By Godwin Ihesie
In order to treat depression and indeed other “psychiatric diseases” appropriately and efficiently, it is important to know the root causes.
Using anti-depressant medication to alter the chemical balance in the nervous system can help keep the symptoms of depression at bay and perhaps help some of the patients get through their daily routines; however, it would or may not reverse or “cure” the condition.
The recommended natural treatment for depression varied from patient to patient and is usually based on the root cause of the disease and the unique needs of the individual patient; however, no matter the cause or causes, diet plays a major role in the effective treatment of depression, because the food we eat or what we drink has remarkable effect on us, physically and emotionally (psychologically): for “we are what we eat and drink”, says an adage.
The man in flesh and blood has a triune nature: spirit (the real man), soul (spirit covered with non-physical bodies but without the heavy physical body) and the physical body the outermost covering of the spirit. The spirit is the only living core that gives life or animates and controls the physical body. Only the spirit is capable of self-consciousness, perceive intuitively – joy, love, real happiness, beauty, as well as sadness, sorrow, hate, ugliness, etc.
The human blood which is regarded as “tissue” in the liquid state has its own radiation and this blood radiation serves not only as connecting bridge or link between the spirit and the physical body, but also serves as a path of communication between the two. For example, the science of psycho-neuro-immunology has shown that all our thoughts, feelings, emotions and all the impressions received through our five physical senses are collected in the brain – which translates them into electrical impulses that trigger equivalent biochemical changes in the blood which in turn affect our bodies in similar manners.
It is important to note here that the biochemical changes in the blood (or the alteration in the composition of the blood) produce corresponding blood radiation – which is the connecting bridge and the communication pathway or the link between the spirit and the physical body. Thus, via the radiation of the blood (acting as a bridge), all the impressions and information received through our five physical senses are transmitted to the spirit. In a like manner, the human spirit spreads its volition and will as a wave of powerful radiations along this same bridge of blood radiations to the brain and our physical bodies.
The blood radiation is dependent on the composition of the blood, and the composition of the blood is greatly dependent on what we eat and drink.
Good health in body and soul can be sustained by good blood composition and favorable blood radiation which comes partly and significantly from eating vital foods from one’s own native soil; well-balanced diet – rich in all the necessary vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, other nutrients and “biophysical radiations.”
Unwholesome eating habits, (may lead to deficiency or excess of one vital nutrient or another), eating foods grown outside one’s own region of birth (foreign foods), foods that are contaminated with heavy metals like lead or aluminum or harmful food additives and toxic chemicals that are known to pollute the blood. “Poisoned” blood can in turn negatively alter the composition of the blood which may then produce conflicting and unfavorable blood radiations that can hinder an effective communication between the soul and the body or lack of harmony between the two. Depression, mental ill-health, psychic disturbances and all that have generally been “psychiatric diseases”, are known to be due to chronic disharmony between the soul and the body.
A common adage which says: “Food and drink keep the body and soul together” – probably explains the importance and the significance of correct eating habits and the consequent good blood composition and the favorable blood radiation in promoting harmony between spirit, soul and body which is a necessary condition for the full activities of the spirit here on earth, including its control of the physical body.
As we have noted above, most of the “psychiatric diseases” are usually due to negative and unfavorable alterations in the composition of the blood which produces conflicting or very weak blood radiation which hinders or prevents the spirit from fully asserting itself over the physical body or from unfolding itself freely.
One of the natural ways of dealing with depression and other psychic disturbances effectively is to avoid:
- The excessive intake of acid-forming foods such as refined table sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined and processed/tinned foods loaded with chemical additives, artificial colorings, overcooked foods, fatty foods, refined grains lacking in dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, imitation fruit drinks, fizzy and soda drinks, strong alcoholic beverages, tobacco or cigarette smoking, etc, which are known to deplete some of the vital nutrients such as vitamins C, E and B–complex, biotin, folic acid, niacin (B3 ), pyridoxine (B6), riboflavin.(B2), thiamin (B1) and omega -3 fatty acids, the amino acid like tryptophan, etc. Deficiencies or insufficiencies of these vital nutrients in the blood are known to make depression worse or aggravates it.
