Improving Brain Function And Dementia
- Birks, J. & Grimley Evans, J. Gingko Biloba for Cognitive Impairment and Dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD003120. DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD003120. Pub3.
- Bjelakovic, G., Nikolovba, D., Gluud L.L., Sominetti, R.G., Gluud, C. Mortality in Randomized Trials od Antioxidant Supplements for Primary and Secondary Prevention: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, JAMA, 297, 842-857.
- McDonald, R.J. Hydergine: a review of 26 clinical studies. Pharmakopsychiatr Neuropsychopharmakol, 12, 407-22.
- Olin, J., Schneider, L., Novit, A. et al Hydergine for dementia . In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2003. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Tabet, N., Birks, J., Grimley Evans, J. Vitamin E for Alzheimer’s disease. In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 1, Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Vogeler, B.K., Pittler, M.H., Ernst, E. The efficacy of ginseng. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. European Jounral of Clinical Pharmacology, 55, 567-575.
- No author listed . Haemorrhage due to Gingki Biloba. Prescrire Int, 93,19.
Supplement St Johns Wart
A very popular home remedy for anxiety and depression is the herb St. Johns Wart. This is because of the hypercin that is one of its main components. The hypercin will affect the various neurotransmitters in a similar manner to prescription drugs for depression and anxiety.
- Take 300 milligrams of the St. Johns Wart 3 times each day.
- Repeat for at least one week.
The hypercin in the St. Johns Wart can sometimes interact with other drugs. Be sure to speak to your doctor before you start this home remedy for anxiety and depression.
What Alternative Therapies Are Recommended For Depression
No alternative therapy is guaranteed to cure depression, but the same can be said about several Western medicines and psychotherapies. To be safe, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before you try one or more of these recommended therapies:
- Herbal remedies: Herbal remedies are made from plants. Of the wide variety of available herbal therapies, St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba are the products most often used for treating depression.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of healing that prevents and cures specific diseases and conditions.
- Reflexology: For this treatment, the reflexologist applies pressure to different pressure points on your feet, hands, ears and face.
- Exercise: In general, exercise is a safe and easy way to improve your well-being.
- Meditation: Meditation is a form of relaxation and introspection.
- Massage: Massage uses touch to promote relaxation while decreasing tension and stress.
- Guided imagery: Guided imagery is a form of focused relaxation that helps create harmony between the mind and body.
- Yoga: Yoga is a type of exercise and spiritual practice.
- Deep breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths in, then slowly exhaling, while your mind focuses on the breath.
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Incredible Natural Remedies For Anxiety And Depression
At some point in our lives we all end up going through anxiety and depression. While these feelings are normal and affect a majority of people, its never fun to feel blue or anxious. Many times, people dealing with depression and anxiety will turn to prescription drugs to help them with these feelings, yet natural remedies for anxiety and depression can help too.
As an advocate for mental health and wellness, as well as natural remedies, I have researched thoroughly to share the natural and safe ways to help anxiety and depression.
What Are Natural Remedies For Anxiety And Depression
Nearly everyone experiences mental health challenges in their life. Natural remedies for anxiety and depression can be a part of the solution. The severity of these symptoms and how long they last can vary across a wide scale. It is important to take that into consideration when deciding how to respond. Remember that nothing in this article constitutes medical or psychiatric advice. It helps to learn the signs of depression and anxiety. But you should always defer to the opinion of a medical professional when it comes to anything regarding your mental or physical health. With that out of the way, what do we mean by natural remedies for anxiety and depression? These can take two forms. The first is diet or supplement. The second is behavior.
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Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol
For many of us, a cup of coffee at the start of the day gets us going, and a glass of wine in the evening will help us relax.
But too much of either can seriously affect our bodies ability to manage anxiety.
Caffeine can trigger cortisol production, the hormone that triggers the fight or flight stress response.
And as for alcohol, drinking too much will change your brain chemistry over time, thus lowering its ability to cope with stress.
Why We Are Depressed:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a third of Americans now show signs of anxiety or depression stemming from a number of issues:
- Nervousness over economic concerns
According to Stanford Health, around 50 percent of the cause of depression is genetic, and around 50 percent is unrelated to genes. Lack of sleep is another main driver. In fact, insomnia and trouble falling asleep have long been linked to depression and anxiety. A study published in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience found that about three quarters of depressed patients have insomnia symptoms.
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Too Much Caffeine Side Effects
Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world.
Yet its effects on the brain and nervous system are catastrophic.
After drinking coffee, caffeine spreads into the blood within minutes and stops the production of adenosine. Adenosine has a major role in energy metabolism, it soothes and regulates the heart, brain, blood circulation.
