Depression and anxiety are common in the United States. Approximately, 40 million American adults have depression and anxiety each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Nowadays, more and more people turn to take herbs for depression or anxiety instead of using medical treatments that can cause harmful side effects.
Top Natural Herbs For Depression And Anxiety
Herbs have long been used as an effective treatment method and a way to deal with a series of medical problems. Although most doctors always advice sufferers to use prescription medications which may quickly relieve health problems, many people prefer to use natural herbs. The reason is because some people hate to take medications, while others concern about severe side effects of medications. In this case, an herbal strategy for relieving depression and anxiety is a great alternative. Herbs will help you treat many symptoms of depression and anxiety such as lack of energy, poor digestion and insomnia, and restore balance to your nervous system. Moreover, these natural herbs have fewer side effects than prescription medications and are made from all natural ingredients. Here is a list of 16 herbs for depression and anxiety that are useful for either depression and anxiety treatment or minimizing the related side effects.
1. Maca (Lepidium Meyenii)
Maca also called Peruvian ginseng, is a root vegetable that is rich in minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and amino acids. Maca has long been used in traditional medicine to boost the endocrine, adrenal and immune systems, enhance libido and increase energy and stamina. As reported in a study published in the journal Menopause in 2008, maca can help to alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms in women with menopause. Other study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine has showed that maca acts as an antidepressant in all people who consumed.
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is an Indian plant that has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha is mentioned in this list of 16 herbs for depression and anxiety because it is a great source of powerful adaptogenic compounds which help you relieve depression and anxiety symptoms. Many studies have found that ashwagandha works as or even better than antidepressant at treating depression and relieving anxiety symptoms. In addition, ashwagandha helps you prevent stress-induced free radical damage naturally without side effects. Ashwagandha is also known to help combat degenerative brain conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as slow down the development of cancer cells.
Valerian is regarded as one of the most effective herbs for depression and anxiety. Valerian positively influences the production of a neurotransmitter called GABA in your body that affects the pharmacology of anxiety. The sedative qualities of valerian not only help reduce anxiety an effective sedative but also soothe your muscles and relieve mental and physical tension, making you relaxed. You shouldn’t use this herb if you are among pregnant women, children under 12 or you are taking other anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants.
4. St John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is derived from the flowers of Hypericum perforatum, a plant existed in subtropical and temperate regions of the world. Like other herbs for depression and anxiety mentioned above, St John’s Wort has long been used in folk medicine for poor sleep, nervousness, worry and sadness. The results of over 20 clinical trials showed that St. John’s Wort can help treat mild to moderate depression and anxiety better than antidepressants and placebo with fewer side effects. St. John’s Wort is considered as an inexpensive, safe and effective herbal remedy that can help you improve your mental health.
Skullcap is a North American plant that has powerful anti-inflammatory, tonic and sedative properties. Therefore, people often use skullcap to treat a wide variety of nervous disorders such as insomnia, hysteria, anxiety and even depression. Skullcap also helps to treat attention deficit disorder and neuralgia. Like valerian, skullcap should not be used by pregnant women.
6. Siberian Ginseng
Siberian ginseng is among herbs for depression and anxiety because it contributes to the balance of important neurotransmitters in your brain. Siberian ginseng contains adaptogen which helps your body adapt to physical external stresses. Moreover, Siberian ginseng boosts your immune system, improves abstract thinking and enhances aerobic capacity.
Rhodiola or Crassulaceae is a perennial plant growing in cold, alpine regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is good for improving physical and mental endurance, alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety and reducing fatigue. Moreover, it contains a natural substance called adaptogen, which helps normalize the response of your body to stress and balances endocrine hormones and the immune system, maintaining optimal homeostasis.
Native Americans in North America have used passionflower for a long time as a tea to treat epilepsy, insomnia and hysteria. A new research found that passionflower is also effective in treating mild to moderate anxiety naturally. That’s because passionflower may help you reduce muscle tension, soothe the nerves to prevent hot flashes, headaches, mood swings and agitation caused by depression and anxiety. However, if you are taking a prescription sedative, don’t take passionflower as it can cause drowsiness and sleepiness.
A natural antidepressant compound found in licorine is useful for depression and anxiety treatment. However, it is essential to ask your physician before using licorice because it can cause side effects.
10. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is known as one of the calming herbs for depression and anxiety that has anti-depressant activity. It may help soothe frayed nerves and treat depression. Lemon balm also helps you lessen severity of insomnia and indigestion, lower blood pressure, improve memory and cure gas and cramps.
11. Kava Kava
Kava Kava is one of the most effective herbs for depression and anxiety. In 2013, researchers conducted a study that participants in two groups were given a six-week trial of kava extract or placebo. After measuring their anxiety with a standardized scale, the researchers found that 26% of the kava group reduced their anxiety significantly in comparison with only 6% of the placebo group. However, Kava Kava can cause headaches and some health scares, so you should ask your doctor before using Kava Kava.
12. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is known to relieve depression and anxiety and improve memory, especially in the elderly. The reason is that ginkgo biloba has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-depressant, which improve your circulation, dialate the arteries and increase blood flow to the brain. Additionally, ginkgo biloba has been shown to increase the number of serotonin receptors that help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It is recommended that chamomile is one of the best herbs for depression and anxiety as it may help to soothe nerves and irritability. Chamomile acts as a natural sedative that eases mild anxiety and promotes relaxation. Besides, chamomile is also used to calm nervousness in your mind. In the same way, chamomile can help to relieve digestive discomforts and stimulate appetite in people who have a great deal of stress. A cup of chamomile tea may help calm you down when suffering a jittery moment. Chamomile is also useful for depression and anxiety in children.
Catnip is a unique herbal remedy for depression and anxiety. Like valerian, catnip acts as a sedative that helps to relieve some symptoms of depression and anxiety like stomach cramps, spasms, and irritations. In those with severe anxiety, catnip eases muscle tension and stress, improves appetite and alleviates headaches caused by insomnia. This is the reason why some people will be relaxing and soothing when drinking the tea.
15. Camu Camu
Camu Camu also called Myrciaria dubia, is a tropical rainforest plant whose berries contain the highest levels of vitamin C in the world. Besides natural vitamin C, the plant’s fruit also contains a host of nutrients which combat the negative effects of bacteria and viruses, relieve inflammation and improve the immune system. More than that, the adaptogenic properties of Camu Camu can help normalize bodily processes during stress, and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety without any negative side effects.
Hops is among useful herbs for depression and anxiety because it has the tranquilizing benefits. Like other herbs for depression and anxiety, hops contains sedative compound which is used to fight headaches, stress and insomnia. Hops is also beneficial for general nervousness, indigestion and may help reduce fever. Make sure that you do not take sedative herbs when using a prescription tranquilizer or sedative.
All of the 16 herbs for depression and anxiety that I listed above are easy to take at home or find as supplements at your local health food store and really help you feel better when suffering from the symptoms caused by depression and anxiety. With my personal experience and studies for a long time in this field, I am glad to share them with anyone who desires to treat depression and anxiety naturally with herbal strategy without negative side effects. However, it is essential to consult with your physician before taking herbs for depression and anxiety because some herbs can interact with medications.
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