Keep in mind that herbal options for depression don’t alter emotional experience as prescriptions can. They are best if used by someone who is willing to work through how they are feeling. It is important to understand when to reach out for professional help. If you or a loved one is not working through feelings, symptoms are getting worse, or the individual is becoming a danger to himself/herself, then the time for herbal therapies has passed and medical help should be sought.
Herbs for Depression and Anxiety
The following herbs have a well-deserved reputation for helping with depression and anxiety:
Rose (Rosa spp.)
Rose is used for healing the heart space (chakra in Eastern methodologies). Works great for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, and for those who struggle with anxiety.
Borage (Borago officinalis)
The borage herb is an old fashioned plant that can get up to 2 feet or more. It is native to the Middle East and has an ancient history in war as an enhancement for bravery and courage. Borage has quite a long history of use in mild depression.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
This herb has struggled due to a misunderstanding about how it works, but it appears to increase the levels of serotonin in the body. It is important to avoid taking St. John’s wort with an SSRI.
Saffron (Crocus sativus)
Saffron can be very expensive, but a little goes a long way. Add dishes that call for saffron to the holiday rotation for a quick lift in mood. Paella anyone?
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)
This adaptogen has been found not only to affect how the physical body handles stress, but also our emotional state. It has been proven effective for depression and anxiety.