The list of herbs for depression and anxiety is a long one. I started my research, this time, by going straight to Margaret Roberts’ Tissue Salts book. And I found some amazing connections!! For example, did you know depression can be caused by bad circulation? Sort out your circulation easily by adding specific herbal teas to your diet and see if your depression lifts.
This article is all about how to feel better in mind, body, and soul, with the help of our gentle, nurturing herbal remedies. I’ll give you guys a brief rundown on what depression and anxiety are defined as. And I’ll list the symptoms of these mental health disorders. And then I’ll connect the dots between nutrition and why we get these feelings of depression and angst. And give you simple, affordable, chemical-free solutions. You are going to have your mind blown when I tell you how easy it is to use herbs for depression and anxiety.
Disclaimer: I am not a qualified doctor and as such, the remedies in this article are not a replacement for anti-depressants and anti-psychotic meds. Always consult your doctor before switching to herbs and quitting your meds.
Why Are Mental Health Disorders So Prevalent?
It seems that more and more people these days suffer from some type of mental health disorder. Is it because there is more attention being paid to these issues and it’s less of a taboo to speak about? Or is it because our lifestyles are so different when compared to how we lived as recently as twenty years ago?
Today we all use technology that gives off radio waves. We eat genetically modified foods, processed foods, and foods grown with chemical fertilizers, hormones, and pesticides. Our daily lives are more sedentary, we get less sunshine and fresh air, and we stay up later, compromising healthy sleeping patterns. And we take medication that seriously affects our gut health.
And if you don’t already understand that everything is connected then it’s time to start learning. We need to keep our immune systems fully functional, nowadays more than ever. There is a global war going on between natural health and Big Pharma. And the faster we learn to grow our own herbs, fruit, and vegetables, the better equipped we will be to have pharmacies in our own backyards.
There is a link between the state of our minds and the food we eat. Instead of natural remedies, people are being given medication to mask their symptoms and ignore the root cause of most illnesses. But as long as there are people on earth there will be alternative, and often better, ways to heal the body, mind, and soul.
Today we are exploring herbs for depression and anxiety. To give you options and hope for a better quality of life.
Let’s jump in!
Why Do We Get Depressed?
Often depression and other mood disorders present because of nutritional deficiencies. Left untreated every system in the body becomes compromised. This means your hormones get affected, your digestion gets affected, and your immunity gets affected. If your body can’t digest and absorb nutrients properly your immunity and hormonal functions become impaired. And symptoms will start occurring. Symptoms are warning signals that you need to pay attention to. If you can treat a symptom (not suppress it) then you start reversing any damage. And you will get to the cause. This is why it’s called cause and effect. If you know the cause is nutritional and you have symptoms that can be remedied with nutrients then the cause can be treated.
Nutritional Deficiencies Can Cause Depression and Other Mood Disorder
The best way to stay healthy is to make sure you eat a balanced diet that gets all the recommended daily allowances in. This includes calories to fats, proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Amino acids are essential when it comes to regulating mood hormones like serotonin. But there are also other compounds that our bodies need to help alleviate mood disorders.
The video clip below highlights 14 supplements that may go a long way in treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. And 1 that is really bad. The 15 supplements discussed in this clip are:
- Omega 3 fatty acids – found in eggs, flax, chia, walnuts
- GABA ( gamma aminobutyric acid) – found in fermented products like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.)
- Kava Kava
- L-Theanine (amino acid) – found in black tea
- L-Lysine and L-Arginine (amino acids)
- Passion Flower
- Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E
- Inositol ( Vitamin B8)
- St John’s wort
- Caffeine – a big no-no!!
There are different types of depression. Let’s look at the most common ones:
- Seasonal Adversity Disorder (SAD) is a condition that affects people when they don’t get enough sunshine.
