Many people who have adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs choose to use herbs and herbal supplements to treat various medical and psychological conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
But even if your body does not react negatively to synthetic drugs, you need to consider herbal supplements to alleviate depression. These are natural, less costly, and they have fewer side effects than pharmaceutical products.
There is no herbal medicine that is specifically intended to cure depression completely. But you can use it as an integral part of a holistic approach to treat and manage your physical and mental condition.
Here are four herbs that can help to fight depression:
St John’s Wort
This is a perennial, yellow-flowering plant which is native to Europe and introduced to other parts of the world for its medicinal uses. Its flowers and aerial parts have been used to treat mild to moderate depression for hundreds of centuries.
It contains the chemicals hypericin and hyperforin. These are its most active components which are believed to improve mood.
Today, people use extracts of this amazing herb to alleviate depression and anxiety. Aside from its calming effect, it also possesses a sedative property which helps to treat insomnia.
As a word of caution, you have to seek professional advice before using St John’s Wort as a supplement, especially if you are taking HIV, chemotherapy, or antihistaminic drugs.
It would be wise to stop using St John’s Wort for seven days before going through a general anesthesia.
2. Passion Flower
Passion flower is a widely distributed flowering vine or herb which is cultivated for the beauty of its flowers which last for just one day.
But aside from its beautiful flowers, the leaves of and roots of this herb are also useful for their tranquilizing effect on the nervous system. People use them to treat anxiety and insomnia.
3. Valerian Root
Valerian root is derived from valerian, a perennial flowering plant native to Europe and Asia.
For hundreds of centuries, valerian root has been used to treat various ailments including insomnia, nervous system disorders, headaches, stomach problems and arthritis. It became known as the plant where the tranquilizing drug Valium was derived from.
It is a potent calmative which can cause drowsiness and induce deep sleep.
You need to take extra care when you intend to use valerian root for more than three weeks as its prolonged use can lead to tiredness.
Skullcap is an herb that belongs to the mint family. It is native to North America, China and Russia.
This herb is traditionally known as a nerve tonic and people use it to treat insomnia, anxiety and neuralgia. But aside from its calmative properties, traditional Chinese medicine also use skullcap to treat fevers, colds, hypertension and other conditions.