Herbs to support your mood
Awareness of anxiety and depression is increasing, and so there are more people searching for treatment options. One recent study reported that 3.5 million Canadians accessed public health services for anxiety and depression symptoms between 2009-2010. Prevalence of these symptoms is higher among females, adolescents, and individuals with chronic health conditions. Many sufferers are also searching for alternative treatments from herbal medicine, which may offer relief for some. Here are some of the most common herbal remedies used for mood support.
This herb has been well studied as treatment for mild to moderate depression, and may even be available as a prescription medication in some situations. It is important to choose a product that has the right concentration of active ingredients to see results. St. John’s Wort interacts with many prescription medications, so talk to your healthcare provider before starting this treatment.
Lavender has a long history as a treatment for anxiety and research shows that it may be effective. It can be taken orally, topically, or through aromatherapy, although, it may lower blood pressure and increase the sedative effects of medications. Consumption of large amounts of lavender oil can be toxic, so always talk to a healthcare professional about the right dosage for you.
Rhodiola is a lesser-known herb that has been studied as a treatment for mild to moderate depression with some positive results. Used in capsule and tea form, rhodiola may increase energy and help the body recover from stress by lowering our stress hormone, cortisol. Some may experience mild side effects from this herb including dizziness, and it may interact with medications such as antidepressants and birth control. These herbs are widely available and are helpful for many people. However, it is always important to talk to a doctor about your mental health concerns and tell them before you begin taking herbal medicine. Herbs should not be used to treat major depression or to deal with thoughts of self-harm.