The 5 Best Herbs That Also Act As Natural Antidepressants
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Herbs have long been valued for their therapeutic properties and have been used as remedies for various ailments throughout history. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the potential of certain herbs to act as natural antidepressants. While they should not replace professional medical advice or prescribed treatments, these herbs offer a complementary approach to managing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

This article explores some of the herbs known for their mood-enhancing properties, such as peppermint, ashwagandha, lavender, chamomile, and brahmi, and highlights their potential benefits in promoting emotional well-being. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating any herbal supplements into your routine, especially if you are currently undergoing treatment for depression or anxiety.

The Herbs You Can Try


Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is not only known for its refreshing aroma and taste but also for its potential as a natural antidepressant. The essential oil derived from peppermint contains compounds like menthol, which can have calming effects on the mind and body. Research suggests that inhaling peppermint oil or applying it topically may help reduce anxiety and enhance mood. The aroma of peppermint has been linked to increased alertness and improved cognitive performance, which can indirectly contribute to a positive mood. Additionally, peppermint tea, made from the dried leaves of the plant, may help alleviate stress and promote relaxation. While more studies are needed, peppermint shows promising potential as a complementary tool for managing symptoms of depression and anxiety.


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and is renowned for its adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens are substances that help the body adapt to stress and promote balance. Ashwagandha contains compounds called withanolides, which have been found to modulate certain neurotransmitters like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Studies suggest that ashwagandha may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by acting as a mood stabiliser and promoting a sense of calmness. It has also been associated with improved sleep quality, which is crucial for maintaining mental well-being. As with any herbal supplement, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating ashwagandha into your routine.


Lavender (Lavandula spp.) is a fragrant herb that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and improve moods. Its essential oil is known for its soothing aroma, which can induce a sense of calm and tranquillity. Research has shown that inhaling lavender essential oil or using it in aromatherapy can help reduce anxiety, stress, and even symptoms of mild depression. Lavender may also promote better sleep quality, which is essential for emotional well-being. Some studies have even suggested that lavender oil may have similar effects to certain antidepressant medications by influencing neurotransmitters like serotonin in the brain. Incorporating lavender into your self-care routine, such as through aromatic baths, diffusers, or herbal teas, can provide a natural and aromatic way to uplift your mood.


Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is a gentle and soothing flower widely recognised for its calming properties. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Chamomile contains flavonoids like apigenin, which can bind to specific receptors in the brain, promoting relaxation and reducing symptoms of stress. Studies have shown that chamomile tea can help improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety levels. By facilitating better sleep and relaxation, chamomile can indirectly contribute to overall mental well-being. Sipping on a warm cup of chamomile tea before bedtime or during stressful moments can be a comforting and natural way to support emotional balance.


Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), also known as gotu kola, is an herb widely used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to enhance cognitive function and promote mental well-being. It has adaptogenic properties and contains compounds called bacosides, which are believed to have a neuroprotective effect on the brain. Research suggests that Brahmi may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by modulating levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. It has also been associated with improved memory, concentration, and overall cognitive performance. While more studies are needed to fully understand its mechanisms and effectiveness, brahmi shows potential as a natural supplement to support mental health.

It's important to note that while these herbs have shown promising effects in promoting emotional well-being, they should not replace professional medical advice or prescribed treatments for depression or anxiety. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or seeking alternative options, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist to determine the most appropriate approach for your specific needs.