- Blood or systemic pollution resulting from poor bowel movement (constipation), overgrowth of Candida albicans, dental amalgam, heavy metals such as: mercury, lead, copper, aluminum, etc., in the bloodstream, may affect the functions of the brain and the mind and this may cause psychic and emotional disturbances (depression) in susceptible individuals. Most of the symptoms of depression resemble the signs and symptoms of the blood or body overloaded with toxins.
Other natural ways of dealing with depression involve using wholesome diets and supplements containing the vital and essential nutrients in modifying the patient’s nourishment and using various blood cleansing methods that can neutralize or eliminate the heavy toxic metals.
There are many Natural remedies that have been found to be very helpful in the treatment of depression e.g.:
Blood / liver cleansing (detoxification) therapies
“Blood cleansing” or detoxification therapy is one of the main tools used in the treatment of depression and other psychiatric health problems. Cleansing the blood and the liver helps in neutralizing and eliminating toxic metals (such as: mercury, lead, dental amalgam,) and other toxins in the body.
As we have noted in the previous articles, most of the symptoms of depression resemble the signs and symptoms of the body overloaded with toxins or the symptoms of a sluggish liver which may manifest as: depression, irritability, insomnia, recurrent fatigue, low energy, general malaise, etc. These symptoms are known to disappear as soon as the blood and the liver are properly detoxified.
In natural medicine, blood and liver detoxification (i.e. using toxin-draining therapeutic methods in ridding the body of toxic substances) involves an exclusive 3-7 days fasting on any of the followings:
- Fruit juice (made from diluted lemon juice, grape fruits, pineapple, papaya, apples, grapes, etc).
(ii) Vegetable juice (made from beet-root, carrot and the combination of the two)
(iii) Plain water.
During the detoxification fast, herbal teas made from Stinging Nettle, Phyllanthus, Dandelion, etc, may be taken from time to time.
Also, a plain water enema could be taken during the fasting. The healing power of water has been known for centuries. Water refreshes, cleanses and restores vitality to the whole body.
Taking a long neutral immersion bath (that is immersing the whole body in a bath filled with water that is slightly below the body temperature) or taking a long hot bath with the water scented with soothing aromatic bath essential oils such as rose, rosemary, ylang-ylang, lavender, chamomile, etc, helps in soothing and calming down an irritable person, it also helps in uplifting the mood of patients suffering depression.
Some useful home remedies and food supplements:
The intake of 2 tablespoonfuls of virgin coconut oil or cod liver oil orally three times daily- is useful in those cases of depression that are associated with low thyroids functions.
Taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and then sweetened with honey – every morning and night- This alleviates the symptom of depression generally.
Drinking orange juice or apple juice and pure honey helps in relieving the symptoms of depression.
Drinking two tablespoonfuls of Bitter leaf juice or fresh Aloe vera gel – morning and night help in alleviating the symptom of depression.
Chewing Kola nut or taking the infusion made from the powder will increase the physical energy and help to cheer-up a depressing mood.
The following supplements are very helpful in all cases of depression:
Vitamin C or Rose hip 500mg taken three times daily,
Multivitamins that contains the B-vitamin (B-complex, B12, Biotin, folic acid, etc.).
A combination of calcium and magnesium,
Standardized St. John’s wort that contains 0.3% of the mood-lifting chemical known as Hypericin.
There are many antidepressant herbs (herbs used in the treatment of depression) available in nature. Such herbs are used mainly as teas or infusion to help to relax, relief stress, worries and anxiety and they also help in lifting a depressed person. Such herbs include: St. John’s wort (contains a mood-boosting chemical and is often called the Nature’s “Prozac”), Rose petals, Roselle leaves and flowers, Turmeric, Corn silk, Sage, Chamomile, Mother’s wort, Passionflower, Milk thistle, Blue vervain, Rosemary, Valarian Root , Damiana, Ginkgo biloba, Lavender, Skull cap, Catnip, Lime blossom, Licorice, Indian Basil, etc.
