Some people with bipolar disorder have reported that using alternative treatments provides relief from symptoms. Scientific evidence supports many of the benefits in treating depression. But the effectiveness in treating bipolar disorder requires more research.
Always check with your doctor before starting any alternative treatments. Supplements and therapies may interact with your medication and cause unintended side effects. Alternative treatments shouldn’t replace traditional treatments or medications. But some people have reported feeling increased benefits when combining the two together.
1. Fish Oil
Being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can help in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Its EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) content is essential for hormone production and nerve tissue health. Fish oil improves the functionality of brain and helps overcome depression.
So, take fish oil supplements. For proper dosage, consult your doctor. Also, you can regularly eat fatty fish such as albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring and trout which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Brahmi, also known as bacopa, is another useful herb for bipolar disorder because it works as a mild stimulant as well as sedative. It also helps enhance memory and relieves mental strain.
Drink a few teaspoons of juice extracted from brahmi leaves daily for several weeks. Another option is consume brahmi ghee prepared by frying brahmi leaves in clarified butter (ghee).
Alternatively, take this herb in supplement form. For proper dosage, consult your doctor.
An invigorating head massage with brahmi oil is also beneficial.
This antioxidant helps reduce oxidative stress. Additionally, a review of the literature reported that in one randomized controlled trial of people with bipolar disorder, adding 2 grams of N-acetylcysteine per day to traditional bipolar medication treatment led to significant improvement in depression, mania, and quality of life.
4. Passion Flower
Passion flower has sedative properties that can reduce anxiety and excitability experienced during the manic episodes of bipolar disorder. It also helps treat insomnia.
Although this herb has no side effects, yet at times it may cause stomach upset. However, before taking this herb it is advisable to discuss with your doctor.
- Add 1 teaspoon of this herb to a cup of hot water.
- Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain and drink this tea a few times a day.
Magnesium works in a way similar to lithium but with fewer health risks. It works as a mood balancer and reduces the symptoms of mania.
It also promotes good sleep. In fact, magnesium deficiency often leads to insomnia and anxiety. Magnesium levels are naturally depleted during periods of stress and hard work.
Take oral magnesium supplements.
You can also include magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, soybeans, and black beans in your diet.