Herbs for Bipolar Disorder, as well as other natural treatments, have been found by some people to help in management of symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, especially their depression. In this article, I will discuss some of these herbs and natural treatments. However, I would strongly caution you to check with your doctor before taking any herbs, or any other natural treatments. In addition, I would remind you to always take any herbs, or any other natural treatments, or even vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplementation, etc., in addition to and not instead of your regular medication for Bipolar Disorder.

Herbal alternatives used to naturally medicate Bipolar Disorder symptoms, such as Valerian root, Kava Kava and 5-HTP have shown limited success, in that they basically only help as far as their sedative or relaxation properties; however, they have been used by some people with Bipolar Disorder during manic episodes to some effectiveness for the agitation, nervousness, and anxiety.

Traditional herbalism is the use of herbs for healing. Chinese Herbalism, or TCM, is the most common traditional herbalism. Use of herbs in any way to treat Bipolar Disorder, however, should be used with the knowledge that herbs are only effective as a supplement, and as treatment for symptoms; never as a first-line treatment for the underlying cause of the disorder.

Herbs for Bipolar Disorder are only effective in a limited degree, and they take longer than traditional medications to work. Herbal treatments usually take at least two weeks to show effectiveness for depression relief, for example, because they work with individual body chemistry.

The most well-known herb for depression is hypericum (St. John’s Wort). St. John’s Wort is one of the oldest herbal remedies on the market—it has a 2,400-year history of usage. In use it has been found to be as effective as prescription antidepressants, thus explaining its popularity and use by people with mental disorders. Today, people use St. John’s Wort for depression, sleep problems, and anxiety. However, people who have Bipolar Disorder are strongly cautioned not to use St. John’s Wort, because of a risk of dangerous drug interactions between St. John’s Wort and certain bipolar prescription drugs.

Herbal supplements popular for use with people who have mental disorders include Acetyl-L-carnitine and Lecithin. The herb Acetyl-L-carnitine has benefits for Bipolar Disorder in that it improves mental performance and decreases symptoms of depression. Lecithin is a key building block of cell membranes. The main sources of lecithin are egg yolks, soy beans and sunflower seeds.

The herb lecithin also contains Omega 3 (fish oil), which has become popular as a nutritional supplement effective in the mood swings of Bipolar Disorder. Lecithin is also a major source of choline, which has to do with neurotransmitters (a cause of Bipolar Disorder), and the right intake of choline, especially through lecithin, is also supposed to help memory. The main sources of lecithin are egg yolks, soy beans and sunflower seeds.