Treat BPD without prescription medications
If you have BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and you're looking to treat it with natural herbs and supplements, you came to the right place. Here you'll find herbs and natural supplements that have been proven to treat the symptoms of BPD. These can be taken on their own or in some cases, they can be used in addition to the medication your doctor prescribes.
Natural treatments usually cost less and they don't require you to get a prescription from your doctor. Some have been proven to work just as well as prescription medication while carrying a much smaller risk of side effects
Serotonin and Why it matters
Most natural treatments work by raising levels of serotonin in your body.
Why does that matter?
Serotonin is the chemical largely responsible for regulating the intensity of moods. Levels too high or too low can have a significant impact on mood.
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is probably the most well known mood enhancing herb. Not only does it have a great word-of-mouth reputation, but it's also backed by 29 separate studies concluding that St. John's wort has almost the same effect on major depression as prescription antidepressants. It works by blocking your bodies ability to absorb serotonin, thereby increasing serotonin levels. Although these 29 studies have proved the benefits of St. John's Wort, many physicians are still skeptical because of one large study that concluded it had no effect on depression. Personally, I think it's a crock because the same study also concluded that Zoloft has no effect on depression. And we all know that's not true!
Because it works the same as SSRI's, St. John's Wort shouldn't be taken with prescription SSRI's, MAO's or with other herbs or supplements that work like SSRI's.
The recommended dosage is 900mg a day. This is usually achieved by taking 300mg 3 times a day.
Kava is known for it's ability to promote short term feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness. It's most commonly used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Because it works similar to benzodiazepines, Kava can be used to lessen the withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop taking anti anxiety medications or sleeping pills.
Long term use can lead to higher mental clarity, higher patience levels, calmness, relaxed muscles and an increased feeling of well being. It's also been proven effective as a sleep remedy. Depending on the dosage, Kava can induce an episode of deep sleep within 30 minutes. Many patients report that it's extremely restful sleep and that they wake up more alert than usual. When used as an anti-anxiety remedy, it usually takes 2 months before any real effect is felt.
Because of the controversy surrounding Kava supplements, I recommend you make your own herbal tea using Kava Root. This way you can also control the potency of the herb. Try to buy your Kava from a reputable source and make sure it contains only the root because the stems and leaves contain a toxic compound.
Here's one fun fact: When drinking Kava Tea, it's common to feel a slight numbing of your tongue, lips and stomach.
Valerian Root is most commonly used for it's sedative properties. It's a very powerful sleep inducer and also very effective at relieving anxiety. Personally, I use it to lessen the intensity of a manic episode. I also use it to get to sleep when my mind won't shut down. I've found that it's very effective and usually works within 30 minutes. And I've never had any side effects (like next-day drowsiness). When using as a sleep inducer, it's best to use it everyday. Unlike many herbs and medications, Valerian doesn't lose it's effectiveness with long term use. Instead, the longer you use it, the more effective it works!
Although effective, Valerian does have one very large defect. It stinks! Oh my gosh, does it stink! When I open my bottle to remove a few capsules, my family swears the smell drifts through the whole house. In fact, they've banned me from even opening it in the house. Because I wouldn't wish that awful smell on my worst enemy, I would recommend using an extract instead. Believe me, you'll thank me later! However, if you'd rather take the Valerian Root capsules (as I do), you can keep the smell down by keeping them in the refrigerator.
About Natural Treatments for BPD
Just like prescription medication, there isn't just one herb that treats every symptom of BPD. Instead, different herbs treat different symptoms. Sometimes these herbs can be used together.
I recommend visiting your local herbalist to find out about possible negative interactions.
SAM-e is an amino acid your body naturally produces. It's too difficult to explain the SAM-e cycle in detail, so I'll just sum it up. SAM-e plays an important role in the production of mood enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. So if your body doesn't produce enough SAM-e, the result is a lower production of natural mood enhancers.
There's been 28 studies and clinical trials performed on SAM-e and they all had the same result: SAM-e is effective in relieving the symptoms of depression.
Although most of the clinical trials were based on using 800-1600mg a day, many doctors only recommend 400-800mg a day. If you have Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar Disorder, start with a low dose because high doses carry a small risk of causing a manic episode. Because it sometimes causes insomnia, you should take SAM-e in the morning on an empty stomach. And to help break it down properly, taking a Vitamin B supplement will provide you with the best results.
