Depression is a mental illness that darkens one’s mood, causes a lost of interest in daily and favored activities, causes fatigue, changes one’s appetite, causes a loss of concentration, and can even cause a person to contemplate suicide. Depression is not a simple bad mood caused by a rough day, but a disease that can be completely debilitating in some sufferers. This is why it is imperative for those with depression to seek help and learn to control their illness. While many people are aware of traditional depression medications, depression can also be treated in a safe and healthy way with the use of specific herbs. However, when using herbs to treat depression, it may be advisable to also seek the help of a professional for additional support or if symptoms continue or worsen.
Five Herbs Used To Treat Depression:
1) St. John’s Wort: St. John’s Wort contains a compound, called hypericum, that has been found to be as effective as some prescription antidepressants for treating the symptoms of depression.
Hypericum works to treat depression by effectively blocking the re-uptake of certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. However, unlike many prescription medications for depression, St. John’s Wort is not known to commonly cause severe side effects in it’s users. Many users of prescription antidepressants suffer from upset stomach, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and dry mouth. While St. John’s Wort may also cause these side effects, these side effects are less likely and generally less severe. For the best effects, St. John’s Wort should be taken in doses of 900 mg to 1,800 mg depending on the severity of a person’s depression and their tolerance to the herb.
2) Licorice: Licorice can either be taken in capsule form or can be consumed as a tea, depending on a person’s personal preferences. Licorice contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors, also known as MAO Inhibitors. These MAO Inhibitors are the sames as those found in many prescription antidepressants and work by hindering the re-uptake of the neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine. This helps to elevate the mood, prevent mood swings, and support an overall sense of well-being. However, it is important to know that licorice extract should not be consumed by those with high blood pressure, as it is known to raise the blood pressure in some users. If consumed as a tea, users should not consume more than three cups daily. Excessive licorice consumption can lead a user to experience fatigue, bloating, low levels of potassium, and headaches.
3) American or Asian Ginseng: These types of Ginseng are known to relieve tension and stress, while causing an increase in energy. Many times, those that suffer from depression may also suffer from anxiety, stress, and low energy. Therefore, the consumption of Ginseng will help to relieve many of the side effects of depression, which will help the overall mental health of the user. However, when purchasing Ginseng, it is important to be sure that you are purchasing American or Asian Ginseng, and not Siberian Ginseng, as Siberian Ginseng will not work for the treatment of depression.
4) Kava Kava: Kava Kava is known to also reduce stress, anxiety, and tension in consumers. Kava Kava also helps to support a good night’s sleep and can even help users fall asleep if taken at night. While Kava Kava may not treat all of the symptoms of depression, it will help to treat certain side effects, which in turn will improve the mental state of the user. Kava Kava may be consumed as a tea or in capsule form. To treat anxiety, 70 mg to 300 mg may be taken, not more than three times a day, for optimal benefits.