Chapter 21: Lifting the Spirits
Often depression is caused by a couple of the body systems being starved for the nutrition they need to produce high levels of energy. First, when a person is depressed their electrical charge is low. If this sounds simplistic remember that the human nervous system is electrical and with depression, the electricity isn’t flowing freely and easily through the system. To overcome depression you may need to increase your natural electrical charge.
Or it might be that the hormonal energy is low. The hormonal system is run on lipids, also called fats. Nutritional fat contains twice the energy of protein and four times that of carbohydrates. Fats are the body’s most compact form of usable power.
Depression caused by low energy in the nervous and hormonal systems happens because they were overactive and used up their available resources. Now they’re running on empty without the necessary nutrients for repairing that wear and tear.
The third, very important potential contributor to depression is the heart. No body system can be stronger than the heart because it pumps the blood that carries the nutrition. If the heart’s energy is low, all of the other systems are pulled down too.
Fortunately, when the heart energy rises, everyone else is pulled along. That’s why being in love is great for the health!
Finally, the single biggest cause of depression in today's modern society is lack of high quality, lean animal protein from meat, poultry, fish and seafood. Instead people substitute inferior proteins like cheese, peanut butter, beans and grains. The brain feels good when it has enough neurotransmitters, and these are built from amino acids which come from protein. The human body is part of the animal kingdom and it was not designed to be a ruminant like a cow or horse. When a person eats like one they look like one, big belly and skinny limbs. The fastest way to boost your mood is to eat more lean, lean animal protein while avoiding grains, beans and dairy.
The body uses three forms of nutrition for energy. The most potent is fats, followed by proteins with carbohydrates a distant third. Most people's diet’s are overwhelmed by low energy carbohydrates. Since the advent of the ‘low-fat/no-fat’ craze in the 1970’s, depression has become a major challenge. At the same time, there has been a move away from consuming high quality protein. Most protein has a significant fat component. Over the past hundred years, carbohydrate consumption has multiplied ten-fold.
People have abandoned high energy, mineral-rich foods, high in fat and protein, for low energy, low fat, mineral poor, low quality protein, convenience foods packed with carbohydrates. It’s no surprise that so many people are depressed? What does depression mean? Pushed down! Low energy!
There are a variety of herbs that will feed the affected systems, bringing them back to high-energy, but overcoming depression also means being nutritionally aware and doing a better job of feeding the body. That means restoring the high quality fats and proteins to the daily diet, while reducing the gluey carbohydrates that overstress the body with excess glucose. Reference the Chapter on Weight Loss.
Products that will help boost the energy include a good protein source, Super Algae, 5 to 10 daily. Great fats from Super GLA Oil Blend (Plant Based), and alternatively Omega-3 EPA (Fish Oils) 4-8 daily. Reduce the carbohydrate cravings with Chromium GTF, 1 to 3 daily. For the depression sufferer wanting to get their life back, making these products part of the daily diet will restore a good energy foundation.
While improving the diet is important for long-term good health, here are some herbs and formulas with a great history of lifting the spirits. One of our favorite formulas is a traditional Chinese combination called Chinese Mood Elevator, 6 to 9 daily. It takes about 5 days before improvement is felt and it should be used consistently. To boost the heart energy, Co Enzyme Q 10 is the best supplement. 100 to 200 milligrams daily. The combinations Ginkgo & Hawthorne, (6-9 daily) for heart and circulation, or Ginkgo/Gotu Kola Concentrate, (2-4 daily) for circulation and mental brightness are also good options.
St. John’s Wort, 2-4 daily, is well known for lifting depression. It works in part because it makes the body light sensitive. Sitting out in the sunlight for twenty minutes daily can do wonders for the mood and cold weather depression is often simply a light deficiency.
Sometimes a person just needs to let their system calm down to feel better. The Polynesian herb Kava Kava, does just that. It relaxes the limbic system, which controls the emotions, creating a sense of emotional well-being and sociability. Taking 2 to 4 in the evening before bed improves the mood and quality of sleep. The effects last for about four hours, so keep some on the bed stand. While it doesn’t make you sleepy, it relieves the anxiety and worries that often stand in the way of relaxation. See the Chapter on Stress.
Magnesium is the most important relaxation mineral. Reference the Chapter on Magnesium. Constipation, neck tension and leg cramps may be signs of low magnesium reserves. This often results from exposure to stress or electromagnetic pollution from electronics, especially in the bedroom.
Also consider the position of the bed. Depression and anxiety can result from sleeping with the foot of the bed pointing towards Magnetic North. The body is electrical and energy is meant to travel from the head to the feet. Magnetic energy moves from the North Pole to the South Pole and it is healthier to sleep with the head pointing the same direction as the head of the magnetic needle on a compass. Once the bed position is corrected, allow a week to feel the improvement. Also keep electronics away from the sleeping body. Replace clock radios with battery-operated alarm clocks and keep all other kinds of electronics as far from the bed as possible. Boost your energy, get a good night’s sleep and your emotions will brighten and sparkle.
From the 10 Minute Herbalist by Ralph & Lahni DeAmicis (c)2015
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