Herbs for Depression as a Natural Treatment

Depression is a very real medical condition that affects countless numbers of people.  It can be very debilitating to an individual who is suffering from more than just occasional feelings of being down or feeling “blue.”  Often those who are depressed, experience feelings of hopelessness for weeks at a time

What Is Depression?

The most extreme level of depression is called clinical depression.  This form of depression torments the individual through exhibited symptoms such as complete feelings of sadness and being frightened.  In addition, the depressed individual is void of expressing themselves emotionally.  Other symptoms include the loss of appetite, inability to sleep or sleeping excessively, being lethargic, feelings of remorse, inability to stay focused, suicidal thoughts, the overwhelming feeling of being alone, etc.

The severity of depression is classified as minor if the individual experiences at least two of the classic symptoms and less than the majority of the classic symptoms portrayed.  Also, those who suffer from bouts of minor depression experience these symptoms for a minimal period of two weeks. It is generally thought that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance within an individual.  There is no cure for depression; however there are a variety of treatments that are available to those who have been diagnosed with depression.  These treatments include the use of prescription medications, therapy and the use of herbs for depression.

Herbs for Depression

There are many natural remedies on the market that claim to be effective in treating depression.  Two herbs for depression that have shown exciting promise in naturally aiding those who suffer from depression are St. John’s Wort and licorice. 

St. John’s Wort, processed in a usable form and in the proper strength, is derived from an herb that is native to Europe.  The recommended strength of the active ingredient of St. John’s Wort, hyperforin, should be at 3 per cent and a recommended dosage ranging between 900 mg to 1800 mg daily.  The dosage is dependent upon the severity of the individual’s depression.

This herb, in its natural state, is categorized as a toxic weed because of its affects on the central nervous system of animals.  When ingested it depresses the nervous system along with the demonstration of other adverse effects. However, when taken in the proper dosage, St. John’s Wort has been shown to be of value in treating depression.  This value is seen as it inhibits the release of Serotonin.  This action is the same result as when patients have taken chemically manufactured antidepressants.  Therefore, not only does it produce the same result, but is also one of the natural herbs for depression that helps to treat this malady.


Another one of the herbs for depression is licorice.  Licorice is a common herb that is derived from the root of the Glycyrrhiza Glabra of the family Fabaceae.  It has been shown to be a natural remedy for colds, but recently has been show to be an effective natural remedy for depression.  The action of licorice, as a natural antidepressant, is expressed through eight natural monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO) that are contained within licorice.  These MAO inhibitors act as antidepressants.

Licorice can be taken in capsule form or can be drunk as a tea.  Cautions surrounding the taking of large doses of licorice over a lengthy period of time include the risk of increased blood pressure, head pain, tiredness, retaining water and losing potassium from the body.

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