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What Are Natural Remedies for Depression?

Jan 25, 2008
There are natural remedies for depression that are successfully used by health care professionals. Quite a number of people living with depression day to day don't want to depend on synthetic prescription antidepressant drugs prescribed to them by doctors for help.

When looking at the possibility of being on medication for life, many people who suffer this condition are turning to natural remedies for depression. They would rather find natural treatments for depression that will help them cope with the depressive condition they experience every day.

St. John's Wort is an option that has won favor. This is one of the natural treatments for depression that has been the subject of numerous clinical studies. Though not definitive, these studies do agree that some results have been positive. Many often claim that the results they get from it are as good as, if not better than the drug Prozac. They swear they don't need anything else when St. John's Wort is taken on a regular basis.

How do natural remedies for depression like St. John's Wort work? It works by slowing the body's absorption rate of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine, the three neurotransmitters affecting depression. Because of this effect, the body has additional time to convey messages to the brain. There is one drawback to using this supplement, though. It can have an interaction with some other medications a person might take so it is always advisable to consult with a physician before beginning its use.

Other natural remedies for depression have also had good results. Omega-3 fatty acids have been seen to be useful themselves. Found primarily in fish oils, it can also be found in canola oil, hemp or walnuts as well. However, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils appear to be the only ones that work as an antidepressant. DHE fatty acids that are found in these particular fatty acids are used as nourishment by the brain. These substances typically are low in depressive persons so the brain gets replenished with what it needs by taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

Natural treatments for depression also recommended for people suffering from depression are a number of the B vitamins. Studies have shown that of the adult depression suffers, many are low in folic acid. Tests show that people who have long periods of depression and do not respond adequately to conventional antidepressants are especially low in this particular vitamin. There is proof that a person's mood is improved when folic acid levels are increased. Mood is also shown to be affected by Vitamin B-1, which is another name for thiamine. Even people who do not suffer from depression have experienced improved moods when taking this vitamin.

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), another of the natural remedies for depression, is a derivative of the amino acid called tryptophan. The body converts tryptophan into 5-HTP which is then converted into serotonin. When 5-HTP supplements are used as natural treatments for depression, they seem to help balance serotonin levels and enhance the mood. It is also used for weight loss, insomnia, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia and stress as well as the symptoms of depression.

Vitamin B-12 levels can affect the mood, which is also affected by the natural process of menopause that women around the age of fifty can experience. A woman is likely to have only about half the amount of this vitamin in her system after she passes the age of fifty because it typically begins to diminish at this point in her life. Another important vitamin that has also been shown to alleviate PMS or premenstrual depression is vitamin B-6. The mood may be significantly enhanced when any or a combination of the B vitamins are used.

Improved mood has been seen to result from doing simple exercises. The belief is that the body is able to absorb supplements and medications better while exercising. It is also believed that brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine are produced during exercise. Exercise of any kind is good and has proven to be a mood enhancer. When choosing which forms of exercise to participate in, select exercises that are enjoyable and do not place too much physical stress on the body, especially in the beginning.

Light therapy is another of the natural remedies for depression. It has been proven that as the days shorten in the winter and there is less sunlight, some people develop depression symptoms. Try to simply get outside and enjoy the sun during the hours of daylight as much as possible during the shorter winter days. In the home, let the sun shine in through uncovered windows. It may also be beneficial to use light therapy in a clinical setting with the assistance of a qualified provider.

The patient should not give up as any one of these natural treatments for depression or a combination of them may well help. It may be worthwhile giving each of them a try when a person suffers from depression symptoms.

Copyright 2008 InfoSearch Publishing
About the Author
Read more about natural treatments for depression symptoms - David Lee Buster is VP of InfoSearch Publishing and a webmaster of http://www.safemenopausesolutions.com - visit the website for a variety of articles on natural health.
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