Herbs For Depression

Herbs For Depression

Depression is a mental health issue affecting over 17 million adults in the United States. The actual number might be higher since most people with depression do not seek treatment. There are classifications of depression with features like irritable mood, cognitive changes, sadness, and feeling lonely.

Depressive disorders are treated with psychotherapy and medication. When incorporated with lifestyle changes, recovery and relapse prevention are achieved. Research shows that specific minerals, vitamins, and compounds offer extra benefits and improve depressive symptoms. Unlike other medications, herbs and dietary supplements are not monitored by the FDA. This means you may not be sure about what you are getting and how safe it is. Before introducing herbs for depression and anxiety into your diet research, consult your doctor. Below are some herbs are known for treating depression.

Rhodiola Rosea

The herb is linked to several health benefits when taken in a supplement. They reduce depressive symptoms while improving stress responses, enabling your body to adapt to stressful circumstances. The herb has antidepressant effects since it enhances nerve cell communication and reduces the overactivity of the HPA axis. When there is an overactive HPA axis, patients suffer major depression. Studies show that taking 340 mg of the calming herbs daily for three months reduced depressive symptoms.

St John’s Wort

The popular herb shows promise in mitigating the symptoms of depression. Thirty-five studies done in 2016 show that the symptoms of patients with mild and moderate depression were reduced. The herbs to soothe anxiety have not been effective in treating severe depression. The herb interacts with commonly used medications.


Saffron is a bright color spice full of antioxidant compounds such as carotenoids crocetin and crocin. Saffron is used as an herb for stress and anxiety. According to studies, it increases the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin levels in the brain. The exact process is unknown; however, saffron inhibits the uptake of serotonin and keeps it in the brain longer.

Five random analyses showed that saffron supplement significantly reduces depressive symptoms in adults compared to placebo treatment. The review also found that saffron supplements similarly decrease depressive symptoms like antidepressant medication. Researchers acknowledge that more trials with long follow-up periods are needed to assess the ability of saffron to treat depression.


Supplements are also incorporated into the day-to-day diet to combat depression. The fact is that most of the food we eat every day lacks some of the essential minerals and vitamins that help develop the brain and combat diseases. The extra help from herbs and supplements helps achieve a healthy body.

Omega-3 fats are essential fat that is gotten from our diet. Studies show that it also helps treat depression. The supplement helps in improving depressive symptoms in postpartum and pregnant women.

NAC, a precursor to amino acids glutathione and L-cysteine, is another supplement that reduces depressive symptoms. Glutathione is a crucial antioxidant in the body that regulates inflammation and protects cells against oxidative damage. Depression can cause the body to produce higher levels of inflammatory cytokine, which are reduced by taking NAC.

Before deciding on supplements or herbs to alleviate anxiety, do thorough research, consult your doctor or therapist, and find a solution that works best for you.

Sarah Madsen is a master herbalist and Reiki master teacher. She believes in the body’s innate self-healing ability. Please call 808-280-5085 or email sarah@mauiherbalist.com to book a 30-minute herb and nutrition consultation today.

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