Herbal treatments for dissociative disorders
Certain herbs can have a calming effect and help with the process of recovery.
Cedar wood: The aroma of cedar wood essential oil is a sedative which can help to release serotonin which is converted into melatonin in the brain. This can relieve anxiety and promote restful sleep.
Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita):
Available as a tea or in capsule form, compounds in chamomile bind to
the same brain receptors as drugs like Valium. In one scientific study,
there was a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms in those
participants suffering from generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) who were
administered chamomile supplements for two months.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa):
Damiana is known for its aphrodisiac properties and is also used for nervousness, weakness, exhaustion and reducing stress.
Dogwood (Piscidia erythrina): There
are a few dogwood species around the world and each are used for
different medicinal purposes. The Jamaican dogwood is used medicinally
for anxiety, arthritis, insomnia, migraines, muscle spasms, panic
attacks, rheumatism and excessive stress.
Hops (Humulus lupulus): The oil from an extract or a tincture made from hops can help to sedate, relax and reduce the effects of anxiety hyperactivity, stress, nervousness, body pain and restlessness.
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale): One
of the aromatic components of jasmine is linalool. In aromatherapy,
jasmine essential oil has a tranquilizing effect. The smell of jasmine
can slow down the heart rate, reduce stress and anxiety and cause a
Kava kava (Piper methysticum ): The Kava root has been extensively researched for its beneficial effects and had many positive results for some individuals
rhizome (underground stem) is used as a sedative to alleviate anxiety,
insomnia and stress and soothe the nerves. The active components in
kava root are called kavalactones.
side effects of over consumption of kava kava can include indigestion,
mouth numbness, skin rash, headache, drowsiness and visual
disturbances. Chronic or heavy use of kava has linked to pulmonary
hypertension, skin scaling, loss of muscle control, kidney damage, and
blood abnormalities. Kava may also lower blood pressure and it also may
interfere with blood clotting, so it should not be used by people with
bleeding disorders. People with Parkinson’s disease should avoid kava
because it may worsen symptoms and it should not be taken within
two weeks of surgery. Pregnant and nursing women, children, and people
with liver or kidney disease should also avoid kava and it must not be taken in conjunction with alcohol and certain medications.
(Cypripedium areitinum, Cypripedium pubescens, Cypripedium calceolus): Lady slipper has long been used to treat hysteria,
insomnia, nervous unrest and depression by the native tribes of North American.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula latifolia, Lavandula. stoechas, Lavandula luisieri):
There have been many scientific studies that have proven the soothing,
anti-anxiety effects of lavender oil. In one German study, lavender oil
tablets were shown to reduce anxiety symptoms in a group with
generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) as effectively as Ativan (a
prescription medication like Valium).
lavender leaves and flowers can be used internally, as a tea, to help
cure anxiety and insomnia. Inhaling lavender oil vapour is also used
for insomnia and agitation.
Lavender tea recipe (makes 2 cups)
Two tablespoons of dried lavender flowers
Two cups boiling water
One teaspoon of honey
Organic freshly squeezed juice of one lemon juice
Place the dried lavender flowers in a teapot and pour the boiling water over them
Allow to steep for at least five minutes
Strain and add the honey and lemon juice
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
is available as a tea, capsule, and tincture, and has been used for
hundreds of years to reduce stress and anxiety and aid restful sleep.
In one study, participants who took 600 mg of lemon balm extract were
significantly calmer than those who took a placebo, although some
research has shown that excess use can exacerbate anxiety, therefore
caution is advised.
This herb was brought to Britain by the Romans and has soothing and sedative properties and
makes a refreshing tea that calms anxiety, restores depleted energy and
enhances the memory. To make a tea, pour hot water onto a handful of
leaves in a jar. Screw on the lid and then cool leave to chill for four
hours in the refrigerator then strain out the leaves and serve the
liquid with ice or include a handful of mint or peppermint leaves then
reheat, strain and stir in the honey then sip slowly. Drink three cups
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica):
The fruit of this shrub has been known to act as a sedative and loquat
leaf tea can help to nourish the brain and reduce the symptoms of
Moringa .(Moringa oleifera):
Also known as drumstick, this herb is known to treat anxiety,
depression and sleep disorders and improve the mood. The leaves contain
high amounts of quality amino acids which help to nourish the brain and
reduce the symptoms of dissociative disorders.
