kymidwife wrote:Good points about medications for depression, Silverneedle... especially for severe depression.
I've been a nurse practitioner for 11 years now, and I manage depression in women all the time, with and without medications. Antidepressant medication is a very serious matter, and that step in treatment is sometimes for the good and sometimes not. Knowing what I know about the risk profiles and side effects of these drugs, the potential for pseudo-addiction, the very real existence of drug withdrawal symptoms from some of them...
Well, lets just say, drugs are not the answer for everyone... especially for mild and possibly transient situational depression. It's very good to explore remedies provided by Mother Nature... sunshine, exercise, a healthy diet, etc. have all been shown effective in clinical research studies on depression. There's also some fairly significant research being done on the effects of essential fatty acid supplementation for depression, especially postpartum depression.
My query about tea is just to extend my own body of knowledge on how to recommend the healthiest diet and lifestyle for those in need. If they require medication, I'm willing to prescribe it, but I don't always jump to it as a first line of treatment. And really... if delicious tea helps too, I say lets drink more of it!
I'm not sure tea would be a replacement for antidepressants in cases of severe depression, but tea-drinking certainly wouldn't hurt.
At the least, brewing loose-leaf tea would serve as an occupational therapy. I would guess that relaxing activities such as tea brewing work to stimulate neurotransmitters such as GABA, Seratonin, Dopamine, thus inducing relaxation. I would not be surprised if there are indeed compounds found in tea that have a more direct effect on neurotransmitters as well. I have read that L-Theanine causes the brain to release Seratonin, anyone have a link to any research studies?
Anyway, my prescription for mild to moderate depression =
Regular physical exercise
Get enough sleep
Healthful diet w/ enough protein, fresh fruits and vegetables
Replace Coffee with Loose Leaf Green and Black Tea
Daily Supplementation of Flax Oil or another source of Omega-3 EFA's
Regular social interaction
Do things for other people, donate to charity or volunteer
Engage in a few hobbies and interests
Listen to and/or play music
Possibly, if chronically depressed, try 5-HTP supplementation (will increase Seratonin much like SSRI's, but from the supply side instead of blocking reuptake)