Category: Stress

How to Beat Winter Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder Naturally?

Abstract

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can occur if one is having a family history of depression, bipolar disorder or any psychological disorder. Common treatments to this may include anti-depressants, counseling and allopathy medications but improving lifestyle, diet, and mode of living can manage this syndrome effectively and naturally.

Introduction

Welcome to the season when days have started getting shorter, less sunlight, 5 p.m. sunsets and plenty of snow all around. Some days can be worse if one is experiencing random mood swings, feeling more lethargic and low almost every day. What might be the reason?

Is it the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or Winter Blues?

Some people start feeling dump after the winter vacations, ending the festive season and Slump after the fun. Finding it difficult to get up out of the bed, irritated, sad and low energy levels are not uncommon. These are the manageable ebb and flow that come along with the every changing season and can be considered as winter blues. There is no clinical diagnosis for this condition but is fairly common globally. While a small percentage of people experience a severe medical disorder which is known as Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD) is a depressive disorder with recurrent seasonal patterns which usually begins in fall and continues till winter ends. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), this starts in a specific season each year and ends in another. This disorder occurs more often in women than in men at an estimated age between 18-30 years. People living away from the equator are more susceptible to this disease.

Recognize the Signs and Don’t Ignore Your Symptoms

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms Include the Following

  • Excess sleeping
  • Overeating
  • The person feels down or depressed the whole day or nearly every day
  • Loss in interest in some activities which you enjoyed once
  • Preferring isolation and withdrawing from social gatherings
  • Constant feeling of fatigued and lethargic
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling of hopelessness and demotivated
  • Finds difficult to take initiative
  • Difficulty in focusing on work
  • Frequently crying
  • Lowered energy levels
  • Crave carbohydrates and sugars
  • Sudden weight gain

Symptoms Which Can Occur During Summer Are Given as Follows

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • anxiety
  • violent behavior
  • sudden weight loss
  • poor appetite

Causes

Some of the Major Factors that Trigger The Onset of The Disorder Are Discussed as Follows

The major and foremost reason which can be considered as the primary culprit for a seasonal affective disorder is the decreased exposure to sunlight which leads to an imbalance in serotonin and melatonin levels.

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that modulates all human behavior and is produced by CNS neurons. This hormone regulates the brain functions, helps to regulate mood, biological clock and body’s sleep-wake cycles. Lowered serotonin levels can be due to improper diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, etc. and ultimately leads to the onset of depression. (3)

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin hormone which is secreted by the pineal gland is a derivative of tryptophan (Amino acid) found in mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. In humans, it regulates circadian rhythm (24-hour cycles) and its secretion is enhanced by darkness while inhibited by light. (2)

Less sunlight causes a deficiency of Vitamin D which hinders the secretion of Serotonin and melatonin which ultimately causes depressive symptoms. But don’t let these winter blues hinder your daily enjoyment here are some of the home remedies which can put this winter illness off.

Home Remedies – Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

1. Sunlight

To get a sufficient amount of Vitamin-D, you need to step outside whenever the sun is out. Exposing yourself to natural light and sun will trigger the serotonin production which will naturally lighten up your mood. So this winter takes a break with your kids, family or friends and tries indulging yourself in skiing, ice-skating or picnic, etc.

2. Exercise

Exercise tends to have a link with mental health so making exercise an essential part of our routine contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Daily exercise is beneficial in managing depression and anxiety effectively which acts as a natural antidepressant. It also increases endorphins which are secreted by the hypothalamus and lower levels may trigger anxiety and stress. Levels of serotonin and endorphins can affect mood which can be boosted by daily exercise.

3. Change your Diet

Some of the dietary supplements and altering diet can improve the condition and some of the supplements are discussed as follows-

1.Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Food items like walnut, salmon, tuna, shrimp, catfish, spinach, flaxseed oil, etc. should be added in the diet.

2.Berries

Berries like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. can help to prevent the secretion of cortisol which is a stress hormone.

3.Folic Acid

Food items that have high amounts of folic acid are Oatmeal, green leafy vegetables, cereals, soybeans, and black-eyed peas can be included in daily diet.

4.Vitamin B-12 and D

Food sources like oysters, crab, eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk, cereals, etc. are rich in Vitamin B-12 while mushrooms, fish, etc. are rich in Vitamin D should be included in the daily diet for reducing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

5.Banana

It possesses tryptophan, natural sugars, magnesium and potassium which improves sleep and reduces anxiety which naturally symptoms of depression and enhances a good mood.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Ayurvedic Medicine forSeasonal Affective Disorder

Ayurvedic Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

1.Stress Support Capsule

Stress support from Planet Ayurveda has been formulated from enormous traditional herbs like Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) and Tagar (Valeriana wallichii). This product effectively manages various conditions like nausea, dizziness, tremors, sleeping disorders, and anxiety.

Dosage – 1-2 capsules daily with plain water after meals

2. Brahmi Chyawanprash

This is an herbal dietary supplement that contains many herbs like Jivanti, Punarnava, Jeerak, Brahmi, Dashmola, Bhumi Amla, Choti elaichi, Ashwagandha, Bala, Shatavari, Chandan, etc. This product pacifies Tridosha i.e. Kapha, Pitta and Vata which eliminates anxiety, indiscrimination, fear, grief, etc.

Dosage – 2-3 teaspoonful twice or thrice with milk after meals.

3. Brahmi Capsules

Brahmi capsules are an amazing herbal product that has been formulated from the standardized extract of Bacopa monnieri which is very beneficial in treating Neurological Disorders.

Dosage – 1-2 capsules two times a day with plain water after meals.

4. Gotu kola Capsules

Gotu kola capsules have been prepared from pure extracts of Gotukola (Centella asiatica) which Manages Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety effectively.

