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The Best Chinese Herbs for Naturally Managing Depression

The Best Chinese Herbs for Naturally Managing Depression

Everybody feels low or down at times, it’s a natural part of life. These emotions can be worrisome when felt intensely over long periods of time. Depression is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide and can often develop alongside anxiety. It causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities, which can affect all aspects of life including relationships with family, friends, and the community. It can also be a result or lead to problems at school or at work. 

While there are many medications available to treat depression, some people prefer to use natural remedies such as Chinese herbs. Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression. They come in various forms  – as dried plant parts, pills or capsules, or as powders. However, only a small portion of what is used in Chinese Traditional Medicine (CTM) is known or used by Western medicine. 

If you’re looking for the best Chinese herbs for depression, it’s important to consider the type of depression you are experiencing. Some herbs are better suited for mild to moderate depression, while others are more effective for severe depression. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the best natural remedies that can help you effectively manage your symptoms for a more peaceful life. 

Understanding Depression

Depression, also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and a loss of interest. It affects how one feels, thinks, and behaves, which can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. This can affect one’s normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes one may feel as if life is not worth living. 

People who are more likely to develop depression have lived through abuse, severe loss, traumatic events, or adverse life events. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 280 million people worldwide live with depression, affecting all age groups, women being twice as likely to be diagnosed. 

Chinese medicine believes that strong emotions can affect the body’s organs. Excessive or a lack of joy can stress the heart, worry can affect the gut, and grief can hurt the lungs. Depression is seen as a troubled spirit, where the Qi (the flow of your body’s energies), gets stuck in the chest and held captive due to anxiety. Prolonged stress can tighten the chest and affect other organs. 

Depression is more than just having the blues and it may require long-term treatment. While psychotherapy and medication have become a primary course of treatment, Chinese herbal medicine has become an alternative option. 

Common Symptoms of Depression

There are different types of depression, including major depressive disorder, dysthymia, and seasonal affective disorder. Each type of depression has its own set of symptoms and treatment options. Common symptoms that are present may include: 

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of anger, irritability, or frustration
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities in daily activities 
  • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Loss of energy or fatigue
  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilty
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide 
  • Unexplained physical problems (back pain or headaches)

If you feel depressed or think you are in immediate danger of harming yourself, be sure to make an appointment to see your doctor or mental health professional as soon as you can. You may also contact any available emergency services or a crisis line. 

Common Chinese Herbs for Depression

Chinese herbs have been used for centuries to treat depression by addressing the mind, body, and spirit. Rather than focusing on increasing serotonin levels or pumping the body with feel-good hormones, it tends to focus on the root patterns of imbalance that lead to depression. While there is no single Chinese herbal formula for depression, below are the most common herbs to treat symptoms: 

Chai Hu

Chai hu, Peony root

Bupleurum root, also known as Peony root or Chai hu, is a popular herb in Traditional Chinese (TCM) used for getting your chest qi moving. It is often used for mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression by relieving stress, irritability, and promoting sleep. It also regulates GABA/Glutamate balance in the central system, which affects neurotransmitters in charge of mood regulation. 

In a study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, scientists wanted to confirm if Chai Hu, a traditional medicine used to treat depression in China can improve symptoms and conditions of sufferers. Findings resulted in better outcomes than Western medicine in three types of depression: pure depression, post-stroke depression, and postpartum depression. 

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is a well-known Chinese herb with a long history of treating depression. It’s believed to work by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain, a transmitter that regulates mood. It can be taken in the form of a capsule, tea, or tincture.  

There has been scientific evidence that St. John’s Wort can treat mild depression, and may share a similar effect to antidepressants. In a 2012 analysis of data collected in 2002 by NCCIH and NIMH, a 26-week clinical trial with 124, St. John’s Wort, a standard antidepressant (SSRI), and a placebo were found to be similarly effective in treating major depression of moderate severity. 

Ginseng

The Best Chinese Herbs for Naturally Managing Depression

Ginseng, also known as the “King of Herbs,” is a root that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is believed to have adaptogenic properties, which means that it can help the body cope with stress. Ginseng can be taken in capsule form, as a tea, or as a tincture.

