We all feel blue from time to time, but if you’re constantly down in the dumps and can’t figure out why, you might be one of the 10 percent of Americans who suffer from depression.
The good news is that there is medical help; Antidepressants such as Fluoxetine, Citalopram, and Sertraline are among the most widely prescribed medications for depression.
The bad news is that these powerful and mind-altering drugs – despite their proven effectiveness and relative safety – come with a laundry list of unpleasant side effects such as anxiety, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, insomnia, weight gain, and even impotence.
Remember that depression can be a very serious condition. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and before changing medications or taking nutritional supplements.
If you are struggling with depression but are concerned about these side effects, you may want to consider a natural alternative. Here is a list of the three:
St. John’s wort
A plant with yellow flowers Hypericum perforatumCommonly known as St. John’s wort, it has long been known as a natural anti-depressant.
Used for centuries as a traditional remedy for melancholia, St. John’s wort has been found in clinical trials to have a similar effect on the brain as commonly prescribed serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) by doctors – but without the terrible side effects.
In the year In 2017, a large-scale scientific meta-analysis of 27 studies testing St. John’s wort as an antidepressant concluded that the traditional herbal remedy is as effective as SSRIs in treating mild to moderate depression. A more recent review of 26 meta-analyses, however, found that St. John’s wort had far fewer adverse effects.
Many chefs rely on the aromatic red spice harvested from saffron crocus to enhance soups and stews, but can it improve your mental health? Research suggests that it can.
In the year In a systematic review and meta-analysis conducted by a group of Italian and Iranian scientists in 2018, saffron showed similar clinical results to the antidepressant fluoxetine, so it should be considered a suitable and safe alternative to fluoxetine. “
Research is ongoing, but the results so far are encouraging. Just last year, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, when patients with type 2 diabetes were given 100mg of saffron daily for 8 weeks, it was found that the spice not only “significantly” reduced depression, but also “sleep”. quality and overall quality of life”!
This bright yellow powder derived from turmeric—another spice—is a relative newcomer among natural antidepressants that have been clinically studied, but the authors of a recent peer-reviewed article Medical plant The Journal considers it one of the three most promising pharmaceutical options for treating depression. (The other two are St. John’s Wort and Saffron!)
Three new curcumin extracts have been approved by the FDA as “generally safe.” And a scientific review of human trials published earlier this year found that curcumin worked well with little to no side effects. Six of the seven trials reviewed reported “positive antidepressant effects.”
Another, broader review of 65 preclinical studies and 15 clinical trials and open-label studies conducted between 2005 and 2021 found that “results were positive in reducing cognitive impairment” in a wide range of mental health disorders, from depression to schizophrenia.
Depression is a serious mental health problem affecting millions of Americans, and while pharmaceutical drugs are generally considered safe and effective, herbal remedies are becoming popular as natural alternatives with fewer side effects.
However, you should always consult your doctor before taking herbal remedies for depression, especially if you take medication or have a pre-existing medical condition.
Call 988 or visit if suicidal 988 suicide and crisis lifeline (Formerly known as National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.) It is a national network of local crisis centers in the United States that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.