- Clinical Depression
- Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder
- Psychotic Depression
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
- Major Depression
- Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
- Situational Depression
Often the symptoms will be the same, and include:
- Sleeping too much
- Not eating enough
- Trouble concentrating
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Low self-esteem
- Mood swings
- And in the case of psychotic depression; hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions
Some types of depression are constant while other types fluctuate, according to weather, hormones, or stressful situations. Psychotherapy and medication are popular allopathic treatments. When treating depression with herbs it’s often a good idea to start with nutritional therapy and boost the body with much-needed vitamins and minerals. And of course, herbal teas and tinctures. In fact, as I’ll explain further on, many herbs are rich in the very nutrients needed to get your brain, your gut, and the rest of your body fired up and back on track.
What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety is almost the opposite of depression. People with anxiety disorders are often highly strung. They get wound up easily. And get hyped up over things healthy people can handle with ease. Worry and fear are constant and can severely impair their daily lives. Anxiety is a normal emotion but for people with anxiety disorders, it can be crippling.
It’s often said that mental health disorders are the result of a “chemical imbalance”. This is partly true, but it overlooks the fact that for the imbalance to occur something else must have happened first. It is usually linked to the nervous system. you’ve heard the saying before, “I’m running on nervous energy”. When people use up their supplies of essential vitamins and minerals and don’t replace them, the body starts to steal what it needs from wherever it can. And the nervous system starts to fail. Hormones fall out of sync and digestion gets impaired. Eventually, the immune system suffers and can’t do its job to protect the body, fight off infections, and heal any wounds and injuries.
What Do Herbs For Depression And Anxiety Have In Common?
- Herbs for depression and anxiety are good sources of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. They will often contain a combination of magnesium, phosphorous, calcium,
- Herbs that will relieve the symptoms of many mental health disorders have similar actions. This is partly due to the fact that they contain similar nutrients and phytocompounds. They improve circulation, strengthen bones, keep muscles, tendons, and ligaments toned.
- Herbs for depression and anxiety are restorative, clear infections, improve moods, are sedative, contain pain killers, repair, support, and develop cell growth [bones, hair, nails, new cells (anti-aging)], improve memory, and boost immunity.
Nutrient-Dense, Rich in Trace Elements and Minerals
Herbs for Depression and Anxiety are rich in minerals
Herbs that help for both depression and anxiety are often rich in the same nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It is now recognized that nutrition plays a role when it comes to mental health issues. Previously depression was treated only as a biochemical imbalance. Nowadays we know better. In fact, no matter what the health issue is, you should first start by eliminating nutritional deficiencies as a root cause of the problem.
When we are short of these trace minerals it is quite possible that depression or anxiety could develop. Once these minerals are replaced your mood may return to normal. Herbs are excellent sources of these minerals. Finding the deficiency and rectifying it by taking tisanes or tinctures is often all you need to relieve yourself from depression or anxiety. But sometimes it is necessary to take medication, especially in the case of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This is because with herbs you are never guaranteed how much of the active compounds are present.
Herbs Rich In Calcium and Magnesium
- Lemon and Pith
Herbs that restore the nervous system:
- St John’s Wort
- Red Clover
Herbs for Depression and Anxiety are often Diaphoretic
Herbs for depression and anxiety are often diaphoretic by nature. Diaphoretic herbs can be either be cooling (for anxiety) or warming (depression), calming (anxiety) or stimulating (depression). Served warm they induce sweating that reduces fevers. Served cold they act as diuretics. The sweating then cools the body. This, in turn, helps the body to flush out toxins. So diaphoretic (also called sudorific) herbs are good for fevers, colds, and detox.
Diaphoretic herbs include catnip, mints, chamomile, chrysanthemum, elderflowers, yarrow flowers, boneset.
Diuretics and carminatives are both cooling. Carminatives include coriander, cumin, fennel, dill, mints.
Common deficiency includes magnesium phosphate and calcium phosphate. See the list above for herbs rich in these minerals.
Tissue Salts for Anxiety and Depression
The main tissue salts for depression and anxiety are no. 2, no.6, no.9, and no.11. There are other tissue salts that complement these but for the sake of simplicity, I will briefly go over these 4 salts and their connection to the herbs that can help people suffering from anxiety and depression.
