Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Spring Is Springing But Many Are Still Sad

As the days begin to lengthen, those of you who suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD, will breathe a huge sigh of relief. But we’re not out of the woods yet as there are still weeks of going to work in the dark, coming home in the dark and grey dull days between. On shorter days, less light enters your eyes and the body produces more of a chemical called melatonin. This hormone prepares us for hibernation – we slow down, gain weight, want to sleep all the time and get depressed.

SAD responds well to treatment with high intensity light so get as much daylight as you can, but if all else fails and the winter blues are still affecting you badly, buy a light box to use at home or work - they’re available from Full Spectrum Lighting Ltd. in High Wycombe, Bucks, tel. 01494 526051.

Nutrition is also essential and the first thing is to avoid the energy robbers. Reduce sugar, white flour, cakes, biscuits, sweets and puddings. Cut down on alcohol, caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate and cola drinks – they interfere with iron absorption. Nicotine deprives you of B vitamins and oxygen. I know it’s hard because feeling depressed makes you want more of them all.

Eat well. You need almonds, apricots, bananas, broccoli, spinach, brown rice, sesame and sunflower seeds, whole meal bread, potatoes, pasta, porridge, eggs, fish, poultry, lean meat and low fat dairy products, together with masses of fresh fruit and salads. Don’t go more than three hours without food.

For years I’ve treated SAD sufferers with light boxes and improved diets, but the availability of standardised extracts of the herb Hypericum – St. John’s Wort – has now dramatically improved results. The best supplement is Karma, the first MHRA registered traditional herbal remedy containing St. John’s Wort.

Adding Karma is an enormous help for those still enduring this condition, or even to improve the symptoms of old fashioned winter depression. Adding a daily dose of valerian can reduce irritability, anxiety and stress levels. I’ve known this action plan produce marked improvements in within a few days – and all without side effects. NiteHerb is another registered herbal remedy with enough valerian to cope with the stress and anxiety that interferes with your sleep.

For more information about Karma and NiteHerb see


NB: If you are already taking prescribed medicines for your depression, do check with your doctor before using herbal remedies like St. John’s Wort. Reports of the side-effects of St. John’s Wort have been greatly exaggerated and, compared to prescribed drugs, they’re rare and mostly insignificant. The only real concern is the combination with the blood-thinning drug Warfarin and as long as patients talk to their doctor first, doses can be adjusted to counteract any possible interaction.

The SAD Association,



Some of my books...

Sign up for my e-mail newsletter:


10 Day Detox With Kim WildeMichael Van Straten's 10 Day Detox With Kim Wilde

"In this video, we will take you through a series of easy to follow and achievable steps. You too can safely and effectively lose weight as well as significantly increase energy levels".

Migraine Misery?


MigraHerb® Feverfew capsules.

MigraHerb® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the prevention of migraine headaches exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label.

tickLessens frequency and severity of migraine attacks

tickFor people who have a doctor's diagnosis for this condition

MigraHerb® 30 one-a-day capsules.
Normally £8.16
NOW £6.90
Save £1.26.

» For more information visit www.migraherb.co.uk

De-stress and Energise!


Vitano® Rhodiola rosea tablets.

Vitano® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety, based on traditional use only. Always read the label.

tickHelps revive both mental and physical performance

tickBalances a hectic lifestyle... naturally!

Vitano® 30 tablets normally £13.27
NOW £9.90 - Save £3.37.
Multi-buy deal also available.

» For more information visit www.vitano.co.uk

Not Sleeping?


NiteHerb® Valerian tablets.

NiteHerb® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances due to symptoms of mild anxiety exclusively based on long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label.

tickA natural solution to a good night's sleep

tickWake up revived - not groggy!

NiteHerb® 30 tablets normally £6.12
NOW £5.20 - Save £0.92.
Multi-buy deal also available.

» For more information visit www.niteherb.co.uk