Many of us, perhaps most, will admit to feeling anxious on a regular basis and often even depressed, perhaps due to pressures of work, home life, or any of a multitude of other causes. However most of us are not clinically depressed or anxious, to the point where our lives and health are affected detrimentally.
The minority who do find their lives blighted by these conditions can often be found to be suffering from one or all of the following: self harm and potentially suicidal thoughts, insomnia, lack of sex drive, inactivity and tiredness, and lack of concentration.
Certainly where someone is feeling so anxious or depressed that the medical profession would categorize them as clinically depressed or anxious immediate help should be sought from a professional. However where someone is suffering from a milder form of anxiety then there may be alternatives to the common anti-depressant drugs that often appear to make things worse for less serious cases. Alternative treatments could include herbs for anxiety and depression, although it is always wise to seek medical help before starting any herbal medications, especially if you are already taking any other forms of medication.
Popular herbs for anxiety and depression include St. Johns Wort, Kava, Passion Flower, Ginseng and SAM-e, and many have reported positive benefits to taking these herbs. St. Johns Wort probably has the largest body of supporting evidence and is widely used. Again remember that you should consult your physician before taking any medication, even herbal, and do not take multiple herbal remedies at the same time without consultation with a professional.
There exists a significant problem in taking herbs for anxiety and depression, and other ailments, and that is that unlike other medications government and international drug regulation agencies are not required to test and approve their use. This can mean that drugs could become available that have unforeseen side effects. However many herbs have been used in medical applications for much longer than their modern chemical counterparts and so there exists a large body of admittedly anecdotal evidence backing their medicinal properties.
The critical point to remember is that there are no guarantees with herbal treatments, and care must be taken to ensure you are not exposing yourself to additional problems and side effects. There is little doubt a herbal substitute for a conventional drug, used in moderation, should provide some relief with less of the addictive dangers associated with prescription meds, but it cannot always be assumed that herbs will be a safer option. Do not assume they are a miracle cure and always take heed of the dosage recommendations.