Herbs that can be used As an antidepressant

What is an antidepressant?

Antidepressants are substances that increase the activity of certain excitatory neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, to mitigate the symptoms of depression. 

Depression is a multifactorial mood disorder that appears as chronic sadness with little to no interest. It is broadly classified into the following categories:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Disruptive mood regulation disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Depressive disorder due to a medication

In the 1950s, the very first antidepressant was introduced by the name of iproniazid. Studies now suggest that disturbance in the levels of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, glutamate, and brain-derived neurotrophic factors can cause depression. It is also can also contribute to its cause as the neuronal networks involved in regulating the emotion might get retarded.

What are the herbal benefits of antidepressants 

Antidepressants help ameliorate the chemical imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the CNS. They help with the symptoms of depressive disorders, including:

  • Mood elevation
  • Sleep improvement 
  • Concentration enhancement
  • Relieve fatigue and exhaustion
  • Prevent the risk of suicide

3 Herbs Recommended as an antidepressant

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Tulsi (Holy Basil)

Tulsi/Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) is a versatile herb that holds a sacred spot in the heart of the Indian Subcontinent. According to Ayurvedic practitioners, Tulsi/Holy Basil is an adaptogen that helps the body cope with stressors by nourishing the adrenal glands. It improves the levels of norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin levels all the while promoting relaxing homeostasis in the body. 

Enjoy a cup of Tulsi/Holy Basil Tea or simply add half to a full dropper of its tincture to your water or teas to fight depression.


Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a soothing herb with myriads of beneficial medicinal benefits. It works phenomenally when it comes to relieving stress and depression.

A cup of Lemon Balm Tea or a few drops of its tincture in your water or tea can surely do the magic by reducing the stress hormone levels in your body while elevating your mood.

St. Johns Wort

St. Johns Wort

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been reported to be quite fruitful for mitigating the symptoms of mild to moderate depression. It takes around four weeks for St. John’s Wort to exert its antidepressant action but its resultant effect is as great as the SSRIs (Selective-Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).

Incorporate St. John’s Wort Tincture into your routine for a good night’s sleep and say goodbye to the good-for-nothing blues.

Other Medicinal Plants that Act as an antidepressant