natural treatments for depression

7 Best Natural Treatments for Depression That Really Work

If you clicked on this post it is probably because you are searching for the best natural treatments for depression to use at home. And you have come to the right place!

In this article, we will be talking about seven natural anti-depressant supplements that you can take. In place of over-the-counter medications for depression.

All of these home remedies for depression are science-backed in many ways and are believed to be very effective when treating depression!

Natural antidepressants can be a great way to help you to limit your intake of over-the-counter medications. Which can help to eliminate a variety of unpleasant side effects and even costs.

So, if you are interested in what kinds of natural and herbal anti-depressants that you can take then keep reading!

And don’t forget to read until the end to find out some reasons why you might want to ditch the depressant medications for more natural options.

Disclaimer: I am not a health care practitioner or a doctor. The information in this post is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal health care advice in any way. I am not liable for any damages resulting from using the information included in this article. It is always best to consult a health care professional for advice on your own personal health needs.

Natural Treatments for Depression

Though studies have been done on these anti-depressant options it’s important to still do your research.

Just like any over-the-counter medication natural home remedies for depression don’t always work for everyone.

One of these options might work for someone else but not for you and vise versa. So, it is important to keep in mind that you might have to try several options before settling on a remedy that works for you.

If you suffer from severe depression it is also important to keep in mind that switching medications can cause adverse reactions.

So, try to research these natural anti-depressants for yourself to make sure that they are the right fit for you!

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St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is one of the most well know anti-depressant herbs out there and for good reason. As it is widely used as one of the natural treatments for depression.

It has been linked to the increased production of serotonin in the body which is a feel-good chemical in the brain. People who suffer from depression are often low in this chemical.

This is the same action that many anti-depressant medications create which makes St. John’s wort an excellent option when trying out more natural alternatives.

Just keep in mind that studies have only shown slight improvements in depression. So this might not work as effectively for everyone. But it is certainly worth a try!

St. John’s wort supplements are known to interact with other medications so make sure to look into that before trying it out.

Lavender

Lavender and specifically lavender essential oil is a home remedy for depression that you might want to try.

People who suffer from depression often have trouble sleeping which is where lavender comes in.

Lavender is great at promoting restful sleep as well as helping to improve the mood. It is effective for people who don’t suffer from chronic depression as well since a lack of quality sleep can actually promote depression.

So, if you struggle to sleep at night and suspect that it is causing your depression to worsen. Then you might want to grab some lavender oil.

You could also grab some of these lavender flower supplements for something that is easy to take on a daily basis. These are my favorite and were some of the freshest lavender supplements that I’ve ever tried which is exactly what you want!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help to alleviate depression and improve mood.

Many of us do not consume enough sources of omega-3’s which is why we might find ourselves deficient in them and need to take supplements.

Though not much is known about why omega-3’s help with depression. It is thought to either be related to treating inflammation in the body. Or because these fatty acids help to reduce the effects of cortisol.

Either way, this is a great natural anti-depressant supplement to try out as it can’t hurt to take more omega-3 fatty acids.

I take these flaxseed omega-3 fatty acid capsules and would highly recommend them! They are the perfect option if you don’t want to take fish oil as their high quality while remaining budget-friendly.

natural treatments for depression

SAMe

This odd option that you might not have heard of yet is short for S-adenosylmethionine. It is a synthetic form of one of our body’s naturally produced feel-good chemicals.

More research is needed to know exactly how effective SAMe capsules are for depression as it is still not considered to be a natural anti-depressant.

It might be worth a try however if you haven’t found much luck with other anti-depressant options.

Just keep in mind that SAMe should never be taken with other medications for depression. It can also cause side effects such as nausea or constipation if overused.

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Kava 

Though kava is mostly known for being a natural treatment for anxiety. It has also shown signs of being useful for depression.

It is especially useful if you suffer from both anxiety and depression. As the two are often intertwined and can further encourage one another.

But it is important to keep in mind that kava is a natural anti-depressant to be careful of when using. As it can have serious side effects if used for long periods of time. Which can include liver damage or even worsening of depression symptoms.

Never use kava kava supplements for more than a few weeks at a time taking breaks in order to prevent overuse of it.

Foliate

Studies have shown the possibility of low levels of folic acid and depression being linked. As well as the possibility of folic acid helping other anti-depressants to be more effective.

You could either try to take folic acid supplements or consume them naturally through your diet.

Zinc

Like folic acid low levels of zinc are also linked to those who suffer from depression. As it interacts with mental functions such as behavior and our ability to learn.

Zinc supplements can be taken to help alleviate symptoms of depression as well as to naturally increase your body’s amount of omega-3’s!

What Causes Depression

If you are looking for natural treatments for depression, you may also be wondering what depression is.

Depression can come in many forms and this article is by no means meant to help treat severe depression. Severe depression needs to be treated seriously and a doctor should usually be involved.

But more mild forms of depression can be caused by a variety of different things in life. So, keep reading to find out the four most common causes of depression.

Chemical Imbalance

The most severe forms of depression are usually caused by an imbalance in the brain’s chemicals. This can mess with the important chemicals that help the brain to feel joy and manage emotions.

Making people more prone to experiencing serious, long-term depression on a regular basis.

Health Issues

Health problems can be a big contributor to depression. Especially those who suffer from chronic illnesses or terminal illnesses like cancer.

This is the mind’s way of trying to process the changes in life that you may be going through. And the fact that your life is now permanently affected by sickness.

