Herbal Remedies for Postpartum Depression

Learn to use different herbal remedies help to rebalance hormones after childbirth.

| March 2016

  • Chamomile is perfect for easing postpartum depression.
    Photo by Fotolia/aboikis
  • Demetria Clark is an internationally acclaimed herbalist and aromatherapist. Demetria offers expert advice on how to select, use, and store essential oils.

Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding (Healthy Living Publications, 2015) by Demetria Clark explains how essential oils and herbal remedies can provide natural, alternative solutions to myriad health care needs that arise during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Demetria carefully outlines which essential oils and herbs are safe to use (and which aren’t) for each stage of pregnancy, birth to breastfeeding, and recuperating after labor.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is associated with the rapid change of hormones in the mother’s body after she gives birth, and it can also occur following miscarriage and stillbirth. Many women experience postpartum depression, but the good news is that the condition can be treated and managed. Make sure you talk to your care provider if you suspect depression is a problem for you. If you have thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, find help immediately.

Because hormonal fluctuations after birth cause postpartum depression, behaviors and herbal remedies that rebalance hormones can help prevent or resolve it. My first suggestion for preventing postpartum depression is breastfeeding, which helps moderate hormonal swings and increases the body’s endorphin and oxytocin levels. My other top suggestions are to get plenty of rest, eat right, and seek support from loved ones In addition, I suggest using the following herbs to rebalance your hormones:

• Chamomile
• Ginseng
• Hops
• Lemon balm leaves
• Motherwort
• Oats
• Skullcap
• St. John’s wort

Symptoms of postpartum depression include unhappiness, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, and excessive anxiety about the baby’s health. Specific herbs can be used to treat these particular aspects of postpartum depression:

Low mood, unhappiness. Use borage, rosemary, and St. John’s wort extracts.

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