Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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Start Simple.

Start with simple exercises and build up to more robust activities.

Set Easy Goals.

You can set a goal to run two miles without stopping. Start small – walk a mile, then walk 2 miles; run for 2 minutes and walk, then run and walk again. Build up within a week to run one mile and walk the second. Eventually you can shoot for the big two miles without walking. Be easy on yourself. Your big goal is to get healthy and fight off fear, to clear your mind. Your mission doesn’t have to be walking for an hour five days a week. Think realistically about what you may be able to do and begin gradually. Tailor your plan to your own needs and abilities rather than following unrealistic guidelines you’re unlikely to meet.

Create an Online Community.

You can use Facebook to share your goals and get support or even challenge others to work out with you. In an age where we can’t spend a lot of time together, online community groups may be the next best thing.

Identify What You Enjoy Doing.

Figure out what type of physical activities you’re most likely to do and think about when and how you’d be most likely to follow through. For instance, would you be more likely to do some gardening in the evening, start your day with a jog, go for a bike ride or play basketball with your children? Doing what you enjoy helps you stick with it. Anything is better than nothing.

Don’t think of exercise as a chore.

If exercise is just another “should” in your life you don’t think you’re living up to, you’ll associate it with failure. Instead, look at your exercise or physical activity schedule the same way you look at your therapy sessions or medication — as one of the tools to help you get better. Think: “I get to go out and do. I get to go exercise. I get to go feel better.”

Depending on your current state of health, you should check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying health issues. Please make sure whatever exercise you choose is safe for you. You can choose a telemedicine option with many physicians now; you don’t have to go to the office. Talk to your doctor to find out which activities, how much exercise and what intensity level is okay for you. Your doctor will consider any medications you take and your health conditions. He or she may also have helpful advice about getting started and staying motivated.

If you exercise regularly but depression or anxiety symptoms still interfere with your daily living, consult your doctor or mental health professional. Exercise and physical activity are great ways to ease symptoms of depression or anxiety, but they aren’t a substitute for talk therapy (psychotherapy) or medications.

As of today, in spring 2020, the United States is facing a serious outbreak of COVID-19. Businesses are shutting down temporarily. Churches are not meeting. Schools are closed. All this means your gym is probably closed as well. This good practice of social distancing and isolation will help us all keep from catching and spreading the virus. The downside is we are all cooped up in our homes with the fear of the unknown. But there is a way to fight off those fears and stay healthy without exposing yourself to virus. There are things you can do with you family or on your own. You could even get a social media group going.

The Mayo Clinic, in an article on depression published online in September 2017, asserted, “Depression and anxiety symptoms often improve with exercise.” When you have depression or anxiety, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.

“Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis,” the article continued. “Research on depression, anxiety and exercise shows the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.”

How does exercise help depression and anxiety? It may release


feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. These feel good in your body. Exercise will take your mind off your worries so you can break the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety. When you exercise, you engage other parts of your brain and this allows you to process your thoughts and emotions.

How much exercise is enough? Exercising 20 to 30 minutes or more a day three to five days a week may significantly improve fear, depression or anxiety symptoms. Smaller amounts of physical activity — as little as 10 to 15 minutes at a time — may make a difference, too. It may take less time exercising to improve your mood when you do more vigorous activities, such as running, bicycling or faster-paced walking.

The mental health benefits of exercise and physical activity may last only if you stick with it over the long term — another good reason to focus on finding activities that you enjoy.