Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Feeling the blues once in awhile is common to many people but when your mood and outlook gets any darker and days slide into weeks and even months then it is time to take action. The help you receive from your doctor is likely to come by way of a prescription for an antidepressant.

An antidepressant’s job is to make sure that the neurotransmitter known as serotonin circulates in the brain as nature intended. The good news for those who prefer to take the natural route is that studies have also shown that herbs such as St. John’s wort, licorice, ginkgo biloba, spearmint, thyme, marjoram and Siberian ginseng are also capable of the exact same purpose and may even work much better.

Two of the most commonly used herbs for depression include St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba. Let us take a brief look at them both now.

St. John’s Wort:

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a perennial plant that has yellow flowers and is harvested somewhere around St. John Baptist day which is June 24th (thus the name, St. John’s wort). Sometimes referred to as goat weed or Klamath’s weed, this herb has been used for many centuries to treat disorders connected to stress, as well as anxiety, depression and pain associated with the nervous system.

Herbalists from many years ago looked upon St. John’s wort as a kind of sedative to be used in the treatment of malaria. It was also once used to heal burns, mosquito bites and other minor skin lesions.

Today this herb is most often used to treat anxiety, depression and mood disorders as well as sleep disorders including insomnia. It is the flowering tops of the herb that are used in herbal medicine and turned into teas and tablets. St. John’s wort is an herbal remedy that calm, relaxes and soothes.

Ginkgo Biloba:

Ginkgo biloba comes from a tree called the Maidenhair Tree and is used for the treatment of depression. This herb was first discovered growing in Asia before it made its way to other parts of the world. One significant way in which ginkgo biloba is different from other herbs is that the leaves of the plant are not used in their natural form but are made into a concentrated and standardized ginkgo biloba extract. The seeds and the leaves are both used to make supplements that can help those who suffer from anxiety problems, stress and depression.

Ginkgo biloba can prove beneficial to the human body in other ways as well. The leaves of the plant are made up of two kinds of antioxidants, that of flavonoids and terpenoids. These antioxidants are very good at destroying free radicals that circulate readily in the body and bring about the death of cells.

This herb works on the brain to fight depression but it also helps to improve memory and slow the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, retinal damage and other types of memory issues. It is also helpful in terms of revitalizing the skin and making it firmer and more youthful in appearance. Ginkgo biloba is one of the top selling herbs in both the United States as well as Europe when it comes to anxiety and depression.

When it comes to the natural approach to treating depression give one of these herbs a try. Unlike antidepressants, herbal remedies have few if any side effects. It is always wise to check with your physician before you start taking herbs for any health condition.


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