5 Natural Remedies for Depression

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Depression can make you feel helpless, and it doesn’t help when conventional treatment options can appear confusing or expensive. In this blog post, we are going to give you six natural remedies to help alleviate symptoms of depression.

It is important to note that these are not meant to replace or serve as a substitute for medication or therapy. Nonetheless, if you are struggling with depression and want a more non-conventional treatment, these are some remedies that are accessible, natural, and relatively inexpensive.

1. St. John’s Wort

According to research studies, taking St. John’s Wort has been associated with an increase in serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical in the brain that people with depression often have low levels of. Many antidepressants work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

Note: Please take caution in taking St. John’s Wort, as it has been known for interacting with many medications. Always check with your physician before initiating any supplements to ensure that the remedies you choose to introduce to your body are compatible with your current routine.

2. SAM-e

According to Healthline, SAM-e, short for S-adenosylmethionine, is a “supplement…designed to act as a synthetic form of the body’s natural mood-boosting chemicals.”

Note: If taken too frequently, SAM-e should not be taken in conjunction with antidepressants. SAM-e is also known for minor gastrointestinal side effects.

3. Zinc

According to a Science Daily analysis, low levels of Zinc in the bloodstream have been linked to depression. Per a PubMed article, taking a 25-milligram zinc supplement daily might help reduce depression symptoms.

4. Omega-3 fatty acids

Long known for their expansive health benefits, Omega-3 fatty acids have also recently been shown to be a chemical compound lower in concentration in people with depression.

You should aim to get your Omega-3 fatty acids from food rather than a supplement form, but a supplement like fish oil might also help reduce symptoms in patients struggling with depression.

Note: You should aim to get a higher ratio of DHA to ERA in your fish oil supplement, both of which are fatty acids.

5. 5-HTP

5-HTP, short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, may help increase serotonin levels in the brain, one of the goals of many antidepressants. A small number of studies show that taking 5-HTP might help alleviate some symptoms of depression.

It’s important to note that before trying any of these natural remedies for depression, you should consult with your doctor. Many of these have only been recently studied for their correlation to symptom relief, and the evidence to support their success is limited. Furthermore, natural supplements are not regulated by the FDA and their side effects are not put under the same scrutiny as prescription medication.

None of these supplements should be used as a formal replacement for medication or other forms of treatment. We do understand, however, it’s important to have options that if you’re struggling with depression, and so we hope you enjoyed this blog post on what some of those options might be. Take caution, be wise, and always speak with a doctor. We hope you find a treatment plan that works best for you!

Interested in other natural remedies? Check out our sister article on 7 natural remedies for anxiety.

Authors

  • Dr. Mona Amini is a board-certified physician who specializes in telehealth, high-acuity psychiatry, psychiatric consulting, and administration. She provides care at numerous psychiatric facilities and hospitals in the greater Phoenix Metropolitan area. Her clinical duties are diverse including telemedicine, inpatient psychiatry, consultation-liaison (psychosomatic) psychiatry at large tertiary care centers, and rehabilitation/addiction psychiatry.

  • Ava Ford is a writer, thinker and mental health advocate.

By Mona Amini

Dr. Mona Amini is a board-certified physician who specializes in telehealth, high-acuity psychiatry, psychiatric consulting, and administration. She provides care at numerous psychiatric facilities and hospitals in the greater Phoenix Metropolitan area. Her clinical duties are diverse including telemedicine, inpatient psychiatry, consultation-liaison (psychosomatic) psychiatry at large tertiary care centers, and rehabilitation/addiction psychiatry.