT TEA FOR DEPRESSION

According to the Chinese, depression is caused by energy blocks (known as stagnant qi), which have an effect on the spirit. The general reasons for depression may include anaemia owing to concern and nervousness, sleeplessness or insomnia, tetchiness and baseless suspicion. Taking a light herbal tea in conjugation with other remedies helps to alleviate these problems.

A light tea for depression may be prepared by using the following herbs in the proportions mentioned below.

Boil all the ingredients in water quickly and then simmer them for about 20 minutes to lessen the volume of the liquid to half and sip it leisurely even as it remains warm. Employing the same process put additional water in the mixture in the evening to make the same tea again. Subsequently, remove the ingredients. It may be noted that Bei Qi Nao Zao Jiu, a Chinese tonic, promotes the action of this light tea. Take this tonic in the dosage of two teaspoons once in the morning and again in the afternoon daily for three consecutive months. This is considered to be among the most effectual means to cure depression using herbs.

Any individual who is enduring frequent depression essentially needs to confer with a physician. While the herbal remedies recommended here have the aptitude to support the medical treatment, but they can never be used as a substitute for the medical therapy. In fact, Chinese medications are also extremely useful in combating depression.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is also an excellent way of treating depression. A number of active natural amalgams present in essential oils, the volatile oils present in different herbs contribute to the aromatic as well as therapeutic attributes of every essential oil. When inhaled, molecules from these valuable phytochemicals are lifted by the olfactory glands. Subsequently, they set off a reaction within the brain, modifying the wave patterns in the brain and liberating neurotransmitters. As a consequence there is a physical change within the body, just by inhaling the stimulating aromas of the essential oils.

While majority of the essential oils lift the mood in some way or the other, either by means of lessening nervousness/ anxiousness or by encouraging a feeling of vigour and renewal, actually numerous essentials oils are available that help in treating depression.

It may be noted that jasmine essential oil possesses a relaxing and balancing consequence, which is perfect for treating depression as well as emotional disorders. Similarly, the essential oil of ylang ylang helps to suppress fury, strain/ pressure and fear. This essential oil is useful for naturally curing depression, in addition to easing the problems of insomnia and hypertension (high blood pressure) owing to stress.
Geranium essential oil also possesses anti-depressant and hormone balancing attributes. In fact, it works in the form of a general tonic or stimulant for soothing the nervous system, either by cooling or invigorating the body depending on what is required. Rosewood essential oil facilitates in restoring emotional disparities. This essential oil may be employed to cure depression, anxiety/ stress and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

In addition to the above mentioned essential oils, neroli essential oil has also been found to be excellent for treating depression, nervous anxiety, as well as sleeplessness or insomnia. This essential oil is especially helpful in easing headaches caused by stress. Bergamot essential oil also possesses a general balancing impact that lessens the sense of melancholy.

Other beneficial essential oils

Homeopathy

Specific homeopathic remedies are also effective in treating depression and related symptoms. The homeopathic remedies listed below should ideally be taken in dosage of a 30th every day for self-medication and the results should be monitored closely.

