Depression is a serious mental condition that affects millions of people world over; in America alone the number of people suffering from depression is close to 20 million, which is a staggering number. Sadly, the stigma attached to any mental condition makes it difficult for the sufferers to seek treatment without drawing social criticism and ostracism. However, the stark truth is that if left untreated depression can take humongous form turning the sufferer suicidal with each passing day.
Depression is easily treatable with herbs that have little or no side effects unlike some of the prescribed medications for the problem. Let us look at some of the herbs that are widely used in the treatment of depression and the symptoms associated with the condition.
Herbal Remedies For Depression
St. John’s Wort
This is perhaps the most popular herbal remedy for depression and historical accounts have revealed that St. John’s wort was used during ancient times to treat insomnia, anxiety and nervousness. In the history of modern world the herb has been used extensively for treating depression after 20 clinical trials proved its effectiveness. In fact, medical studies have proven that St. John’s wort has higher rate of treatment success than a prescribed placebo. Besides, the herb has lesser and very mild side effects when compared to those of the modern medicines used in the treatment of depression. However, the herb is not an effective remedy for treating major form of depression; it is best given to patients who show the first symptoms of the condition.
St. John’s wort is sold online as well as in many health and drug stores in the form of tea, tablets, liquid extracts as well as capsules. The herb needs to be taken regularly for a period of 6 weeks to treat the condition completely. Some people may notice side effects like fatigue, dry mouth, indigestion and dizziness but these are very mild and pass away with regular use of the herbal medication. The herb is also known to increase photosensitivity hence, sunlight and other form of artificial bright light should be avoided as far as possible. If this is not possible then it is best to wear sunglasses for protection.
Ginkgo biloba is a popular herb used in the treatment of insomnia since it helps calm the mind and body. The herb is now being used for alleviating depression and its symptoms because it helps the brain produce specific neurotransmitters that block out negative feelings.In fact, gingko biloba has been proven to help deal with dementia in elderly patients. Even a weak tincture prepared using the herb is an excellent way of calming agitated nerves and providing freedom from harmful addictions.
This perennial herb is mainly found in the cold alpine terrain of the Northern Hemisphere. It is the root of Rhodiola rosea that is used in the treatment of various physical and mental ailments. The herb is popularly used by the natives to improve mental well being and to provide treatment for mood swings, stress, nervousness and depression. Many herbalists consider the herb an adaptogen, which means that it is a natural treatment against stress as it calms the nerves and helps maintain the health of immune system as well as the balance the body’s production of endocrine hormones.
Medical studies have proven that consumption of the herb regularly but in controlled dosage can help decrease the average recovery time post vigorous physical workouts and also reduce incidents of nervous attacks in people suffering from depression.
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Camu Camu, also known as Myrciaria dubia, is the richest source of vitamin C in the world. The berries of the herbal plant contain great amounts of naturally occurring vitamin C and this gives the herb great medicinal value. The fruit of the plant is sweet and tangy in taste and contains other nutrients as well that make it very effective in fighting ailments such as herpes. The fruit of the herbal plant boosts the immune system of the body and prepares the body to deal with bacterial and fungal attacks better.
Apart from these properties, Camu Camu is a natural adaptogen and helps reduce the intensity of anxiety and stress thus alleviating depression and its symptoms. In fact, it has been revealed that extracts of the herb are used in the production of natural antidepressant medications. Besides, intake of Camu Camu for treating depression has absolutely no side effects as long as the herbal medication is given in appropriate doses.
As the name suggests, Ashwagandha is an Indian herb that has been used since ancient times to treat symptoms associated with mental disorders. Ayurvedic medicine makes use of the herb for treating depression and anxiety as well as for preventing conditions like Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease that are considered to degenerate the brain cells. Also, the herb restricts the production and spread of cancer causing cells in the body.
Medically it has been proven that ashwagandha is the best treatment for alleviating depression and its symptoms; the herb is known to work better than the best drugs used for treating depression mainly because it effectively prevents the free radicals in the body (that are responsible for stress) from causing extreme damage to the body.
Maca is popularly known as Peruvian ginseng and is an herb that is used as a root vegetable. The herb is rich source of various vitamins, minerals, nutrients, amino acids and phytonutrients. The herb has a long history of association with Ayurvedic medications because of its medicinal properties. In ancient times Maca was used for boosting the stamina and increasing energy and libido in young men. The herb also strengthens the immune, endocrine and adrenal systems.
Recent medical studies have shown that the herb is an effective antidote for depression and related symptoms like stress and nervousness and Maca is now being used for treating anxiety and depression in menopausal women. It is also used for treating all kinds of depression as it suppresses the nerve transmission of negative feelings from the brain.