A large portion of population takes anti-depressant medicines to deal with depression. But reality is medication do not cure it, hardly 30% of depression can be cured by prescribed medicines. So along with medicines, doctor prescribes cognitive behavioral therapy. But this combination is also failure because anti-depressant medicine has wide range of side effects such as nausea, anxiety, weight gain, headache, loss of libido, insomnia etc. Hence safest option for them is herbs for depression.
There are many herbs which has been used for many centuries to treat depression and other ailments. Several studies had tried to prove the efficiency and safety of those herbs and still research is going on. Here I have mentioned some of them which has some scientific evidences that they may boost your mood if you experience mild to moderate depression.
1 St. John’s wort:
St. John’s wort is the most researched herb or supplement for depression. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has conducted 37 studies on it and concluded that St. John’s wort is most effective herb for mild to moderate depression. But also suggested to use it wisely because it can interfere with some synthetic medicines such as HIV/AIDS medications, birth control pills, blood thinning medicines and chemotherapy. So always consult with your physician before taking St. John’s wort.
Saffron is derived from Crocus sativus plant. A research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology has suggested that saffron might help to boost level of serotonin and other chemicals in the brain. This study which lasts over 6 weeks found that saffron was able to reduce symptoms of depression and saffron was as effective as fluoxetine.
Ginko is well known herb known for its numerous health benefits. It helps to improve memory, vertigo, ringing in ears, loss of concentration, hearing disorders, disturbance in mood, improves brain function, useful to treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As an anti-depressant herb, Ginko not only increases the level of serotonin but also it helps to boost the activity of other monoamine neurotransmitters. Furthermore it also improves blood circulation in the brain by increasing oxygen supply to brain and neurons. Ultimately all cells are well nourished.
4 Curcumin (Turmeric):
Curcumin or turmeric is another miraculous spice commonly found in every household across Asia and India. During depression it acts 3 ways.
- It has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect
- It regulates level of neurotransmitter in brain.
- Turmeric boosts level of BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF is a protein helps to control mood, learning and long term memory.
S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is a natural compound found in nearly every body tissue and fluid, where it participates in myriad life-sustaining biochemical reactions. SAMe boosts metabolism of dopamine and serotonin which helps to control mood. Couple of studies have proved that SAMe has improved depressive symptoms in most of patients.
If you looking for herbs or supplements to treat your depression, please consult with your physician first. Some of the herbs said to be free of side effects but these might interact with your medicines which will create serious complications.