  • Aurum
    People belonging to the Aurum type are usually ambitious, responsible and workaholic individuals. Such people usually suffer from loss of love, respect, power and money. In addition, they have a feeling that their life has lost its value and become worthless. People who require this homeopathic remedy often suffer from depression and desolation and generally experience severe fits of fury. They are always plagued by a feeling of unimportance and not a success and always feel culpable and hold him or her responsible for all the troubles. People requiring this homeopathic remedy have suicidal thoughts and feel cheerful when such thoughts do not linger. They are normally quiet and worrying and, at the same time, feel desolate. The condition of such patients deteriorates during night and when it is cold. On the contrary, they feel better during the evening, when there is warmth, when they are in open air and while listening to music, which soothes their nerves.
  • Ignatia
    Individuals belonging to the Ignatia type personality are basically romanticist, often naive and accountable. They suffer from self-criticism/ remorse and shame and bear their grief silently. Their sorrows may be owing to broken heart, severe loss, anguish, shock, anger, upset and terror. People requiring the homeopathic remedy also suffer from frequently changing moods and may be found laughing at one point, weeping soon after or be in a fit of rage after some time. Such people experience cramps, spasms and shuddering. In fact, they are also tetchy and their condition worsens when anyone tries to console them. In addition, the Ignatia type personality is very susceptible to coffee, tobacco and even touch. They often suppress their emotions and express their feeling by weeping, moaning, biting their lips and/ or having a lump in the throat.
  • Nat. mur.
    People belonging to the Nat. mur. type personality suffer from profound emotional wounds that are further constant or deeper compared to those of the Ignatia type personality. Individuals who require this homeopathic remedy are generally silent and hold back their sorrow. Nevertheless, they are responsible people and compassionate towards the sufferings of other people. Nat. mur. is ideal for people who are cautious and protective, yet responsive. Such people are vulnerable and get hurt easily. They suffer from a feeling of desolation and always look for seclusion, but still continue to feel secluded. They loathe being consoled and have despondency, are pessimistic and aggrieved. Most of the time, such people dwell on the trauma endured by them in the past and hold themselves responsible for all the wrongs or problems faced by them.
  • Phosphoric acid
    Phosphoric acid is an excellent homeopathic remedy for depression. Individuals who belong to the Phosphoric acid type are generally uncaring, uninterested and yielding. They are basically uninterested by nature and are unable to recollect thoughts or words. Such people are usually feeble and often suffer from listlessness and fatigue. They are gentle, but passive by nature and endure loss of appetite and most of the times feel cold. They are often devastated owing to grief, study, excessive physical work, burn-out, broken heart, growth spurts during adolescence as well as the consequences of losing fluids or semen. Such individuals endure night sweats and their condition worsens during sleep. They generally speak in brief phrases and not in complete sentences and have a yearning for juices.
  • Pulsatilla
    Pulsatilla is a very versatile homeopathic remedy and is effective for treating depression. People belonging to the Pulsatilla type personality are generally gentle, sweet and mild by nature and often are unable to refuse anyone. They require receiving and giving love. The main causes of their problems include sorrow, jealousy, loss of something or someone, discontentment, expectation and resentment. They often suffer from a feeling of desolation. People who require this homeopathic medication yearn for company of others and solace, but are generally tetchy and short-tempered. People requiring Pulsatilla are very emotional and moody and sob quite easily. They have a feeling of being guilty and are shamed. However, such individuals have firm ideals, are choosy and often feel cold. Their condition deteriorates during the evening, when there is heat and during their menstrual periods. On the contrary, they feel better when their movement is gentle and when they are in fresh air.
  • Sepia
    Individuals belonging to the Sepia type personality are always devastated and fatigued. While they are uncaring towards their beloved, emotionally they are cold as well as closed. People requiring this homeopathic remedy yearn for solace, silence, but are fond of someone's company. They suffer from dreariness, weep often and are depressing. In fact, they often desire to escape the monotony of life and have a loathing to sex. Such people are generally cynical and critical. The causes for their problems may include loss of something or someone, hormonal disorders, grief and family or business concerns. The condition of Sepia personality deteriorates when they experience cold, are gloomy, receive consolation and during the time of their menstrual periods. They feel better when they are occupied with something or any work.

Additional things you may do

Besides taking prescription drugs, homeopathic remedies, herbs and supplements and aromatherapy, you may also do a few additional things that will help you to get relief from depression and related symptoms. For instance, exercising on a regular basis is considered to be among the best natural anti-depressant means. In addition, you will do better by keeping away from tobacco, alcohol and taking too much caffeine. For people suffering from depression, it is essential to confer with any competent healthcare practitioner. There are several therapeutic methods available now that may facilitate in breaking the depressive behaviour cycle.

Usual dosage

The normal dosages of some specific herbs and supplements that are effective in treating depression are listed below.

  • Vitamin B complex, the usual dosage of vitamin B complex is taking one pill every morning along with food. If you are using vitamin B complex for depression seek a B-50 complex having 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 50 mg of every other B vitamins and 400 mcg of folic acid.
  • Vitamin C, the normal dose of vitamin C is 500 mg taken thrice daily. Here is a word of caution: in case taking this supplement results in diarrhea, lower the dosage.
  • Calcium/ Magnesium, if you are taking either calcium or magnesium supplement for depression, the normal dosage of both is 250 mg taken twice every day. Any additional dosage of either supplement may be taken prior to retiring to bed at night with a view to induce sleep.
  • St. John's wort, the standard dosage of the herb St. John's wort for treating depression is 300 mg taken thrice every day. Ensure that the product is standardized to enclose 0.3 per cent of hypericin.
  • 5-HTP, if you are taking 5-HTP for depression, this supplement ought to be taken in dosage of 100 mg thrice daily. A word of caution: Never use this supplement for more than three months without consulting your physician or without his/ her approval.
  • Ginkgo biloba, the usual dosage of the herb ginkgo biloba is 80 mg taken thrice every day. Ensure that the product is standardized to contain a minimum of 24 per cent flavones glycosides.
  • Kava kava, the normal dosage of the herb kava kava is 250 mg taken twice or thrice every day or as required. It is important to ensure that the product has a minimum of 30 per cent kava-lactones.

Other beneficial herbs

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