Natural Remedies for Bipolar Disorder

Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
Posted by Donnie (Albuquerque, New Mexico) on 09/26/2008

Hey Daniel, I had a bipolar girlfriend. In doing Internet research I found a natural supplement company out of Canada called "True Hope." Though Julie never tried it (in denial about her bipolarity), I heard some good things about it. I remember that it was a lot cheaper than lithium or other less-natural symptom suppressors. Since you're on an all-natural kick, this might be something you might be interested in.

Blue Light Therapy
Posted by Teresa (Kenedy, Texas) on 09/01/2008

Some information on blue light therapy, link at bottom of page.

Using blue light for "light therapy"

As you probably know, there's a version of depression called "Seasonal Affective Disorder" (SAD), or "winter depression". This kind of depression -- which is very common in people with Bipolar II -- can be treated with light. Plain old light will do, but in some parts of the country in December plain old light is hard to come by So several decades ago researchers studied whether sitting in front of a bank of lights for 30-60 minutes might help reverse the seasonal sag in mood, and found that indeed some people seemed to respond very well. In the most recent study of "light therapy", sitting in front of a box of light every morning during a Canadian winter was as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac).

But the light needed for this, from a suitcase-sized "light box", was hard to get: insurance companies almost never pay for these boxes, which are expensive, usually around $250-300. They are not very portable.

However, now a very small light box is available for around $140 (e.g. from Costco last winter) that's much more portable, so you can use it where you happen to be in the morning. The key was finding just the right wavelength of light for this purpose, which allowed the box to be much smaller. I hope you already know, from the story above, what wavelength that is: blue light -- the striped peak in the graph above, which comes from the manufacturer's website (I have no financial connection to that manufacturer, and get no gain from telling you this story. I'm telling it here because I think it's a great story, and because understanding it may help people get an effective treatment they might not have considered otherwise).

This little light box has been tested for effectiveness just as the older bigger light boxes have, and shown to be superiorGlickman to the "control" condition -- a dim red light, admittedly not the greatest control condition, but this research has been hard to do, coming up with a plausible "placebo" treatment. A better test would be a comparison of the blue light versus white light, which might be more plausible as a placebo, as the older light boxes emit a white light. That study has been done, and the blue light was superior (not yet published, the manufacturer tells me, as of June 2006). The best test would be a head-to-head study of the little blue one versus one of the older big ones, which we know from years of research are truly better than a placebo. But the blue-light manufacturers have little incentive to do that study (what if theirs was not as good?), so we're not likely to see that research unless one of the manufacturers of the old light box pays for it!


EC: For more information on this remedy, please see our Blue Light Therapy page.

Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
Posted by Daniel (Los Angeles, California) on 08/16/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I am 37 years old and bipolar. I never knew that I had a 'kidney stone' problem until recently. I have investigated anything that could be considered to be the cause or culprit to trigger my bipolar, and until recently, I thought I was incurable...I actually used to laugh at people that took so much time to respond to ads like this (like, 'what losers....'); but now I am one of them. I have had pains in my right side where my kidney was, but always attributed it to being dehydrated, or something I ate or just some kind of sprain. But then I wondered if I might have a kidney condition and none of my doctors would do any tests to find out. I began to lose faith in my doctors and western medicine altogether...I firmly believe that anyone who is diagnosed with a mental illness should consult a professional, but now I also suggest seeking alternative measures. Having considered my kidneys as part of my problem, I tried the olive oil and lemon juice (2oz. and 2oz. each), for about 3 days every 8 hours or so, and I started having spasms in my right kidney area almost immediately. After about 24 hours, I felt the 'tumbling' sensation in my bladder when I urinated. The second night I woke up in the middle of the night with shooting pains in my rectal area, which immediately subsided. The next morning I urinated and out came a few stones and I feel soooooo much better. I actually feel more 'clear headed' and not so pessimistic (if that's even possible...). I don't know if this is a cure for bipolar, but I SINCERELY believe that is has helped me immensely with my mental balance. Thank you for posting all of your supportive letters and Earth clinic for allowing us to post them here. God bless you!

Gaba and Lithium Aspartate
Posted by Monique (San Diego, California) on 08/07/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My husband has bipolar disorder, mostly manic. He has been taking GABA (amino acid), about 3 or 4 per day, which really helps. He also takes lithium aspartate, about 5 per day, 5 mg. each. Both of these are found at our local health store. These are both calming for him, provided he takes enough. If he escalates into mania, he takes a little more GABA daily, until balanced again.

Olive Oil
Posted by Arlene (Findlay, OH) on 07/16/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have been using extra virgin olive oil. My psychologist told me about this after studying Native American history. I am bipolar. I have noticed increased metabolism, teeth tightening, weight loss of 12 pounds since starting the oil pulling June 1, 2007. I have so much more energy, teeth seem to be whitening. A clearer mind. The weight loss has been the best for me.

Cold Showers
Posted by Trevor (Cambridge, NY) on 08/04/2005
5 out of 5 stars

My hot water tank malfunctioned recently so I had to take cold showers. At first I dreaded the idea but have since found that tepid showers invigorate my spirit and lighten my mood. I'm bipolar and have crushing depressive episodes. Believe me when I say that I feel my cold showers mitigate the effects of my dark moods and project a feeling of well being and joy throughout my whole body and mind!

Posted by George (Houston, Texas) on 03/24/2007
5 out of 5 stars

My girlfriend suffers from bipolar mania and PMS, and I've tried hard to figure out why she can be the most perfect, wonderful, loving girlfriend for months, then turn into a mean, vicious, heartless, remorseless monster and kick me out of the house. Then she started taking an herb called fenugreek to increase milk production while breastfeeding. Within less than two weeks she transformed back into the wonderful, loving woman I fell in love with and it was better than ever! After doing more research I determined that the culprit was a neuropeptide hormone called oxytocin, the love hormone. It's responsible for milk production, bonding, trust, openness, reduction in stress/anxiety, and to some extent libido. It was a beautiful transformation! Apparently there was an intranasal form of oxytocin available previously, but now you have to get it custom made, but fenugreek seems to promote its production. I guess the key is to make sure that she takes it regularly while her oxytocin levels are high and she's still reasonable! Otherwise the bad version of her may refuse to take it!

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