Herbs for Depression

Herbal Remedies For Depression

There are a variety of herbal therapies believed to treat many illnesses. For depression, St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba are some common ones.

In Europe, St. John’s wort is widely prescribed for depression. In the United States, St. John’s wort is available over the counter and is one of the most widely sold herbal supplements. St John’s wort is commonly used in the treatment of both manic and endogenous depression. Numerous clinical studies have been undertaken to determine its effectiveness in depression. The recommended dosage for St John’s wort varies based on the form you purchase, so follow the directions on the package or speak to an herbalist for their recommendation. The herb should be taken for at least four weeks before its effectiveness can be properly assessed.

Ginkgo is one of the oldest living tree species and its extracts have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The herb is widely used all over the world to treat numerous ailments. This is supported by recent scientific evidence that reveals that ginkgo does have some medical benefits. More than 40 components have been identified in the extracts from the tree, of which two are definitely known to be responsible for the herb’s beneficial effects in humans — flavonoids and terpenoids. The flavonoids and terpenoids have strong anti-oxidant properties which may explain ginko biloba’s usefulness in the treatment of dementias, infections and heart disorders. The herb has shown promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia. Ginko biloba can also be a useful agent for individuals with sleep disorders. Many naturopaths recommend the herb for depression. For sleep, two pills should be taken daily at night.

Valerian is a perennial plant with a hollow, angular, furrowed, pale-green stem. This Nervine herb is oily in nature. Historically, it has been used to treat insomnia and produces a pronounced sedative effect. It also has other uses, which include anxiety relief. It has been widely prescribed in Europe for the treatment of anxiety, hyperactivity, muscle spasms, seizures and to improve apathy after a major illness. Today, valerian root is used mainly in the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, again because of its sedating effect. Because many depressed individuals have difficulty sleeping, valerian is recommended for as a sleep aid in cases of depression, instead of the prescription drug valium. However, because valerian is a generalized CNS depressant, it should not be used for prolonged periods. All CNS depressants can worsen depression if used for a long time.

Chamomile is a plant that has been widely used to treat a wide variety of disorders. Both the German and English variety of the plant have been used to treat various digestive disorders, infections and muscle spasms. A few studies also suggest that this plant may be useful in treating infections caused by both bacteria and fungi. Another popular use of this plant has been for insomnia. The plant does decrease anxiety and in high doses also induces sleep.

We are already in an era when curing depression with nutritional and herbal supplements is a reality, so do not give up on curing your depression naturally. Keep seeking information on alternative treatments and soon you will find the solution that is right for you.

Note: Statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA, and should not be considered as professional medical advice.

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