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Herbal Remedies for Depression - Yes , There Are Alternatives to Prescriptions

Jul 24, 2008
Herbal remedies for depression have been used for a very long time. They have also been proven to be very effective too. Most of the focus is on St. John's Wort which has proven to be just as effective as prescription antidepressants without the side effects. However, St. John's Wort should not be taken with any other antidepressants or indinivir (a protease inhibitor used for HIV), oral contraceptives, theophylline, warfarin, digoxin, reserpine, cyclosporine, and loperamide.

Other people use different herbs for depression and depression related symptoms. Valerian root has been shown to alleviate the insomnia that is commonly associated with depression. Prescription antidepressants can cause sexual dysfunctions so many then turn to Damiana which will reduce these side effects. Ginseng helps the body to fight off stress which is very helpful when a person suffers from depression.

When people have a low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids their brains do not function at 100%. Our bodies can't make omega-3s on their own, so we must obtain them through our diet. Studies have shown that in countries that eat more fish they have a much lower depression rate than that of North America. Cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies are the richest food source of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil capsules are considered the cleanest source of omega-3 fatty acids.

It has been found that depressed people usually lack vitamin B which is also called Folic acid. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, fruit, beans, and fortified grains. There are many factors that can lead to a vitamin B deficiency such as a poor diet, certain conditions, and some medications. Besides food, folic acid is also available as a supplement or as part of a B-complex vitamin. People who have a low folate level will likely have a difficult time having a positive response to antidepressants.

Diet plays a big role in depression too and many people don't realize that. Such things as a lot of sweets will cause your blood sugar levels to soar but make for a very bad mood in a while. Caffeine and alcohol both dampen mood. Alcohol temporarily relaxes us and caffeine boosts energy, but the effects of both are short-lived. Both can worsen mood swings, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Most people do not get enough magnesium in their diets. Good sources of magnesium are legumes, nuts, whole grains and green vegetables. Like vitamin B6, magnesium is needed for serotonin production. Stress depletes magnesium; therefore you need to replace that magnesium from another source.

There are obviously lots of herbs available that can help to deal with depression. With some research or help from someone who understands herbs, you can learn to control your depression using herbal remedies.
About the Author
Shannon Pollock has been teaching people about natural health remedies for many years. She is a specialist with experience in natural remedies for both people and animals.

For more information on the benefits of herbal remedies, as well as other natural health related topics, visit Shannon's website called Natural Health Remedies and More
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