There are numerous natural remedies for depression, so there really is no need to suffer or feel that you have to take prescription medications that often have troublesome side effects. If you’re looking for some natural cures for depression, the following remedies and herbs should give you hope that you can find help with depression outside of drugs.
Omega 3 For Depression
Many studies have connected depression with a low consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. Although omega-3 fatty acids are not antidepressants themselves, they are known to be very effective combined with herbal antidepressants. Combining omega 3 with depression herbal remedies will greatly improve the effectiveness of your depression treatment.
St. John’s Wort
Numerous clinical trials have suggested that St. John’s wort is as effective as chemical antidepressants for mild-to-moderate depression and with less side effects. These same studies, however, also suggest that St. John’s wort is not an effective herb if someone has major depression.
St. John’s wort is one of the best depression supplements to help support a balanced mood and help to maintain mental wellbeing. Many people use this amazing herb to lift their spirits and help chase away the blues.
Some side effects and contraindications of using St. John’s wort include photosensitivity, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, constipation, sleep problems, and allergic reaction. Take care when out in the sun to protect your skin and eyes when taking this herb, and discontinue use if troublesome side effects occur.
Although side effects can occur with herbal treatments, they tend to be less common and less severe than with chemical antidepressants. More on St Johns Wort here.
Rhodiola rosea is excellent natural remedy for depression as well as anxiety. Studies have shown that rhodiola has anti-depressant effects for those who suffer from mild-to-moderate depression.
Rhodiola can also offer significant improvement in other effects of depression such as insomnia, mood swings, pain, and fatigue. It works in part because of its mild stimulant action, which gives similar benefits as caffeine without feeling overly stimulated or nervous. More on Rhodiola here.
Ginkgo biloba has been shown to be an effective treatment for mild-to-moderate depression by improving mood. This herb is especially helpful in the elderly who are more likely to suffer with reduced blood flow to the brain.
Ginkgo biloba is most effective when used with other natural remedies for depression to improve a person’s overall mood and wellbeing. More on Ginkgo Biloba here.
Kava kava is an excellent herbal antidepressant that works on the central nervous system to improve relaxation in those suffering from depression and anxiety. Many have attested to kava’s beneficial properties in combating their symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. More on Kava Kava here.
Passion flower is a very soothing and balancing herb with a mild tranquilizing effect. It is calming without being sedating and is very effective in reducing stress levels. More on Passion Flower here.
5-hydroxy-tryptophan, or 5-HTP, is another of the effective natural remedies for depression. 5-HTP naturally increases serotonin levels, which help the body to relax. Futhermore, 5-HTP has been proven in studies to be as effective as some prescription antidepressants.
The side effects of 5-HTP are fewer and less severe than pharmaceuticals and are usually limited to mild gastrointestinal complaints. 5-HTP may not be suitable for all types of depression and may not be suitable to use with all medications.
SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is an excellent depression supplement that is well documented to help with this troublesome disorder. SAMe is a naturally-occurring substance found in almost every cell of the body. It is a very effective herbal antidepressant as well as reliever of arthritis and liver disease.
SAMe acts in a similar way as prescription medications and can improve mental performance as well as combat depression, but it tends to act more quickly and with very few side effects. In studies, SAMe was found to relieve depression in as little as a week’s time whereas pharmaceuticals took three to four weeks to take effect.
SAMe works by producing the brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which help regulate our moods so we “feel good.” People with depression often have low levels of these chemicals, and SAMe slows the breakdown of these chemicals, allowing them to be more effective and last longer – thus the “feel good” effect.
The typical dose for depression is between 400-1600 mg daily. Folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 should also be used along with SAMe to prevent high homocysteine levels.
SAMe should not be used in those with bipolar disorder due to the risk of mania unless it is prescribed by a physician and used under close observation.
Vitamins For Depression
All the B vitamins are necessary to help avoid and treat depression. A good multivitamin will have good balanced levels of each. Vitamin B12, B6, and folic acid are especially important in the treatment of depression, as studies have shown a link between low levels of these and depression, so make sure to at least include them in your mix of vitamins for depression.
Other Steps To Combat Depression
Beyond the above natural remedies for depression, having a balanced life with the following will help with depression treatment:
- Increase physical activity
- Avoid refined/processed foods (white sugar, white flour, etc.)
- Avoid caffeine
- Eat lots of fresh produce and grains
- Take time to relax and distress