natural remedies for depression?

i’ve been battling depression my whole life, and i can usually tolerate the symptoms without medication. i recently quit smoking (about a month ago), so my symptoms are getting a little unbearable. i was wondering if anyone knew of any natural or herbal remedies for depression. i can’t take st. john’s wort because i’m on the pill…does anyone know of anything else that works?

12 comments

  • Eden*

    Those answers saying take exercise are right, it’s a great way to alleviate the feelings associated with depression. I have battled depression most of my life too, and currently am going through the early stages of being without anti depressants at all for the first time in ten years. Here is a list of the foods and natural remedies I was given from my local health food shop

    Omega-3 fatty acids
    Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of good fat needed for normal brain function. Our bodies can’t make omega-3s on their own, so we must obtain them through our diet.

    Studies have linked depression with low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids. In countries with higher fish consumption, such as Japan and Taiwan, the depression rate is 10 times lower than in North American. Postpartum depression is also less common.

    Studies suggest that omega-3’s together with antidepressants may be more effective than antidepressants alone.

    Cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies are the richest food source of omega-3 fatty acids. But instead of eating more fish which contain mercury, PCBs, and other chemicals, fish oil capsules are considered a cleaner source of omega-3 fatty acids. Many companies filter their fish oil so that these chemicals are removed.

    Fish oil capsules are sold in health food stores, drug stores, and online. Most brands should be stored in the fridge to prevent the oil from going rancid. When comparing brands, the key active components for depression are EPA and DHA.

    Fish oil capsules may interact with blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin and aspirin. Side effects may include indigestion and bleeding. Fish oil should not be taken 2 weeks before or after surgery. Fish oil can also cause a fishy aftertaste. To prevent this, try taking the fish oil just before meals.

    SAM-e
    SAM-e, pronounced "sammy", is short for S-adenosyl-L-methionine. It’s a chemical that’s found naturally in the human body and is believed to increase levels of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

    Several studies have found SAM-e is more effective than placebo.

    In North America, SAM-e is available as an over-the-counter supplement in health food stores, drug stores, and online. It should be enteric-coated for maximum absorption. Although it’s one of the more expensive supplements, it remains popular as a remedy for depression and osteoarthritis.

    Side effects can include nausea and constipation. For more information, read the SAM-e and Depression.

    Folic Acid
    Folic acid, also called folate, is a B vitamin that is often deficient in people who are depressed.

    Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, fruit, beans, and fortified grains. It’s one of the most common vitamin deficiencies because of poor diet but also because chronic conditions and various medications such as aspirin and birth control pills can also lead to deficiency.

    Besides food, folic acid is also available as a supplement or as part of a B-complex vitamin.

    Researchers at Harvard University have found that depressed people with low folate levels don’t respond as well to antidepressents, and taking folic acid in supplement form can improve the effectiveness of antidepressants.

    5-HTP is short for 5-hydroxytryptophan. It’s produced naturally in the body and is used to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Although taking 5-HTP in supplement form may theoretically boost the body’s serotonin levels, many experts feel there is not enough evidence to determine the safety of 5-HTP. It should not be combined with antidepressants.

    Diet
    Reduce your intake of sweets
    Sweets temporarily make you feel good as blood sugar levels soar, but may worsen mood later on when they plummet.

    Avoid caffeine and alcohol
    Caffeine and alcohol both dampen mood. Alcohol temporarily relaxes us and caffeine boosts energy, but the effects of both are short-lived. Both can worsen mood swings, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

    Vitamin B6
    Vitamin B6 is needed to produce the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, a borderline deficiency may occur in people taking oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, and drugs for tuberculosis.

    Magnesium
    Most people do not get enough magnesium in their diets. Good sources of magnesium are legumes, nuts, whole grains and green vegetables. Like vitamin B6, magnesium is needed for serotonin production. Stress depletes magnesium.