Dosage – 1-2 capsules two times a day with plain water.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673349/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5405617/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728667/

Top 7 herbal teas for a healthier life

Overview

Tea has always been an important component of many rich cultures in the world whether it’s Chinese, Japanese, British or Indian culture. Its evergreen prominence in every social setting is one of its qualities.

While most of us start our day with a hot steaming tea, there is hardly any social occasion where the tea does not have a place. Like any mouth-watering food, tea entices people to come together and share their stories. It is to be mentioned that Indian subcontinent is known for consuming more tea as compared to any other cultures in the world.  It has been people’s companion of their rainy, tiring or any joyous days from ages.

herbal tea for a healthier life

With the never-ending demand of tea, individuals who are accustomed to having seven to eight cups of tea a day and even more often deal with its negative effects.

Though it has been proven that tea serves as a rich anti-oxidant and also improves mood, it comes with several ill-effects. For instance, non-herbal tea contains caffeine. Even though its content is not as rich as coffee, it can still leave one feeling nauseated, impact the heart rates and can also cause insomnia.

Further, a sweetened cup of tea contains at least 50 calories. The addition of every cup only increases our calorie intake in a day without providing any nutritious value to the body. Likewise, the tea also contains iron binding effect which makes it difficult for the body to access iron content from the fruits, vegetables if one is consuming tea along with the iron-rich foods.

Nevertheless, there are many healthy alternatives available in the market that one can opt for. One can still enjoy their daily hot brewing tea without renouncing their health concerns. The good news is that with the growing health consciousness, the market has witnessed an upsurge in herbal teas.

Top 7 herbal teas for a healthier life

Let’s look at popular herbal teas that contain several health benefits and can help us to live a healthier life:

1. Arjun Tea

  • Arjun tea contains several ingredients that are beneficial for the body especially the heart. The herbs used in the composition have been used by mankind for its remedial properties since ages.
  • Daily intake of Arjun Tea helps one in maintaining cholesterol levels, bringing improvement in the pumping of the heart along with being a rich source of anti-oxidants.
  • Its many cardiovascular components like Arjuna, Punarnava, Dalchini, Pipal Tvak, Chhoti Elaichi makes it a boon for the heart.
  • The tea strengthens the heart muscles, dilation of blood vessels and also improves blood circulation in the body.

 2. Hibiscus Tea:

  • Hibiscus tea comes with many health and beauty benefits. In a hot summer afternoon, a chilled cup of hibiscus tea can help one to beat the heat and have a cooling sensation.
  • Other than being a good alternative to caffeinated drinks and a rich source of anti-oxidant, hibiscus comes an aid for several health problems.
  • Regular intake of Hibiscus tea can help an individual to avert problems like indigestion, obesity, menstrual cramps, low blood sugar, and depression along with lowering blood pressure.
  • However, one should avoid taking hibiscus tea in case of pregnancy or if an individual is already suffering from low blood pressure.

Benefits of Hibiscus Tea

 3. Sage Tea:

  • Sage also known as Salvia officinalis is widely used in the preparation of different delicacies throughout the world.
  • In addition to its culinary properties, sage tea is consumed in different parts of the world as a daily healthy dose of tea.
  • At the time when a large section of the population is suffering from anxiety, daily consumption of Sage Tea in moderation can help one in preventing or reducing anxiety levels and controlling diabetes.
  • Along with helping with anxiety problems, Sage Tea also helps in boosting the immunity, improving appetite, weight management, dealing with painful menstrual periods.

Benefits of Saga Tea

 4. Detox Tea:

  • Detox Tea is a blend of rich anti-oxidant agents that have proven to be very beneficial in detoxifying the body. Humans consume toxins on a daily basis through packed foods, fertilizers and pesticides that are being used on growing vegetables and junks food items.
  • Other than flushing out the toxins from the body, it also works as an anti-ageing agent.
  • In addition to this, detox tea is valuable in treating anemia, indigestion along with bleeding disorders. Furthermore, it has proven to be helpful in increasing sperm count.

5. Peppermint Tea:

  • Peppermint is a common home remedy and is also a flavoring agent. Other than its refreshing aroma, peppermint comes with several health benefits.
  • The daily intake of Peppermint Tea can help one in weight loss along with improving sleep schedule.
  • A cup of peppermint tea can help one  to release stress, fatigue after a long exhausting day.
  • The anti-bacterial properties of the peppermint tea also help an individual in boosting his immune system.
  • It is commonly known that the peppermint is in the majority of the mouth fresheners available in the market today.
  • Therefore, peppermint can also help one in dealing the problem of bad breath.

Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea

6. Turmeric Tea:

  • Turmeric is commonly used as a spice in India and is popular for its healing properties. Its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties work wonders when it comes to regulating the immune system.
  • In addition to this, it can also help in relieving the inflammation and swelling problems with the person suffering from the problem of arthritis.
  • It further helps in maintaining the cholesterol thereby reducing the chances of stroke or any other heart disease.
  • Since turmeric has blood thinning properties, one should also consult the doctors in case there are scheduled to go through any surgery.

7. Echinacea Tea:

  • Echinacea herbs are known for their healing properties not only useful for boosting the immune system but also aids in reducing various symptoms of cold and flu.
  • The antioxidant properties of Echinacea Tea have been proven to be beneficial in regulating blood sugar level, repairing cells, improving digestion, migraine.
  • Having said that one needs to be careful while purchasing Echinacea Tea.
  • Like any other products, there have been many cases where substandard Echinacea Teas are available in the market therefore one needs to be careful and should even consult with the doctor before making a purchase.

For more information on herbal teas and other herbal remedies, visit www.planetayurveda.com