For hundreds of years, people have used natural herbs for depression and anxiety as well as stress. Common herbs for depression are ginger, rosemary,and purslane – but there are many others as well.
The most common reason for using herbs to treat depression is that they are natural. Many people who are wary of synthetic drugs are naturally drawn to this type of treatment. Another reason is that they are usually cheaper than prescribed medicines. For those with income challenges, herbs offer an alternative way to treat their illness.
Herbal Remedies For Treating Depression
Purple herb lavender – some studies have shown this to be effective in relieving depression in people. It has also been shown to be effective in treating insomnia, anxiety, and mood swings. There are a number of varieties of this herb – French, Spanish, and Yellow. In addition to being an effective herbal remedy for depression, because of its pleasing smell, it is used in many aromatherapy treatments.
St. John’s wort – this herb has been used for centuries to fight depression. In actual studies, however, it is an effective herb when used for treatment of mild depression. However, when used to for moderate or severe depression, most studies show that it has no more effect than a placebo. It has also been found to be effective for anxiety.
Griffonia simplicifolia – the active ingredient in this herb is 5-HTP (i.e., L-5-Hydroxytryptophan). Typically is has been described as being effective in treating mild bouts of depression. In studies, however, the effects are not consistent across the board for those taking it. It some, it is very effective. In others, it has barely no effect at all.
Rosemary – many people use the rosemary herb treatment of depression, usually in the form of a tea. Many believe that it helps the circulation, particularly in the brain, and helps to relax the body.
Lavender – this herb is used by many people to calm nerves and also to relieve depression. It has also been used in aromatherapy – for relaxing patients suffering from dementia. Inconclusive studies point to it being useful for mild depression.
Most herbs for depression actually work not by focusing on the body itself, but by strengthening the body’ immune system and nervous system so that it is better able to fight feelings of anxiety and depression.
Lemon grass – in places like Indonesia, lemon grass has been used for centuries to fight depression. If you shop in Asian markets, you can probably find it fresh. Otherwise, you may have to settle for dried or powdered versions. It is mostly used in teas
Siberian Ginseng – if you look at the ingredient list for many herbal treatments for depression, you will often find this herb listed among them. Many consider it to be an adaptogen which is a herb or herb variant which supposedly improves the ability of your body to withstand stress, trauma, and anxiety. Ginseng, however, can cause a rise in heart rate. It can also have other negative effects in some people.
Effectiveness of Natural Supplements For Treatment For Depression
It is hard to get an overall comprehensive perspective on how effective herbs are because, unfortunately western societies are not motivated to study its effects. Most studies here revolve around synthetic medicines produced by the major drug companies because that’s where most drug companies make their money.
Many herbs are also hard to study because the bottled versions of many of them have impurities which reduce their effectiveness. In addition, unlike most prescribed medicines, the proportions and concentrations of herbs in a pill or powder are not consistent across brands, or even different batches in the same brand.
If you are on prescribed medications, you should never substitute herbs for your medicines. In fact, if you are even considering treating yourself with herbs, you should run it past your doctor first. Many herbs have potentially harmful effects on the body when used alone. And when used in combination with other medications, the consequences can be life threatening.
Also, though some herbs may be suitable for treating milder symptoms of depression, if you have moderate to severe depression, you will probably require talk therapy as well as prescribed pharmaceuticals.