Depression – Some Natural Remedies From the Health Food Store

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Many people with depression prefer to seek natural remedies for their condition rather than take prescription antidepressants.

Is there anything you can buy at a health food store to help with depression? Yes, maybe, if the severity of your depression is in the mild to moderate range. More severe or long-term depression should be treated by a qualified professional.

If you are already taking a prescription antidepressant, do not take any natural remedies at the same time without consulting your doctor!

In some cases, there may be dangerous interactions. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe for everyone.

British stone.john wort

One of the best known and most widely used natural remedies for depression is St. Andrews. john wort. The herb has been used in Europe for decades as a remedy for depression. It is now considered the most commonly used antidepressant in the world.

Many people who take St. John’s wort say they prefer the mild pick-me-up the herb provides to the side effects of prescription antidepressants.

The exact method of St. John’s work is not known. The main active ingredient is believed to be hypericin. Other factors in the plant may also have antidepressant effects.

A typical recommended dose is 900 mg per day in divided doses. Look for products standardized to contain 3% hypericin.

Some side effects of St. John’s wort may be experienced. They include nausea and abdominal pain. Some people have increased sensitivity to sunlight, and there is some indication that taking it may lead to a higher incidence of cataracts.

Not all research St. St. John’s wort has shown positive effects. According to many researchers in Europe, St. St. John’s wort is effective, but at least one recent large US study found it ineffective for treating depression.

When buying St. John’s Wort or any other herbal preparation, only buy brands that are known for their reliability. Some independent testing has confirmed that not all brands of St. John’s wort sold by St. actually contain the ingredients claimed on the package.

Do not start St.Louis if you are already taking prescription antidepressants. Take St. John’s wort without first consulting your doctor. It may not be compatible with your other medicines.

Don’t take a st. You can take St. John’s wort if you have bipolar depression or are pregnant.


If you want to buy an antidepressant from a health food store, you can buy SAM-e, also known as s-adenosylmethionine.

SAM-e is a substance that our bodies can manufacture from the amino acid L-methionine and various other nutrients. SAM-e is believed to enhance mood by boosting the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

Studies from Europe report that SAM-e is about 70 percent as effective as most prescription antidepressants, but it works faster and has fewer side effects. Some studies have found positive improvements in as little as four days in people with depression.

SAM-e is better absorbed if you take it on an empty stomach between meals. The recommended dose is 400 mg per day.

People with bipolar depression should not take SAM-e. Do not take SAM-e if you are already taking an MAO inhibitor antidepressant. SAM-e is not legally available in all countries.

Amino Acids for Depression

Not all psychiatrists prescribe antidepressants. Some psychiatrists prefer to treat depression with natural supplements such as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids.

The amino acids that have been found to be most effective in treating depression are L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan, and L-phenylalanine.

For decades, the amino acid L-tryptophan has been widely used to successfully treat depression. However, in 1989, L-Tryptophan was taken off the shelves after a contaminated batch of the substance killed several people. Although the manufacturing process of L-Tryptophan has been changed to prevent this problem, the sale of L-Tryptophan is still banned in many countries.

Many health food stores today sell a product related to L-tryptophan called 5-HTP. 5-HTP isn’t thought to have any issues causing L-Tryptophan to be depleted, and it appears to be effective in relieving depression.

If you decide to use 5-HTP for depression, discuss it with your doctor. People who are taking MAO inhibitor medications for depression should not take amino acid supplements. The very young and the very old should avoid supplemental amino acids.

Other Natural Remedies to Consider

In countries where people eat a lot of marine fish, rates of depression appear to be low. North Americans don’t eat much sea fish, and the rate of depression in North America is quite high. Many nutrition-oriented therapists believe there is a connection between the two.

Certain sea fish, such as tuna and salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other heart- and brain-healthy compounds. Eating more of these fish, or buying fish oil capsules from a health food store, may help with some forms of depression.

However, there is much debate as to whether these fish are safe to eat, as many large ocean fish are now contaminated with mercury poisoning.

Do the benefits of fish oil outweigh the possible dangers of mercury?

Researchers currently disagree on this. But you can try adding more fish, such as salmon and tuna, to your diet to see if it improves your mood.

folic acid

Folate is one of the most important nutrients for the human body, but sadly, folate deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the world.

Low levels of folic acid have been linked to heart problems, memory problems and depression.

If you suffer from depression, consider taking at least 400 micrograms. Replenish daily.

final thoughts

Here’s a rundown of natural products you might find at a health food store to help with depression.

But in closing, I would like to mention at least two other ideas that have been shown to be very beneficial in cases of depression.

Remember, before antidepressants were invented, people mostly relied on talk therapy to try to get better. This can still work well if you have a good therapist and paying for therapy isn’t an issue for you.

Not all types of psychotherapy are effective for depression. Cognitive therapy teaches patients new, more realistic ways of thinking. Cognitive therapy has a track record of curing depression and appears to have the same cure rate as most antidepressants.

Also remember that before therapists were invented, people would discuss their problems with trusted friends, family and spiritual counselors. So if it’s not easy to find a good therapist where you live, you can try to find someone else to talk to, which might help.

Now, here’s one last remedy for some forms of depression that most of us have easy access to—exercise.

In some studies, regular physical activity has been shown to be as effective in relieving depression as medication!

So if you’re feeling a little down, consider incorporating some of these ideas into your life.

However, if your depression is severe, you may need professional treatment.

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