12 Herbs and Spices for Depression (and Resources)


My Journey with Depression

I never thought I would end up struggling with depression. I always considered myself an optimistic person, but looking back now, maybe I only thought that I was optimistic because nothing seriously negative had ever happened to me. 

I started my grown-up years thinking that if you worked hard, you could make your dreams come true. Then nasty people took my dream career away and didn’t get what they deserved. And I remained unemployed, despite my hard work ethic and stellar scholastic background. 

Then we tried to sell our house so we could move away from a city that was sucking away our souls, and we ended up having to foreclose. Then we moved to another state, far away from loved ones and had to live in a RV trailer…and I was still unemployed.

Somewhere in the mix, I had chronic migraines, and the doctors tried all sorts of pills, all of which had the side effect of making me actively depressed. I was also on pills for a genetic disorder, and the hormonal imbalances that occurred afterward included the strong symptoms of depression.

What was my Depression like?

I am sure everyone goes through depression differently. For me, my depression was my secret shame. I didn’t want anyone to know I was suffering, but at the same time, I really wanted someone to notice and comfort me. How conflicting. I would curl up in the fetal position in the shower and sob and cry until the water turned cold. My husband didn’t know what to do. 

Depression is a hard funk to get out of, but I am turning around. I started by researching and reading and I soon realized that the multiple pills I was taking for multiple things listed depression as a side effect. I went off them all. The DAY after going off my pills, I felt twinges of happiness again. It was amazing. I learned about herbal medicine and Real Food to balance my multiple issues. Check out my ‘About me‘ or ‘15 Herbs for Headaches‘ posts to learn about my recovery from migraines. 

This is still a process in my life. I don’t know if Depression ever really goes away, but I work at it, and I feel a bit better as the days go by. Writing and researching for this website have helped a lot. I have compiled a list of 12 Herbs and Spices that are possibly good for Depression. I haven’t tried them all yet, but I will be as time goes on. I thought that I would include the list, so that if you or anyone you know is going through depression, these might be good starting spots in your/their journey towards recovery.


12 Herbs and Spices for Depression:

  1. Nutmeg (link includes: medicinal info and culinary uses)
  2. Saffron (link includes: medicinal, culinary, and how to grow)
  3. Lemon Balm (link includes: medicinal information)
  4. Skullcap (link includes: how to grow and medicinal)
  5. Vervain  (link includes: how to grow and medicinal)
  6. Lavender  (link includes: how to grow and medicinal)
  7. St. John’s Wort  (link includes: how to grow and medicinal)
  8. Passionflower  (link includes: how to grow and medicinal)
  9. Hawthorn Berries (link includes medicinal information)
  10. Rosemary  (link includes: how to grow and medicinal)
  11. Licorice  (link includes: how to grow and medicinal)
  12. Borage  (link includes: how to grow and medicinal)


I am not a professional, and I have only tried a few of these so far for myself. My hope is that this list will give you a starting point.  To help you out even more, here are some more excellent resources on the subject of depression.

Depression Resources

  1. Some medicinal herbal tea suggestions for depression
  2. How to Love Someone with Depression (by the Darling Bakers)
  3. 5 Ways to Love Yourself through Depression (by the Darling Bakers)
  4. How to Overcome Depression Naturally (by Mary Vance, Holistic Nutrition and Wellness Coach)
  5. Learn how to manage the grief from losing loved ones from The Healthy Honeys


Finally, I recommend this fantastic book:

My friend and fellow writer Arianna Mullins, from And Here We Are has written a very beautiful, uplifting book about the hardships in life. Her book, Pruned: Blossoming Through Life’s Difficult Seasonsstarts out by talking about her own family’s hardships in life and how they got through it. It truly helps you connect to her and others who struggle through life. Her book talks about how to cope with life’s changes, how to find perspective, how to face your fears, and how to bond with your family and find joy. She ends each chapter with questions for reflection. I read her book and found my own peace and joy

I think this book would be a fantastic read for anyone who is going through hardships in life or suffering from (mild) depression. I also think this book would be an amazing support-group type book. By going through the questions at the end of each chapter with other people you trust, you might be able to work through your problems and become a stronger person in the end.

Arianna Mullins says it best when she wrote: “Knowing how to embrace change as an opportunity is critical to experiencing joy in life.” Her book has helped me find my inner optimism once again. If you are interested in learn more about her book or for purchasing her book, check it out here.




I hope all of this information helped. Thank you for reading. I love you all.


 12 Herbs and Spices for Depression







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Comments (26)

Having also battled depression, I understand your pain. And no I am not to the point of not fighting it, but the battle alone is a victory in itself. I have not tried most of the herbs that you listed, but I wanted you to know that I have had good success with St Johns Wort. Don’t give up!!!! Hang in there and remember that you are not just fighting for yourself, you are also fighting on behalf of your family. For me remembering that I was fighting for them gave me strength I would not have had to fight for myself alone.


