Herbal Teas for Depression

Depression happens to most people at some time. Many types of depression exist, including major depression; postpartum depression; seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a condition caused by the lack of sun exposure occurring in the fall and winter months; and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a type of depression that affects premenstrual women and dissipates after menstruation. Herbal teas may help enhance your mood, but if depression interferes with everyday life, seek medical attention.

Herbal tea break (Image: amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images)

St. John's Wort

St John's wort is a yellow flowering plant and centuries-old remedy for mental disorders and nerve pain. Various forms of the plant also have been used as a sedative, a malaria treatment and a balm for burns, wounds and bug bites. The flowering tops of the plant are used to prepare herbal teas, capsules and tablets for depression and related disorders. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that St. John's wort can be used for short-term treatment of mild to moderate depression, although conflicting evidence exists regarding the efficacy of the herb for more severe depression. Talk to your doctor before using St. John's wort herbal tea for depression.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is derived from the oldest living species of trees -- the ginkgo tree. These hardy trees grow in the United States. Most widely used to enhance memory and support cognitive functioning, ginkgo biloba contains two essential elements, flavonoids and terpenoids, which are purported to hold the herb's medicinal value. Some Alzheimer's patients experience fewer feelings of depression while using ginkgo biloba. People using certain medications should discuss with their doctor the safety of ginkgo biloba tea for depression, as the herb may interact with some drugs.

Chamomile

Chamomile is a time-honored herbal remedy for anxiety and sleeplessness. The flowering tops of the plant are used to make creams and ointments, liquid extracts, capsules, tablets and teas. Two types of chamomile exist, German chamomile and Roman Chamomile; both have similar active ingredients and may be used to decrease depression-related symptoms, such as irritability and insomnia. Talk to your doctor before using chamomile herbal tea for depression, as drug interactions and skin rashes may occur.

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