Natural substances that help stabilize mood

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme mood swings from time to time. There are episodes when you feel extraordinarily excited and exhilarated, but on the other hand, there are episodes of deep sadness and frustration. In some cases, these emotional peaks and dips might range weeks or even months.

Alongside the medical treatment, there are a variety of herbal remedies that could support our mental health. Herbs or other foods always have only a supportive effect. They cannot replace drug therapy prescribed by a doctor. Natural substances may also have a contraindicating (opposing) effect to medications, so always consult with your doctor about using natural dietary supplements.

The herbs, substances, and food supplements listed below may help to stabilize your mood:

Antioxidants

Deep-colored fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, carrots, spinach, cabbage, as well as chocolate and pecans, are nutritious foods rich in antioxidants. Consumption of these can may decelerate the brain aging processes and thus improve our learning abilities and memory.

Certain herbs and spices can have a beneficial effect on our mood and mental health. Here are some examples:

Basil has a calming influence on your mood. It may help with stress reduction, headache relief, anxiety reduction, and tiredness.

Saffron is a powerful spice rich in antioxidants, which may be beneficial for your health. It may reduce mood swings and be a useful addition to the treatment of depression symptoms.

Lemon balm is a mint-like nervine with a lemon fragrance. It has been used in traditional medicine for ages as a mood enhancer and a treatment for bad headaches. It may also help with anxiety, memory, and sleeplessness issues that arise between episodes.

Valerian is a perennial flowering plant that has a mild calming effect and promotes calmer sleep. It  has a positive effect on insomnia, migraine, fatigue, and stomach cramps. Nowadays, valerian is promoted for insomnia, anxiety, depression, and migraines.

Lavender essential oils help promote calmness, relaxation, and well-being. It can positively affect your mental health, such as reducing tension, feelings of anxiety, and possibly inner discomfort.

Ginkgo Biloba herbal extracts are rich in antioxidants. Therefore, they are used as complements in the treatments of dementia and other mental diseases. It is believed that consumption of Gingko can increase blood flow to the brain, prevent and treat memory loss and lack of concentration.

Additionally, consuming high-quality dark chocolate can also help increase the production of the hormone serotonin in your body, a hormone of happiness and well-being. We can maintain a higher level of serotonin through a diet that includes spinach, bananas, pineapple, and other sources rich in vitamin C. The positive effects on your mental health can be the reduction of stress and improvement of brain function.

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ALI, Babar, Naser Ali AL-WABEL, Saiba SHAMS, Aftab AHAMAD, Shah Alam KHAN a Firoz ANWAR. Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine[online]. 2015, 5(8), 601-611 [cit. 2021-12-10]. ISSN 22211691. Dostupné z: doi:10.1016/j.apjtb.2015.05.007

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zdenka-Navratilova/publication/289374407_Natural_antidepressants/links/568beb3a08ae8f6ec7523f37/Natural-antidepressants.pdf

https://www.jreim-ayushjournal.com/fulltext/82-1453174915.pdf

Dhingra D, Sharma A. A review of antidepressant plants. NPR (IJNPR) 2006; 5: 144–152.

Young, S. N., & Leyton, M. (2002). The role of serotonin in human mood and social interaction. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 71(4), 857–865.

Akhondzadeh S, Tahmacebi-Pour N, Noorbala AA, Ami- ni H, Fallah-Pour H, Jamshidi AH, Khani M. Crocus sativus L. in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Phytother Res 2005; 19: 148–151.

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