Situations in Life

The most common cause of depression by far is situations in life that we may go through. That could look like a breakup, a divorce, a natural disaster, death in the family, or being fired from your job.

Just about any negative situation in your life can cause depression. As your mind struggles to adapt to what is going on and the emotions that you are feeling.

Other Mental Health Issues

Other mental health issues can also cause depression as many go hand in hand with mood imbalances.

Many mental health issues can create a domino effect that will lead to other mental health issues. As you try to live normally and function as everyone else does.

Why Take Natural Anti-Depressant Supplements?

Now you might be wondering why you should even consider taking natural antidepressant supplements. Why not just take the fact-driven and proven benefits of depression medications?

Well, there are many reasons why one might want to ditch the over-the-counter medications.

Personally, I always reach for a natural option over a modern medication because I know what I am putting into my body.

Modern-day medications are often very mysterious and complex. Too complex for an average person not wearing a lab coat to fully understand.

As a general rule, some of the best natural anti-depressants have much less risk involved when taking them in comparison to other anti-depressants.

Some of the most common side effects of anti-depressant medications include:

  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Sexual problems
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Anxiety and shakiness
  • Worsening of depression
  • Constipation

And these are only a few of the most common side effects as there are many many more.

Those with severe depression most likely find the benefits of medication to outweigh the side effects. But if you do not suffer from debilitating depression then these natural options are certainly worth a try!

Other Natural Treatments for Depression

If you are trying to avoid taking any kind of vitamin or herbal supplement. Why not try out some other forms of natural treatments for depression instead?

There are many different types of things that you can do to manage mild depression. From journaling to exercising to taking time to understand your feelings.

Here are a few good options to help you get out of your head and out of that depression fog that you might be trapped in.

Take a Walk or do Some Stretching

Feeling overwhelmed and depressed by how you are feeling right now? Try taking a walk or do a few simple stretches to loosen up and calm your mind and body.

Calming down negative feelings can be as simple as taking a break from what you are doing to clear your head. Taking a short walk through a park or through your neighborhood can do more good than you realize.

And if that isn’t possible then a few minutes of slow stretching can have a very similar effect on your mood.

It is common knowledge that we store stress in our muscles which results in tension and pain. This tension creates a cycle as it is caused by stress then creates even more stress and tension in our body.

By walking or stretching you are working at removing this tension in the body, helping to release that stress that has been built up.

Doing something physical can help to clear your mind and maybe even help you think straight. Helping to minimize feelings of depression throughout the day.

Use Aromatherapy

Wondering how to calm down negative feelings quickly? Why not try some aromatherapy?

By practicing aromatherapy, you are sending signals to your nervous system to calm down and loosen up.

There are many studies out there that prove just how effective this can be when it comes to how to deal with stress and anxiety. As well as mild to severe forms of depression.

You can practice aromatherapy by burning naturally scented candles or using an essential oil diffuser to disperse the oils.

You could even keep a naturally scented lotion nearby or add a drop or two of essential oils on your temples and pulse points for quick results.

Try uplifting and calming essential oils such as lavender oillemongrass oillemon oil, and peppermint oil for stress relief. There are several floral oils that are great for helping to alleviate feelings of depression.

Rationalize Your Feelings

If we were honest with ourselves, I think we would all admit that often our emotions are irrational. No matter what negative emotion we are feeling, it often isn’t quite as bad as we feel that it is.

This isn’t to say that depression is entirely irrational. But it is often an overpowering response to things in our life that really aren’t as bad as we feel they are in the moment.

We get upset about things that have already happened and can’t be undone, things that will probably never happen, or things that might happen at some point. And when you think of it, it just doesn’t make sense to feel upset about these things.

But in the moment those feelings can seem very real and all of those negative and unhappy emotions seem valid. This is why one of the best natural treatments for depression is to try to rationalize what you are feeling.

If you can feel yourself getting worked up over something, take a moment. Just a few minutes to really examine the facts from a logical point of view. You might just realize that you have no reason to feel upset or depressed.

This doesn’t always work and sometimes your depression might be very rational and very valid. But it’s worth a try, especially if you often find life situations leading to your feelings of depression.

Turn on Some Music

Music has a long history of being calming on the mind and spirit.

Whether you like old music or new music or something in-between. I think that most music produces a calming effect no matter what emotion you are battling with at the moment.

It can get you out of your head and provides a moment of enjoyment with very little thought. It can give you that one happy moment in your day that can have a positive effect on the rest of your day.

So, if you are feeling depressed today and just can’t shake those feelings off. Try putting on some music, preferably something that is joyful and energetic.

Take a few moments to just enjoy the music and let it soothe the feelings that are clouding your mind.

Natural Treatments for Depression Conclusion

I hope that you have found this list of the best natural anti-depressants to be helpful in your search for a more natural option!

And I hope that maybe now you will feel more confident when taking charge of your own health.

When it comes to finding a home remedy for depression these are some of the best options out there. So, do your research and give them a try!

References:

Harvard Medical School, n.d., What are the real risks of antidepressants?, viewed December 31, 2020, https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-are-the-real-risks-of-antidepressants.

National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, 2017, St. John’s Wort and Depression: In Depth, viewed December 31, 2020, https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/st-johns-wort-and-depression-in-depth.

Mayo Clinic, 2020, SAMe, viewed December 31, 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-same/art-20364924.

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