5-HTP is another compound your body naturally produces. It's job is to regulate and increase the production of serotonin. Since serotonin is a natural mood enhancer, higher levels of it can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety and insomnia.
In the back of my mind, I think of 5-HTP as an herbal supplement because it's made from the seeds of a Griffonia bush.
As with any "medication", it's best to start at a lower dose of 50mg. If you find it's not working, try increasing it to 100mg. It usually takes several weeks to feel the full effects of HTP-5.
DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid most often found in cold-water oceanic fish oils. Although there hasn't been any clinical trials specifically pertaining to it's effect on Borderline Personality Disorder, it has been studied as a treatment for Bipolar Disorder. This trial concluded that increased levels of DHA increased the length of time between episodes and improved the overall emotional state of Bipolar patients. It also stated that DHA works in a manner similar to Lithium, but has very little side effects.
In addition to the Bipolar study, data has been collected and studied from other studies. The collected data shows a lower than normal depression rate in areas where people consume high levels of DHA. Data also shows that people who suffer from major depression show a definite decrease in DHA levels in their body compared to those without depression. This suggests that higher levels would decrease depression.
If you take DHA in the form of fish oil capsules, make sure to read the label carefully because many fish oils advertising Omega 3's actually contain high levels of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and low levels of DHA. The recommended dose is 100-200 mg a day, although some take as much as 500 mg a day.
Just a quick note!
These is not an exhaustive list of herbs and natural supplements used for treating the symptoms of BPD. This is a short list that I will be adding to as I get the time.
Do you use a natural remedy for BPD? If so, please share your story. What do you use? How do you like it?
Do you use one of the natural herbs or supplements listed above? Would you recommend it to others?
© 2011 Othercatt
Please contribute your voice
Kathy Goedert on November 03, 2017:
I have bpd, bipolar etc. recently I had an “episode “ more than a month length that became psychosis. I use all kinds essential oils esp. valerian, easy to carry with you. My question is, can anything really touch the incredible pain and suicidality of bpd??
Forever would be nice.
lissette Valentin on May 14, 2017:
I was diagnosed BPD.PTSD,and anxiety disorder. does Lithium work for all of these? the natural form or the pharmaceutical version?
Erin Steele on May 04, 2017:
Might not be quite the right place but any feedback on BPD and ketogenic diet? Something I'm thinking of trying but it's a lot of organising and maintaining a routine, which needless to say, I find challenging.
Rebecca on September 24, 2016:
Sadly, I am deathly allergic to the 5-htp. I had to go to the urgent care as my throat started to close up. St. John's Wort is amazing though and I like the Valerian Root. I have not tried the others yet. This combined with regular yoga is what I am banking on so we will see!
chocy4 on October 09, 2014:
I am a big believer of natural goods goods olive oil and coconut oil great for those synapses and a natural antibiotic. Less carbs and sugar! I find Phosphatidylserine 100s with omega 3's Soya lecithan to stop cortisol levels rising I get mind on healthspan.co.uk £12:00 for 60 caps for anxiety for BDP and acetyl l carnitine for energy also for keeping stress levels low but also for energy and to stop the depression associated simply supplements. com about £ 8.99 for 60 caps and then usual Solar multi vit V2000 which has high vitamin d and hundreds of all b vitamins and an array of others. Was having lots before this treatment not keeping a job and bouts of depression and mania a lot, know has reduced a where I work every day (nearly) and lead a much better life. I hope this may help. x
judgemenot82 on April 29, 2014:
I read that lithium oxide can be very toxic,but lithium orotate is not and does not have side effects. It's a natural mineral you can take and is low levels in the brain most likely the cause of a lot of issues like depression and anxiety, doctors say it helps boost the serotonin levels in the brain to even it out and its over the counter, also vitamins b6, b12 and dha can make a huge difference in mood stabilizer and improvement on brain functions...I'd rather take natural supplements rather then different drugs the docs wanna test on ya
Othercatt (author) on October 23, 2013:
@AmyAyn: Yes. Passion Flower is a very effective herb for reducing anxiety. Some even compare it to Xanax (except it won't make you as drowsy). For anxiety, I believe the dosage is 25 drops of extract and for sleep, use 50 drops.
