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Ayurvedic Treatment of Depression
Depression is a neurological disorder. When a person is too overcome with negative emotions, it becomes difficult to focus on any other issue. The person may become lethargic and lose interest in what is going on around them. Such a state may occur when a person fails in an examination, loses a job, gets jilted by a lover, gets divorced, loses some dear one, etc. Some people are able to get over their emotions quickly. But in some others, depressions may last for several days, weeks or even months.
In Ayurveda, depression is known as Chittavsada. It is caused by the increase in the tamas and rajas of the mind with a vitiation of the kapha dosha. Sometimes, an imbalanced vata may also be responsible for depression.
Depression needs to be looked after and treated as soon as it is identified. In some people, depression may be very dangerous as they could resort to endangering their own and other people's lives.
(1) Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Depression
1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha has the requisite properties to remove negative thoughts from the mind. The aphrodisiac properties of ashwagandha also help in improving the mind and removing depression.
2. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
Brahmi is prescribed before a yogic session. The reason is that brahmi helps to relax the mind and bring it to a comfortable state. Brahmi is very popularly available in the form of oils. The oil has a cooling and soothing effect on the mind. Regular use of this oil can prevent the person from feeling depressed.
3. Cardamom (Elattaria cardamomum)
Cardamom has a very pleasing odor which can soothe the nerves. When a person is depressed, a tea made by putting cardamom in it can have almost miraculous effects.
4. Guggulu (Commiphora wightii)
Guggulu has become the focus of attention recently due to the presence of special chemicals in it called as guggulsterones. These chemicals improve the nervous coordination and hence are beneficial in the treatment of depression. Guggulu is more effective in depression caused due to seasonal affective disorder.
5. Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi)
Jatamansi brings a calming effect on the mind. By canalizing the energies of the mind in the right direction, jatamansi can remove the depressive thoughts.
6. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is effective in treating depression that is caused by the change of seasons, i.e. seasonal affective disorder.
(2) Dietary Treatments for Depression
For people with depression a heavy food is not advised. The person must not eat to the full capacity. Hot, spicy and pungent tastes must be avoided as these will aggravate the senses further. Fluids and fresh vegetables (in salads) must become an important part of every meal. The person can have cool sherbets like rose sherbet in the middle of the day, especially in the afternoons and when the evening is beginning. Tea and coffee may be taken occasionally to stimulate the brain.
Most people with depression lose their appetite and desire to eat. For such people, food must not be forced, or it could lead to vomiting. When such a disinterest in food occurs, fruits can be consumed. A diet rich in fruits is beneficial in the treatment of depression.
(3) Ayurvedic Treatment for Depression
Even in Ayurveda, a psychological counseling between the physician and the patient is undertaken. This helps the physician to understand the root cause of the depression. Then they can take the formulated steps to cure the problem. Such counseling is done to increase the sattva of the mind.
Slowly allowing a stream of water to fall in the center of the forehead enables the mind to remove its negativistic thoughts and focus more on a positive outlook. This therapy is known as shirodhara and it is becoming very popular in the western world also. An alternative therapy is shirobasti. The oil massage therapy called as abhyanga is also very useful.
Ayurverdic professionals also advocate the use of yoga in keep the mind restful. Praanayama and yoga must become an important part of a person's daily routine. This helps to concentrate the mind on positive thoughts and depression will never occur. Yogic asanas that are beneficial to people with depression are bhujangasana, halasana, paschimottasana, sarvangasana, shalabhasana, shavasana and vakrasana. In addition, pranayamas like bhastrika and kapalbhati are very strongly advised.
(4) Home Medications
1. Get someone do a good head massage with a cooling oil like brahmi oil.
2. Improve the regimen of your day. Begin with yoga in the morning and then listen to good soothing music. For some people, visiting their religious places of worship also helps to come out of depression.
3. Focus your mind in other activities and hobbies in order to keep the thoughts causing depression away.
4. You can try eating an apple with milk and honey. This helps to improve the mood.
5. Simple lemon juice (the extract of one lemon in a glass of water, sweetened with sugar) is also good. It releases stress-removing hormones and brings the mind at ease.
Tips to Beat Depression
Want tips to beat depression naturally? Depression can make you feel as though you are barely alive. By getting the right medical care and teaching yourself how to cope with your symptoms and what to do to help to alleviate them, you can win. You may not only be better able to deal with your depression, but also to improve your life completely.
Some of the best methods to get help when living with depression are to talk about it in an effort to learn to understand your symptoms and your illness and to get help from others who are dealing with the same situation.
1. Joining support groups - this is one of the best methods of learning more about your illness and in some cases about yourself. A support group is a group of like-minded individuals who are joined together for a common cause. You will find depression support groups both online as well as offline. Joining a group is one of the best things you can do to help yourself when living with depression.