Thank you for your comment. 🙂 I appreciate your love and wisdom. I hope you never give up your battle with your depression either!

Hi there. Can you please tell me where I can buy the book from that you have suggested. I have searched the net but not had any luck. I live in the uk. My dsughter is going through depression an I feel this would be beneficial for her. Thank you. Becky

I have the links in the post, but just in case it’s not working for you: http://amzn.to/1NICnSd

[…] symptom… well if you or someone you know is suffering from depression and not sure what to do – try out these 12 herbs and spices that The Homestead Garden states will help combat […]

dear chris…having just visited your site i do not know all you have tried…but here are some things i have found out over years. wheat and egg allergies and especially aspartame. if i eat these foods i become depressed.i had a simple blood test through a naturopathic dr. to find food allergies. daily walking or other exercise helps. various herbs also help, but you seem to be on top of that. thyroid sluggishness…this is a big one for me. there are special thyroid tests to determine. wishing you well being and peace in your heart.

Thank you for visiting and commenting. God Bless!

I too have battled depression in my past. When you talk about sobbing in the shower it brings back some memories. I ended up changing my food choices, taking probiotics, walking or biking regularly for exercise, meditation/prayer and some of the herbs you mention. It wasn’t until years later that I read how the gut and mind are connected and depression and anxiety can happen because the gut is damaged. I am not saying that this is the case with everyone. Just that it is what worked for me. I am happy that you have found some things to make you feel better. Hang in there, and know that you are in my prayers.

Thank you for your kind words. Food did make a difference for me too. God Bless you! I hope you continue to thrive in life. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and commenting!

[…] Click here for some more information on how Lemon Balm and other herbs can uplift the spirit from depression. […]

I am like you..hiding inside. I pray..for healing. Emotional teams triggered this..teams not teams
I see Dr and on mess.
Thank you for honesty

God bless you. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

Thank you for your vulnerability. I’ve had depression off and on for 15 years. It’s very hard to navigate sometimes and even harder to try to explain to people. Herbs do help as well as exercise and daily vitamins. I got off prescription pills and notice a huge difference when I take quality vitamins and St. Johns wort. These along with exercise. It really is a daily battle, but you are not alone.

Thank you for writing and commenting. Yes, herbs are just one of many things to do to battle depression. May God bless you in your journey as well.

Hello, Love your blog!!! It is so awesome to come across a blog so positive and motivating. I am a mother, wife, and a holistic educator. My passion is essential oils. If you ever want to ck out my site I would love it. Thank you!!!

Thank you for visiting and commenting! Thanks for loving my site too! I shall check out yours as well.

When I first moved to Washington state I found a new doctor. She asked if she could take a Vitamin D blood test, I asked why and she told me that most people who live more than 300 miles from the equator have low D levels and there are many problems that can occur from that. Being a person who loved the outdoors I thought I would be fine but told her sure, let’s see what it is. Well after 2 years of taking a Rx strength Vit D I am now able to just take the 5000IU capsule. Vitamin D is linked to depression big time, especially with SAD also because people do not get out as much in the winter seasons. My hubby noticed I no longer cry as much, snap as much or panic as much also. I suggested it to my sister who is on Paxil and she has been able to reduce her med to the point where she is now considering stopping it all together. I know it is not an herb or spice, but Vitamin D is very good for depression also.

Yes it is! I take Vitamin D as well. Some other bloggers I know write about Vitamin D’s health benefits, I should write about it too! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

How much vitamin D can you take? I’ve been taking D3 2000iu. Is this enough? I’m
also taking paxil and wellbutrin for my depression and if I stop for a couple of days I go back to that same feelings .Thanks for listening. Sam

You should ask your doctor about how much to take. They often do a blood test to figure it out. Hope that helps! Thanks for visiting and commenting!

First of all, some of those herbs can’t be taken in great quantity and can’t be taken with certain meds. So, since the doctor probably doesn’t know anything about herbs, you need to do your own research before you start taking anything natural. Natural doesn’t always mean ‘harmless’. Secondly, have your B12 and D tested. Your result for B12 should be “well over 500” and your D should be between 30-40. I was depressed too, but a neurologist knew what to do. My B12 tested at 200, and my D tested at 17. Once these were brought up to normal, by taking injections and supplements, my depression and anxiety disappeared. I wish you well.

Hi thought you would like to know magnesium selinium and zinc work wonders too. ?Ty for your blog.

Thanks for the ideas! I will research them for a future addition. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Thank you for sharing your life with us. I too thought hard work was enough. Had a very similar experience to yours, relating to job and house. I have been battling this for at least five years. Skullcap tea has worked wonders for me. I can feel it relax my brain. Find a good North American source.

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