Pregnant women should be aware of moringa’s ability to induce miscarriage.
(Leonurus cardiac): This
is a herb with a light relaxing effect that can treat anxiety,
depression, rapid heart rate, heart palpitations, insomnia and vertigo.
Opium Lettuce (Lactuca virosa): Although this plant is not related to opium (Papaver somniferum)
it is known to have some of opium's beneficial properties. Lactucarium,
the milky fluid secreted by the opium lettuce, has been used for its
analgesic, anti-inflammatory and sedative properties for centuries. Two
or three grams of leaves made into a tea help to reduce anxiety.
Excess of three grams may cause diarrhoea and stomach irritation. It
can also cause uterine bleeding therefore pregnant women should be
aware of its ability to induce miscarriage.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris): Due
to its mild sedative properties, chewing fresh mugwort leaves can help
to relieve fatigue and clear the mind. A decoction of the roots can
also be for this purpose.
should not be taken medicinally for more than one week. Break for
several weeks before taking mugwort again as regular use can cause
liver damage, nervous issues and convulsions. Mugwort
should never be used internally during pregnancy or lactation or by
anyone who has pelvic inflammatory issues as it can cause uterine
contractions and can be passed through the mother's milk.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans): During
ancient times, Roman and Greek civilisations used nutmeg as a type of
brain tonic. This is because nutmeg can effectively stimulate the
brain, reduce anxiety, depression and stress and eliminate fatigue. It
can also improve the concentration and is an effective sedative.
(Avena sativa): Oat straw extract has a positive impact on cognitive performance in healthy individuals. Due to the high Vitamin B complex
content it is as an effective herbal remedy for anxiety and stress. Oat
straw's calming qualities also strengthens nerves and encourages a
restful night's sleep. It is also a good allopathic medicine for
treating depression, nervous exhaustion and panic attacks and calming
1600 mg oat straw extract daily can greatly improved cognitive function
including attention, focus and concentration abilities in elderly
make an infusion (herbal tea) pour a cup of boiling water over the ripe
dried stems of oat straw, leave to steep for 10 minutes then strain and
drink it. Honey can be added to sweeten it.
flower has long been used to help reduce anxiety, hysteria and
nervousness by nourishing the nervous system. It is traditionally used
in both herbal and homeopathic medicine for asthma, attention deficit disorder, high blood pressure, insomnia, nervous exhaustion and pain.
has been studied for its sedative properties and shown to reduce the
symptoms of anxiety as effectively as prescription drugs in some
individuals. The German government has approved its use for nervous
restlessness and it can aid restful sleep.
Pepperwort (Lepidium meyenii): Pepperwort can help to improve the mood and overall brain health due to its very rich nutritional content.
Periwinkle (Vinca minor, Vinca major): The
leaves, and seeds of the periwinkle contain vincamine, a precursor to
the chemical vinpocetine, which is used medicinally to naturally
enhance memory by improving brain circulation which may also help to
reduce the symptoms of dissociative disorders.
Madagascar periwinkle is not widely recommended as a dietary supplement
because some of the alkaloids in the plant can cause serious and
potentially dangerous side effects.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has properties that are particularly
useful for treating a poor memory and poor concentration when it
consumed as a tea. Even smelling rosemary has shown to improve the
Sage (Salvia officinalis): The
thujone in sage is GABA and Serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonist. It
enhances concentration, attention span and quickens the senses; hence
sage infusion has long been recognised as the "thinker's tea." Its
effects help deal with grief and depression and can also treat
Warning: Sage should be avoided if pregnant or suffering with epilepsy.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora): has anxiolytic properties which is beneficial to anxious individuals as it does not have any known harmful side effects.