In a study conducted by Lee S, Rhee D-K (2017), Ginseng has shown to regulate the immune response and hormonal changes due to stress, which maintains homeostasis. Aside from preventing stress-associated physiological diseases, it has helped relieve symptoms of psychological diseases such as anxiety and depression. 

Saffron

Saffron is a spice that is commonly used in cooking, but it has also been traditionally used to treat depression. It is believed to work by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. Saffron can be taken in capsule form or as a tea.

Lopresti AL, Drummond PD (2014) conducted a study by undergoing several trials with Saffron and examining its antidepressant effects. Results confirmed to be effective for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression, although further research is required to expand further understanding of Saffron in major depression 

Chamomile

Chamomile is a flower that is commonly used to make tea. It is believed to have calming properties, which can help alleviate symptoms of depression. Chamomile can be taken as a tea or in capsule form.

Amsterdam JD, Shults J, Soeller I, Mao JJ, Rockwell K, Newberg AB (2012) explored data from a 2009 clinical trial to determine if chamomile provides clinically meaningful antidepressant activity versus a placebo in 57 participants (19 had anxiety with comorbid depression; 16 had anxiety with a past history of depression, and 22 had anxiety with no current or past depression). Results showed that chamomile provided a clinically meaningful activity for people with depression. 

Lavender

Lavender is a herb that is commonly used in aromatherapy. It is believed to have calming properties, which can help alleviate symptoms of depression. Lavender can be used as an essential oil, in a diffuser, or in a tea.

A study conducted by Kim M, Nam ES, Lee Y, Kang HJ (2021) aimed to examine the efficacy of lavender for anxiety, depression, and physiological parameters and to see its differential effects on anxiety and depression. Results showed a substantial effect in reducing anxiety and depression, while the effects on physiological parameters showed small inconsistent significance.

Overall, there is no single Chinese herbal formula for depression with different formulas that support the various patterns of disharmony. Consider how you experience depression, the symptoms you have, and your constitution to find the best Chinese herbal formula that is best for you. 

Best Chinese Herbs for Depression

If you’re looking for natural remedies to manage depression, Chinese herbs could be a promising solution. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been used to restore balance to the body and mind. When you’re depressed, your body and mind are out of balance. In this article, we have compiled a list of the best Chinese herbs for depression to help restore that balance. 

Herbalogic – Peacekeeper Liquid Herb Drops

Herbalogic - Peacekeeper Liquid Herb Drops - Reduces PMS Related Mood Swings - Based on The Traditional Chinese Formula Xiao Yao San with Added Herbs for Mood Support - Contains Turmeric - 2 Fl. Oz.
  • EFFECTIVE HERBAL MOOD SUPPORT: This herbal blend eases irritation, anger, and sadness due to hormone fluctuations for balanced emotions. Supports discomfort due to cyclical hormone fluctuations.
  • SAFE TO USE during and between menstrual periods to promote healthy emotional responses to stress. Help your body regulate mood swings naturally.
  • SAFE FOR DAILY USE: With a variety of herbs and extracts, these herbal drops can work quickly to lift low moods and ease short tempers in both women and men. For best results, use consistently on a daily basis.

Herbalogic – Peacekeeper Liquid Herb Drops is a worthy supplement to purchase if you want to ease irritation, anger, and sadness due to hormone fluctuations. It works to quickly lift moods and ease short tempers in both men and women. 

ProsCons
Effective herbal mood support. 
 
Safe to use during and between menstrual periods.
 
Lifts low moods and eases short tempers in both men and women.
Some people may find the taste unpleasant. 
 
May take a few days to see results. 
 
It may not work for everyone.

If you’re struggling with severe PMS/PMDD, mood swings, emotional temper flares, crying fits, heart palpitations, dread, and depression, then this product is effective in alleviating symptoms. It is made in the USA at a cGMP-certified facility, ensuring you are getting a high-quality product. It’s also free of artificial ingredients, flavors, colors, fillers, wheat, soy, or gluten. 

