Natural Herbs For Depression

Depression means the emotion of sadness and other related behaviour, as per psychiatry and psychology. No one knows for sure what leads to depression. The symptoms, however, show a vast change from a person's normal behaviour. A downcast mood nearly everyday, loss of interest in most activities, change in appetite and weight, insomnia, loss of energy, a feeling of guilt and worthlessness, lack of concentration and above all, suicidal tendencies are some of the major symptoms of depression. All these symptoms may occur suddenly or gradually. Without any help, a depressed mood can go on for weeks, or even years.

Like it is hard to tell the causes of depression, it is equally difficult to say whether a particular medication will work on a depressed individual. The cure depends on the individual's lifestyle, the medicines given and the body's response to them. The best way is to try out the medicines since they have worked for many people. There are various treatments available which do not require any prescription. But it is best to consult a doctor before starting on any medicine.

Natural treatments like herbs and herbal supplements are often sought by people suffering from depression. These people usually react adversely to normal medication. Natural herbs can be viewed as a holistic approach to treating depression. Do remember there is no one herbal remedy that can cure depression. Herbal medicines, proper nutrition and verbal therapy sessions with one's psychiatrist together can help one to achieve a better physical and mental health.

St. John's Wort or Hypericum perforatum has long been used by the rural people as a medicine against sadness, anxiety and poor sleep. Recent clinical trials have found out that it is as effective as any antidepressants prescribed to treat depression. It is now available in many drug stores. However, it is incapable of treating major depression. Side effects include indigestion, fatigue, dry mouth and dizziness.

There are many other herbs that can help to treat depression. Among them are basil, licorice, Siberian ginseng, ginkgo, balm, black hellebore, clove, damiana, borage, fo-ti-tieng, kava kava, ginger, oat straw, rosemary, purslane, sage, Yohimbine and hyme. Passionflower is another herb that has a sleep-inducing affect on the nervous system. This herb is gentle in its action and is a non-habit forming medication.

Valerian root is a pungent herb. Valium is derived from this plant. It is a potent calmative and should not be used for more than three weeks. Skullcap is used for nervous tension due to stress and fatigue including neuralgia. This herb is useful in countering the withdrawal effects of anti-depressant drugs. It may make the user feel drowsy.

Vitamins are also a natural treatment for depression. Decreased folate and vitamin B12 levels have often been the causes of depression. Intake of foods rich in vitamins like leafy vegetables and fruits or taking vitamin supplements help an individual cope better with depression. Cold water fish like salmons and sardines and fish oil capsules are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of good fat needed to fight depression. SAM-e or S-adenosyl-L-methionine, a chemical formed naturally in the human body, helps to increase the levels of neurotransmitters and prevent depression.