This is why people feel a boost of energy after a good cup of coffee.
But a single espresso can increase anxiety and disrupt sleep for 48 hours!
How Do Herbs Help Anxiety
Herbs can work to support mental health via a few different mechanisms.
Below are the primary ways that herbs can help to benefit anxiety.
- Anxiolytic this category of herbs works to reduce anxiety. This calming mental effect can be very beneficial for anxiety, especially for those that struggle with excessive worry.
- Nervine herbs that support the nervous system and have a mild calming action. These herbs may be very helpful for relieving muscle tension, ruminating thoughts, and restless sleep.
- Trophorestorative nourishing herbs that usually has an affinity for different systems within the body. They may help to bring systems into balance and restore function. Can be especially nourishing the nervous system.
- Sedative these types of herbs work to reduce brain activity. These herbs work by increasing GABA, a chief inhibitory neurotransmitter that signals the body to prepare to wind down. These are helpful for increasing sleep quality at night.
- Relaxants these herbs help to relax the muscles in the body. This effect helps to reduce tension and promote relaxation and a sense of calm.
Well list the best-in-class anxiety herbs for each of these actions below.
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An Introduction To Herbal Remedies And Supplements
Herbal remedies come from plants. If possible, choose a remedy which has been standardised, i.e. the contents are approximately the same in each bottle or tablet you buy.
Plant remedies are not always safer than ordinary medicines. All of them can have side-effects and interact with other medicines.
Supplements include vitamins, minerals and animal and plant products, such as cod liver oil. They can also have side-effects and interact with other medicines.
Some people take supplements, like vitamin C in high doses, but this can damage the liver or kidneys. Many supplements have a recommended daily intake , or allowance .
Do not go beyond this dose without talking to an experienced health professional.
These are called ‘cognitive enhancers’ and can improve concentration. They include:
- Vitamin E
Herbs For Anxiety And Depression
It has been a doozy of a year for mental health. From fear of COVID-19, to sadness at the loss of loved ones, to economic woes, the list goes on. We have lost sleep, we have had trouble fitting in self care, we have taken to drugs and alcohol, and we have let our diets slip. But as things start to improve, we are all refocusing on not just surviving, but thriving. Need a mental health boost? These herbs have been shown to improve your mental health without many of the side effects that come with pharmaceutical drugs.
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Avoid Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Everyone has their own way of dealing with lifes stresses, known as coping mechanisms or coping behaviours. Sometimes, these behaviours are healthy and beneficial in that they help reduce stress long-term. Examples include exercise, fishing, going for a walk, getting your hair done, pottering in the shed or catching up with mates over a coffee.
When the coping mechanism for stress is likely to exacerbate the situation in the long-term, it is referred to as an unhealthy or maladaptive coping strategy. Common examples include drug or alcohol abuse, smoking, gambling, unnecessary retail spending and overindulging in junk food. These behaviours provide what feels like short-term relief and reward, but are ultimately very unlikely to remove the cause of stress and worry.
Avoiding behaviours that can amplify problems and underlying causes of distress is a legitimately natural way for addressing conditions like depression and anxiety. Certainly, changing a bad or destructive habit is a complex process. Even so, one great way to start is to consider why you or someone you know smokes, drinks alcohol, takes drugs or binge eats.
Are Anxiety Supplements Safe
Supplements are generally considered safe, but certain factors can put you at a higher risk of unpleasant or dangerous side effects, including:
- prescription medications
- chronic medical conditions
Its important to talk with a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your diet, especially if any of the above applies to you.
Supplements should also not be given to infants or small children without first consulting a doctor.
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Herbal Remedies For Depression And Anxiety
Herbal remedies have been used to treat depression and anxiety for centuries around the globe. Western societies, in particular, have moved away from traditional herbal treatments towards prescription medications. There are some proven herbal options that may be worth a try.
One in four women in the United States now takes a psychiatric medication.
According to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics , the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults increased by almost 400% between 19881994 and 20052008.
The federal governments health statisticians figure that about one in every 10 Americans takes an antidepressant. And by their reckoning, antidepressants were the third most common prescription medication taken by Americans in 20052008, the latest period during which the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey collected data on prescription drug use.
Here are a few other stand-out statistics from the report on antidepressants:
So is it a good thing that so many more Americans are taking antidepressants? Many mental health professionals would say, yes, because depression has been undertreated and because antidepressants are effective.
But there are also plenty of critics, as shown by this review in the New York Review of Books, who say the benefits have been overstated and that pharmaceutical company marketing is responsible for the surge in prescriptions.
