The holiday season is upon us, and for many this means happy memories and time with friends. For some, the holiday season is not so happy. It can be a strong reminder of those who are no longer with us. It is often a time that amplifies feelings of depression and loneliness.
Natural Help for Sadness, Depression, and Anxiety
Fortunately, there are many helpful herbs for depression, sadness, and anxiety. If you struggle at this time of year, these herbs can be a good choice to add to your daily routine.
Standing on the outside of the depression of a loved one can be difficult. Never discount their feelings or suggest they stop feeling them. If you know someone who is struggling, an herbal gift and a visit might be nice. You might offer to make a tea for both of you to drink while you are there, but never “dose” someone with herbs without their knowing.
How Herbal Options Differ From Prescription Medications
Herbal options for this sort of issue don’t alter emotional experience as prescriptions can. They are best if used by someone who is willing to work through how they are feeling. They are a shoulder to lean on rather than something that will carry us. It is important that we understand when to reach out for help. If you or a loved one is not working through feelings, symptoms are getting worse, or the individual is becoming a danger to himself/herself, then the time for herbal therapies has passed and medical help should be sought.
Herbs for Depression and Anxiety
The following herbs have a well-deserved reputation for helping with depression and anxiety:
Rose (Rosa spp.)
Rose is used for healing the heart space (chakra in Eastern methodologies). I recommend it to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, and for those who struggle with anxiety.
Borage (Borago officinalis)
“I borage, bring courage.” Borage has quite a long history of use in mild depression.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
This herb has struggled due to a misunderstanding about how it works, but it appears to increase the levels of serotonin in the body. It is important to avoid taking St. John’s wort with an SSRI.
Saffron (Crocus sativus)
These tiny orange sigmas are very expensive, but a little goes a long way. Add dishes that call for saffron to the holiday rotation for a quick lift in mood. Paella anyone?
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)
This adaptogen has been found not only to affect how the physical body handles stress, but also our emotional state. It has been proven effective for depression and anxiety.
These herbs may be found online or at your local health food store.
Using Nutrition to Deal With Depression and Anxiety
Beyond supplements, it’s important to think about our nutrition whenever we struggle with sadness, depression, and anxiety.
Some of the most common causes are a lack of omega-3 (fish oil), B-complex (spirulina, bee pollen, fermented foods), magnesium (nuts, beans, leafy greens), and Vitamin D (sunshine and good fats).
Remember that our days are getting shorter and we’re staying inside away from the sun more and more. Insist on a daily walk out in the sun and it might just make a difference.
Do you know of any other great herbs for depression, or other natural ways to deal with sadness and anxiety? If so, share below!