Natural herbs that battle both depression and anxiety

Individually, anxiety and depression are both hard to deal with. However, many people have to deal with both. Approximately 85 percent of people with depression also experience some anxiety; while 90 percent of people with anxiety also suffer from depression. Knowing how to manage and treat depression and anxiety can help improve one’s quality of life. Here are some natural treatments to try: (h/t

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) – Studies have shown that 5-HTP, also known as oxitriptan, is more effective than antidepressants drugs. 5-HTP is a naturally-occurring chemical in the body. It is also a building block to the neurotransmitter called serotonin. In a review of studies, it was found to be as effective as tricyclic antidepressant drugs. In another study, it beat a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the leading class of antidepressant drugs, by causing a greater and safer response to treating depression. Another study also found that it substantially reduced the reaction to a panic challenge in patients with panic disorders.
  • Lavender – Lavender is a herb that is as potent as some anti-anxiety drugs. In a six-week study of people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), lavender capsules were compared to benzodiazepine lorazepam. Although both treatments improved anxiety in patients, lavender was safer, non-sedating, and non-addictive. Other studies revealed that lavender oil was more effective and safer in treating anxiety and depression compared to antidepressant drugs, such as imipramine and paroxetine.
  • Probiotics – Probiotics are not commonly thought of as a psychological supplement. However, a study revealed that taking probiotics as a supplement can help improve the mood of people with depression. In another study, supplementation with probiotics not only improved depression and anger, but also anxiety.
  • Rhodiola – Rhodiola, also known as Arctic root or golden root, is a herb that grows in the cold, mountainous parts of Europe and Asia. Research shows that this herb significantly calms you down and energizes you simultaneously. It likewise relieves stress, improves well-being, and reduces mental and physical tiredness.
  • Saffron – This herb is an emerging natural treatment for depression. Studies have shown that saffron extracts improve symptoms of depression better than some antidepressant drugs, such as imipramine and Fluoxetine (trade name Prozac). Further, they were far safer to use. In another study, saffron consumption was found to cause significant improvements both in depression and anxiety. A study on kids with mixed anxiety-depressive disorder (MADD) proved that saffron is an effective treatment for both anxiety and depression. The treatment of saffron extract twice a day for eight weeks significantly improved the symptoms of MADD, such as separation anxiety, social phobia, generalized anxiety, panic, obsessions/compulsions, and depression.
  • St. John’s Wort – Some studies show that St. John’s Wort, a flowering plant, can help treat depression and anxiety.

The use of anti-anxiety antidepressant drugs is discouraged as these drugs can severely affect both psychological and physical health. The common side effects of these drugs include migraines, nausea, and dizziness. However, they also come with severe side effects, such as seizures, irregular heartbeat, unconsciousness, and withdrawal. Some drive many to suicide and may contribute to early signs of neurodegeneration that can lead to dementia.

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