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Depression Herbal Remedies

Depression is a mood disorder that is characterized by persistent low mood and lack of enjoyment in life. It afflicts millions of Americans, many of whom have been convinced that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) and various other antidepressant drugs are their only option for treatment and healing. There are a number of natural herbal alternatives that are available for both depression and memory loss. Depression may be caused by a variety of causes, of both physiological and organic origin. Some of the most recognized include food allergies, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, heart disease, environmental toxins, poor adrenal function, nutritional deficiencies and even certain prescription medications. And while we all experience periodic “mood swings”, the symptoms of true depression are outlined by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Some of these are described as weight loss due to poor appetite, or overeating accompanied by weight gain, frequent insomnia and hypersomnia (sleeping too much), a lack of interest in regular activities and/or a decrease in sex drive, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating and suicidal thoughts. Anti-depressant drugs are a common course of treatment, but there is a high rate of relapse and dependency associated with these drugs. Mild to moderate may show improvement by employing certain botanicals and nutritional considerations. But this should be discussed with a healthcare practitioner, as herbal medications with other anti-depressant drugs may cause more problems. Herbs for depression work in different ways and treat various symptoms of the disorder. Nervine herbs tone your nervous system and help you to relax and adaptogens act directly on brain neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers involved in mood, perception and appetite.


St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) has at least ten pharmacologically active constituents, but researchers are most interested in hypericin and pseudohypericin. It has been found to be a useful nervine herb that has been used by traditional healers to treat mild depression and has fewer side-effects than traditional antidepressants. St. John’s Wort root acts as an MAO-inhibitor, but it’s more gentle. It has been suggested that it may work by preventing nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing the feel-good chemical messenger known as serotonin. St John’s Wort may be a good choice for treating depression in those who don’t respond well to medications or as an alternative to conventional medication for children who suffer from depression.

Borage is a gamma linolenic acid that comes from the seeds of the borage plant and also one of the essential omega 6 fatty acids. It has been used for hundreds of years in the treatment of many ailments such as stress, bronchitis and the common cold. BorageTincture has been found to work on the adrenal glands and bring people out of a depressive state. Practitioner’s trying to help their patients overcome depression try to both reduce the patient’s stress and combat fear. Rich in calcium, potassium and mineral salts, the nutrients help to and stabilize the adrenal gland, which helps the body to cope with stress and brings about a level of happiness and energy that combats feelings of fatigue. It also helps the mind to focus and organize chaos in a better way. With the correct dosage, Borage may help depression sufferers to live a normal life and to be a part of a productive community as it is known as a remedy for melancholy, it stimulates, energizes and renews a zest for life.

Many herbalists have tested the effects of Passionflower on humans to treat anxiety and depression and found it may have a very calming effect on the body. It works as a sedative with a tranquilizing effect as it contains chemicals called lactones and active components called flavonoids and alkaloids. Studies have shown that Passionflower Tincture has a complex action on the central nervous system, acting as MAO inhibitors and anti-depressants. It is just like a number of other herbal treatments, all natural and not habit forming when consumed in the correct dosage.  It was first used to treat restlessness, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, neurosis and spasms of the digestive system.  Likewise, it is considered to be beneficial for premenstrual tension syndrome, PMS, and menopausal problems. Because of its relaxing qualities, Passion flower    is used as a sleep aid by those suffering from insomnia. Passionflower has also been studied for it use in easing some of the symptoms of withdrawal from opiate drugs, including morphine. It has shown to be beneficial in relieving some of the emotional symptoms that other withdrawal drugs alone cannot.

Gotu Kola increases general health and body strength, revitalizes and rejuvenates. What makes it highly valuable though is its effects on depression, stress and fatigue. Gotu Kola is a natural antidepressant plant and has the ability to treat other disorders like anxiety, sleeplessness, fear as well as schizophrenic tendencies, and it is the best herb to fight all symptoms of depression. Like foods with serotonin it is useful in the treatment of many disorders.  It has also shown to reduce anxiety levels and increase mental and physical powers. Gotu Kola   is a highly efficient mind-booster that can improve cognitive function, revitalize the brain and nervous system, increase attention span and memory. For this reason it is sometimes called “food for the brain”. 

Ginkgo Biloba is an herb sometimes used as an alternative treatment for depression with its antidepressant and anti-stress properties. This herb is primarily used to treat conditions characterized by reduced blood flow to the brain, even thinking disorders like depression. A study in “Phytotherapy Research” showed that lipophilic of Ginkgo Biloba leaves reduces stress-induced brain damage, a possible causative factor for depression. By increasing blood flow both to the brain and body, which helps to improve memory and mood, it also has cardiovascular benefits.

Lobelia has been used to help with depression and as a muscle relaxant. Delicate in nature, however, the energy it gives off is not delicate. It gives off energy of strength and its application for intelligence, and has been referred to as the “thinking herb”.  Lobelia added to this formula because it has a way of thinking where healing is needed in the body, and then directing other herb ingredients where they are most needed. And the list just keeps getting better, taking into account how beneficial it can be for those who are trying to overcome addictions. Lobelia contains an alkaloid called lobeline that is very similar to nicotine. It works to block the effects of nicotine making it useful for quitting smoking. It also blocks the effects of amphetamine and opioids, making Lobelia   an important herb for overcoming addiction to opiate addiction as well as smoking.

There are some promising results about the effects of herbs and certain vitamins on conditions and disease. Cayenne Pepper can certainly be a part of the nutritional component that is needed for your treatment plan. It is filled with vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids and minerals, helpful for staying active and being spontaneous, which are all facets of depression recovery. Cayenne is the number one herbal remedy for boosting overall circulation in the body. When used with herbs like Ginkgo Biloba, Cayenne Pepper   s greatly help to boost circulation and heal the brain. This makes Cayenne another of the indirect herbal remedies for depression. Capsaicin might indirectly help to relieve anxiety symptoms through its ability to increase endorphins in the brain. Research has shown that capsaicin stimulates the production of endorphins, hormones responsible for blocking pain signals, as well as for the eurphoric sensations it brings to a body. Due to its ability to dull pain, if anxiety is based on physical pain, you may experience anxiety reduction through pain relief.

To heal any part of the body, or to restore balance to any aspect of the body, you must feed it with ideal nutrition. The best nutrition comes from fresh fruits and vegetables, especially when raw, fresh juices, and nutritional superfoods. To beat the physiological aspects of depression and as a supplement to efforts of herbal remedies for depression, good nutrition is key.

Try Maus’ Cast Away the Melencoly Blues Herbal Tea, Peace and Quite Herbal Tea or Sooth your Soul Herbal Tea to hlep with feeling depressed or stressed.

You can also view Blessed Necessities medicinal essential oil blends in 5mm roller bottles for Depression here.  

Disclaimer - The information presented herein by Mountain Maus’ Remedies is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provide

By: Patricia Delgado (November 5, 2014)