It wasn’t until my whole body felt like a puppet, I was stringing from above, that I really feared the sadness drilled in my core.
Work means money. I need money. Go to work.
Myself, out of body, pulled on the strings through daily routines and when I was able to stop performing I curled under the covers and hid from the world.
The numbness, thoughts of harming myself and the feeling of being on a third plane, every day, began to truly concern me.
This is how other people do it. Do it. The big IT. It’s as if you just need to feel something. It’s wanting to just let go of the heavy body so you can be free…
But moving forward with the inevitable was never a real option for me….
I love my family and friends too much.
I am a fighter.
My brain, body, soul and mental health fought each other every day…
Fast forward about twenty-three years in the future where I had pressed down my pride and embarrassment and became quite the expert (with doctors’ approval) on… The World of Depression!
But seriously, yeah me!
This battle has made me so much stronger today in everyway.
Me: Hello, Doc I need to be upped ten (mg medication).”
Me: “Hello, Doc, all is good I can be lowered ten (mg medication).”
I read self-help books, internet research, counseling, journal writing, religion and tuned to mind, body and soul, so constantly, I am aware of every hint to take action if there is a backslide .
Yet, it wasn’t until six months ago, while researching weight loss control with food and spices, the epiphany came and I asked the question: If I can control weight, blood pressure, sugar levels (the list goes on) by choosing what food goes in my body… can I also control depression with food?
And the research I found, while skeptical at first, was exciting and I was ready to personally test the theories.
And…. the results are unbelievable.
Before I continue on….
1. I am NOT a doctor or psychiatrist
2. I am not suggesting to go off your medicine prescribed to you by a doctor without consent and constant monitoring.
3. Mental illness can be serious and should be treated as so.
With these very important things kept in mind, I’m going to tell you how these eating habits may have just weaned me for good off of my prescribed medication.
First, I must stress… you need to understand adding spices for depression and anxiety in your daily routine will have to become A WAY OF LIFE. This can’t be a diet. It’s not as easy as popping a pill everyday – you have to ensure you are getting enough in your system on a daily basis (and also, with some spices, not too much). If you cannot, then you need to continue regular doses of medication. Mental illness is serious and should be treated as so.
There are super foods believed to help curb depression and anxiety because of the ‘brain’ vitamins they contain (that’s another blog I’ll write) but it has been researched, and proven, there are indeed spices that fight depression and anxiety. (Some of these spices’ properties are in prescription medication!)
1. Cinnamon (dominated benefits: depression and blood pressure)
I LOVE cinnamon. So… to find out this spice helps fight depression… well, it became number one in my daily ritual.
How I consume it?
I’m a coffee drinker. A coffee drinker, like if I haven’t had coffee yet, please don’t talk to me.
That being said, adding cinnamon in my coffee, along with a dash of almond milk, is an easy daily routine for me to maintain.
I dash the cinnamon, okay more like pour the cinnamon, into ‘something’ I’m already committed to = a super easy routine to get on board with. I’ve Pinned cinnamon recipes here and will continue to add to these boards, so don’t forget to follow them on Pintrest.
2. Thyme (dominated benefits: depression and bi-polar – contains Lithium which is already used to treat depression and bi-polar. This is just a natural way to get it. Don’t do something crazy, for instant take a spoonful because Lithium can affect kidney and thyroid. Your doctor can monitor this in your blood with test.)
Okay, so all the above being said, this spice is delicious on my taste buds and so easy for me to cook with.
How I consume?
The great thing about this spice is it meshes well with lots of dishes I already make. I dash it in my eggs in the morning, Italian sauces, on fish, and rice. You can find Thyme recipes I’ve Pinned here.
3. Nutmeg (dominated benefits: depression and anxiety)
Nutmeg is well… nutty. This spice is easy to mix in with your baking goods, pancakes (mixes amazing with cinnamon, by the way) and a tad in your coffee with cinnamon and pure vanilla is like creating a cappuccino… without froth. Find Nutmeg recipes I’ve Pinned here.
4. Vanilla (dominated benefits: depression, anxiety as well as improving symptoms of anger and hostility)
I HEART vanilla (insert fingers shaped into a heart); however, vanilla can be a tricky daily regimen, considering all the imposters. For starters, there is so many ‘fake’ vanillas such as extract and lab created oils used in candles and air fresheners. (Vanilla is also proven to work by aroma) You will need to ensure you have the real deal. Sitting down with a tub of vanilla ice-cream, cooking with extract and lighting a candle isn’t legit.
