There are many reasons why people all over the world suffer from anxiety and depression. In many cases, overwhelming feelings of sadness, worry, panic, or hopelessness are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Chemical imbalance may be a direct result of a person’s genetic make-up, or simply the brain’s response to a stressful situation or environment. Regardless of the cause, most people can agree that the feelings caused by anxiety and depression can be difficult to cope with not only emotionally, but physically as well. There are many prescription drugs available to treat anxiety and depression, but many of them are accompanied by a long list of side effects and hefty price tags. If you would like to take a more natural approach when it comes to healing these crippling conditions, you are in luck. For ages all-natural herbs have been used to treat anxiety and depression safely and effectively. Highlighted here are 7 herbs that have stood the test of time and have been found to be very therapeutic.
Herbs That Can Help With Anxiety and Depression
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is one of the most widely used herbs for the treatment of anxiety and depression. It helps lessen symptoms of extreme sadness and anxiousness, and can assist one in fighting both tension and fatigue. The plant itself is home to the natural chemical hypericin. Hypericin has many similarities to the agents found in popular anti-depressants, but is without the many harmful side effects that come along with prescription medications. A tea or tincture can be made at home out of the fresh herb, or you can find St. John’s Wort capsules at your local pharmacy or natural health store.
Also known as Melissa, lemon balm is a soothing herb that has been found to be very effective in battling anxiety and depression. It calms frazzled nerves, reduces irritability, relieves insomnia, and coats a nervous stomach. Use the essential oil to inhale its fresh scent, and add a few drops to a hot bath for immediate stress relief. This is a wonderful herb to use for children that are anxious or sad, because they usually like its lemony flavor. The lemon balm herb can be used to make a tasty tea or infusion.
Kava, an herb mainly found in the Pacific islands, has been widely recognized for its benefits in treating the many symptoms of anxiety and depression. From headache and fatigue to stress and hyperactivity, this herb has you covered. Kava root can be boiled for five to ten minutes to make a hot tea, or capsules can be taken if you are seeking a more convenient way to take the herb internally. Kava should not be taken for excessive periods of time– it should be used temporarily and under the supervision of a physician.
This calming, non-addictive herb has long been used to relieve tension, improve sleeping habits, reduce moodiness, and lessen irritability. It has also been found to help with anxiety and depression caused by severe PMS. The fruit and flower part of the passionflower plant can be eaten fresh or used to cook with, or the dried herb can be used to make a soothing tea that can be enjoyed either hot or cold.
Chamomile is another herb that is known by many for its calming qualities. It elevates the mood, relieves insomnia, soothes the nervous system, and puts a halt to panic attacks. It makes a delicious tea that is so mild it can even be given to babies and children safely. The essential oil of chamomile can be applied topically when added to a skin cream or vegetable-based oil, and the herb itself can be taken internally via tea, tincture, or capsule form.
The gingko biloba herb is frequently used to improve mood, alleviate depression, battle fatigue, and increase concentration and memory. It is especially helpful to elderly people that suffer from anxiety and depression because it aids in more efficient blood flow to the brain. It is most commonly taken in tea or capsule form, and can be easily located in most supermarkets, natural health stores, and pharmacies.
Rosemary is very effective in treating anxiety and depression–its energizing qualities elevate the mood, relieve exhaustion and fatigue, and promote feelings of happiness and well-being. Dried herbs can be used to make a soothing eye pillow or placed in hot water to make a relaxing bath or foot soak. The essential oil of rosemary can be used in a topical body oil or skin cream, or simply inhaled. Rosemary is also a popular herb to cook with–use it in your food more often to take advantage of its many therapeutic benefits!
Using herbs to minimize the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression is a great way to experience natural, holistic healing. The herbs themselves are easy to obtain, and are a great alternative to medications when you want to boost your mood and calm your nerves. Although they are generally mild and safe, it’s always recommended that you consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding anxiety and depression and methods of treatment.