I’m sure this article isn’t the first to say there are plenty of natural remedies, so relax. There are options for you without having to resort to Western medication.
Natural remedies for depression are medicinal products with active ingredients derived from only natural sources that are known to help with the symptoms of depression. The lack of processing helps ensure maintained natural purity that will have less negative effects on the body.
When you choose the right products and remedies, with non-GMO and organic ingredients, there is far less chance to cause your body harm. Especially in comparison to prescription drugs that can alter moods negatively and cause unwanted side-effects (like over easting).
In this article, I hope to show you some options you might consider when treating the symptoms of depression through natural remedies.
The organization of this article will include some extra information worth considering near the end:
- Recommended Remedies (both supplements and essential oils)
- Remedies Explained
- Other Forms of Homeopathic Therapies
- Taking Action
When you think of “natural remedies,” you might think of supplements and pills. While this is the most popular form, there are salt therapy and essential oil option as well.
Supplements need to be taken with a complete understanding of your own body and the possible repercussions. Just as a disclaimer, I am not a licensed doctor nor am I a nutritionist of any sort. I want to merely introduce you to some well-researched options for you natural remedy needs.
I would encourage you to look further into each of these suggestions as you may be more sensitive to others or you may have an allergy you need to take into consideration. But the positive take away is that these remedies are far less likely to harm your system as compared to over the counter drugs.
Here are 6 supplements that are known to help with depression (I’ll go into further detail about these remedies in the next section):
- St. John’s wort
- Omega-3 fatty acid (recommended)
- 5-HTP (do some research before buying)
I’m sure you’ve heard some terrible stories about side-effects from depression medication that alter people moods or increase appetite (leading to intense and rapid weight-gain). So I’m glad you’re considering a more natural route.
If you haven’t already tried aromatherapy or essential oils, I would highly recommend trying this ancient tradition of plant-based healing.
Here are some essential oils are known to help with depression (taken from my Essential Benefit Selector):
- Lime – helps with depression as well as bacterial infections, fevers, and acts as an antimicrobial and antioxidant
- Allspice Berry – helps with depression as well as digestion, sedation, and actas as an anesthetic and carminative
- Cassia – helps with depression as well as symptoms of diarrhea and acts as an antimicrobial
- Lavender – helps with depression as well as stress and is used quite often for calming, soothing, and sedation (sleep)
- Orange Sweet – helps with depression and acts as a choleretic and hypotensive
- Rose – helps with depression and acts as a detoxifying agent, euphoria stimulant, and skin rejuvenator
- Ylang Ylang III
- Jasmine – helps with depression and acts as an aphrodisiac and a carminative
- Lavender Absolute
- Sambac (Jasmine) Absolute Oil – helps with depression and improves sleep
I know this is a lot of information that seems incomprehensible, especially if you haven’t heard of these supplements or of essential oils before.
But now that I’ve laid out some options, I’ll explain them a little more in detail.
Plant-based healing has been around for more than 20,000 years as evident from old French cave paintings of plant medicine that were carbon dated as far back as 18,000 B.C.E.! So although there is little evidence to back up the effectiveness against depression, natural remedies have stood the test of time and deserve serious consideration.
1. St. John’s wort has the scientific name of hypericum perforatum and is known to have antidepressant characteristics. Although rarely used in America (mostly due to the lack of high-quality evidence to back it up and the fact it isn’t approved by the FDA), St. John’s wort is said to be used quite regularly in Europe. According to MayoClinic.org, this supplement can help with moderate depression but can interfere with medications like birth control, blood-thinning pills, AIDS/HIV medication, and others. So it’s best not to use it with other anti-depression medication.
Proven benefits of St. John’s wort:
- Anxiety relief
- Antidepressant (moderate to severe)
- PMS relief
- Mood improvement during menopause
- Counteracts inflammation and skin irritation
- Improves symptoms of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
- Anti-cancer properties
2. SAMe is actually a naturally occurring chemical in the body and is another popular treatment tool for depression in Europe. High doses of this dietary supplement isn’t recommended and combining it with other antidepressant drugs is discouraged as well.
Proven benefits of SAMe supplements:
- Support for low moods
- Pain management
- Supports liver health
- Supports bone health
3. Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found mainly in fish (but also walnuts, flax oil, flaxseed, and other foods). This supplement is considered generally safe despite the fishy taste and has reached popularity as an antidepressant and an aid for improving heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids have reached a level of popularity to be seriously considered by healthcare professionals and is currently studied and under research to prove its level of effectiveness.
Proven benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids:
- Fights depression and anxiety
- Improves eye, skin, bone, and joint health
- Promotes brain health
- in early life and during pregnancy
- improves symptoms of mental disorder
- fights against age-related mental decline (such as Alzheimer’s)
- Improve upon heart disease risks
- Improves sleep
- Aids with children’s illnesses
- Reduces symptoms of ADHD in children
- Reduces symptoms of asthma in children
- Reduces symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome
- Reduces menstrual pain
- Fights inflammation
- Fights autoimmune disease
- Can help prevent cancer
- Aids in fat reduction in the liver
4. Saffron is another supplement in need of FDA-standard study, but it is known to help with symptoms of depression as well.
