Depression is usually exemplified by feelings of inadequacy, indifference and sadness that last for a long period of time. A range of factors could lead to depression that ranges from a traumatic event or prolonged stress to a chemical imbalance in the brain. You need to consult a doctor to determine whether you have mild, moderate, bipolar or severe type of depression.
Doctors usually prescribe antidepressant drugs to cure this problem. However, there are several herbal alternatives that are proven to be effective and scientifically it is confirmed that the herbs help alleviate depression without any negative side effects.
10 Herbal Remedies That Cure Depression
Also known as Crassulaceae, this perennial plant grows in alpine and cold expanse of the Northern Hemisphere. The roots of this plant contain a kind of sap, which has been used to enhance the mental and physical endurance, alleviate depression symptoms, enhance mood and relieve symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.
It is regarded as an adaptogen (a natural substance), which helps in regulating the body’s reaction to stress and sustains optimal homeostasis of the body by balancing endocrine hormones and the immune system.
Various scientific studies have revealed that the herb can be used safely to decrease the recovery time duration after exercise, improve performance and physical fitness, improve memory and attention span, alleviate anxiety and depression and enhance psychomotor function.
St. John’s Wort
This plant is native to subtropical and temperate regions around the world and has been used by several cultures to heal depression. The research results published in the year 2008 (Cochrane Systematic Review) and various other research shows that St. John’s Wort is effective as an antidepressant drug in treating mild and moderate type of depression.
When taken as an extract, the herb will naturally decrease sleep disorders, boosts energy levels, and promote relaxation. Moreover, it avoids the ‘plunges’ and ‘spikes’ normally related to the consumption of stimulants such as caffeine. St. Johns Wort is an inexpensive and safe herbal remedy, which helps in improving overall mental health of a person.
Myrciaria dubia is also known as camu camu is a plant grown in the tropical rainforest. The berries of this plant have the highest levels of vitamin C. The sweet and tangy fruit of the plant contains a whole host of nutrients, which helps in promoting immune health, fight viruses and bacteria and alleviates inflammation.
The herb is known for its adaptogenic properties, which regulates bodily procedures during stress and relieves the symptoms associated with depression. Dr. Gary Null, a critically acclaimed researcher and nutritionist has listed camu camu as one of the most potent known plants, as it contains natural antidepressant compounds. Also, consuming Camu Camu has no known negative side effects.
Maca is also well-known as ‘Peruvian ginseng’. This root vegetable is loaded with minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and amino acids. The herb is being used for a long time in traditional medicines to enhance stamina and energy, boost the endocrine, adrenal and immune systems and enhance libido.
The journal Menopause published a study in the year 2008, where the researchers claimed that maca helps in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms in women after menopause. Also, the herb clearly shows antidepressant activity in people, who consume this herb.
Popularly known as ‘Chinese Prozac’, this herb is quite effective in people, who suffer from depression.
The berries of this plant help enhance the mood, support the adrenal glands, reduce anxiety and aid in detoxification of the liver. Due to its adaptogen properties, the herb must not be taken in the evening, as it is imperative to prop up the adrenal glands in their active state.
This Indian plant is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. The powerful adaptogenic compounds present in the herb are known to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also aids in fighting against degenerative brain disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and also inhibit the spread and growth of cancer cells.
Various studies have shown that Ashwagandha works better than the usual antidepressant drugs and relieves anxiety and depression symptoms. The herb naturally averts the free radical damage induced due to stress without causing any harmful side effects.
A person with depression also has some degree of anxiety and Passiflora incarnate or passionflower helps calm down the person. It is a gentle nervine relaxant and works very well as an anti-depressant. The extract of passion flower (45 drops daily) is as beneficial and effective as oxazepam.
The leaves of the herb Ginkgo biloba are used in many herbal remedies and also to treat disorders like depression. According to the results of a research that was published in ‘Phytotherapy Research’ (November 2007 issue) the lipophilic extracts of the leaves of ginkgo biloba have anti-stress and antidepressant effects.
Also, the findings of a research published in the 2005 March issue of ‘Chinese Medical Journal’ reveal that combining venlafaxine (antidepressant drug) and ginkgo biloba will lower the stress-induced brain damage, which is one of the contributing factors for depression.
This herb can be taken as tablets or capsules or as a beverage. About 40 – 80 mg of the herb is recommended to be taken 3 times in a day to relieve the symptoms associated with depression. For exact dosage and frequency, you need to consult your doctor.
Lavandula angustifolia or lavender is an aromatic nervine herb. The plant has purple flowers and is a native of the Mediterranean region. The herb is a rich source of volatile oils and is used to treat anxiety and depression.
Lavender has a nourishing and soothing effect on the nervous system and it is suggested to be either used as a tincture or tea daily. The lavender oil can also be applied to your body and also on pillows for a relaxing and restful sleep. However, this essential oil must not be used internally.
Rhodiola Rosea or roseroot is a perennial herb, which is a native of the Arctic region. The rhizome has adaptogen properties, which help the body to cope up with stress, depression and fatigue. According to a research published in the year 2009, in the ‘Journal of Ethnopharmacology’, the extracts of roseroots are inhibitors of MAO (Monoamine Oxidases) and have considerable antidepressant properties.
MAO are enzymes that break down serotonin, which is a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter. Like other inhibitors of MAO, roseroot prevents this, which increases the availability of the compound serotonin and hence alleviates depression. However, it is advisable not to combine this herb with other medications.
In general, good nourishment is also vital to prevent and treat depression. Neurotransmitters are quite essential chemicals and the brain requires adequate nutrients to synthesize them. Vitamin B, especially folate and B6 must be taken in sufficient amounts. Sunflower seeds are a good source of B6 and vegetables such as citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, spinach, beets, parsnips and asparagus are loaded with folate.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.