Three Antidepressant Herbs
Most of us feel sad, miserable or ‘down in the dumps’ sometimes. We can feel like this when someone we love has died or moves away or we have lost a job or our home or have difficult things or circumstances to cope with. Usually, these feeling become less intense over time — especially, when other good things are happening in our life. However, when these feeling of being sad or down are intense and persistent and stop us from doing the things that we would normally do then it is likely that we have a depressive illness.
The depressive illness can range from interfering with our usual activities and relationships (mild to moderate depression) to making it hard to relate or communicate with others or to do day-to-day tasks ( debilitating or severe depression). If you or someone you know has depression (mild, moderate or severe) it is important to seek professional health care. However, there are many things that the depressed person can do to help themselves — the information on herbal remedies provided in this article is particularly geared to someone with mild or moderate depression.
There are many herbs that are able to help lift the spirits, help a person to relax and relieve stress (which is often at the base of depression). This article concentrates on the following anti-depressive herbs:
- lady’s slipper.
There are many other herbs that are widely known for their anti-depressive qualities and some of these will be explored in other articles.
You will notice from the description of the herbs that are included here that they have many qualities other than relieving depression. These additional qualities can be beneficial to the body — as well as elevating the mood. They can support the body in dealing with The Lost Book of Herbal other conditions that may in themselves contribute to the depression
Damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca)
Damiana is a strengthener for the nervous system. It also has an ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac – this may or may not be true but it is a tonic for the central nervous and hormonal systems. The pharmacology of the plant suggests that it has a testosterone like action.
- Damiana is an anti-depressant and is considered a specific for anxiety and depression where there is a sexual factor.
- It can be used to strengthen the male sexual system.
- As a nerve tonic it is often used with oats and depending on the situation it combines well with kola or skullcap.
Ginseng (Panax Ginseng (Chinese/Korean/Japanese), panax quinquefolius (American) Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian)). It is also known as man root, life root and heal all.
Ginseng root protects the body and nervous system from stress, stimulates and increases metabolic function, enhances physical and mental efficiency by improving circulation. It also helps to keep balanced blood pressure and glucose levels, increase gastrointestinal movement, iron metabolism, and promote RNA synthesis.
- stimulates the nervous system and boosts energy,
- stimulates hormone secretion,
- lowers blood cholesterol level,
- protects cells from damage due to radiation and exposure to toxins,
- enhances memory, concentration and learning,
- helps to lessen the effects of stress,
- improves liver detoxification function,
- improves the appetite,
- helps to elevate the mood (anti-depressant action) and
- improves sleep.
Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium pubescens)
Lady’s slipper is one of the most widely applicable nerviness available. It can be used in all stress reactions, emotional tension and anxiety states. It will help to elevate the mood — especially where depression is present. It can help ease nervous pain — though it is best used in combination with other herbs for this purpose. It can be used to treat anxiety that is associated with insomnia.
Lady’s slipper combines well with oats and skullcap. For nerve pain it can be used with Jamaican dogwood, passion flower and valerian.
Damiana, ginseng and lady’s slipper are three herbs that can be used to help with depression especially for those with mild to moderate depression. If you have depression it is important that you seek professional help. You will also benefit by joining an overcoming depression program.