Tissue Salt No.2 – Calcium Phosphate
Calcium phosphate is a cell builder and supports growth and development. It also acts as a restorative and a tonic. It builds bones, teeth, and nails. Our bones are important to the immune system and so when we lack calcium our skeletal and immune systems start to malfunction. A lack of calcium leads to memory loss, poor concentration, moodiness, anger, and aggression. In the elderly, this deficiency contributes to late-onset depression. The situation is easily remedied by taking 2 tablets three times a day, of tissue salts no.2.
Herbs rich in calcium phosphate include comfrey, chamomile, lucerne, borage, and oats. Leafy greens, whole grains in the form of alfalfa sprouts, wheat sprouts, barley water, or porridge, and carrots, lentils, berries, figs, and plums are all rich in this mineral. So are eggs and dairy, particularly Bulgarian yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk.
Tissue Salt No.6 – Potassium Phosphate
Potassium phosphate is essential both as an electrolyte and a major nutrient. Without it, our bodies become susceptible to all sorts of illnesses, from cramping to cancer! Tissue salt no.6 is a tranquilizer and a carminative. It eases stress, grief, and worry. It acts as a brain and nerve tonic and a nerve nutrient. It helps for depression, insomnia, and nervous tension (anxiety). Here we see how the circulatory system and the nervous system can suffer from a deficiency that can lead to depression. Just by replenishing this substance circulation improves, the nervous system is supported and brain function increases. This lifts one’s mood and may alleviate mild forms of anxiety and depression.
Herbs rich in potassium phosphate include St John’s Wort, ginger, garlic, mustard, horseradish, red clover, and thyme. You’ll also find it in leafy greens, walnuts, green beans, potatoes, cruciferous veggies, cherries, apples, dates, olives, and oats.
Tissue Salt No.9 – Natrium Muriaticum (sodium chloride)
Our bodies are one-third water and sodium chloride’s job is to maintain the equilibrium and distribution of water between cells. But table salt, which is also sodium chloride, will not have the same beneficial effect on osmosis because it is not accessible unless the salt particles are attenuated. A lack of this salt leads to irritability, quick-temper, road rage, and feelings of despair. It’s quite crazy to think how finely tuned our bodies are, that just one element like salt can throw the whole system out and have such extreme effects on the mind.
Herbs rich in sodium chloride include comfrey, mustard, calendula, chickweed, thyme, origanum, marjoram, melissa, and chamomile. Other foods high in nat.mur. include seafood, greens, almonds, buckwheat, strawberries, asparagus, sesame seeds, carrots, lentils, beetroot, apples, and figs.
Tissue Salt No.11 – Sodium Sulphate
This salt is a cell cleanser, it detoxifies the liver, and acts as a decongestant. It eliminates excess water and removes toxins from intercellular fluids. When people are short of this salt they feel despondent, manic, fearful, and full of despair and dread. It also helps with digestive problems like a sluggish liver or gall bladder. It has an alkalizing effect and any over-acidity will be balanced out by taking no. 11.
Herbs and food rich in sodium sulfate include yarrow, parsley, cayenne pepper, celery, burdock, mullein, cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, kale, etc.), onions, pumpkins, cucumber, and bananas.
The Link Between Poor Circulation and Depression
There are quite a few studies and reviews   that have connected depression and circulation and it’s been found that once depression is reduced circulation improves and vice versa. The tissue salts that help most for depression are numbers 2, 6, 9, and 11. Taking no.4 with any of these is beneficial as it helps oxygen to reach cells and makes the absorption of all nutrients more effective.
Herbs that promote circulation:
- Aloe ferox and Aloe marlothii
- Centella asiatica – also known as Brahmi in Ayurvedic medicine and pennywort in the West
- Cinnamon, turmeric, allspice
- Japanese quince
- Goji berries
- Dill, cumin, coriander, anise, basil
List Of Herbs For Depression And Anxiety
- Comfrey – rich in calcium phosphate, wound healer.
