Learning How Herbs Can Aid in Treating Depression Naturally
Posted Jul 10 2010 12:00am
If you are like many of the 20.9 million adults in the U.S. who are suffering from depression, you have probably debated the pros and cons of taking prescription antidepressants. While depression can often be combated with therapy alone, some professionals do recommend medication for certain cases.
The right type and dosage of a prescription medication can sometimes meet with success for a patient, but many experience side effects that outweigh the benefits.
Side effects vary between the different types of antidepressant, but the most commonly prescribed medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft are all SSRIs, and often produce side effects such as sexual dysfunction, nausea, diarrhea and headaches, and in some cases thoughts of suicide. In order to avoid these, more and more people are deciding instead to explore natural remedies for depression.
Many who are fed up with the side effects of antidepressants (or who simply don't want to risk them in the first place) turn instead to natural remedies for depression. Some remedies have proven to be so effective that they outsell prescription medications in some markets. St. John's Wort, for example, is one of the herbal treatments for depression that works so well that in Germany, it outsells many major prescription antidepressants. St. John's Wort is believed to boost serotonin levels in the brain, naturally lifting spirits and alleviating feelings of depression.
Among those who know, St. John's Wort is almost unanimously agreed upon as the alternative treatment for depression. Many believe that it is more effective at treating depression than many prescription medications but with fewer risks.
The active compounds in St. John's Wort help naturally reduce feelings of sadness, anxiety and worthlessness, and many who take it also report less exhaustion and fewer headaches. Best of all, this herb often produces no side effects, although some might experience sensitivity to sun or other minor side effects.
Ginko Biloba is a natural ingredient that improves circulation in the brain, which often in turn improves memory and also alleviates some symptoms of depression. It is not as effective as St. John's Wort, but it can be taken in conjunction with other natural ingredients as an overall mood-booster.
Siberian Ginseng aids the balance of essential neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Taking Siberian Ginseng regularly can lead to improved feelings of general well-being.
Passion flower is another natural ingredient that can help treat depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. Passion flower is a natural salve that helps to calm and soothe. When it is combined with St. John's Wort, it can be very successful in treating depression naturally.
These and many other herbs are helpful in alleviating many of the symptoms of depression, and as with anything you put into your body, each person will react differently to them. It is important to allow a trial period in order to feel the effects of the natural medications, as some will take several weeks to take effect.
As always, you should seek a doctor's advice before you decide to stop taking a prescription medication, and you should avoid combining prescription medications with natural medications. Hopefully, you will find a safe, healthy combination of natural ingredients helps you to feel consistently better over time.