Natural remedies for the winter blues – Part 1 14 Oct 2020
By January I am seriously missing the sun. While I know we have had the shortest day, the grey weather and the snow jsut reminds me we are in deep winter. So with the Brexit impass being deeply demoralising and frustraing, I wanted to share some tips to combat the blues.
1. Vitamin D
Most people are short of Vitamin D in the uk. One of the signs of being short of Vitamin D is feeling blue.
2. Spice it up.
Earlier today I was planning my meals for the week before I went to the supermarket. At this time of year I always fancy dishes containting yellow rice i.e. paella or pilau rice. I know its the yellow colour that particularly appeals which you get by adding either Tumeric or Saffron. In clinical trails Curcumin the main active ingredient in Tumeric (the bright yellow Indian spice) has been to be as effective as Prozac. A review of several trains of Saffron found it was a safe and effective treatmetn for depression.
While I like to cook with the spices, it isn't as effective as supplements which are standardised extracts. For me cooking with the spice is fine as I am not depressed.
A naturally occuring amino acid, 5-HTP is used by the body to make serotonin the "happy hormone". Suplements produced from the seeds of the West African medicinal plant Griffonia Simplicifoia show promised for depression.
Woo YS, Kim S, Jeong JH, Jung YE, Kim MD, Bahk WM. Vitamin D Deficiency/Insufficiency among Inpatients with Depressive Symptoms. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2019 Feb 28;17(1):121-124.
Sanmukhani J, Satodia V, Trivedi J, Patel T, Tiwari D, Panchal B, Goel A, Tripathi CB. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85.
Moshiri E, Basti AA, Noorbala AA, Jamshidi AH, Hesameddin Abbasi S, Akhondzadeh S. Crocus sativus L. (petal) in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2006 Nov;13(9-10):607-11
Birdsall TC. 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Aug;3(4):271-80.