- Chamomile – calms, pacifies
- Lucerne –
- Borage –
- Oats – A restorative nerve tonic, anti-depressant. rich in magnesium phosphate. This mineral is important to the nervous system. Promotes circulation
- St John’s Wort – acts like an SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor)
- Ginger –
- Mustard –
- Horseradish –
- Garlic chives –
- Red Clover –
- Gotu Kola
- Lemon Verbena
- Kava Kava
- San Pedro Cactus
- Yerba Mate
- Sarsaparilla Root
Aromatherapy Herbs For Depression And Anxiety
Lavender, Bergamot, Ginger, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Citrus oils like grapefruit, neroli, sweet orange
How To Take Herbs for Anxiety and Depression
I find herbal teas to be the best remedy for all sorts of illnesses and disorders. I try to avoid supplements. When you grow your own herbs it is so easy to pick what you need a brew a tea. Try to take 3 cups of herbal tea a day. Experiment to find out what works for you. Some people may respond well to chamomile, for instance, but cannot tolerate oats. Dried herbs are readily available so even if you don’t grow herbs you can still build up a stock of herbs to blend and brew in times of illness.
Adding Rooibos Tea to any of these herbs will boost the antioxidants and improve circulation. Both aiding to alleviate moods of anxiety and de[pression.
How Safe Is It To Take Herbs For Depression And Anxiety?
When you take herbs for a serious illness, like depression or anxiety, some herbs are safer than others. Recognize the ones that can cause liver and/or kidney damage if taken over a long period of time. These herbs include:
St John’s Wort
Others are hallucinogenic and may increase depression and anxiety instead of alleviating it. These herbs include:
San Pedro Cactus
As you can see the list of herbs that
- aid circulation
- lift moods
- provide nutrients and essential minerals
- boost serotonin levels
- support immunity and the skeletal system
- restore and rejuvenate cells
- calm and tranquilize
- relieve insomnia
- and reduce fevers
all help in bringing the body mind and soul into harmony.
Attention is being given to how lifestyle can affect depression and people get encouraged to socialize more, do things for others, stay active, keep learning, and practice mindfulness (be present and aware of sounds and smells). This type of therapy includes taking care of a herb or plant and then planting it out in a communal garden to increase interaction (see video clip below). These methods get referred to as social prescription or lifestyle medicine.
In today’s world we need to make a conscious effort to destress, reconnect, and make healthy food choices. A holistic approach to health and wellness is a good wayto heal from within and without and herbs have been provided and designed to help us on this journey.
Hope you enjoyed this article. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Please share across social media platforms and if you love herbs and natural living check out our other articles on essential oils, natural beauty tips, and herbal teas.
Where to get Tissue Salts online
The complete range of all 12 Tissue salts can be ordered here.
It is better to take the individual salts for specific ailments than to just take the type that has all 12 salts combined.
There are quite a few books that describe which salts do what. Don’t pay too much attention to what is written on the bottle. I highly recommend Margaret Robert’s Tissue Salts book. It is far superior to any other books I have found. Order a copy here.
It’s also available on kindle at a fraction of the price.
Which Herbal Teas Can I Buy For Depression and Anxiety?
These ready-made teabags are convenient to use, especially if you live in an apartment or can’t grow your own herbs for some reason.
- Aprika Life Sleep Tea: This tea contains 12 herbs that will relax you, relieve anxiety and lift your mood. It may also help with insomnia.
- St John’s Wort Tea: Of all the herbs that get used to treat depression, St John’s Wort has probably had the most studies and trials done. So there is much evidence that shows how effective it is.
- Be Happy Tea: This blend has vervain, St John’s Wort, and skullcap in it.
- Wild Thera – Cheerful Mood Balm: For those of you who enjoy aromatherapy, this balm works well in conjunction with other supplements like magnesium and zinc, to name just two. (See video clip above on 15 supplements that help for anxiety and depression.)