Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or commonly known as the winter blues, is associated with winter depression and feeling ‘normal’ or very happy in the summer. Although many variables may be responsible for SAD, lack of exposure to full-spectrum natural light appears to be the most logical explanation
Herbal Medicine For The Winter Blues
With the hour after changing recently it is always the turning point of our advance into the depths of winter here in Ireland. We are now beginning to see the days getting shorter meaning more darkness and less light. I believe that SAD is largely under diagnosed in Ireland. The scientific research to date tells us that it has a prevalence of 10.5% of the population in Ireland and that females of reproductive age tended to supply the higher number of incidences. This suggests that rates of seasonal disturbance in mood and behaviour deserve serious consideration here. Thankfully Herbal Medicine has some very effective treatments to curb the winter blues.
St John’s Wort ( Hypericum perforatum)
The king of herbal antidepressants. The flowers are used. Comprises of 25% of all antidepressant prescriptions in Germany. Shown in clinical trials to be as equally effective as the antidepressant drug “prozac”, without the undesirable side effects(muscular weakness, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and drowsiness). People suffering from SAD showed significant improvements in 8 weeks using St John’s Wort.
Ginkgo ( Ginkgo biloba)
A standardized extract of the leaf is used. Must be taken for at least 6 weeks before its effectiveness can be assessed. Shown in clinical trials to significantly improve people treated for Depression, Fatigue and Anger. High in antioxidants, effective in the prevention of dementia and improves memory, concentration and circulation to the brain. A very powerful herb.
Withania ( Withania somnifera )
Shown in studies to be comparable to antidepressant drug Tofranil. Effective in treating anxiety and mild depression. It enhances memory and attenuates the negative effects of chronic stress.
By far the most effective natural treatment for any form of depression. A 30-60 minute walk daily in the fresh air and sun would greatly improve mood and wellbeing.
Good quality Cod Liver Oil
High in vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids. Both essential for a healthy nervous system. Take up to 2 table spoons daily in the winter months
Vitamin D Supplementation is beneficial in the winter months.
Get outside and get exposed to as much natural daylight as possible.
Contact the clinic on 0719142940 for more information and to obtain herbal medicines.