An Expert’s Guide: How Botanical Extracts Relieve Depression

botanical extract

Throughout the world, more than 264 million people struggle with depression. Are you among these folks dealing with depression on a daily basis? Are you interested in taking a more holistic approach to finding relief? 

If you want to try natural remedies but aren’t sure where to begin, read on to learn more about the benefits of botanical extract and how it can help to relieve depression symptoms. You’ll be amazed at how powerful plant compounds can be when it comes to improving your mood. 

What Is a Botanical Extract?

A botanical extract is a type of concentrated plant material. There are many ways that these materials can be extracted, including the following:

  • CO2 extraction
  • Alcohol infusion
  • Cold pressing
  • Glycerol extracts
  • Oil infusion
  • Steam distillation
  • Solvent extraction

Botanical extracts come in a wide range of forms, too, including these most popular options:

  • Alcohol tinctures
  • CO2 extracts
  • Essential oils
  • Glycerites
  • Hydrosols
  • Powdered extracts

If you’ve ever tried kratom tea made from a powdered product or mixed spirulina into a smoothie, you’ve used a botanical extract (and likely experienced some benefits from it, too).

Why Use Botanical Extract for Depression?

Before we dive into the specific botanical extracts that you can use to manage your depression, let’s address a common question: Why use botanical extracts for depression?

There are lots of reasons to consider using botanicals and plant medicine instead of more conventional remedies like antidepressants. Here are some of the top advantages that come from taking a more natural approach to your mental health challenges:

Minimal Side Effects

A lot of people find relief from their symptoms when they start taking antidepressants. The problem, though, is that these medications can also come with side effects that have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.

For example, many antidepressants cause side effects like headaches, digestive issues, weight gain or loss, and loss of libido. If you’re wary of these side effects and want to try a more natural approach first, botanicals can be a good alternative. 

Easier Access

Botanical extracts are generally more accessible than prescription medications, too. If you don’t have health insurance and can’t afford to go to the doctor or don’t live close to a doctor’s office, botanicals can be a more affordable solution that provides just as many benefits as (if not more than) a prescription.

Science-Based Solution

Don’t forget, there is a lot of scientific research backing the effects of many botanical extracts. If you choose to use botanicals instead of prescriptions, at least to start out, you can feel confident that you’re using supplements that have been researched and shown in studies to be effective.

Most Popular Botanical Extracts for Depression

There are tons of different botanical extracts out there that you can use for all kinds of health benefits. What kind of extracts are best for depression, though? 

The following are some of the most effective types of botanical extracts that you can use if you suffer from depression:

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is one of the most well-known botanical extracts used for depression and anxiety. Many people with mild-to-moderate depression have found it to be effective at doses of 450 milligrams (about 1/8 of a teaspoon) taken twice per day.

It’s important to note that St. John’s Wort can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills and hormone-replacement therapy. Keep this in mind if you’re using either of these and consider using a different botanical instead.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba extract is a popular remedy for depression and anxiety throughout the world, especially in Europe. It helps to boost the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. It can lower cortisol, a stress hormone, too.

The average starting dose for Ginkgo Biloba extract is 40 milligrams taken three times per day (120 milligrams, total). Some people eventually work their way up to doses of about 240 milligrams per day.

Reishi

Reishi mushrooms and their extracts have been used in Asian medicine for thousands of years. They can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while also improving sleep quality and bolstering immune system function. 

A good starting dosage for Reishi extract is around 1 gram (about 1/4 of a teaspoon) per day. As with other botanical extracts, a little bit can go a long way. 

Chaga

Chaga is another medicinal fungus that grows in cold climates and is a staple in natural Russian, Asian, and Scandinavian medicine. It does a great job of reducing stress and minimizing inflammation, which has been associated with an increased risk of depression. It strengthens the immune system, too.

Most people who use Chaga extract for depression symptoms start with a dose of around 2.5 grams (about 1/2 of a teaspoon) per day.

Cordyceps Militaris

Cordyceps Militaris is another fungus that has powerful benefits for those struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges. This fungus grows on the backs of caterpillars who reside in the mountainous regions of China.

Cordyceps Militaris can specifically help to increase energy, concentration, improve blood flow to the brain. A good starting dose, based on the current research, is about 1 gram (about 1/4 teaspoon) per day. 

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane mushrooms grow in North America, Asia, and Europe, and their extracts have long been used to support brain health and longevity. Incorporating these extracts into your routine can also help to reduce depression, improve sleep quality, and combat anxiety.

Based on existing research into this medicinal mushroom, most people start with a dose of around 750 milligrams per day. 

Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail is another medicinal mushroom named for its unique appearance that resembles the fanned out feathers of a turkey’s tail. This mushroom’s extracts are best known for boosting the immune system, but they can also help to reduce stress and symptoms of depression.

A safe starting dose of Turkey Tail mushroom extract is about 1 gram or 1/4 teaspoon per day.  

Kratom

If you’ve spent time researching plant-based depression remedies, there’s a good chance you’ve come across a kratom online store or a site plugging kratom. Kratom extract comes from the leaves of the kratom tree, which grows in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Kratom can help to combat depression, elevate mood, and increase energy in small doses. In larger doses, it may help to relieve, improve sleep quality, and reduce anxiety by bringing about a strong sense of calm. For depression, specifically, a dose of 1 to 5 grams of kratom per day seems to be most effective.

How to Use Botanical Extracts

At this point, you’re likely intrigued by the idea of using botanical extracts to manage your depression. Where do you begin, though? How do you incorporate them into your routine in a way that’s actually effective?

The following tips will help you to choose high-quality botanicals and get the most out of them:

Shop Smart

If you want to see results from your botanical extracts, it’s essential that you buy them from a trusted source. There’s not a lot of regulation when it comes to botanicals and other supplements, so you need to do research and ensure the seller is credible.

If you want to buy kratom or any of the other botanical extracts mentioned above, don’t just type in “Who sells kratom near me?”, “Kratom for sale”, or “Kratom near me” and hope for the best. Be sure to look for a reputable seller. 

Find out where they source their products and check out their reviews to see what other customers have to say about their products. This helps you to ensure you’re spending your money wisely and supporting a trustworthy business.

Start Small

When you incorporate a botanical extract into your routine, it’s important to start small. When you begin with a small dose, you’re less likely to experience any side effects. 

Keep in mind, too, that botanical extracts are very concentrated. They contain significant amounts of plant compounds, so a little bit goes a long way. Start with the minimum effective dose, then work your way up from there if needed.

Keep a Journal

It’s best to keep a journal and record your experiences with using a specific botanical extract. Writing down how much you’re taking, when you’re taking it, and what you’re taking it with (mixed with water, stirred into a smoothie, etc.) helps you monitor your symptoms and figure out the appropriate dosage for you. It also helps you keep track of the variables that might be affecting your results.

Be Patient

Finally, be patient. As is the case with antidepressants and other remedies, it might take a few days or even a few weeks for you to see changes after incorporating botanical extracts into your routine. Don’t give up if you don’t experience relief right away. 

Try Using Botanical Extracts Today

Now that you know more about the effects of botanical extract and how they can help to relieve depression symptoms, are you interested in giving them a try?

You can purchase all of the botanical extracts mentioned above through our online store. You can also purchase kratom capsules and other kratom products here, too. Click here to start shopping today!

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