We’ve all experienced depression at some point in our lives. According to the CDC website, this ominous and taxing mental state torments 16 million adults every year.
Some of the major sources of depressions are:
- A traumatic event.
- The changing of the seasons usually from fall to winter
Just as there are different triggers of depression, there are also different ways to deal with it. Some will endure it hoping it goes away, while others will seek the aid of a mental health professional.
However most will use drugs whether legal or illegal. But unknown to many there is another choice.
It’s cheaper than a therapist. It also doesn’t come with the addiction or have as many side effects as most drugs.
If you read the title of this post then you’ve probably already guessed it. That choice is herbs.
For thousands years humanity has been utilizing herbs to fight disease and promote longevity. And though much over the millennia, our bodies have remained the same.
Some of the herbs listed increase the number of neurotransmitters produced in the brain. It is believed that one of the causes of depression is a deficient number of neurotransmitters.
1. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort has an almost mythical status when it comes to herbs. That’s because many in the ancient world believed that St. John’s Wort could ward off evil spirits.
Well I don’t know about evil spirits— but it can definitely ward off depression.
Just like pharmaceutical antidepressants, St. John’s Wort increases the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Serotonin has an influence on both mood and sleep which are usually disturbed by depression.
St. John’s Wort also helps neurotransmitters, noradrenaline, and dopamine, to circulate longer in the body.
Dopamine communes with the part of the brain associated with pleasure and reward while norepinephrine is related to energy and alertness.
A reduction of both of these can lead too depression.
Meta-analyses studies conclude that St. John’s Wort is superior to treating mild depression as compared to a placebo.
St. John’s Wort can be consumed as a tea or tincture. It can also be ingested as a pill.
Lavender is one of the most popular go-to plants when it comes to stress and anxiety.
After a long, hectic, day a soothing warm bath used with lavender oil will ease away your worries. It can also do the same for depression.
In addition to treating depression, lavender can also cure:
• Upset stomachs
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Minor external wounds.
Lavender can be used in baths as an essential oil or consumed as a tea or tincture. It can also be inhaled in the form of vapors which is known as aromatherapy.
3. Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is known for two things. One is its alluring scent. The other is its an anti depressant power which is why lemon balm is often referred to as “the calming herb.”
Ironically the substance that gives lemon balm its pleasant smell may be the reason it can treat depression.
Lemon balm contains a substance known as citral. Citral is being studied because it has been verified by researchers to treat depression.
Lemon Balm has also been used treatment of other ailments such as:
For treatment of depression, it’s probably best to consume lemon balm teas.
4. Gingko Biloba
Gingko Biloba is one of the most sought out herbs on the market.
The reason for this is because gingko has both mental and physical benefits which include:
• Improving cognitive functions
• Treatment of high blood pressure.
• Increased sexual stamina.
You can also add depression to that list. Not only does gingko increase levels of serotonin, norepinephime, and dopamine, but it also contains a substance labeled EGB761.
EGB761 has been analyzed scientifically proven to be both an antidepressant and an antioxidant. You can ingest gingko biloba as a tincture or in pill form.
5. Saffron Crocus
Saffron, a spice derived from saffron crocus, is one of the most expensive spices on the planet.
However, saffron crocus’s most important asset isn’t culinary— it’s medicinal.
Research has shown that saffron may be just as effective in alleviating depression as pharmaceutical antidepressants.
According to the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) website: “Authors propose that saffron’s antidepressant effects potentially are due to its serotonergic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroendocrine, and neuroprotective effects.”
Another therapeutic benefit of saffron crocus is that it also treats insomnia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Though saffron by itself is expensive, purchasing saffron crocus pills won’t break your wallet.
6. Rhodiola Root
Rhodiola root has been used in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and European herbal medicine for centuries.
The way that rhodiola root fights depression is by increasing the amount of both dopamine and norepinephrine.
In a recent study, scientists compared the effectiveness of rhodiola root to the antidepressant called setraline.
They concluded that even though rhiodiola root isn’t as strong as setraline, it does have fewer side effects.
Aside from fighting depression rhodiola root is a very strong adaptogen.
Adaptogens are a type of medicine that helps the body deal with stress. As we all know stress is depression’s partner on crime. Since it’s an adaptogen Rhodila can:
• Maximize Energy.
• Boost Motivation
• Reduce Stress and Anxiety.
• Increase Endurance
You can purchase rhodiola root as a powder which can be mixed into drinks or made into teas. You can also purchase the pill or the tincture.
7. Nelumba nucifera
What makes nelumba nucifera unique, is its spiritual symbolism. In Buddhism this flower represents both physical and spiritual rebirth.
Though not a spiritual benefit, it’s almost a miracle how (adjective) ###### nelumbo nucifera can treat depression. And science can prove it.
Researchers have successfully used the leaves of nelumbo nucifera to treat depression in mice. (HOW?)
But the benefits don’t end with getting rid of depression. Nelumba Nucifera can bring relief from other aliments such as:
Here’s another fact that might tingle your taste buds. Tthe seeds of nelumba nucifera are used in Chinese dishes.
For depression, nelumba nucifera can be taken in pill form or consumed I’m teas.
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