5 Natural Anti-Depressants

Not every case of depression is going to warrant or require anti-depressants. While seeing your GP is recommended for seeking help when you need it, be aware that there are many natural products available that may be able to help you through a particularly dark patch in your life. When you see your GP for depression-related symptoms, ask if the following five natural products may benefit you.

1. St John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is a tricky herbal supplement because there are so many rules and regulations associated with its use. While it’s a common method of treatment for depression in Europe, it’s not approved in the US. However, some people find it has been beneficial for the treatment of mild to medium levels of depression.

Even though its benefits may be far-reaching for some, it comes with just as many health warnings. It should not be taken by those who are already using anti-depression medication, or those on HIV or AIDS medication, birth control, chemotherapy treatment, blood thinning drugs, or by those who have received an organ transplant.

2. Exercise
While it’s not a herbal remedy or something you can buy in a bottle or pick from a plant, it is a valid anti-depressant. Exercise can deliver more oxygen to your brain for better brain and physical health, while also encouraging better connectivity in the brain. What’s more, it targets the same neurotransmitters as anti-depressants do, regulating them and helping with depression. Where possible, try to exercise outdoors.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research is in its infancy stages, but in the near future, we may see omega-3 fatty acids being recommended for treatment of mild depression. Found in some fish, walnuts, and flaxseed, it’s a supplement that is not only recommended for heart health but has far-reaching benefits for brain health. Just be aware, omega 3 fatty acids may react with other medications, so consult your health professional.

4. Green Tea
If you’re an avid tea drinker, read on. A common component in green tea known as EGCG has been studied at great depth to discover it can reduce depressive states by up to 44 percent. It gives you more control in stressful situations, can help you to relax when you find yourself anxious, and alters your brain waves for stress reduction. Drink more green tea, and you may just find yourself calmer, and with reduced anxiety and stress.

5. Meditation
Mindful meditation has been studied for many years, and the common consensus is that it can help you to beat depression. What’s more, its benefits were even profound in cases of anxiety, pain, panic disorders, additions, and more. Meditation works by increasing your levels of serotonin and reducing cortisol – a hormone which contributes to depression.

Seeking treatment for depression is critical, but know that you can always talk to your doctor about alternative treatment methods. If you’re unsure if anti-depressant medication is right for you, discuss any of these five options with your doctor.