The emotional and physical symptoms such as loss of appetite, emptiness, apathy, guilt, fatigue, anxiety, sadness, insomnia, muscle tension, headache are some of the symptoms of depression – one of the most common mental illness today.Because of the exhausting fast pace of life and frequent exposure to stressful situations many people occasionally experience the symptoms mentioned above. They take various drugs and antidepressants without consulting their doctor. Some of them may have the unpleasant side effects. Choosing natural antidepressants can reduce the unpleasant side effects.
It should be noted that herbal medicines are primarily used to treat depression of lower intensity. That’s why people with physical symptoms are advised first to consult a doctor. Also, people under any therapy should consult their doctor because some herbs can affect the usage of drugs. We present the most commonly used natural antidepressants that strengthen the nervous system.
Valerian as Natural Antidepressant
Valerian is the best known natural antidepressant. It is used against various psychological difficulties such as sleep disorders, anxiety, nervousness, and irritability. Valerian is used in the form of tea, tincture or capsules. It is often combined with other plants with a relaxing effect. This herb is not recommended for pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children under 12. Don’t use valerian if you take other antidepressants prescribed by your doctor.
The most efficient tincture
In a glass bottle or jar, put 50 g crushed valerian root and cover it with 40% alcohol. Seal the mixture well and leave it in a warm place for 21 days. Strain, and put the liquid in a dark glass bottle and store in a cool place. Take 25 drops of tincture dissolved in a little water once or twice a day.
Steep one teaspoonful of dried, and crushed valerian root in 2 dl near-boiling water and leave it covered for 30minutes. Strain the liquid and optionally sweeten it with honey. Drink several times a day and before going to bed. Since this plant has a bit of unpleasant smell, tea can be prepared in combination with other aromatic herbs.
St. John’s wort as Natural Antidepressant
There is real scientific evidence for the herb’s ability to treat mild to moderate depression. St. John’s wort is also used for anxiety and sleep disorders. With the regular and proper usage of St. John’s wort good mood will increase. This herb is used in the form of tea, tincture or oil. The first effects from its usage are noticeable after 2-3 weeks. St John’s wort is well tolerated, although it may cause anxiety, dizziness, dry mouth, headache, sexual dysfunction – all of which disappear when the herb has stopped being taken. People taking any other medicine should seek advice from a doctor before combining it with St John’s wort. It does interact with certain conventional medicines. It is not recommended for children, or for women who are pregnant or lactating.
St John’s Wort Tea
Steep one teaspoonful of dried, and crushed flowers of St John’s Wort in 2,5 dl near-boiling water and leave it covered for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid and optionally sweeten it with honey. Drink several times a day and before going to bed for six weeks.
Lavender as Natural Antidepressants
This herb is one with the most relaxing effects. Relaxing spa lavender oil provides restful sleep. If you want instantly to remove sleeplessness, anxiety, migraine, headaches, nervousness, and irritability drink tea made from dried flowers. It also helps to alleviate depression. Don’t use lavender if you take other antidepressants prescribed by your doctor.
Steep two teaspoonfuls of lavender flowers in 2 dl near-boiling water and leave it covered for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and optionally sweeten it with honey. Drink two cups a day, one of which before going to bed.
Melissa, Lemon balm or Lemongrass as Natural Antidepressants
Melissa is the most commonly used natural remedy for psychological problems. This herb has always been taken to lift the spirits. Lemon balm is a relaxing tonic for anxiety, mild depression, restlessness, and irritability. It reduces feelings of nervousness and panic and will often quieten a racing heart, being a valuable remedy for palpitations of a nervous origin. Melissa is also useful when over-anxiety is causing digestive problems such as nausea, colicky pains, and acidity. Herbalists especially emphasize the beneficial effects of tea balm in every case due to menstruation problems caused by stress. The best effect is achieved with a usage of fresh herbs.
Steep two tablespoonfuls of lemon balm in ½ liter near-boiling water and leave them covered for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and divide it into three doses. Drink throughout the day. It is recommended to drink unsweetened tea before a meal. You can sweeten the tea if you take it after a meal.
Chamomile as Natural Antidepressants
Chamomile for ages is used to treat mild forms of depression, because it relaxes, suppresses anxiety, anger, and fear. It is known that women in ancient centuries commonly took chamomile to relieve menstrual cramps. The use of chamomile raises the level of glycerin in the body, an amino acid that relaxes muscles and nerves. Cup of this herb tea before bed is the most popular natural remedy for insomnia. Chamomile can be used to treat anxiety in children.Do not use chamomile if taking anticoagulants.
Lime as Natural Antidepressants
Tea from this herb acts as a mild relaxant. Lime tea is among the herbal kinds of tea that you can consume in unlimited quantity. As a daily drink, it is recommended in cases of nervous tension, irritability, insomnia and physical discomfort caused by menopause. This relaxing tea has the same effect when added to water for bathing.
Hop as Natural Antidepressants
The extract of this herb acts effectively against milder depressive symptoms, nausea, tension, insomnia. It contains a high percentage of hormones like estrogen and is recommended for women in menopause and to relieve premenstrual syndrome. Don’t use hop if you take other antidepressants prescribed by your doctor.
Steep two teaspoonfuls of flowers of hop in 2.5 dl near-boiling water and leave it covered for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink in sips half an hour before bedtime. You can use linden honey as a sweetener.
Ginkgo biloba as Natural Antidepressants
Extract of Ginkgo biloba raises serotonin levels up to 33%. This herb stimulates blood flow to the brain and delays symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and depression caused by aging brain cells. It contributes to better utilization of oxygen which positively affects memory. Ginkgo expands blood vessels, improves peripheral arterial circulation and inhibits clot formation. Its flavonoids are extremely potent scavengers of free radicals. Ginkgo is ideal for long term use as it produces no side effect. However, large doses can cause diarrhea, irritability, restlessness, nausea and vomiting. Minor rare side-effects have included stomach or intestinal upsets, headaches and allergic skin reactions. Ginkgo may interact with existing prescription drugs. It’s used when pregnant or breastfeeding is not recommended due to lack of research.
What to avoid
Try not to eat processed foods as well as foods that are high in saturated fat, hydrogenated fats, or sugar. It’s best to curb your alcohol consumption, too. All of these foods contain chemicals that can create disturbances in your body functions, particularly the production of brain chemicals that affect mood.
Eliminate caffeine, as it can aggravate anxiety symptoms. For some people, as little as 200 milligrams of caffeine—about 2 cups of brewed coffee—can cause rapid heartbeat, sweating, and shakiness. Remember, too, that caffeine is not limited to regular coffee; it’s also found in tea, chocolate, cocoa, and cola beverages. Even some over-the-counter medications contain caffeine.
What to eat
When you want to calm down, one of the best medicines is carbohydrates, and that includes complex carbs like potatoes, pasta, bread, beans, and cereal. Build your meals around fresh, nutrient-dense choices such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
For the fastest temporary tranquility fix, eat nature’s sweet stuff—honey or sugar. Nature’s way of calming down the brain and relieving stress and anxiety may be surprising, although the remedy has been used for centuries. A taste of honey before going to bed was commonly recommended by our forefathers to bring on sleep.
The ancient Egyptians used onions to induce relaxation and sleep. There may be something to it. A compound quercetin which is a mild sedative is found in yellow and red onions.