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An effective herbal treatment for depression - and no, it's not St John's Wort

by , 25 June 2013

Contrary to popular belief that depression is a personal weakness, it IS, in fact, a medical illness. And while symptoms like “intense feelings of sadness and losing interest in things you enjoy, may last for a while. It's treatable,” says WebMD. If you suffer from depression, there's one herb is showing great results in treating it…

According to Kerry Bone of Nutrition & Healing, the herb Rhodiola made headlines a few years ago for its tonic properties. And its many other benefits include, the ability to improve concentration, strength, endurance and even recovery from illness.

Now, new research shows it treats depression too.

And because many people with depression also feel tired and run down too, Rhodiola is a perfect match.

But it appears its effects go beyond an energy boost.

Rhodiola: The herbal strength-booster that works wonders to curb depression

According to research from the Swedish Herbal Institute, Rhodiola worked as well as St. John’s Wort (a herb most commonly used for treating depression). And it was even as effective as the antidepressant drug, imipramine

This research led to a clinical trial of the Rhodiola extract (SHR-5).

Researchers divided the team into three groups:

  • Group A took 340mg of the Rhodiola extract a day,
  • Group B took 680mg a day and
  • Group C took a placebo.

After six weeks their progress was assessed. And the results were impressive.

Researchers found there were significant reductions in the Hamilton and BDI scores (tools to measure depression) of the groups who’d been taking Rhodiola. The average HAMD score in Groups A and B fell from around 25 to around 18.

So how does Rhodiola actually work to ease your depression?

Researchers concluded that Rhodiola works because it balances your stress hormone levels.

You see, “when the receptors to these chemicals don’t switch off automatically your body will keep producing them. And in no time you’ll be mentally exhausted. But Rhodiola decreases the release of these hormones and so helps your depression,” explains Bone.

And new research from Germany further proves Rhodiola’s anti-depressive effects.

Over 12 weeks, researchers found Rhodiola not only improved their patients’ low energy, decreased libido and exhaustion, but it also boosted their mental performance and motivation.

And the best thing about Rhodiola is its basically free of side effects

Because it works differently from conventional antidepressant drugs, it shouldn’t interact with these drugs.

However, Rhodiola is best for milder forms of depression or for people who are under a lot of stress. Although Rhodiola supplements are available at your local health shop, be sure to consult your doctor if you’re considering this natural treatment to treat your depression.

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