Depression is a devastating psychiatric problem affecting millions of people around the world. Most of them are convinced that the only way to improve their mood and relieve the symptoms of depression. Truth be told, there are several alternative herbal remedies that have been proven by studies to actually work in fighting depression. What’s more, these herbs do not cause the dangerous side effects of anti-depressants that range from nausea to suicidal tendencies. On our list of the five best herbs for depression include St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, and Holy Basil.
1. St. John’s Wort. In Germany, St. John’s Wort is used by doctors for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. This herb that naturally grows in the meadows of European countries is found to contain very active compounds that enhance mood and reacts well to people. St. John’s Wort is rich in hyperforin, hypericin, and pseudohypericin. In clinical tests, St. John’s Wort was found to regulate levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, ensuring that it doesn’t go below normal levels and cause depression. St. John’s Wort delays the reabsorption of serotonin as well as dopamine and norepinephrine so more of them are available in the brain to influence positive mood. The mood support benefits of St. John’s Wort are also found useful for women during PMS and menopause and a wide range of mental health conditions.
2. Ginseng. Ginseng is considered very effective adaptogens, substances that help the body and mind to fight stress. Ginseng roots are rich in essential nutrients, but more importantly, of ginsenosides that influences the adrenal glands to produce hormones that naturally fight stress. Ginseng supplements are known to support energy, mental sharpness, and libido in people with depression.
3. Ashwagandha. Like ginseng, Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that fights physical and mental stressors. The Ashwagandha herb contains withanolides, which are very powerful phytochemicals that relieves brain fog, mental exhaustion, and sad mood. More importantly, the ashwaganda herb reduces the negative effects of stress to emotional health to prevent depression.
4. Holy Basil. This herb is another adaptogen, protecting the mind, body, and mood from stress. Although a native plant in India, its adaptogenic properties made this herb very famous that it is now being cultivated in North America and Europe. Holy Basil can help depressed patients by combating low energy levels.
5. Rhodiola Rosea. Russians and Scandinavians were the first to use Rhodiola to promote healthy mood in people suffering from clinical depression. Rhodiola works through its active ingredient called rosavins, which acts directly on the brain to boost serotonin production. Scientists believe that one of the major causes of depression is low levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that controls mood and behaviour.