Herbs and supplements are great when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to taking essential vitamins or other minerals you are lacking, supplements and herbal medicines can do the job sometimes. However, it isn’t always the case. Some people may benefit from these but for some, it may not work. The use of complementary therapies has gained popularity recently especially with depressive disorders.
Depression is a mood disorder that ranges from mild to severe and sometimes life-threatening. Some people prefer to manage depression with herbal medicines and supplements. In this article, you will find some herbs and supplements for depression.
Read on to know more!
Depression and its symptoms
Depression is a mood disorder that is related to sadness, irritable mood, feeling of emptiness and other cognitive changes. Like many other mental health conditions, depression is a complex one because it is not a condition that just goes away like a snap.
It is a feeling of constant sadness, emptiness and even fear which leads to a more complicated life even leading to many suicidal thoughts. Many people have these negative thoughts and feelings that are so intense that they may feel that their life isn’t worth living.
Many people do not choose to show that they are depressed and keep it to themselves. If you have this feeling, you should reach out to a medical professional and get help as soon as possible. If you suspect someone having these symptoms, make sure to help them in any way possible.
Here are some symptoms of depression you should know about:
- Irritable mood, getting angry over small matters.
- Feeling of sadness, emptiness and hopelessness.
- Losing interest in all activities.
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of energy
- Sudden weight loss and reduced appetite.
- Increased weight and cravings for food.
- Feeling hopeless and worthless.
- Lack of concentration.
- Suicidal thoughts
Also read: Can Sauna Help Cure Your Depression
If you suspect these symptoms, it’s important to talk to a medical expert as there are various treatment options to help you in getting rid of this situation. You can also try herbs and supplements for depression to see if they suit you.
Herbs and supplements for depression
Natural ways of managing depression have now gained a lot of popularity. For some people, the use of complementary therapies do work and for some, it might not. Herbs and supplements for depression do not always mean they are going to be effective and safe so it’s always a good idea to consider talking to your doctor before you consume any herbs and supplements to treat depression.
Research has shown a little promise of herbs and supplements for depression, mostly for mild to moderate depression. Here are some effective herbs and supplements for depression that are most widely used:
SAM-e is a compound that our body naturally produces and is also available as a dietary supplement that has found to be promising in treating the symptoms of depression. However, the mechanism of SAM-e as an antidepressant is still not clear but it is believed that it works by silencing certain genes that are indirectly responsible for the breakdown of serotonin and dopamine which are the “feel-good hormones” that can regulate your depressive mood.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fats are essential fats that you are required to get in your diet. These fats are found in cold-water fish, flax seeds and oil, walnuts etc. Some studies have shown that these fats might be a possible treatment for depressive moods. It has positive effects of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) on your mood. Omega-3 PUFA supplementation can reduce the symptoms of depression. It might be one of the effective herbs and supplements for depression.
Saffron is a spice that is made from the dried stigmas of crocus plants. It is used in cooking and in traditional Persian medicine to treat depressive symptoms. Some studies have shown that saffron is one of the effective herbs and supplements for depression. It may be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.
It has an antidepressant effect compared to other tricyclic antidepressants, at least in the short term. Also, note that saffron is the world’s most expensive spice so using it as a dietary supplement might be a little impractical.
Ginseng is a supplement that comes from the twisted root of the ginseng plant. Ginseng has been used as a medicine for improving mental clarity, stress and energy by Chinese medicine practitioners. Some people have experienced a potential treatment for low energy levels and motivation which are one of the symptoms of depression. Ginseng could be a good option among herbs and supplements for depression.
B Vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that are required for mental and emotional well being. A person lacks B vitamins due to lifestyle habits like consuming alcohol, refined sugars, caffeine and smoking. Studies have shown that a lack of B vitamins in the body may lead to depression and epilepsy. B vitamins modulate cognitive performance and are involved in the synthesis of some neurotransmitters which may help in maintaining your mental health.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that has a lot of prominent roles in your body to play. Many people lack Vitamin D including depressive people. Those with depression tend to have lower levels of Vitamin D than the general population. Vitamin D may be a great treatment for depression by reducing inflammation, maintaining mood and protecting against neurocognitive dysfunction. It might be a modest option among herbs and supplements for depression.
These were some of the possible effective herbs and supplements to treat depression. If you experience any of the symptoms of depression, the first thing you should do is get help and talk to a medical expert. Make sure you make some lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, exercising regularly and not distancing yourself from your close ones. Also, make sure you take these herbs and supplements for depression after talking to your doctor.