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 Depression  Holistic-online.com

Herbs for Depression


A member of the mint family, this herb also is known as melissa. Use the leaves and tops when they are fresh and green rather than dried. A balm tea will stimulate your brain, relieving that apathetic, lethargic feeling.

Basil: Add fresh basil leaves to salads to help lift depression.

Black Hellebore

Also called the Christmas rose, the dried rhizome and juice of this herb are poisonous in large amounts. It is good in small quantities for relieving both melancholy and mania.


Borage is a natural and effective antidepressant. It is also rich in potassium. Juice from borage leaves and blossoms exerts a specific stimulating effect on the glandular system, which helps to overcome the "blue" feeling. Use the leaves and seeds to alleviate sadness, pensiveness, and melancholy.

Suggested as a remedy for melancholy, it stimulates, energizes and renews a zest for life. The young leaves can also be used to make a refreshing salad.


Mix together 1/4 ounce crushed clove, two ounces of rose petals, and one ounce of mint. Make a sleep pillow or boil in water and inhale the steam to relieve gloominess and help you sleep. 


This herb stimulates the nervous system and helps to improve the mood.


This rejuvenating herb, which has been studied extensively in France, energizes the brain, nerves, and endocrine glands. Use the leaves and seed as a daily tea.


In addition to its uplifting flavor, there are other good reasons to take ginger along with any other antidepressant herbs that you are taking. Ginger has a long folk history of use for treating anxiety and depression. 

Kava kava

Kava kava eases mental anguish and anxiety. Choose a product containing 30 percent kavalactones and take 150 milligrams three times a day. 

Note: In excess amounts, this herb can cause drowsiness. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Do not use kava kava if you are pregnant or nursing, if you have Parkinson's disease, or if you are taking a prescription medication for depression or anxiety. 

Oat straw

Oat straw is high in silica, which helps support and strengthen the central nervous system. Take 500 milligrams twice a day. 

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Many people get the urge to eat when they are depressed. You can help with your depression if you eat the right foods as we have shown in our nutrition and diet section. Foods containing the minerals magnesium and potassium have been shown to have antidepressant effects. Purslane, which is very rich in these minerals, is also high in other constituents with antidepressant value, including calcium, folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid) and lithium. In fact, purslane contains up to 16 percent antidepressant compounds, figured on a dry-weight basis.


Besides being a great spice for recipes, rosemary is excellent in sleep pillows and herbal baths. It rekindles your energy and will make you feel happy. You can also prepare an effective rosemary tea using a pinch of valerian.


A member of the mint family, sage has been used medicinally and cosmetically since ancient times. To calm jittery nerves, make a decoction with the dried herb, strain and drink.


Also a member of the mint family, thyme is easy to grow in your own herb garden. Add this spice to your favorite dishes, and use it in herbal sachets to lift a melancholy mood.


This herb has been used for decades in treating male impotence or diminished sexual interest. Recent research has indicated that yohimbine can also improve the overall effectiveness of standard antidepressant medications. In some cases, yohimbine can be used by itself to both stimulate sexual functioning in men and relieve mild depression.

Dose: Take 5.4 mg of standardized yohimbine extract, three times daily.

Caution: For some individuals, yohimbine can cause increased anxiety or uncomfortable cardiac stimulation. It should be taken under the supervision of a health professional.

See Also: Herbal Medicine Infocenter in Holisticonline.com for specific, more detailed information about the herbs and their safety.

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