How to Overcome Depression Naturally

February 23rd, 2012 · 4 Comments · adaptogen, Healthy Living, Herbs for

Moodiness, anxiety, fatigue, sadness, and a drastic loss or increase in appetite are some signs of a struggle with depression. While reaching for a prescription may seem like a quick and easy way to overcome depression, there are natural ways to support your body and mind in an effort to become well. Essential oils and herbs can play a major role in providing your body with what it needs, on a basic level, to keep you going day-to-day without the battle of depression.

Herbs to Overcome Depression

Find out how to combat depression with herbs.

Find out how to combat depression with herbs.

St. John’s Wort has been popular worldwide as an herbal remedy that is very effective in relieving depression in capsule form or as a tincture. This herb works by enhancing the levels of serotonin which promotes feelings of well-being.  St. John’s Wort helps to relieve anxiety, stress, and insomnia while boosting mood naturally. While this herb is useful in addressing mood disorders, it does not leave you feeling sedated, like you may with some prescription medications. The usual dosage is 300mg, taken up to 3 times a day but please note that recent studies outline caution for the use of St. John’s Wort when taking certain medications. Please choose the St. John’s link above to review which medications are included in this list and avoid this herb if you are currently taking any of them.

Ginseng is another herb widely used to treat depression because it is an adaptogen; an herb that address the specific needs within your body. Ginseng is widely used to decrease a person’s stress, depression, and fatigue while providing a natural boost of energy. Because of this, it’s best not to take Ginseng at night as it may interfere with rest. Adaptogens, like Ginseng, identify which areas of your body require support and, in the case of depression, adaptogens work to boost mood, improve circulation, provide energy, and assist in proper function of the organs among other tasks. Learn more about adaptogens here. Like St. John’s Wort, you’ll want to be patient to see results with Ginseng and allow this adaptogenic herb at least a month in your system to gain the benefits.

Schizandra has been used for medical purposes in China for thousands of years and is only now gaining popularity in the U.S. Schizandra is also an adaptogenic herb so it identifies the needs of the body on a nearly daily basis by addressing mood or stress levels, lack of energy, and proper function of the body. Add to the this of benefits to the body the fact that this herb can assist in improving concentration, detoxifying the liver and kidneys, as well as boosting libido. Plan to take Schizandra for around a month to see these changes in your own body; adaptogens and other herbs require a bit of patience so don’t become discouraged when you don’t notice any immediate improvements.

There are several other herbs to consider to overcome depression including Black Cohosh and Red Clover which have been found especially helpful during the emotional changes of menopause.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy to Overcome Depression

Essential Oils are an effective way to combat depression.

Essential Oils are an effective way to combat depression.

Aromatherapy is another natural outlet that is effective to relieve stress and depression. Many people enjoy aromatherapy because of its soothing nature and its function to address depression isn’t much different. For example, Lavender and Lemon Balm are two popular essential oils used to treat depression because of their ability to calm and quiet the mind. Orange essential oils, and other citrus scents, have shown promise in boosting mood, concentration, and productivity nearly instantaneously. Studies show that pleasant scents help to relax a person and also to improve their mood by triggering different portions of the brain that may not be used frequently when in a depressed state. Try various fragrances to see what you like and to find what will work best for you. There are oils designed to be used during the day and others to be used at night. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or do research on these items before you commit to purchasing them. There are several resources like books or websites you can use to learn more.

To learn more about how essential oils can benefit your body, consider these recent posts on addressing sleep issues with essential oils as well as how to increase your energy levels with them. We also have a recipe to teach you how to make your own essential oils here!

The challenges of life play a major role in our moods and how our bodies respond to stress; our day-to-day experiences impact our emotions and mental health greatly. By offering support to our bodies through herbs and essential oils each day, we are increasing our chances of overcoming the pressures and debilitating effects of depression. Consider adaptogenic herbs and the oils listed above and again, don’t shy away from asking questions or doing research on natural products and how they can benefit you. Rather than using a prescription medication as a way to overcome depression, consider which natural products can offer the same benefits, without the harmful side effects.

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