Depression is not merely a feeling of sadness or gloom. It is a serious mood disturbance and its symptoms can range from mild to even life threatening. Depression is a fairly common disorder that affects millions of people across different age groups, including adolescents and children. While different antidepressants have been used over the years to treat this condition, the use of alternative therapies such as herbal capsules, supplements, and vitamins, have proven even more effective.
The use of complementary therapies is increasingly becoming a staple in the treatment of anxiety and depression, as more and more people seek natural solutions for their health problems.
But are herbal supplements and remedies safe and effective? Research has shown that they can potentially treat mild to moderate depression. Here are some of the herbs, supplements, and vitamins that produce the best results:
St. John’s Wort
Also known as Hypericum perforatum, St. John’s Wort is a shrubby herb commonly used in the treatment of mild to moderate. In fact, this herb has been used for hundreds of years as a remedy for mental health, and is gaining popularity in Europe for its efficacy in treating depression. However, St. John’s Wort can have numerous interactions with other medications, so it is always best to consult a medical doctor before using.
Valerian is an herbal psychotherapeutic medication native to Asia and Europe, and typically used for the management of certain sleep disorders. Long before now, valerian was used for the treatment of conditions such as digestive disorders, spasmodic ache, and heart palpitations. However, even more noteworthy is its effect in the management of depression. By reducing inflammation, boosting brain chemistry, and improving sleep, valerian may help relieve anxiety and depression.
Ginseng has been a popular fixture in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is found in the gnarled root of the Asian or American ginseng plant. This supplement has been recognized for its ability to help boost energy, improve mental clarity, and reduce the effects of stress. These properties make ginseng a great herbal supplement for the treatment of depression.
Vitamin B is generally important for your brain health. This is especially true for vitamins B-6 and B-12. They produce and control chemicals that influence the brain’s functions and influences mood. It is hardly surprising that low levels of these vitamins have been linked to anxiety and depression. If your vitamin B levels are low, you can boost your intake by including Vitamin B-rich foods such as eggs, fish, meat, and dairy in your diet. There are also B-supplements that can serve as effective alternatives. Increasing vitamin B levels can help end depression and its symptoms. However, since vitamin B supplements may interfere with other medications, it would be ideal to discuss with your doctor before you begin using it.
Vitamin D has a wide range of health benefits. Vitamin D, through adequate levels of sunshine, can help keep your bones strong by helping your body absorb calcium. It can also protect the body against high blood pressure and cancer. But even more noteworthy is its ability to ease symptoms of depression. While the link between Vitamin D and treatment of depression is not as supported as with other medical conditions, people with depression generally have low levels of the vitamin. A study conducted in 2008 in Norway showed that when given about 20,000 and 40,000 IUs of vitamin D per week, about 441 overweight men and women has significantly less symptoms of depression.