Ok, so here is the first part of my list of possible herbal remedies for depression, anxiety and mental/physical well being.
These are fairly safe, but please do not take any supplement unless you are 100% sure that it won't interact with any meds you might be taking. There is always the possibility of an allergic reaction as well...so be careful :)
I am also not recommending any of these herbs. This is just my own thoughts and experiences.
Chamomile - (anti-anxiety) Makes for a very tasty and mildly relaxing tea. One of my favorites :)
Catnip - (anti-anxiety) It doesn't seem that many people are aware that catnip is not just for cats. For cats, as everyone knows, it causes a euphoric "high" that is very entertaining to watch :) When made into a tea for human consumption, it can cause a relaxed feeling. Not at all powerful, but for me it is comparable to chamomile. The tea doesn't taste bad with a little honey added, kinda minty.
Siberian Ginseng - (anti-depressant?) There are so many types of Ginseng available, and it comes in a wide variety of forms...pills, extracts, drinks, teas, etc.
Of all the different species of Ginseng, apparently Siberian has the most calming effect. I used to take the pills years ago, and it was possibly placebo but I do recall feeling better...mentally and physically. Certainly not a cure for depression, but it might help a bit.
For the most part though, Ginseng is used to help the body cope with stress. It is not usually referred to as an antidepressant.
Kratom - (antidepressant) By far my favorite herb (actually a tree) for depression. It's grown in southeast Asian countries and has been used for its medicinal properties for a very long time and is considered "safe". I have taken it almost daily for the past 7 years. The dried leaves can be put into gel-caps or made into a tea.
The effects are strongly antidepressant, but do not last more than a few hours. It is also strong, and unfortunately some people abuse this outstanding tree to get "high"...which can happen in high doses, along with very bad nausea.
In small doses, I find that it makes for a stimulating, depression crushing, morning companion similar to coffee but with pronounced "hey I feel good" type of effects. It also helps clear my mind and helps me to concentrate, as well as increasing my motivation to actually do things.
I should probably mention that it is illegal in some countries (but not here in the US). Take whatever internet info you may find on Kratom with a huge grain of salt...there is a lot of misleading and flat out wrong "facts" about Kratom floating around on the Net.
It's certainly not for everyone, but I credit Kratom with helping me through some of my worst depressive episodes. The potential for dependence (especially psychological) is moderate, I'd say...but then again so are some psych meds (like Klonopin, Xanax, etc).
Skullcap - (anti-anxiety) Possibly the strongest of the anti-anxiety herbal teas, but it can be taken in capsule form as well. It has been a while since I've used it, but I recall a mild-moderate calming effect from the commercial tea. The bulk herb can also be found and would likely be of higher quality than the Skullcap tea found in health stores.
Combined with Chamomile and Catnip it might make for a pleasant nighttime tea, or as an anti-anxiety tea for any time of the day.
Many more herbs to come in my next entries... I really should have done this in alphabetical order lol :)