St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)
is a herb that is especially useful in the treatment of anxiety,
depression and insomnia and can also be helpful to women who suffer
these symptoms and other emotional disturbances during the menopause.
Nutrients that can aid recovery from dissociative disorders
Isoleucine, leucine and valine are three amino acids which are often
taken as a supplement to help to build muscles in body-builders. They
can also have a beneficial effect upon individuals suffering from
fatigue and depression.
is an amino acid said to increase energy, fat loss, libido, metabolism,
muscle growth and strength and testosterone levels and reduce fatigue
and depression. It is also thought to enhance sleep quality and mood.
It is often combined with various minerals such as copper, iron,
magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc as it can help to
increase absorption of these minerals As a supplement it is often
used to enhance athletic performance. Some forms are used to reduce
brain damage caused by cirrhosis of the liver (hepatic encephalopathy)
and given intravenously by a healthcare professional. However it can
cause some serious side effects in some individuals.
Aspartic acid in aspartame, the artificial sweetener that
used in many 'sugar-free' products, has the same detrimental effects on
the body as glutamic acid, when it is isolated from its naturally
protein-bound state, causing it to become a neurotoxin instead of a
non-essential amino acid.
over 92 side effects associated with aspartame consumption because
it can dissolve into solution, travel throughout the body and
deposit in any tissue. Aspartame brings on clinical diabetes
and can cause convulsions and can make the consumer gain weight because it causes powerful
sugar cravings which is ironic when it is consumed by people wishing
to avoid sugar.
Possible side effects of aspartic acid of aspartate supplements
in its highest quantities in the brain, aspartic acid increases
neurological activity. It is found in higher amounts in people with
epilepsy and in lower amounts in those suffering from depression.
Therefore people with epilepsy should reduce intake of the following
foods and people with depression should increase their intake of these
Highest sources of aspartate in alphabetical order
is an essential nutrient for brain health, intelligence and synaptic
plasticity. A choline deficiency can impair memory and reasoning and
affect mood and focus.
Natural sources of choline in alphabetical order
can be used to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines and help
to calm the mind and reduce both brain fog and panic attacks.
raises the resistance against stress, depression, tensions and helps to
prevent mental tiredness. It also strengthens the memory and
concentration. Today's intensive farming techniques have stripped the
soil of its magnesium content which has caused a deficiency in the
human diet. Only organically produced natural foods will contain enough
Highest sources of magnesium in milligrams per 100 grams
Rice bran 781 mg
Basil, coriander, dill and sage 694 mg
Hemp seeds 640 mg
Pumpkin and squash seeds 535 mg
Raw cocoa 499 mg
Flaxseeds 392 mg
Brazil nuts 376 mg
Sesame seeds 353 mg
Sunflower seeds 346 mg
Chia seeds 335 mg
Chlorella 315 mg
Wheat germ 313 mg
Cashew nuts 292 mg
Almonds 268 mg
Caraway seeds 258 mg
Black strap molasses and dulse 242 mg
Buckwheat 231 mg
Spirulina 189 mg
Oats 177 mg
Durum wheat 144 mg
Macadamia nuts 130 mg
Adzuki beans 127 mg
Kelp 121 mg
Millet 114 mg
Kale 88 mg
Amaranth 65 mg
Globe artichoke 60 mg
Okra and nettles 57 mg
Chestnuts 54 mg
Rocket 47 mg
Dates 43 mg
Plantain 37 mg
Lentils 36 mg
Butternut squash 34 mg
Coconut 32 mg
Potatoes with skin 30 mg
Passion fruit 29 mg
Savoy cabbage, halibut 28 mg
Bananas, rabbit 27 mg
Green beans 25 mg
Peas 24 mg
Raspberries 22 mg
Guava 22 mg
Blackberries 20 mg
Courgettes 18 mg
Kiwi fruit, fennel, figs 17 mg
Endive 15 mg
Cucumber, lettuce 13 mg
Manganese deficiency can lead to confused thinking and poor memory,
physical tiredness and nervous excitability. Foods rich in manganese include citrus
the outer covering of
in the green leaves of edible plants and green vegetables such as
runner beans. Shellfish are another good source.
