Herbs For Depression
Herbs For Depression – What Herbal Remedies To Use For Depression Treatment
The use of herbs to treat various health conditions has been around since human beings first began to conceive of medicine. Today, many of these herbal remedies have been forgotten or ignored in favor of more modern, manufactured drugs made legitimate by years of studies and clinical trials. Recently, however, an increasing concern over health and natural cures had led many back to using these herbs for depression
and other health conditions.
Due to the limited amount of study, most of herbs for depression do not have any scientific evidence to support the claims being made of them. The only proof to their effectiveness is the hundreds and sometimes thousands of years of use in folk medicine. Luckily, the health industry is paying more attention and has begun to take herbal remedies seriously, putting time and effort into performing studies that may justify their healing reputations.
Most of herbs for depression
act in one of two ways – either through improving health conditions which contribute to depression or by directly affecting the levels of chemicals in the brain. In addition, herbs often have other healthy properties, such as high levels of antioxidants, which promote overall health and general well-being. Below are brief descriptions of some of the most well-known herbs for treating depression.
St. John’s Wort
This herb has been used for thousands of years to treat mild depression, nerve pains and other mental conditions and is now being looked into as a safer alternative to manufactured antidepressants. While it has not been approved by the FDA, in Europe it is considered a prescription medication for such problems as anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. Recent studies have shown St. John’s Wort to be effective in cases of mild to moderate depression, even comparable to some antidepressants.
St. John’s Wort must be taken with caution, however, as it has been known to interact with drugs such as birth control pills, anticancer medications, anticoagulants and HIV medications. Some side effects may also occur, including dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and increased sensitivity to sunlight.
Popularly known for its memory enhancing capabilities, Ginkgo Biloba is also an effective depression remedy. Studies have been conducted that show it to be useful in dealing with mild to moderate cases of depression. It is believed that it does this by counteracting problems that inhibit blood flow to the brain and cause depressive moods. Ginko Biloba has also been shown to be effective for altitude sickness, asthma, allergies, PMS symptoms, and many other conditions.
Due to its blood-thinning properties, Ginkgo Biloba should never be taken in conjunction with anticoagulants. Nor should one use it before any surgical procedure, due to increased risk of bleeding.
Lavender has long been one of the most commonly used herbs for depression. It has a calming effect on the nervous system which helps to reduce fear and anxiety. Studies have also shown Lavender to act as a catalyst for other antidepressants, allowing lesser dosages to work just as effectively and bringing their effects on quicker. Lavender’s only commonly known side effect is headaches.
Another traditional herbal cure for depression, Saffron has a long history of use in the Middle East. It works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain and consequently elevating mood. Studies have begun which show it to be as effective as many antidepressants in treating mild to moderate levels of depression, though more studies are needed to confirm these findings. Saffron can be very dangerous in large doses, however, and should be taken only as recommended.
Another tried-and-true herbal depression remedy, Valerian has been used to treat emotional disorders as well as to reduce anxiety and phobias. It is a powerful sedative and has also been used for insomnia. Side effects include, obviously, fatigue and lethargy, as well as headaches, dizziness and upset stomach. Due to its strength, Valerian should not be taken by pregnant women or children, or mixed with alcohol or any other sedative medications or herbs.
While the above herbs may be the most common in dealing with depression, there are dozens of others that help in similar ways to reduce depression-promoting conditions and elevate mood. Some of these are:
Basil, Black root, Borage, Bog myrtle, Cardamom, Ceanothus, Chamomile, Chervil, Damiana, Dog rose, Ginseng, Hawthorn, Heather, Kava kava, Lady’s slipper, Lemon balm, Motherwort, Mugwort, Nettle, Passion Flower, Pimpernal, Primrose, Rosemary, Sage, Sedge root, Thistle.
As with any medications or supplements, herbal remedies carry risks of negative interactions with other drugs as well as the possibility to aggravate certain health conditions. A doctor should be consulted before using any of the above remedies if there is any doubt as to their safety.
When buying herbal supplements, make sure to always buy from quality suppliers. Due to most of these herbs not being FDA approved, they are not regulated in the same way that other medications are regarding the standards for their manufacturing and contents. There are also no standardized dosages, which can be risky if one does not know the potential side effects.
One should also always remember that while these herbs for depression
will help to alleviate many of the symptoms of depression, getting to the root cause of the problem is essential in creating a permanent solution and ending one’s depression permanently.