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According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), primary definition for depression is “a common but serious mood disorder” where people feel constant anxiety, tiredness, and sadness. It is often difficult for them to control these feelings without using some special types of medicines.

Depression becomes one of the serious health and mental problems today for majority number of people. According to the NIH research, there were approximately 7% of the U.S. population suffered from depression in 2015. In the worst case they reported that severe depression may cause people to suicide. Although people who suffer depression tend to use a placebo or an antidepressant for treatment, it does not work well or show effective results for some people. For those people, I would like to suggest an alternative remedy to cure depression which uses herbs and discuss how they are effective or safe or not to use as medicines. Today, herbal medicines are the key medicines that has been believed to work for various diseases.

3 Herbal Medicines for Depression

Hypericum Perforatum (St. John’s Wort)

St. John’s Wort. Retrieved from website

Hypericum perforatum, in other name, St. John’s wort is one of the most known herbs that has been used and believed to work for depression treatment. However, there are some controversies to use this herb as medication for depression. In some clinical studies conducted by psychiatrists reveal that this herb work effectively to mild mood disorder compared to a placebo or an antidepressant. On the other hand, NIH argued that St. John’s wort did not show any effective results in their 2002 study. In addition to this study, NIH also emphasizes possible side-effects caused by St. John’s wort for depression treatment. It warns that there is a possible risk of excess increase in serotonin due to using St. John’s wort with particular antidepressants. In terms of safety, Angela Dailey, a mental health therapist emphasizes in her blog that the herb will make birth control pills ineffective. Although St. John’s wort has been used widely today, it is still unclear about its mechanisms that can work for depression and controversial to use it as a remedy. It is still required for further research of its efficacy and safety.

Crocus Sativus L. (Saffron)

Saffron. Retrieved from website

Crocus Sativus L. or Saffron is a herbal medicine that has been used particularly in Middle-East countries. This herb is discussed in Tóth et al.’s research article which is about effectiveness of saffron against depression. In this article, they consider that saffron has the reliable antioxidant content that can work for depression. They compared the efficacy of saffron and anti-depression medicine or placebo by using PICO method (patients, intervention, comparison, outcome). From this study, they have found that saffron actually works better than placebo through experiments with patients who suffer depression. In addition to this research, Yeung et al.’s  journal of psychiatric research also proves that the depression rate decreased dramatically among the patients using Chinese herbal medicines (CHM), including saffron. In addition, the patients who took CHM also showed less side effects (e.g.  nausea, dry mouth, and dyspepsia) compared to those who took synthetic antidepressants. From the results of these studies, it is worth to continue researching about saffron as an alternative depression treatment.


Chamomile. Retrieved from website

Chamomile is one of the popular herbs that can be used for making a tea. In addition to its relaxation effect, it is also helpful to reduce depressive feelings. According to Medical News Today, there is a study about comparing effects caused by chamomile and a placebo against patients with depression. This study demonstrated that the patients who took chamomile as an antidepressant medicine signify better results than the results expressed by a placebo. Similar study was discussed in Dailey’s “12 Herbal Remedies for Depression and Anxiety” blog. She also emphasized that chamomile is useful to reduce depressive symptoms. There is a significant difference in efficacy between chamomile and a placebo, and both studies revealed that chamomile is beneficial for depression treatment than a placebo. Although it is still required for further research, chamomile has a definite potential to cure depression.


All of the herbs discussed in this blog have been considered as effective medicines that can be used as an alternative depression treatment. Although medicinal herbs are widely used today, most of them still require further research to figure out their mechanisms that can work for diseases. Therefore, I would strongly recommend to see and talk to physicians or specialists to understand correct and safe ways of using herbal medicines before use them. 


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1 Comment

  1. A3 rubric draft

    Addresses your research question
    Hs a Concise statement detailing what the article is about
    includes data, statistics, forms of evidence, general background information, etc.
    Is written with audience’s knowledge in mind
    Seeks to inform an educated non-specialist
    provides background information relevant to the subject matter
    provides definitions of difficult terminology

    Tone and Style:
    Professional but not as formal as an academic research article
    Clearly and concisely written
    Uses personal pronouns to engage the reader directly

    Uses adequate Balance between words, visuals, and data in order to deliver a strong message.

    Embedded links are clearly visible
    Has an aesthetically pleasing format
    Blog is easy to view and navigate

    Use of Headings/Subheadings
    Headings are bigger than the content font
    Headings accurately overview the section to follow
    Heading help to organize ideas and content
    Headings signal a change in topic
    Headings are easily identifiable

    Use of Sources
    Sources are clearly introduced
    Sources are well-analyzed
    Uses hyperlinks, (sparingly uses in-text citations)
    Uses paraphrase rather than direct quotes most of the time

    Use of Visuals:
    Blog uses at least two visuals
    Visuals enhance the reader’s understanding
    Visuals are not merely decorative
    Graphs and charts are welcome
    Each visual has a labels, a caption, and a source linked (unless you made the visual yourself)

    Author/”About Me “Page:
    Lists author’s education
    Lists author’s credentials
    May contain a small picture of the author
    Contains a short bio of author

    “About the Blog” Page:
    Adequately summarizes your blog’s focus
    Adequately explains genres you will be covering
    Adequately explains why the topic of your blog is relevant today
    Adequately explains your purpose for writing the blog
    Adequately explains what you hope the reader will get from your blog

    Resources Page or Blogroll:
    Contains links to similar or related topics
    Contains at least 5 related blogs and at least 3 related websites or other web sources
    Contains short description of each resource
    Located off to one side, preferably in its own column. (shouldn’t distract reader)
    Has a recognizable organizing structure
    Mentions who your audience is at the top of the blog
    Explains who you think will benefit from your research

    This is a really solid blog that has a clear focus, clear topic, and is very well-organized. The blog is easy to follow along and makes it easy for readers to go back and see what you were saying. I will agree with your cover memo that the explanations can be lengthened or expanded upon. It was also a nice touch to include recommendations to see physicians and doctors before using any of these herbs, as well as to cite some of the limitations some studies have had in determining the effectiveness of some of the herbs.
    Overall, the tone of the paper is really good. It definitely felt like the reader was being talked to, rather than lectured at, and so the tone and objective of the blog are right in line with the rubric’s standards.


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