Categorized | Herbal Treatments

Depression Is No Match for Herbal Treatments

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More and more consumers are approaching their doctors about getting natural herbal advice for their depression rather than being placed on synthetic anti-depressants. The most common herbal remedy is St. John’s Wort.

The best thing about using an herb in place of a prescribed anti-depressant is that the side effects are fewer in number and severity. You can’t take St. John’s Wort in conjunction with another anti-depressant or with certain other medications, so make sure you consult your doctor if you’re taking anything else before you add St. John’s Wort to the mix.

The NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) is helping consumers get educated about the use of St. John’s Wort to treat depression. They believe it’s best used to treat mild to moderate (but not severe) forms of depression.

What’s not yet known is exactly how St. John’s Wort works to treat depression. It’s believed that it might prevent nerve cells from reabsorbing serotonin, which is the chemical messenger in the body.

It’s been used and studied by scientists in treating mental disorders for centuries, but still remains somewhat of a mystery, even though its effectiveness in treating symptoms of depression such as mood swings, loss of appetite and energy, and sadness has been largely documented.

The reason consumers are turning to herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort is because synthetic drugs have a high incidence of side effects, such as dry mouth, headaches, sexual dysfunction and insomnia. It’s also a less costly treatment than high-priced prescription medications.

You can buy St. John’s Wort in capsule form, as a tea, or as an extract. You have to be careful about the quantities you use in taking St. John’s Wort, because high level doses can impede the treatment process by causing dizziness, upset stomach, and a sensitivity to sunlight.

St. John’s Wort isn’t the only herb being used to treat depression. Damiana, Ginseng, and Valerian root are also used to improve depression symptoms such as insomnia and stress.

Regardless of which herbal remedy you wish to try in treatment for your depression symptoms, it’s important to get the guidance of a doctor skilled in herbal remedies to ensure you’re ingesting the correct amount and type of herb for your personal needs.

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