Mental health disorders are common, yet many people feel uncomfortable discussing the subject and may feel afraid to reveal that they are experiencing issues. As a result, those who need support may be reluctant to reach out to loved ones, friends, or even a professional for help.
Unfortunately, negative consequences can arise from keeping these issues bottled up. Stress and anxiety can manifest as physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating palms, nausea, muscle tension, or headaches.
Mental health issues also have the potential to trigger or worsen other conditions, such as insomnia, eating disorders, substance abuse problems, and chronic stress. The possible advantages of herbal supplements for treating depression and anxiety will be discussed in this article.
What is Depression?
As with any mental illness, definitions of depression vary, but typically it is understood as a state of low mood or low self-worth that lasts for weeks or longer.
The symptoms of depression can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, restlessness, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of suicide. There are many different causes of depression. Some people may experience depression due to genetics, health conditions, or a traumatic event. It is also often a side effect of certain medications.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotion triggered when a person feels threatened and responds to a perceived danger or risk. While it is a normal human emotion, anxiety can become unhealthy when it becomes too frequent or intense.
Many things can trigger anxiety, such as specific memories, stressful events, or everyday situations. Many anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Public anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder are three common disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five persons will eventually develop an anxiety problem.
Why are people anxious?
As with any mental illness, the specific causes of anxiety vary, but some factors may contribute. Stress can sometimes be hereditary, meaning it runs in families. Certain health conditions, like heart disease, migraines, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders, can also contribute to feelings of anxiety.
Certain events in one’s life can also lead to stress, including divorce, the death of a loved one, financial problems, or health issues. Certain medications can cause anxiety as a side effect. Some substances can cause feelings of anxiety, like alcohol and caffeine, mood-altering drugs, and nicotine, to name a few.
Herbal Supplements for Depression and Anxiety
There is research suggesting that herbal supplements for depression can help with anxiety as well, and vice versa. Studies have shown that certain compounds found in herbs can both reduce stress and reduce symptoms of depression.
Herbal supplements for anxiety and depression include ashwagandha, passion flower, lemon balm, kava kava, and valerian root. These herbs contain compounds that may help to calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. Herbal supplements for anxiety and depression can be helpful in conjunction with other treatments, such as therapy and medication.
How to use Herbs for Depression and Anxiety
If you want to try herbs for depression and anxiety, research them first. Not all herbs are safe or effective, and it can be dangerous to use products that haven’t been tested.
Some herbs that have been studied for their effectiveness in treating anxiety and depression include ashwagandha, passion flower, lemon balm, kava kava, and valerian root. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning that it helps the body to adapt to stress. It has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety in people with mild to moderate anxiety.
Passionflower is another herb that is effective in treating anxiety. Studies have found that it may be as effective as certain medications used to treat anxiety. Lemon balm is another calming herb that may help with anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. It is related to mint, so people with sensitivities should avoid it to mint.
Kava kava is a calming herb that may also help with insomnia. It should be avoided by pregnant women and people who are sensitive to caffeine. Valerian root is an herb that is effective in treating anxiety and insomnia. People with certain health conditions should avoid it.
Safer Alternatives for Depression and Anxiety with Herbs
Herbal supplements for anxiety and depression are not meant to be a long-term solution for these conditions. They are intended to be used with other treatments, such as therapy and medication.
Herbal supplements for anxiety and depression should be used for a limited time. Some studies have shown that certain herbs can be as effective as medication in treating anxiety and depression.
Other studies have shown that these herbs have less impact than drugs do. It is important to discuss herbal supplements with your doctor before you use them. Be sure to let them know the issues you are experiencing and any herbal supplements you plan to take. This way, your doctor can monitor your progress and make recommendations based on your situation.
There is no easy answer regarding herbal supplements for anxiety and depression. There is evidence to support the effectiveness of certain herbs, but there is also evidence that they may not be as effective as medications.
Herbal supplements should be considered a possible treatment option for anxiety and depression. Still, they should be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as therapy and medication. It’s important to remember that herbal supplements for anxiety and depression are not a cure.
For them to be effective, you need to use them consistently. Herbal supplements for anxiety and depression are not meant to be used alone. They should be used with other treatments, such as therapy and medication.