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10 Best Herbs for Treating Depression

Depression can be a very frustrating condition, both for the sufferer and for the loved ones. It is often characterized by lack of interest, tiredness, extreme sadness, disturbed sleep, a drastic change in eating patterns, feelings of guilt, helplessness, or hopelessness, and decline in self-esteem, to mention a few.

Natural Treatments for Depression

Many prescription drugs used to treat depression may be effective, but they generally create a new host of symptoms and side effects. Because depression is usually caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, herbs can be very effective in treating the symptoms of depression. Below is a list of the ten most effective herbs in helping with depression.

1. Licorice

Many prescription medications used to treat depression contain monoamine oxidase inhibitors, which also naturally occur in licorice. Licorice can easily be found at your local grocery store or health food store. The root can be brewed into a tea, used to make a tincture, or powdered to make capsules.

2. St. John’s Wort

It has been suggested that St. John’s Wort (high quality) can effectively reduce depression and its side effects; it is even as effective as many prescription medications for depression. St. John’s Wort is most often taken in liquid or capsule form. If you can find the dried herb, you can also make it into a tea. The most common dosage is 300 mg, three times a day.

3. Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba)

Ginkgo has been well-known to help improve mood, and studies suggest that it is also effective in reducing depression. Ginkgo helps increase blood flow to the brain and is a powerful antioxidant, which may help address some of the underlying causes of depression. Ginkgo is most often found as a capsule, tincture, or herbal tea.

4. Siberian Ginseng

This herb helps stabilize neurotransmitters in the brain. Siberian ginseng is used for a wide variety of physiological and psychological symptoms, including stress and chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue is a common side effect of depression, which make this herb an excellent option for someone suffering from depression to incorporate into their daily routine.

5. Basil

Not only is basil used to help relieve stress and headaches, but it also helps improve concentration. Perhaps most importantly, it is excellent for boosting your mood. Basil is easily found in any grocery store and can be found in capsule form at most health food stores.

6. Borage

Known as the “herb of gladness,” borage has long been used as a mood-booster. The borage leaf juice stimulates the glandular system, helping someone overcome that “down in the dumps” feeling. Look for borage leaves, or oil to help treat depression most effectively.

7. Lemon Balm

Well-known for its ability to act as an antidepressant, lemon balm is often recommended and prescribed to treat psychological and physiological ailments.

8. Purslane

High in magnesium, potassium, calcium, folate, and lithium, purslane is full of antidepressant properties. Although it is most often found in the wild as opposed to your grocery store, this herb is one of the most effective for treating symptoms of depression.

9. Rosemary

Rosemary is a great herb to add to your bath or use in a sleep pillow. The smell of rosemary has the ability to lift a person’s mood. Try growing rosemary in your herbal garden and take a sniff or add it to your bath when needed.

10. Yohimbine

Yohimbine has been used to treat mild depression and increase the effectiveness of other antidepressant medications. Studies have shown that taking yohimbine can alleviate depression symptoms within a matter of hours.

Depression can be a very confusing and upsetting ailment to deal with. Unfortunately, modern medicine does not yet have all the answers on why some people are more susceptible to depression, what causes it, and what actually cures it. Thankfully, there are some natural ways to help reduce the symptoms of depression, and the ten herbs listed above are the most effective natural treatments.

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