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils from plants or scent from flowers (either by inhalation when diffused in the air or when they come in contact with skin through baths or massage; to influence the mood, the mind and the thoughts of a depressed patient. Essential oils such as, Rose, Rosemary, Ylang-ylang, Lemon, Lavender, Chamomile, Jasmine, etc, are used in the treatment of depression. Essential oils or flower essences are known to stimulate the production neurotransmitters like the mood altering serotonin.
Bach Flower Remedies: These are diluted flower essences developed in the 1930’s by Dr. Edward Bach. They are used in conjunction with other remedies to treat a variety of physical, mental, emotional and psychic health problem- including depression, anxieties, worries, etc.
There are about 39 Bach flower remedies including the “Rescue Remedy”. Among these, Century, Gorse, Wild rose, Walnut, Rescue remedy etc, have been found to be very helpful in the treatment of emotional and psychic problems that often result in depression.
General body massage helps in improving circulation, lowering stress hormones, reducing tension, anxiety and lifting up the gloomy thoughts in a depressed patient.
Gem stone Therapy
Apart from this the elixirs prepared from gem stones, Gemstones like Gold, Jet, Lapis
Lazuli, Moonstone, etc, are usually carried in a crystal medicine pouch or worn as pendant, ring, bangles, etc, to help transfer positive- energy to the wearer, which interact with the energy field of the body in order to create balance, or clear negative energies that may be manifesting physically as disease like depression.
Laughter and humor therapy
A hearty laughter touches the soul and can change a negative outlook and gloomy thoughts to a positive and uplifting one. It helps in discharging inner tension, bitterness, and anguish of the soul.
A hearty laughter and cheerful smile that touches deeper are the strongest antidote to darkness, mental and psychic stress that often manifest as depression.
It is said that “laughter is the best medicine”, even for depression”. And the proverbs 17:22 says “A merry heart does good like medicine”.
Music and Harmonious Sound Therapies
Music and harmonious sound bypasses the help brain and moves directly to the soul and the inner core of man- spirit.
Soul- uplifting music has today become the most powerful and effective tool used in the treatment of those diseases that are believed to affect the soul and the so- called mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders, etc.
The healing effect of music was demonstrated thousands of years ago.eg. In the Book of 1 Samuel 16:23 says:
“When the evil spirit…was upon Saul, that David took a harp and played with his hands, so Saul was refreshed and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
Music of the right kind relaxes, soothes, and eases physical, emotional and psychic tensions. It also brings inner tranquility, comfort and makes hope come alive again in depressed patients.
Healthy Exercises and Deep breathing
Healthy exercises include: regular brisk walking, aerobics, jogging, cycling, swimming, gardening with bare hands and feet in the soil, are forms of exercise that play a very vital role in the treatment of depression. Healthy exercises are known to:
- Increase the blood level of endorphins, serotonins and other mood affecting brain chemicals.
- Keep the body, physically, emotionally and spiritually fit to cope with extremely difficult challenges in life.
- Keep the body and mind relaxed.
Exercise is believed to be the Nature’s best Tranquilizer.
Depression patients are advised to indulge in uplifting activities that helps and bring joy to others. In this way less attention is focused on self and gloomy and negative depressing thoughts are overcome. Joyful service to others is the best way to overcome self-low esteem.
Deep breathing is also a form of exercise that increases the supply of life-giving oxygen to blood and brain, and this helps to relax the body, the mind and helps the victim to replace gloomy and negative thoughts with positive ones.
Potted plants: pots of flowers like roses, lilies or marigold, etc., can be placed in a prominent positions at homes, or putting the freshly cut ones in flower vases and keeping then either in sitting rooms centre tables, near the windows , etc at home will help:
Gladdens the heart, brings inner calmness, cheer –up to a depressed spirit and therefore lift it from tension and sad moods –when their sweat scent or fragrance are inhaled or when their beautiful and bright colors are gazed at – at intervals.