I live in South Central Kentucky and i was wondering if there are any herbs I can get from "my backyard" to help with depression and relaxation.
lemon balm? Lemon balm is a mild anti-depressant and a nerve relaxant. I like it, works for me!
Yep, lemon balm is one of the easiest. Lemon verbena is another (don't know about your climatic zone), as is Passionflower. There are others available commercially in tablet form (better this way as the dose is standardised), such as Valerian and St. John's Wort, but I'd take further advice on the latter, particularly if you're taking other medication or are sun-sensitive.
To my mind, Lavender is the number one relaxing herb. Coming a close second is Rose. Chamomile and catnip are others.
I have a book on vitamins, minerals, herbs and supplements. I read up on a few things in there, such as the St. John's Wart, and Lavender. The Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena and catnip are new to me. I haven't thought about Chammomile. I did however read that ginseng reduces stress and fatigue as well as other things. Thank You.
the thing about ginseng.... what goes up, must come down... so you take ginseng... sure you go up, but then you drop... and get more fatigued. I know.. happened to me. Chamomile is a great relaxer, but not if you have liver issues, it's hard on the liver.
In KY, in the summer you can find lots of wild Passifloras called "Maypop" growing in fencerows and along the edges of fields. I like to dry the leaves to use later, just like Tea leaves. It relaxes you.
Another one is not native here but pretty common to find; Teaweed or Perilla. Dried it makes a great tea, if used green it will put you to sleep if you're not careful, it's that relaxing.
Herbs skullcap, catnip, lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, and passion flower all have sedative and anti-anxiety properties.
I see many people have already mentioned the herbs, yet it's also about how you use them of course. I've found that fresh lavender cuttings pushed into my pillow help me relax and ensure me good rest. I have this whole routine of products I make for myself - Lavender or Rose from start to finish.. I find lemon verbena to be Energising although Melissa (lemon balm) is soothing. My favourite for relaxing are definately lavender and rose, (not together, of course!)
I love skullcap, which is now growing in my backyard. I found a start of it up at the cemetery years ago. I dry all I think I will need and mow the rest, as it has taken the place (and the last place, for that matter!)
And I tincture maypop and cultivated passionflower leaves, because I have never had enough of them to dry a year's worth. I have to fight the butterfly larvae for them, would never hurt one of them, but now I do get my leaves early before they really get going.
Great Blue Wild Lettuce, growing to 17' in a long summer season here, comes up wild in my yard and makes a good gentle sedative. I dry the leaves during the year, and tincture the roots at the end of summer. This year I tried drying tiny wild lettuce, whole plant, for the first time, and will try using it same as the giant one. It comes up in late winter here and gets about 12" high, flowers yellow.
Basils are antidepressant, and also rosemary. So I cook with those a lot.
Of course I also love lemon balm, lavender leaf and flowers, whole fresh and dried roses and chamomile. And valerian for the real disasters!
I prefer to take herbal supplements and vitamins to help get nutrients
Here is a link that might be useful: vitamins and herbs for relaxation
Here are some herbs I found-
Happy I could help!