Antidepressants Natural Depression Herbs
Depression touches us all in some form, whether directly or in the suffering of a loved one. Depression is often a side effect of illness, chronic pain, or emotional traumas, but often the origins are hard to trace. Whether it is caused by chemical imbalances, or stems from mental stress, depression affects your health in a profound way.
Bitters & Syrups
The comfort of ritual, the lighting of an aromatic candle, or preparing a soothing cup of tea enhances the psychotropic effects of herbs. Surrounding your self in nature, walking in the woods, or working in the garden helps to balance out negative emotions. Basics like sunlight and fresh air and walking barefoot on the earth work wonders on the soul.
Soaking in a lavender scented bath relaxes away mild depression and anxiety and may even lower high blood pressure and improve circulation. Lavender is approved for use by the German Commission E for use internally for insomnia, restlessness and nervous stomach irritations and for external use in baths for the treatment of functional circulatory disorders. Commission E Monographs
Lemon Balm can be very helpful for those times when nerves, headaches and/or mild depression are preventing you from relaxing and getting a good nights sleep. Combined with valerian, it may even be more beneficial than many prescription sleep aids.(Balch, Phyllis A.)
St. John's wort helps brighten the moods of people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety. It is less effective against the up-and-down mood swings of bipolar depression which often needs to be treated with stronger medications. St. John's Wort is a tonic for the entire nervous system. This action is most strongly linked to two phytochemicals, hyperforin and hypericin. (Duke,James, Ph.D.)
Avena sativa( oats) The dried milky tops, called oatstraw, make a soothing herbal tea used as a nervous system tonic. For cases of mild to moderate anxiety combine oatstraw with chamomile or lemon balm in tea and tincture formulas. Oatstraw is often used for children and those who are debilitated from exhaustion or mild depression. (Balch, Phyllis A. CNC)
Rhodiola is an adaptogen, and acts in a similar fashion as ginseng. Modern research suggests rhodiola may support memory and focus, and relieve depression. Clinical trials have found Rhodiola rosea roots and rhizomes demonstrated anti-depressive activity in patients with mild to moderate depression, with less drug/herb interaction than the better known St. Johns Wort. 1
Aromatherapy works quite well to relieve depressive states. Experiment freely with difference scents and synergies to find the blend of oils that suits your individual spirit. Combine these relaxing, calming oils in massage blends, bath oils and in aroma lamps.
While herbs and other simple natural remedies work well on the mild depression most people occasionally face, they are not meant to treat deep, clinical depression. Don't hesitate to reach out for help with this very real and serious illness.
Looking for something you can read offline? Join our mailing list and get a free copy of Methods for Using Herbs. This free handbook includes instructions on how to make basic herbal preparations at home. It covers making herbal teas, herb infused oils and balms, tinctures, and more.
- . Special Swedish Rhodiola Extract Shows Benefit in Mild to Moderate Depression in Clinical Trial , HerbClip ABC, (December 14, 2007): In addition to mood elevation, evidence indicates that R. rosea has numerous other benefits, including enhancement of cognitive function, sexual function, and both mental and physical performance under stress.