Highest sources of manganese in milligrams per 100 grams
Cloves 60.1 mg
Rice bran 14.2 mg
Pine nuts 8.8 mg
Mussels 6.8 mg
Hazelnuts 5.6 mg
Pumpkin seeds 4.5 mg
Whole wheat 2.1 mg
Cocoa beans 3.8 mg
Soya beans 2.2 mg
Sunflower seeds 1.9 mg
Garlic 1.7 mg
Brewer’s yeast 0.08 mg (depending upon source)
Egg yolks 1.1 mg
Black beans 1.1 mg
Dried peas 0.39 mg
Kidney beans 0.2 mg
Omega-3 fatty acids:
Depression and anxiety can sometimes be due to a lack of omega-3 fatty acids in the system.
Omega 3 fatty acid is a vital component of brain structure. Babies who
are breast fed score higher on IQ-tests as it contains more of those
structural omega-3 fats than formula. Omega-3 fats are essential
because the body is not capable of making them and therefore must be
consumed in the daily diet. Low Omega-3 levels have been linked to
memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. The brain craves these healthy
fats to prevent mental degeneration especially as it ages.
Highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids in milligrams per 100 grams
Krill oil 36000 mg
Flaxseed oil 22813 mg
Chia seeds 17552 mg
Walnuts 9079 mg
Caviar (fish eggs) 6789 mg
Cloves (ground) 4279 mg
Oregano (dried) 4180 mg
Marjoram (dried) 3230 mg
Tarragon (dried) 2955 mg
Mackerel 2670 mg
Herring 2365 mg
Salmon (wild) 2018 mg
Lamb 1610 mg
Basil (dried) 1509 mg
Sardines 1480 mg
Anchovies 1478 mg
Soya beans 1433 mg
Trout 1068 mg
Pecans, sea bass 986 mg
Pine nuts 787 mg
Bell peppers (green) 770 mg
Oysters 740 mg
Radish seeds sprouted 722 mg
Purslane 400 mg
Basil (fresh leaves) 316 mg
Rabbit 220 mg
Kidney beans 194 mg
Wakame seaweed 188 mg
Alfalfa sprouts 175 mg
Brussel sprouts 173 mg
Rocket 170 mg
Cauliflower 167 mg
Spinach 138 mg
Broccoli 129 mg
Raspberries 126 mg
Lettuce 113 mg
Blueberries 94 mg
Summer squash 82 mg
Strawberries 65 mg
Milk 75 mg
Eggs 74 mg
Chinese cabbage (pak choy) 55 mg
Parsnips 49 mg
Theanine produces calming effects in the brain and nervous system by increasing levels of serotonine and dopamine.
is related to glutamine, and can cross the blood-brain barrier .Because
it can enter the brain, theanine has psychoactive properties. Theanine
has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress and may produce
feelings of relaxation and improve cognition and mood. It also helps to keep the body alert and attentive reducing stress levels and can
cause a focused state of relaxation without tiredness or
over-stimulated. Research shows that that it helps moderate heart rate
and blood pressure and in one study, individuals prone to anxiety were
calmer during a test if they first took 200 milligrams of L-theanine.
Along with its nootropic properties, it is also a good mood-enhancer.
Nootropics are substances that improve cognitive function, particularly
creativity, executive functions, memory, and motivation. Drinking green
tea can have a slight effect but taking capsules of 400 to 800 mg daily
will have a more powerful result.
Natural sources of theanine
Vitamin B complex
deficiency can cause symptoms of mania, psychosis, fatigue, memory
impairment, irritability, depression, and personality changes.
Supplementation of B-complex has been shown to reduce confusion,
depression, and work-related stress.
are many other natural foods and nutrients that can help an individual
recover from dissociate disorders. See the links below.
"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC
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