  • dawn h

    Exercise is great for depression. The adrenaline levels that are heightened during exercise are a natural combat for depression. Plus you help to keep yourself fit and healthy at the same time.

  • SouthernGrits

    Lots of sunlight and exercise….really!

  • jimmothy

    ginseng. its like caffeine without side effects. also lots of hugs from friends and lots of meditation on why you are sad.

  • Consult a Good Homeopathic Physician,

  • Some Guy

    Go to http://www.healingfoodreference.com to see a list of healing foods, herbs, and supplements for a whole myriad of conditions, including depression.

    I’ll give you the most important solutions right here.

    First, cod liver oil. Get it from Nordic Naturals at http://www.nordicnaturals.com

    Sunlight! Take astaxanthin, a natural antioxidant, to give yourself natural sun protection. Get it from Cyanotech at http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com. Take 16 mg per day. Type in "TruthPublishing", when you order, in the order comments section to get a 35% discount.

    Exercise!

    Sleep 8 hours per day.

    Avoid all processed, dead foods. Eat organic live, raw foods. Only eat from health food stores and any food you can grow on your own, and make sure that the meat you eat is organic, free range, and free of preservatives.

    Take st. john’s wort.

    Stop eating hydrogenated oils and MSG. Read the label every time.

    People today are only depressed because they are being poisoned by all the crap in their food and the lack of nutrition.

    Educate yourself about natural health and you will be the most happiest person you can be.

    Read http://www.newstarget.com

    Read Natural Cures "They" Don’t Want You To Know About by Kevin Trudeau.

    I wish you all the best in health.

  • theonlyreallazisback

    Iperico,Valerian root,Damiana,Ginseng,Melatonin,Passiflora,Crataegus Oxiacanta,Rescue™Remedy,T r i b e s t a n ,Kawa Kawa,Eleutherococco.

    Sailing,swimming,learning something new,answering here.

  • sure ,i am giving you 100% cure
    visit http://www.divyayoga.com and learn anuloma viloma pranayama from there or from any yoga teacher near you .this is a safe pranayama any body can do .do it for 15 min a day in the morning empty stomach .

    eat only fruits only at night.(dont mix sour fruit with sweet fruit)

    Wash only your head for 10 min under running water twice daily . have air bath and sun bath in the morning before 9 am and after 4.30 pm
    this wil solve your prob

  • Mara Jade

    Yoga and meditation.

  • Sarah Kanoewai

    HOMEOPATHY!!! Like Bob said, go to a homeopathist.

  • sOuL dOcToR

    Homeopathic Treatment(s) for Depression/Grief/Bereavement :-

    DEPRESSION & GRIEF(Bereavement) :-

    Severe shock due to sudden death of loved ones; restlessness, anxiety and fear Aconite 200X. 10 min (3 Doses)

    Prolonged mournings; cannot overcome the loss of loved ones Ignatia 1M or 10M, 6 hourly (3 Doses)

    When the grief is in the conscious mind; patient weeps; does not like sympathy Natrum Mur.200X or 1M, 6 hourly (3 Doses)

    For chronic grief and indignation Staphysagria 200X or 1M, weekly (3 Doses)

    Depression with suicidal thoughts feeling of worthlessness, Aurum Met 30X, three times a day half hour before meals.

    Take the remedy which is similar to your symptoms.
    No side effects or complications if taken as directed, please do not exceed the given dosage and under any circumstances do not try to mix any remedies and avoid Chocolates, Mints, Coffee, Red Meat, Alcoholic and Carbonated drinks, Spicy Rich Food while taking any Homeopathic remedies, and keep the medicines away from direct sunlight, heat strong smells and perfumes and do not store them in the fridge.

    Take Care and God Bless You !

  • butchleal

    Hi,
    Have you ever heard of Himalayan Goji Jucie? It is said that constant consumption of goji brings a cheerful attitude. In Asia, it is rightfully known as the “happy berry”.

    dehemi@comcast.net
    http://www.deanandcathy.gojiteam.com

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