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Depression is not only common, it is also costly. In 1990, it was estimated that depression in the United States cost $43.7 billion.
Men, who suffer from depression have a higher risk of heart disease, including myocardial infarction ( heart attack). In nursing homes, those suffering from depression are twice as likely to die as those without this condition. High risk factors for depression include being a woman, a family history of depression, grief and a brain injury.
To meet the criteria for major depression, the patient must have at least five of the following symptoms for a period of 2 weeks or longer. At least one of these symptoms must be a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, or a markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all daily activities nearly everyday.
Adapted from the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Ed. Washington, D.C. 1994.
If you suspect you are suffering from depression professional help must be obtained. The following text presents information about alternatives to the conventional treatments offered in the United States for depression and viruses. The plants and herbs discussed here are not recommended for use on those with suicidal ideation.
The following information offers alternative
recommendations for these problems. This information is not intended to replace
conventional medical treatment for Depression, Migraine or Viral infections.
St. John's Wort is probably the herb best known for it's natural relief of depressive symptoms. Anecdotal experiences are generally positive about this herb, and while it takes several weeks to work, it has a good reputation for relieving depression. St. John's Wort may cause some gastrointestinal discomfort. Read the Medical Update Page for more information about the use of this herb.
The herb Camu-Camu (Myrciaria dubia), grows in the Amazonian rain forest of Peru. The Camu-Camu bush produces a fruit with the same name which contains powerful phytochemicals (plant chemicals). These phytochemicals include the amino acids serine, valine and leucine and more vitamin C than any other known plant in the world. The Camu-Camu fruit is approximately 20 millimeters in diameter and has a purplish red skin with a yellow pulp. When it is processed (pulp removed from the seed, liquefied and dried) the resulting powder is pale yellow.
Camu-Camu fruit contains an amazing 30 to 60 times more vitamin C than an orange. Each teaspoon of dried, powdered Camu-Camu has approximately 220 milligrams of ascorbic acid and small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. It is also rich in bioflavanoids.
The Camu-Camu fruit has a surprising range of medicinal effects. Some of the extraordinary medicinal properties of this Amazon rain forest fruit are described by Gary Null, Ph.D., a nationally known nutritionist and researcher (1996). In discussing the holistic treatment of depression he lists 19 plants containing chemical compounds with antidepressant properties. The top three are:1. Pastinaca sativa (parsnip, 2. Myrciaria dubia (Camu-Camu),3. Malpighia glabra (acerola).
Camu-Camu is at the top of Null's list of plants with medicinal effectiveness against the herpes virus. All forms of the herpes virus lie dormant at the base of the spine and become active when the immune system is stressed beyond its ability to respond effectively to pathogens. Common stressors include emotional upsets, other illnesses, prescription drugs, insufficient rest, poor diet, menstrual periods, vaginal yeast infections and too much sunlight on the skin. Genital herpes is usually sexually transmitted. The herpes virus takes many forms and is a widespread health problem in the United States today. More than 50% of the U.S. population gets cold sores, which is the result of the herpes simplex virus 1. Many people suffer from shingles, which is a manifestation of the chicken pox virus in adulthood in a new form. Epstein-Barr is a form of the herpes virus which may linger in the body. Yet another form of the herpes virus is genital herpes which is caused by the herpes simplex virus 2. In total, more than 80% of the U.S. population suffers from some kind of herpes infection.
The top 3 anti-herpetic plants are: 1. Myrciaria dubia (Camu-Camu), 2. Glcyrrhiza glabra (licorice plant),3. Viola tricolor hortensis (pansy).
Many people have found the Camu-Camu herb effective in nipping in the bud both colds and flu. The herb is available in powder and capsules. This herb has centuries of use among the people of South America who use it for Migraines, Depression, and Viruses.