Herbal Remedies for Depression
In the fast-paced modern world of cities and 9-5 jobs there are many out there who can’t fully cope what is deemed “appropriately” with the rigors and difficulties faced in the reality of today’s life. We call these people depressed, they get lethargic, sad, unmotivated, and sometimes even suicidal because they can’t quite understand how people can be so optimistic. Who can blame them? Today’s society isn’t natural, we weren’t built for this. But, the thing is depression is a common mental disorder. It is not the reality of things just like the overly-optimistic are a bit delusional so are the depressed. So, what can be done to help cope with these feelings? There’s always pharmaceuticals. Take some pills. Feel better. It’s all good right? Well, besides the huge amount of side effects with doping yourself up from the doctor’s office it still doesn’t resolve the issue at hand. This is why many turn to natural and herbal alternatives, to attempt to see reality in a more positive light without completely zombifying themselves to cope. Now, I’m not here to say that many people don’t need pharmaceuticals to deal with depression but I do think many can find peace within themselves without complex chemicals invented to sedate your emotions. Let’s take a look at some natural alternatives to modern medicines when it comes to depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish and certain seeds such as hemp seeds, have been found to help reduce depression rates in populations where this is common in the diet. These fatty acids are important for hormonal balances in our brains, and lacking them can indeed cause mood swings and depression. The studies are not fully conclusive, but there is much anecdotal evidence backing the consumption of fish and hemp seeds for their Omega-3’s to be highly helpful in battling depressive states.
Saffron is an herb used in many middle eastern and Asian foods. Besides being tasty, and a bit expensive, saffron has been shown to increase levels of serotonin in the brain. In fact, a study of 38 people over six weeks found that saffron was as effective as Prozac in reducing symptoms of depression with much fewer side effects such as sweating and sexual dysfunction than those taking Prozac.
Another common herb that has been used for a long time to treat depression is St. John’s wort. This is a yellow-flowering plant that can be used in teas, pills, and extracts. Studies have been conducted on this plant and its consumption and many have found them to be just as beneficial as anti-depressant for those with mild depression. However, the issue here is that St. John’s wort can diminish the functioning of certain medications such as HIV drugs, blood thinners, birth control pills, anticancer medications, among others.
Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the main ingredients in Cannabis (https://www.iceheadshop.co.uk/cannabis-seeds.html), has been shown to greatly improve the functioning of those suffering from depression. This works by effecting the endocannabinoid system of our brain, which is one of the areas that regulates much of the important hormonal areas of our body. By signaling this section of the brain, Cannabidiol is able to relieve much of the symptoms of depression. Beyond this CBD helps greatly with insomnia and other stress related ailments that are related to depressive states by providing a relaxing feeling to the body. CBD can be extracted from industrial hemp as well as hemp seeds and, provided it passes testing, is available in most countries despite being a chemical in Cannabis.
Green tea is another great treatment for depression. L-theanine is the main ingredient here, it relaxes blood pressure and heart rate allowing the user to calm down a bit and relax. This is highly effectual in combatting anxiety, but depression is a closely related ailment and some of the triggers for both are related. Green tea is a great way to let your body take it easy for a bit and just unwind. L-theanine is also available in chemical forms, without the need to intake large amounts of green tea if that suits you better.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other main chemical of effect in Cannabis, is also highly adept at fighting depression. Unlike CBD, which relaxes the body and allows one to go to sleep easier, THC is much more energetic. It gets the user up and doing things and, since it is psychoactive to an extent, can help the user figure out the roots of their depression by activating and stimulating otherwise slow-going parts of the brain. The caveat to THC is those with anxiety as well must be sure to take it easy, as THC can cause feelings of paranoia along with the increased alertness. No one needs an anxiety attack while battling depression, but many tout the benefits THC has had on them getting out of their depressive funk.
Meditation and exercise, though non-herbal, are both highly effective in treating depression as well. Meditation works by allowing the brain to wander and express what needs to be express without suppression like we do in our daily lives. Those who meditate can be more in touch with themselves, allowing them to understand somewhat what is causing their depression and possible nip it in the bud after enough time. Exercise works by increasing self-confidence and energy levels, both of which are generally at the lowest during depressive states.
All of these are great ways to battle depression without the need for a pharmaceutical company pumping you full of pills. However, be aware, those who are in severe depression or feeling suicidal due to their states may wish to see a doctor first. These natural supplements and techniques are great, and do work, but if you are in dire needs like some in the worst depressive states are a doctor’s visit is the best option. Depression has been around for a long time, and many times there are ways to treat it easily with some of these simple remedies.