TIP: If you or someone you know is tripping to the Caribbean, ask them to snag you a bottle of pure Vanilla. There, it’s around $8.00 for a 33 oz bottle (1000ML) or you can order it online. Here are some recipes that call for vanilla and you can substitute the extract for the real deal.
5. Cloves (dominated benefits: depression, anxiety, and regulate blood pressure)
Think…. Pumpkin pie, chai, mulled wine – OH MY!
Thank you cloves for your presence! You are all my fall favs!
6. Fennel Seed (dominated benefits: depression)
This black licorice, tasting dried spice is suppose to be a Big Deal when it comes to mental health and depression. I love a pinch of this spice when I make clam Linguini but I’ve had a hard time eating it in other recipes.
However, I found in my recipe search there are yummy looking meals when using the full fennel plant. I’m excited to branch out and will Instagram the recipes I try. ( here are some recipes to get your started.)
7. Sage (salvia) (dominated benefits: decrease depression symptoms)
This versatile spice reminds me of Thyme but it’s very mild and not as effective to the mind as Thyme. It’s easy to mesh with meat, fruit, veggies rice…etc.
8. Saffron (dominated benefits: Depression and Alzheimer Disease)
Going to be upfront and save you from sticker shock, this spice is expensive compared to others; Because of the amount needed from the pretty, purple flower (saffron crocus) and it’s hard to extract. (Update: I found an awesome deal/brand on Amazon)
Okay, this being said, this spice is probably one of the strongest for fighting depression. Saffron balances serotonin in the brain and during an Iranian study, the people who digested Saffron on a regular basis had better results than people taking the depression fighting drug, Prozac. (mind blown!)
Simply pinch a couple red strands and grind them between your fingers. Because of the Irian study, I do use a pinch of this every day on or in something that I eat, though it can be strong. Here are some recipes that use Saffron.
9. Rosemary (dominated benefits: reduce symptoms of moderate depression to mild depression)
Rosemary and I have always had a love/hate relationship.
Rosemary fresh = delicious.
Rosemary dry = twiggy. (Is this part of my leftover Christmas tree?)
10. Turmeric (dominated benefits: still a hypothesis of containing anti-depressant properties)
I actually stumbled across the possibilities of Turmeric while researching weight loss herbs. The original stumble suggested mixing this spice with honey as an anti-inflammatory. I thought it tasted horrible and haven’t used it too much since.
I forgot I had Turmeric in my pantry until I began looking for food linked to conquer depression.
This spice is usually included with recipes that call for cumin and they are delicious together. Here are some recipes that call for turmeric.
11. Bay Leaves (dominated benefits: Anxiety)
Here’s my thing with bay leaves, I put them in jambalaya or soup, pull them out and I have no idea what actual flavor they add. (Comment if you can inform me) So, I don’t understand why I buy them, but when recipes call for them I add ’em.
When searching for recipes, I found they are easy to add to tea, which would be an easy daily routine for herbal lovers, and as long as you don’t eat them, in large quantities, you will be just fine.
These are the eleven spices I have found and add somewhere in my daily diet on an everyday basis.
Update: I am completely off my medicine and haven’t had any setbacks during extreme stress. (And yes there has been extreme stress testing me every step of the way) I do also cut out many processed foods and add vitamin enrich foods that fuel the brain and are believed to be contribute to shielding depression. My mind and body and have never been more in sync!
Follow our blog for more on fighting depression and anxiety naturally.
Enjoy transforming into your new, healthy life style!
A special thank you to these websites for further educating me and making a difference in my daily life! (and the others!)
- Original article I stumbled on that began my whole process – Thanks again! to these sites: https://www.powerofpositivity.com/spices-fight-depression/
- Vanilla pure vs. extract: https://www.cooksvanilla.com/what-is-the-difference-between-pure-and-imitation-vanilla-extract/
- Lithium: https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/treating-bipolar-medication#1
- Bay Leaves: https://steptohealth.com/fight-anxiety-bay-leaves/
- Thyme: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/8-incredible-health-benefits-thyme/
- Saffron vs Prozac: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6503633/
- Cinnamon: https://lifespa.com/cinnamon-the-new-dopamine-booster-for-your-brain/