Depression and anxiety are serious mental health conditions that need treatment. They are also some of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses. Medication is often prescribed, but herbs and supplements shouldn’t be ruled out. Find out what herbs and supplements for depression and anxiety some doctors are prescribing.
Some doctors are using ashwagandha as a herbal alternative to Xanax. Herbalists have coined the Indian root an “adaptogen,” meaning it balances the body and mind. Recent studies show that ashwagandha reduces anxiety and one study revealed that it lowered cortisol levels, which rise during times of stress.
Rhodiola is considered an adaptogen, just like ashwagandha. Studies on the herb indicate that it lowers cortisol and relieves fatigue brought on by stress. Other research shows that it might also have an antidepressant effect. Melissa Young, an integrative specialist at Cleveland Clinic told Prevention magazine that she uses rhodiola on those that have memory and fatigue problems from stress. She also said,
“I use adaptogenic herbs together with vitamin C and a high-quality B complex to support the adrenal glands during times of stress.”
SAM-E has been used in Europe for decades as an antidepressant. The body produces it naturally and it actually produces other chemicals that affect mood. The amino acid is sometimes used on those who want to stop using antidepressants. It is also used so that patients can reduce the dosages of other antidepressants. SAM-E is thought to improve the effectiveness of some medications.
As a warning, SAM-E is not recommended for those with bipolar disorder.
Always check with your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements. Some may interact with medications or may not be safe for those with certain medical conditions.