So if you are looking for an effective product that promotes healthy emotional responses to stress, quickly lifts low moods, and eases a short temper, Herbalogic – Peacekeeper Liquid Herb Drops is worth trying. However, it’s important to note that its taste may be unpleasant, and it may take a few days to start working. Additionally, it may not work for everyone. 

Lao Wei Herbal Supplement

Qi Harmony Combo - Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan Herbal Supplement Helps for Irritability, Fatigue, Abnormal Sweating 350mg 100 Pills Made in USA
  • This is a famous herbal formula in traditional Chinese medicine to clear heat signs such as irritability, fatigue, and abnormal sweating.
  • This formula is appropriate for PMS.
  • Herbal Supplement

If you’re looking for a natural way to relieve depression-related symptoms, Lao Wei Herbal Supplement may be worth trying. 

ProsCons
Based on traditional Chinese medicine.
 
It may alleviate symptoms such as irritability, anger, fatigue, and abnormal sweating.
 
Manufactured is made in the USA.
Effectiveness may not work for everyone. 
 
It is recommended to take six pills twice a day, which may be inconvenient for some. 
 
Not suitable for pregnant women.

Lao Wei Herbal Supplement contains a blend of Thorowax Root, Angelica Root, Peony, Atractylodes Rhizome, Tree Peony, Gardenia, Indian Bread, Ginger, and Mint. These herbs are believed to work together to help balance your body and mind. 

While Lao Wei Herbal Supplement may not be a cure for depression, it may naturally alleviate some of the symptoms associated with it. It is recommended to take six pills twice a day with warm water. However, as with any supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking it, especially if you’re pregnant or have any underlying health conditions. Additionally, its effectiveness may not work for everyone. 

ULTRA HERBS Rhodiola Rosea 7 in 1

Rhodiola Rosea Supplement 21,400mg Enriched with Ashwagandha, Magnesium, L-Theanine, St. John's Wort, Lemon Balm - Support Mood, Sleeps Quality, and Mental Focus | 150 Capsules
  • INCREDIBLE STRENGTH: Ultra Herbs Rhodiola Rosea stands out with its unmatched potency, delivering a significant 21,400mg of raw powder in every serving. What truly distinguishes this supplement is its concentrated Rhodiola Rosea 30:1 extract. This sets it apart from other brands that typically use less potent ratios or fresh powder in their products.
  • BOOST YOUR WELL-BEING: Our Rhodiola Rosea supplement, featuring an exclusive 7-IN-1 blend, is expertly crafted to elevate your overall well-being. This combination helps boost memory and mood while also facilitating restful sleep and recovery. Each bottle contains 150 capsules, guaranteeing a 5-month supply. This empowers you to embrace a life brimming with vitality and enduring energy while enjoying the perks of our product.
  • POTENT COMBINATION: Inside each Ultra Herbs Rhodiola Rosea capsule, you'll find a blend of 7 natural ingredients, including concentrated elements like Magnesium, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, St. John's Wort, Lemon Balm, and Black Pepper. This robust combination delivers outstanding results in comparison to other products in the market. Streamline your daily routine - taking one Ultra Herbs Rhodiola Rosea capsule each day will produce a noticeable impact.

Are you in search of a high-quality Rhodiola Chinese herb supplement to help with depression? If so, ULTRA HERBS Rhodiola Rosea 7 in 1 is definitely worth considering. 

ProsCons
Offers a significant 21,400mg of raw powder in every serving.
 
Boosts memory and mood while promoting restful sleep and recovery.
 
A robust combination of 7 natural ingredients: Magnesium, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, St. John’s Wort, Lemon Balm, and Black Pepper.
May not work for everyone.
 
Some users may experience mild side effects.
 
More expensive than other Rhodiola supplements on the market.

ULTRA HERBS Rhodiola Rosea 7 in 1 is a premium quality supplement that features a blend of 7 natural elements, including Magnesium, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, St. John’s Wort, Lemon Balm, and Black Pepper, which can alleviate symptoms of depression. This supplement can enhance your overall well-being by boosting memory and mood while facilitating restful sleep and recovery. Each bottle contains 150 capsules, guaranteeing a 5-month supply.

