Growing Herbs for Depression & Asthma
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Sarah
Posted on: April 5, 1998

Besides St Johnswort, what are some other good herbs to grow to help treat depression? Asthma, too.

For depression:

There are many factors involved in depression, so depending on circumstances, a cure could involve some combination of changes to diet and lifestyle as well as herbs. When the body’s energy is low, it needs good nutrition and exercise. Lifestyle problems may need a counsellor to help untangle them. Herbs can help by keeping the depressed person calm and more able to deal with their day-today stresses while dealing with extraordinary problems or making changes to their lifestyle.

Besides St. John’s Wort, other herbs that can help and are easily grown are: Balm, Melissa officinalis, also known as lemon balm, is a nerve relaxant, anti-depressant and a digestive aid. It grows and spreads easily and makes a wonderfully aromatic tea.

Borage, Borago officinalis, easily grown from seed, has a beautiful blue flower. It strengthens the adrenal glands, which become exhausted under an onslaught of stress and anxiety.

Valerian root, Valeriana officinalis, a hardy plant with a beautiful and sweet smelling flower, calms nervous tension, stress and anxiety.

For asthma:

Asthma is a contraction of the bronchial tubes, often brought on by cold, allergies or infection. Diet is of primary importance in its relief. The most common allergens that aggravate the bronchial linings are dairy products, eggs, chocolate, oranges, white sugar and flour, food additives and sometimes wheat products. In order to control the condition, the most common allergens should be removed from the diet. Dairy products can be replaced by soy products, and any foods containing sugar, preservatives and colouring replaced by fresh fruits and fruit juices. This change in diet, along with healing herbs, can allow healing to take place in the bronchial tubes.

Herbs that are easily grown and effective in asthma are: Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara, is an effective cough remedy. Thyme, Thymus vulgaris is anti-cough, anti-bacterial and anti-viral especially effective in lung infections. It is an aromatic, hardy plant that spreads easily. Echinacea, a tall, hardy daisy-like flower that spreads easily, supports the immune system to help prevent colds that often bring on asthmatic attacks. Elecampane, Inula helenium is antispasmodic, antiseptic and effective as an expectorant to remove mucous from the airways.

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