Proven benefits of saffron:
- Relieves symptoms of anxiety
- Improves bone strength and nerve function
- Immunity booster
- Anti-cancer characteristics
- Healthy heart promoter
- Controls diabetes
- Reduces symptoms of stomach disorders
5. 5-HTP is an abbreviation of 5-hydroxytryptophan requires a prescription in some countries, but not in the US. It is known to improve serotonin levels, though there is a current safety concern for a vague, but possible connection to a neurological condition (according to MayoClini.org). But WebMD states that it is “possibly safe” when taken appropriately. Just make sure not to take large doses by mouth because it has been linked to severe stomach problems and muscle spasms.
Proven benefits of 5-HTP:
- Improves symptoms of depression
- Improves symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, headaches, PMS
- Reduces symptoms of ADHD, seizure disorders, and Parkinson’s disease
- Aids in fighting obesity and fibromyalgia
6. DHEA is short for dehydroepiandrosterone, which is a natural chemical produced by the body. This dietary supplement is known to help improve DHEA levels in the body (a chemical linked to depression), but again, research is limited and has potential side effects as well. Also be careful not to buy soi or wild yam produced DHEA.
Proven benefits of DHEA:
- Helps prevent symptoms of depression
- Lessens aches, pains, and autoimmune symptoms
- Helps weight loss and muscle building
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves bone health, heart health, and libido (sex life)
- Protects brain health
- Lowers risk of diabetes
Other Forms of Homeopathic Therapies
STOP. And listen up.
Before you plan for large doses of supplements, please consider other homeopathic strategies in fighting depression. I have done so much research in the past few weeks to find some amazing and less-costly forms of therapy.
Again, there is so much information that I had to write entire articles to help describe and explain the benefits from these easy steps toward a better, healthier life.
Here are some other strategies to consider:
- Salt Therapy
- Stress Relief Teas
- Yogi provides amazing teas such as honey lavender tea that fights stress!
The National Center for Biochemical Information states that aromatherapy can provide soothing and calming effects that reduce the symptoms of anxiety, stress, nausea, vomiting, and even cancer.
Essential oils are surprisingly effective and have been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years with proven effects by today’s science-based communities. Aromatherapy is said to have many benefits, but here are the top 5:
- Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Can relieve headaches and balance brain function
- Relaxes muscles and relieves headaches/migraines
- Symptoms of almost any illness can be relieved through specific oil types
- Some oils have anti-cancer characteristics (like Frankincense)
Salt therapy is another form of homeopathic therapy relatively unknown to the Western world. After researching it in depth, I really don’t know why no one knows about salt therapy!
The benefits of salt therapy can be stemmed from the original discovery. Siberian salt miners were found to have less respiratory issues in the late 1800’s, which led to Europe using salt caves as approved medical strategies to fight asthma and detoxification.
Here are the benefits of using Himalayan pink salt lamps:
- Improves mood
- Reduces stress
- Reduces asthma and allergy symptoms
- Improves energy levels, performance, and sleep
Here are the benefits of Himalayan pink salt baths:
- Stimulates the body’s circulation, immune system, sleep, and the production of endorphins
- Support balance with hormones, stomach acid, blood pressure, and the nervous system
- Improves health, skin, and energy
- Relieves aches and pains by reducing inflammation
I have suffered from depression type symptoms and stress my whole life and after researching the benefits of salt lamps and the like, I’m upgrading my dinky little salt lamp with a 9-pound lamp!
Salt lamps are so beneficial that I’ve even spent some money and ordered a new large lamp from So Well – the only company I trust for true Himalayan salt from the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in Pakistan. They also enforce fair trade regulations to ensure the salt miners’ quality of life.
Apart from all the extra additives, supplements, and products you may be considering, there are always mental exercises that can help. I’ve dealt with my own issues as much as anyone else, but I want to help those who don’t have the money to buy extra items to improve their symptoms.
I’ve written an article that I invite you to read to help you think through your depression. I want to help and am excited that you would even consider reading, because the main focus of this website is to help those in need.
I know that most people who read this article will take the things I have listed into consideration, but I’m afraid they won’t take action.
The hardest step in handling your depression is to take the first step – which I know is difficult! There’s a lot of courage in admitting to yourself that action needs to be taken and even more courage is needed to ask others for help.
But please don’t forget that everyone who knows you will be willing to help you. All you have to do is ask!
Thank you for reading this article and I wish you the best of luck in handing your own situations in life. I really care about each and every one of you who read this article. I myself am continually looking for things to help brighten my atmosphere and improve the positivity in my surroundings.
I’ll always be updating this site with more useful things to consider, so I invite you to stay up-to-date by signing up for the MusicalGrowth newsletter (below).
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST