Herbal supplements for depression

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Tess Thompson

Irrespective of how severe a bout with depression may be, natural remedies for depression, conventional drugs, or psychotherapy can cure the condition. There has been a marked shift towards treating depression naturally due to increased awareness of the serious side effects that conventional medications can cause. More and more people are now aware that drugs like antidepressants, mood elevators, and stimulants that are used for treating depression cause side effects. These side effects can surface while the drug is being taken and also emerge when the drug is stopped suddenly.

Depression affects the cognitive abilities, rationality, feelings, and behavior of an individual. Severe depression can actually lead to physical harm as well. In severe cases, some patients stop eating, resulting in malnutrition. Some others can get seriously injured in accidents due to irrational behavior.

Depression requires a systematic approach of planned and orderly treatment. In most cases, the patient must be supervised throughout treatment since depression attacks the rational brain. Therefore, it is essential that a responsible caregiver is appointed to ensure that treatment is followed and maintained. This process gets even more complicated if the patient is undergoing natural treatment for depression since monitoring behavior, medication levels, and various other symptoms becomes extremely critical.

Knowledge of the herbal remedies and supplements that aid in treating depression helps in understanding the overall herbal therapy:

  • St. John’s Wort is probably the most popular and highly recommended of all herbal supplements. It is a perennial shrub and is actively used by doctors in Germany who prefer it over conventional antidepressants. St. John’s Wort is particularly recommended for patients with mild to moderate depression.
  • Rhodiola Rosea has been used for centuries to cure fatigue and lethargy. Its properties help in reducing stress, mental fatigue, and exhaustion.
  • Ginkgo Biloba has been the mainstay of traditional Chinese medication for depression. The herb is recommended for conditions like hypertension, muscular degeneration, and anxiety.
  • Valerian Root has been used by many old civilizations. The tranquilizing properties of the herb helps in countering symptoms like restlessness, anxiety, and sleeplessness in depression patients.
  • Peppermint is used in the homoeopathic remedy, Melissa Officinalis, for promoting general well being and combating anxiety.
  • Lavandula Augustifolia, derived from Lavender, is another such homeopathic remedy that is used extensively for anxiety and depression.

In conjunction with herbal supplements and remedies, relaxation techniques like exercise, meditation, and yogic postures can provide much better results.

Herbal supplements are easily available over-the-counter. Even though herbal medicines are not known to have any side effects, self-medication should be avoided.


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