AmyAyn on October 19, 2013:
Has anyone had any success using Passion Flower for anxiety symptoms?
AnxietyAttackEx on May 16, 2013:
I am interested in any natural treatment that alleviates part or all of the problem!
anonymous on May 16, 2013:
@NorthernDad: I wanted to know exactly what you meant? Was it about the valerian?
anonymous on March 26, 2013:
I swear by this for my husband, but 1500mg GABA + 100mg B6, neither seems to be effective without the other, but definitely reduced the triggers and episodes, so much in fact, I once ran out and within 2 days he had his first bad rage in months and it lasted a week. I couldn't call it placebo, because I tell him he's taking it for his metabolism... not the bpd
iyandri lm on August 22, 2012:
go organic :D
anonymous on August 15, 2012:
Oat (Avena Sativa) tincture is super relaxing. Valerian is great. Lithium Orotate, I take sometimes when my brain feels like it can't shift out of first gear. It's a natural mood stabilizer, an OTC cousin of prescribed Lithium. All good.
I have to say, however, it's not always what you put IN your body, but what you take OUT of it. And by that I mean: Alcohol (a depressant - seriously, why is this stuff legal and pot isn't?? Booze is brain poison. You are in denial if you think you can drink regularly and ALSO be mentally healthy); tobacco (a poison and a stimulant); sugar (just really harsh on every part of the body and nervous system); caffeine (a nervous system spazzer-outer, if you are at ALL susceptible to anxiety, why are you drinking coffee??); and gluten (if you have a sensitivity it can amplify depression and brain fog--it sure makes me feel weird, bloated, and nervous).
Also, don't even THINK about why you don't feel "right" if you aren't at least five times a week for 45 minutes.
SUNLIGHT is critical.
Just think about how primitive man lived. There was no TV, no facebook, no overstimulation whatsoever. Whole food, fresh air and sunlight, real challenges, real stimulation. No reality shows and Snickers. We are inventing a crazy new way to live, with plastic, junk food and electronics. Noise overstimulation, and then drinking and caffeining all the time. Sex everywhere...bad news in your face every second.
We live like crazy people and we then feel crazy. Period.
NorthernDad on August 07, 2012:
@anonymous: Most doctors won't admit it (some will) but it's actually a well-known fact in the medical world that it works better for BPD, Bipolar and GAD than any of the currently used medications. My doc recommended it "off the record" and it got me from 4 prescriptions to 0. If it weren't for the stigma surrounding it, a whole lot of psych patients could be living much better lives.
anonymous on May 25, 2012:
i have not tried any of these specifically for treating my bpd. i have however used another herb. Cannabis. its helped me through a lot.
enjoyecigs on May 21, 2012:
i love valerian, personally. it's helped me a lot.
anonymous on March 09, 2012:
@Heather426: Heather I agree completely with the sun helping with serotonin levels. I have BPD, I was diagnosed with it when I was 18, ten years ago. I have been taking medication for it for years and just last summer would go in the backyard for about an hour and sit in the sun (with sun block of course) and I felt great for the rest of the day! I was so much more relaxed and was just overall happy. I never liked summer heat or the sun until last summer and now I can not wait for the summer to get here so I can just sit out in the sun and feel refreshed when I go back inside!
ImmatureEntrepr on September 01, 2011:
Great lens! Love to see natural remedies suggested rather than how many of us tend to immediately look for a manmade pill. Great job! Squid Angel blessed. :)
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on August 31, 2011:
Very well organized lens!
anonymous on August 31, 2011:
Nice lens. Thanks.
Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on August 31, 2011:
I've taken 5-HTP for years and swear by it. I feel so much better when I take my multivitamin and 5-HTP. Great info here.
Heather Burns from Wexford, Ireland on August 31, 2011:
I'm an Herbalist, and all of these are ones I recommend to people with this problem. Also, I recommend D3 and omega6 and omega3 oils too, like Krill oil, and flax seed oil, and hemp oil. Studies confirm that 15 min a day of sun, or D3 supplements raise serotonin levels:) Well done! A lot of people develop habits that still need to be addressed after the serotonin levels are more normalized though.
MargoPArrowsmith on July 30, 2011:
Not sure at all that there is a physical treatment for this. Learning skills and behavioral therapy is what can help, but even then its not easy.