Stress and Depression Answers

Natural Treatments for Depression

What Are Some Natural Treatments for Depression?

You have been diagnosed with depression. You are tired of feeling sad, lonely, worthless, and irritable. Prescription drugs are not the solution for you, but psychotherapy just isn't enough. If you are looking for information about natural treatments for depression, you're in the right place.

Always talk to your doctor before you begin any one of these natural treatments for depression. Even though these are natural choices, there is still a risk of interaction with prescription medications. Never begin natural treatments for depression without speaking to a professional first for medical advice.

   St. John's Wort, a perennial plant, is probably the most well-known natural treatment for depression and anxiety. It is thought to affect the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain. The yellow flowers on the plant possess a pigment called hypericin that is known for healing effects on patients suffering from mild to moderate symptoms. It is thought to be one of nature's best natural treatments for depression.

   Gingko biloba extract comes from the leaves on the Gingko biloba tree found in China. Seniors, in particular, respond well to this herb, and it may also improve conditions such as asthma and memory loss.

   The supplement 5-HTP can also combat the restless nights noted by many patients with depression. This supplement helps the body to create melatonin, a hormone produced in the body which affects sleep and wake cycles. An increase in melatonin has been shown to improve restful sleep in patients.

   Deficiencies in Vitamin C and calcium have been linked to depression. B vitamins and magnesium may also help to increase the production of neurotransmitters and calm the nerves. Some doctors recommend a good multi-vitamin supplement to help address dietary deficiencies which may contribute to depression symptoms.

   Mild symptoms may possibly be treated by something as simple as choosing different foods. Eating turkey or salmon for dinner, or drinking a glass of milk before bedtime may improve the insomnia associated with depression. These items include tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to synthesize serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter) and melatonin.

Numerous herbal blends and supplements are marketed as natural treatments for depression. Read all labels and accompanying information carefully. Let your doctor know about your interest in such remedies. He or she may be able to advise you on the pros and cons of such supplements.

Natural treatments for depression can be very effective, especially when combined with psychotherapy. You and your doctor should always discuss any natural treatments for depression before you begin taking supplements. Weigh the pros and cons of these options and decide whether they can be a valuable part of your treatment plan.

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