This supplement stands out due to its exceptional potency, offering a significant 21,400mg of raw powder in every serving, with a concentrated Rhodiola Rosea of 30:1 extract. This robust combination delivers outstanding results in comparison to other products in the market. However, it may not work for everyone and some users may experience mild side effects. Additionally, this supplement may be more expensive than similar products on the market.

Golden Lotus Herbs Chai Tea (Shakti Chai Decaf with Adaptogens & Raw Cacao, 16 Oz.)

If you’re looking for a delicious and energizing tea that also helps with digestion, adrenal function, and mental alertness, then Golden Lotus Herbs Chai Tea is definitely worth considering.

ProsCons
Energizes and enhances mental alertness. 
 
Stimulates digestion and tonifies adrenals. 
 
Rich in antioxidants. 
May not be suitable for individuals sensitive to caffeine.
 
Some may find the flavor too strong or spicy.
 
Powder form may be less convenient for some users

This tea is packed with adaptogenic herbs and raw cacao, making it a great option for those seeking a natural boost in energy and mood. This tea is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. The adaptogenic herbs can effectively manage stress, while also supporting healthy digestion and adrenal function.

So if you’re looking for a delicious and energizing tea that offers a wide range of health benefits, Golden Lotus Herbs Chai Tea is worth considering. However, the powder form of the tea may be inconvenient to some users as it requires mixing with hot water and may not be as portable as tea bags or capsules.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best Chinese herbs for depression, there are a few key features that are critical to consider. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

Quality

When looking for herbs, quality is crucial to their effectiveness. Seek out organic herbs that are high-quality, ensuring they are free from harmful pesticides and chemicals.

Ingredients

Examine the ingredient list carefully to ensure that the product contains the specific herbs that are recognized for their effectiveness in treating depression, such as St. John’s Wort, Rhodiola, and Ginseng.

Dosage

Check the dosage instructions to ensure that you are taking the appropriate amount of the herbs for your needs. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage to prevent any potential side effects. 

Form

Chinese herbs for depression are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, teas, and tinctures. Consider which form is most convenient for you and your lifestyle. 

Brand Reputation

Choose a reputable brand that has a proven track record of producing high-quality and effective herbal products. Look for brands that have been in business for a long time and have positive feedback from customers. 

By taking these factors into consideration, you can confidently choose the best Chinese herbs for depression that can effectively manage your symptoms. While these herbs are generally safe, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

FAQs

How effective are Chinese herbs in treating depression?

Chinese herbs have been proven to be effective in treating depression, but their efficacy varies from person to person. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a licensed practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to determine the best treatment for your specific needs. 

Are there any potential side effects of using Chinese herbs for depression?

Chinese herbs are generally considered safe, however they can have potential side effects, especially if they are used improperly or combined with other medications. Some possible side effects include digestive upset, dizziness, and headaches. It is important to work with a licensed practitioner to ensure that you are using the herbs safely and effectively.

What is the recommended dosage for Chinese herbs used for depression?

The recommended dosage for Chinese herbs used to treat depression can vary depending on the specific herb and the severity of the condition being treated. Hence, it’s important to consult with a licensed practitioner to determine the appropriate dosage for your individual needs. 

Can Chinese herbs be used with other depression treatments?

Chinese herbs can be used alongside other depression treatments, including therapy and medication. However, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen to ensure its safety and effectiveness. 

How long does it take to see results from using Chinese herbs for depression?

The length of time it takes to see results from using Chinese herbs for depression can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the condition being treated. Some people may see improvement within a few weeks, while others may take several months to see significant improvement. It’s important to stay patient and keep consistent with your treatment plan. 

Disclaimer: Last update on 2024-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

This content is provided solely for educational reasons and should not be seen as medical guidance. It’s important to consult with a healthcare expert prior to making any changes to your health regimen, including dietary adjustments or the use of supplements.

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