Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder, (previously termed as manic-depression) is a mental disorder which is marked by predominant phases of either mania or depression. The classical features seen in the manic phase include feelings of euphoria, extreme level of excitement, hyperactivity, markedly impaired ability to concentrate and sometimes delusions too.
The other phase of depression is the complete opposite and is characterized by feelings of low self-esteem, sadness and extreme lethargy. To ensure augmentation of the conventional mode of treatment (consisting of drugs or therapies), try natural herbs. However, these herbs must never entirely replace the main line of treatment for this condition.
Top Herbs For Treating Bipolar Disorder
The herbal extract from Ginkgo tree serves many medicinal roles. This is made possible due to the presence of certain compounds in the herb, such as flavonoids and terpenoids. Flavonoids work in preventing damage caused by free radicals whereas terpenoids stimulate circulation of blood in all parts of the body. It does so by preventing aggregation of platelets and also via vascular dilation. The use of Ginkgo biloba may, thus, help in minimizing mental depression (seen in bipolar disorder) or dementia.
As more nutrient-rich blood and oxygen reaches the brain, the symptoms of bipolar mania may be brought under control. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, daily dose of Ginkgo should be within the range of 120-240 mg. Owing to the serious side effects linked with this herb, prior approval from a physician is advisable.
Kava kava is the name of a herb which is gaining recognition for it’s role as a herbal tranquilizer. It is believed that this herb may induce a calming effect on the nervous system, which in turn aids in dealing with the mental anxiety and restlessness seen during the manic phase.
If used in proper doses (150-300 mg thrice in a day), it may work on the patient’s state of well being and also treat depression. Pregnant and lactating mothers should not use this herb.
Black cohosh may serve as a trustworthy herb, especially for patients dealing with bipolar disorder. During phases of mania, the use of Black cohosh soothes the user and works as a potent sedative that assists in alleviating symptoms of hyperactivity, poor focus and depression.
However, it’s use does require close supervision by a doctor as the herb is linked to several adverse effects, such as painful, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. Also, it carries a significant risk of causing damage to the liver.
St.John’s wort is another natural herb that has been frequently used for enhancing low level of mood, treat insomnia as well as reduce anxiety, the key symptoms of this major mental disorder.
Do note that this herb is only for alleviating symptoms experienced during the phase of depression. In fact, this herb is looked upon as an anti-depressant with the same efficacy as any other prescription drug.
The aerial parts of passionflower, commonly known as Apricot vine or maypop can be used for treating bipolar disorder. This herb is known to induce sedative and tranquilizer-like effect on the patient, which aids in reducing anxiety and over excitability, especially in the manic phase. Other than that, it’s us also helps in dealing with insomnia. This herb is safe for use in most patients, especially when used for a short duration of less than thirty days.
Due to the presence of chemicals that may induce contraction of the uterus, passionflower is not recommended for use in pregnant females.