2. Help someone else - Nothing will help to alleviate your symptoms and to lower your sense of depression or helplessness than giving some time or energy to another cause. While you may not be inclined to help another person, doing so will give you a wide range of benefits, not the least of which will be less time to feel your own sadness.
3. Learn to deal with stress - Develop and use better coping mechanisms for dealing with your own stress. Take some classes to learn how to cope with your stress. By dealing with stress in a better way, it will lower the resultant secretions that the body puts out when we are under stress. Long-term release of these cortico-steroids can have a detrimental effect on the body processes, that can impact depression.
4. Exercise - By exercising on a regular basis it can be very helpful. If you have the time, take an exercise class and if you don't, spend a minimum of twenty to thirty minutes a day exercising. The endorphins that are released as you exercise are natural mood elevators. By exercising on a regular basis, you will begin to have more energy, have less stress and be in a much better mood. In fact, exercise is addicting after you develop the habit. What a great addiction to have!
5. Think positive - Did you know that some studies say that perpetual negative thinking can actually be a cause of depression? Give yourself a chance to feel better and to relax more. Be forgiving with yourself and let go of the negative thoughts and emotions that are controlling your actions and your moods.
Bananas a Cure For Depression?
Bananas are an amazing fruit packed with vitamins and minerals. Surprisingly, the minerals and vitamins in bananas can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, everyday stress, anxiety and the winter blues.
Bananas alleviate the symptoms of depression partially because of the protein tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted by the body into serotonin. Serotonin is a protein Serotonin regulates metabolism and brain activity, and produces a relaxed state. Serotonin helps to promote stabilized moods, and is key to the bodies' ability to regulate sleep. Adequate sleep is directly linked to better moods and lower levels of stress.
Bananas help to alleviate stress because they are high in B vitamins. B vitamins calm your nerves,. For instance, a depletion of vitamin B6 can trigger depression in individual not previously showing symptoms of depression. Therefore, a diet rich in B6 can assist in alleviating the symptoms of depression and possibly prevent the onset.
Bananas in alleviating stress because a stressed body depletes its reserve of potassium rapidly, which in turn causes an increase in your body's metabolic rate which depletes your bodies potassium much more rapidly than normal. The potassium rich bananas replenish the bodies' potassium supply, which in turn normalizes the bodies' metabolic-rate.
Ways bananas can help alleviate stress. If you are experiencing high stress levels try eating a banana in the morning. Chop it up. Mix it with some juice or pour some honey on it. Make this a peaceful time. Relax. Sit and meditate. Think happy and positive thoughts and establish a routine. The natural calming vitamins in bananas will help you through the day and bring your stress levels to normal.
Take bananas with you to work. Keep them around the house. When you feel depressed, eat one or even a small piece.
Fight Depression Naturally
In the last few years, the rates of depression in both men and women are on the increase and many sufferers use anti-depressants to fight this condition. What you may not know is that by following a few simple dietary recommendations you can reduce the chances of depression. Diet plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of depression and stress. According to scientists there are certain foods that improve our mental health, due to the fact that they promote the synthesis of serotonin, the hormone associated with good mood. It is no coincidence that the effect of several antidepressants is actually based on the production of serotonin.
To fight depression you should consume the following foods:
Foods rich in folic acid (spinach), selenium-rich foods (seafood) and zinc-rich foods (such as shellfish, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, soy and organic meats).
Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and soybeans.
Complex carbohydrates, like brown rice. The absence of complex carbohydrates from your daily meals can cause serotonin depletion of the body's reserves and lead to depression.
Protein and essential fatty acids contained in salmon and white fish. Salmon and turkey are also high in tryptophan, which is a substance that can help you improve your mood. Other foods high in tryptophan include low-fat milk, beef, lamb, pork, cheese, pumpkin seeds, poultry, peanuts, cashew nuts, beans, and eggs.
Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in mackerel, salmon, tuna, anchovies and herring. These fatty acids are particularly important. Recently, a group of scientists led by Andrew Stoll, from the McLean Hospital, showed that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids by patients that suffer from this condition, significantly reduced the frequency and intensity of their attacks. However, other studies suggest that the most important factor in the treatment of depression may not be only the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, but the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The modern way of eating, contributes to the high intake of omega-6 acids, which disrupts the proper ratio.
What to avoid
Supplements that contain the amino acid phenylalanine, which is a highly allergenic factor. This means that you should avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
Foods high in saturated fats. It seems that the consumption of meat or fried foods such as hamburgers and fries, leads to sluggishness and fatigue.
Concentrated sugars. The body reacts more quickly to the presence of simple sugars than to complex carbohydrates. The energy derived from the consumption of sweets does not last and the ups and downs of blood sugar affect the brain in the long run, causing you fatigue and depression.
Alcohol: it should be consumed with caution, because it can cause depression and exacerbate mental health problems.