Depressive thoughts and Anxiety

Little helpers in your kitchen cabinet

I believe that we have all encountered a period at least once, when our mind was simply occupied by anxiety and depressive thoughts, which we did not know how to get rid of. Life is full of challenges and situations with which we may not have been taught how to deal with or did not know how to react, and thus the accumulated emotions as a result of an event surface after a while in different ways. One of the ways can be both anxiety and depressive thoughts. No matter how much we try to resist them, avoid them, or maybe even ignore them, they definitely do not ignore us. Then we find ourselves in a situation where depressive thoughts and anxiety take control over our mind. Alongside going and consulting with experts and specialists who are there to help us. I decided to research ways to help myself in curing my situation, in addition to the help of regular therapy sessions and experts. Since I’m not a big supporter of medical drugs and therapy, and even the experts didn’t think I needed it, I decided to help myself with natural wizards. And of course, I decided to share it with you, because apart from all the helpers mentioned above, the community and the knowledge that we are not alone in this, is very important on our healing journey.


Photo by ORNELLA BINNI on Unsplash

“And the anxiety that paralyzed me was now tolerable, and I could go for a walk or sit in the apartment without having the fear of a panic attack.”

Image by hartono subagio from Pixabay

Little helpers from our kitchen cabinets, their action and what to pay attention to before use (I would like to note that I am not a doctor or a pharmacist, and before use I would recommend that you consult with your doctor/specialist):

 

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

St. John’s Wort, also known as Hypericum perforatum, has been used in traditional European medicine for centuries to treat mild to moderate depression. The name St. John’s Wort refers to John the Baptist, as the plant blooms around the time of the feast of St. John the Baptist in late June. Historically, St. John’s Wort has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including kidney and lung ailments, insomnia, and depression.

Several studies support the therapeutic benefit of St. John’s wort in treating mild to moderate depression. In fact, some research has shown the supplement to be as effective as several prescription antidepressants. It’s unclear whether it’s beneficial in the treatment of severe depression because St. John’s wort interacts with many medications.

Side Effects and Precautions
While St. John’s Wort can be effective in treating mild to moderate depression, it can also interact with certain medications and cause serious side effects. Combining St. John’s Wort with certain antidepressants can lead to a potentially life-threatening increase of serotonin and can weaken many prescription medicines. Consult with your doctor before taking St. John’s Wort if you take any other medications.

Other side effects of St. John’s Wort are usually minor and uncommon. They may include upset stomach, dry mouth, headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, sexual dysfunction, or sensitivity to sunlight. Additionally, St. John’s Wort is a stimulant and may worsen feelings of anxiety in some people.

Precautions
Don’t use St. John’s Wort during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It’s also important to consult with your doctor before taking St. John’s Wort if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking any prescription medications.

 

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a plant with a long history of use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The plant has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue.

Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can help reduce stress and anxiety by decreasing cortisol levels and promoting relaxation. It may also improve sleep quality and boost mood. Additionally, Ashwagandha may enhance cognitive function and memory by increasing the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

Potential Interactions and Side Effects
Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, including sedatives and blood thinners. It may also cause mild side effects such as stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, or dizziness. However, these side effects are typically rare and temporary.

Less common side effects of Ashwagandha may include allergic reactions, gastrointestinal upset, or changes in blood pressure. It’s also important to note that Ashwagandha may cause hormone imbalances in some individuals, particularly those with pre-existing hormonal disorders.

Precautions
Consult with your doctor before taking Ashwagandha if you take any other medications or have a pre-existing medical condition. Do not use Ashwagandha during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Conclusion
Ashwagandha is a natural adaptogen that has been used for centuries to promote stress relief and relaxation. While it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks and interactions with other medications, Ashwagandha may be a valuable addition to your health routine. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or treatment.

 

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) has been used for centuries as a traditional herbal remedy for its calming effects. M. recutita is widely used for the relief of depressive and anxiety symptoms, with documented anxiolytic and antidepressant activity.Chamomile is also used as a mild sedative to improve sleep quality, making it a natural remedy for insomnia, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Chamomile comes in various forms, including:

Tea: the most common way to use the herb
Capsules: convenient for easy consumption
Oil: for topical use

Potential Side Effects
While generally considered safe, chamomile can cause side effects that range from mild to severe in some individuals.

Precautions
If you have any health problems or take medications regularly, consult with your doctor before using chamomile supplements. Be cautious when using chamomile with other supplements such as:

Garlic, Ginkgo biloba, Saw palmetto, St. John’s wort, Valerian.

Conclusion
Chamomile is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and calmness. With its gentle and soothing effects, chamomile can be a valuable addition to your health routine. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or treatment.

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral, like calcium and iron, that has widespread effects in the body. It is involved in about 80% of the body’s functions. This includes energy production, which is why low levels of magnesium can make us feel tired and weak.

Magnesium also plays a vital role in brain health, including stress and anxiety. By blocking stimulating neurotransmitters and binding to calm, restful receptors in the brain, magnesium can help us relax. It also has effects on the HPA axis, the body’s main system responsible for managing and responding to stress, by regulating stress hormones like cortisol.

Treatment Options
For many people with anxiety who may be hesitant to try stronger medications, magnesium can be a more gentle, well-tolerated way to start treatment. Some epidemiological or observational studies reported that greater dietary intake of magnesium is linked to a general reduced risk of depressive disorders or fewer depressive symptoms.

Precautions
Magnesium is generally very safe, and serious side effects and toxicity are both rare. For most people, the body efficiently handles excess magnesium by eliminating it through the stool, which is why the most common side effect is loose stool or diarrhoea.

Potential Side Effects and Toxicity
Although it is very rare for magnesium to reach toxic levels, signs of toxicity include a fall in blood pressure, lethargy, confusion, heartbeat disturbances, dizziness, muscle weakness, and trouble breathing. Patients with impaired kidney function are at higher risk for adverse effects of magnesium. Magnesium can also interfere with certain drugs, including various antibiotics and medications for diabetes or high blood pressure. If either of these conditions apply, it’s important to check in with your doctor before starting magnesium supplementation.

 

After careful and regular intake, I noticed a big difference as my depressive thoughts decreased, i.e. calmed down and I had more control over my mind. And the anxiety that paralyzed me was now tolerable and I could go for a walk or sit in the apartment without having the fear of a panic attack.

EXODUS
digital magazine
JUL 2024 issue

english version