Using Chinese Medicine For Treating Depression And Anxiety
Did you know traditional Chinese medicine is recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a complementary therapy that is effective for alleviating pain and improving quality of life? Chinese medicine is so appealing to the NIH that the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is currently funding a variety of research studies on its effectiveness for conditions such as fibromyalgia, joint pain, and heart disease.
This 3,000-year-old practice is also promising for dozens of other health conditions. In fact, many experienced practitioners utilize Chinese medicine as a natural treatment for anxiety and depression.
Associate Professor Heidi Most describes how, from a Chinese medicine perspective, depression and anxiety can be understood as a disturbance to the shen, roughly translated as our spirit. Most explains in this interview how acupuncture, herbs, dietary therapy, qi gong, and tai chi are all useful for treating depression and anxiety.
Broadly speaking, how can Chinese medicine help address issues related to depression and anxiety?
What Chinese medicine therapies are most beneficial for those with depression and anxiety?
What acupuncture point or herbs would a practitioner generally recommend to a patient with depression and anxiety?
What are the best Chinese herbs for anxiety?
What are the best Chinese herbs for depression?
How long might it take for someone to notice results?
Western vs. Chinese medicine for treating anxiety and depression
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How Long Does It Take For Anxiety Supplements To Have An Effect
How long it takes for a supplement to take effect can vary. Theres no set rule of thumb that tells us when to expect them to start working.
Some supplements can begin working within 30 to 60 minutes of taking them, while others need to build up over time, taking multiple weeks of regular use to see results.
It may help to read the product label for dosage instructions and information on effectiveness. Consider speaking with a doctor if you have any questions.
Herbs And Supplements To Help Fight Depression
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Depression is a mental health condition that affects more than 17 million adults in the United States alone. However, the actual number is thought to be much higher, as many people with depression dont seek treatment for various reasons .
Below are the five classifications of depressive disorders, which share features like sadness, irritable mood, a feeling of emptiness, and cognitive changes that affect functioning (
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- depressive disorder due to another medical condition
Depressive disorders are treated with medication and psychotherapy. In addition, lifestyle modifications, including making dietary changes and taking certain supplements, may also help people in recovery and relapse prevention.
For example, some research shows that specific vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other compounds may provide added benefits in improving depressive symptoms.
That being said, herbs and dietary supplements are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration in the same way as medications. So, you cant always be certain of what youre getting and whether its safe.
Additionally, more studies are needed to determine which natural supplements are more likely to help with depression, and what side effects they may cause.
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When To Seek Help
In some cases, a supplement may be all you need to manage anxiety symptoms. However, if your symptoms are becoming overwhelming or affecting your day-to-day activities or overall quality life, it may be time to ask for help.
Seeking support from a medical or mental health professional can provide you with treatment options tailored to you. This can include talk therapy, medication, or other techniques or remedies.
If the products on this list arent what youre looking for, there are many other options available.
Here are some things to keep in mind when youre searching for a high-quality supplement:
- reputable brand
- positive user reviews
Because the FDA doesnt regulate dietary supplements to the same degree as medications, searching for high-quality products is especially important.
What Is The Prognosis For People Who Use Alternative Therapies For Depression
Scientists have yet to agree about the effectiveness of the alternative therapies listed here. It is difficult to predict a prognosis. Part of the journey of using alternative therapies is that you will have to do some experimentation to figure out what works and what doesnt work for you. Some people who have used alternative therapies have had success, and others havent. Stay in contact with your healthcare provider while you use these therapies.
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What Depression And Anxiety Look Like In The Brain:
Some fascinating research has shown that people with depression and anxiety have some differences in the brain that can be spotted on brain imaging scans. Two researchers, Dr. Youjin Zhao and co-author Dr. Su Lui, looked at the brain scans of 37 people with major depressive disorder, 24 with social anxiety disorder, and 41 people in good mental health. Researchers noticed differences in gray matter in the brain as well as the thickness of the cerebral cortex in those with depression and anxiety. Gray matter in the brain is the dark tissue that consists of nerve cell bodies and branching dendrites. The cerebral cortex is the layer of brain tissue in the outermost level of the cerebrum.
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Tap Into Your Spirituality
Religion can be an impactful source of support for many people dealing with depression, but there is no need to join a church, synagogue, or mosque unless you wish to. Simple daily practices such as meditation or adding to a list of things you’re grateful can help boost mood and overall well-being.
Meditation can have a range of beneficial effects such as lowering stress levels and helping people to become more aware of their thoughts and reactions.
Research indicates that an intervention called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy , which combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness meditation, can be helpful in treating depression and preventing future relapses of symptoms.
Studies also suggest that different types of mindfulness meditative practices can also be effective in the treatment of depression.
There are many different types of meditation, but you can get started with a simple meditative exercise with these steps:
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