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11 Natural Treatments For Depression

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11 Natural Treatments For Depression

As an MD, Iíve watched too many of my colleagues yank out anti-depressant samples every time a patient starts to cry. So on behalf of physicians everywhere, let me apologize for our trigger-happy prescription-writing behavior. I donít mean to diminish the pain someone who is depressed might experience. But tears are healthy. Sadness doesnít always need treatment. And itís important to remember that the pain muscle and the joy muscle are the same. If you canít feel one, you wonít feel the other.

That said, clinical depression sucks, and if youíre someone who suffers from it, my heart goes out to you. Iím in no way intending to diss anti-depressants or suggest you ignore your doctorís advice. I know anti-depressants can be life-saving for people. But unless youíre suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, itís worth considering some natural treatments that might help lift your mood.

How To Treat Depression Naturally

1.† Consider why you might feel depressed. Sometimes depression is a symptom of something circumstantial in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end your marriage? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or sexually restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Is your body failing you? Are you facing financial ruin? Be honest with yourself about what might be off-kilter in your life, and make an effort to get to the root of why you might be feeling depressed.

2.† Move your body. Exercise releases happy-making endorphins, which act like natural anti-depressants. Runnerís high, anyone?

3.† Never skip a meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable reduces mood swings.

4.† Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet. Many anti-depressants like Prozac act by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by receptors in the brain, thereby increasing serotonin levels. But you can increase your brainís serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally.

Serotonin-enhancing foods include:

  • Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies, which are even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish)
  • Healthy fats like coconut oil
  • Eat a high protein diet, especially proteins high in tryptophan, like free range turkey

5 Best Snacks to Boost Your Mood

5.† Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels. If you need an energy boost, supplement with L-Tyrosine (500 Ė 1000 mg).

Next: Mood-enhancing supplements and test your hormone levels

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at† and also created two online communities -† and† She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.


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3:11PM PDT on Jul 3, 2013

Two words: Bull Poop!

4:42AM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

Wow, reading this have certainly helped me a lot! Thanks again! However, I realized that insomnia can be caused by depression too! If any of you guys have depression-caused insomnia, I would highly recommend you to visit this site at to know more about the secret source that can help you to cure your depression and at the same time, reduce the risks of related insomnia diseases.

4:41PM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

Natural remedies focus not only on quickly relieving your depressive state of being, but also balancing physiological, endocrine, neurotransmitter and immunological factors that go hand in hand with depression. The Homeopathic remedies such as DP Balance and herbal remedies such as Sumenta tablet help by Activating relaxation mechanisms in your body, without depressing functions of your nervous system.

3:42AM PDT on Sep 17, 2012

This formula takes care of depression. Make juice of aloe vera whole leaf at 40% and add 50% of grape juice and add 7% lemon juice and 3% African bush
honey blend together.
Dosage: Take 2 ounce in the morning and 4 ounces at night.
More at

3:02PM PST on Dec 19, 2011

I gave up coffee for three days last week and I was a monster. Pretty sure my bf was almost ready to break up with me. I had the worst headaches and did nothing but eat, cry, try to sleep...repeat. I then decided to have a cup and it was an automatic reaction. I was my bubbly self again. Coffee makes me happy... I'm addicted, it's my guilty pleasure. I wish I wasn't hooked on it, but I am.. It makes me happy.

8:55AM PST on Dec 1, 2011

thanks for sharing this useful information

5:16PM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Great post!

4:34PM PST on Nov 24, 2011


1:38PM PST on Nov 18, 2011

I would like to add that yoga also helps with depression since it stimulates the vegas nerve, which has shown to help alter mood in a positive way. & omega-3's you can get from other sources too other then fish. I'm sensitive to fish, so it always bugs me a bit when people list the fish references (We already know you can get it from fish, they list that everywhere! Where else can we get it from? Walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, cloves, eggs, soy/tofu, certain vegetables, even dried oregano!).

I was diagnosed with depression back 10 years ago. I wish I had this doctor that wrote this article since anti-depressants made me so much worse, & most the suggestions listed here were the only things that helped me. NATURAL THINGS HELPED ME, MEDICATIONS MADE ME WORSE. Of course that's just me; everyone is different. You would think though that if you're not suicidal, all doctors would try the "healthier, natural, alternative" first. I mean lets face it, medications are chemicals itself....

Finally found out 2 years ago that I have heavy metal poisoning as well, which can contribute to symptoms of depression (as well as other mental illnesses). So I think tests such as a heavy metal test (if suspected) should be carried out if a person has depression (it's just a simple blood test). There are probably other causes of depression too.

2:24PM PST on Nov 16, 2011

I will try everything on this list (except number doesn't apply) Thanks a ton! :) Be happy, everyone!

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