Natural Antidepressants

Feb 04, 2009
Depression is a serious condition that negatively affects its sufferers in many ways. People suffering from depression often cannot express their feelings and find it difficult to work properly or communicate with their family and friends. It is very important for the depressed person to get help as soon as possible to find the appropriate treatment. Nowadays depression can be treated with a number of medications as well as using psychological methods. In some cases natural antidepressants can become an alternative to medications or can be used as an additional treatment option.

There are a number of herbal remedies often used to treat depression:

  • St.John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is one of the most popular and quite effective natural antidepressants. This herb contains certain substances like hyperforin, hypericinand pseudohypericin, which regulates neurotransmitter functioning and restrain monoamine oxidase, a substance that is responsible for depression.

    It is recommended to take abut 900 to1800 mg a day depending on the severity of depression. St.John's Wort is available in many forms, including capsules, tea, oils and others. In spite of the fact, that St.John's Wort is a herbal remedy, there are certain contraindications against taking it. Be careful while taking St Johns Wort with cold and flue medications as well as other antidepressants. The plant is also not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

  • Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)is another herbal remedy that is commonly used to treat anxiety, insomnia and stress. Kava herb contains chemicals that also influence certain neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, gamma aminobutyric acid and dopamine. You can use Kava extract in a form of capsules, tea or liquid extract. Kava Kava is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, Parkinson's disease.

  • Lemon Balm is known for its calming effect and is another popular antidepressant used for many years. Lemon balm reduces stress, boosts appetite, works as pain reliever and has anti-viral properties. It is often indicated in cases when indigestion is linked to anxiety or depression, as it contains gently sedative oils. The herb is rich in essential oil, tannins, polyphenols, flavonoids, and other chemicals that have beneficial effect on nervous system. It is also effective for treating migraine that is connected to tension, anxiety and insomnia. This herb is available in a form of tea, capsules, tinctures, and oil. Lemon Balm should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women.

  • Licorice is a herbal remedy often prescribed for common cold treatment, but recently is known as being effective natural antidepressant too. Licorice contains chemicals that are known to inhibit monoamine oxidase which explains its antidepressant properties. However, licorice should be taken with precaution as long-term treatment with licorice may cause headaches, lethargy and hypertension. Licorice is commonly taken in a form of tea( 2-3 cups of tea) or tincture.

  • Ginseng extract is an effective herbal remedy to relieve depression symptoms. This natural antidepressant regulates the levels of specific essential neurotransmitters, like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine in the brain, which improves the condition of a depressed person. It is recommended to take 400 mg of ginseng extract for treatment of depression.

  • Ginkgo biloba is a popular plant used for treatment of depression. The components of Ginkgo improves circulation in the brain, boost memory and improves the mood of a depressed person. Ginkgo Biloba has flavonoids and terpenoids that are known as antioxidants. The extract of Ginkgo is available in a form of capsules, tablets, tinctures, powder and other. It is recommended to take about 80-120 mg two times a day.