Depression
Natural Remedies

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Dealing with Depression Naturally

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Jennifer (Sunrise, Fl, Usa) on 04/01/2012

Depression is an extremely complex problem that is very difficult to treat. I know because I was diagnosed with clinical depression and have been clinically depressed on and off the majority of my adult life. At my worst, I was unable to get out of bed and failed classes in college. Now I am a successful law school graduate. Luckily, I am much better now, thanks to a number of lifestyle changes, but I know I will always need to take care of myself to prevent another relapse.

Depression is a multi-faceted problem. You need to treat it on three levels: physical, psychological, and environmental. There are 4 books that have been key to me on this journey. 2 I will mention here. The first is "Perfect Health" by Deepak Chopra, which introduced me to the life-changing practice of Ayurveda. The second book, my holy grail that I give to everyone I know who has depression, is "The Chemistry of Joy", which balances Eastern/Western methods for a truly holistic method of treatment.

Physical - If you want to kick depression, prepare to put in a tremendous effort and to make a lot of lifestyle changes. The two things that have helped me the most is cleaning up my diet and getting regular exercise. I switched to eating whole, natural foods. I cook my own meals, and if it has something in it I can't pronounce, I don't eat it. I eat lots of serotonin-producing foods (meats, eggs, cheeses). I only use all-natural cosmetics, cleaning products, laundry products, deodorants, shampoos, etc - NO CHEMICALS! Supplements: 5-HTP was initially instrumental in getting me back on track, but after 2 years I had to stop using it because it gave me irregular heartbeats and chest pain. Magnesium supplementation (or epsom salt baths) are also really wonderful for curbing depression and anxiety. I have had the best results using ionic magnesium citriate. Vitamin B supplementation is also very helpful. Get as much fresh air and sunshine as possible and aim to get exercise at least 5x week. Drink 8 glasses of water every day. Yoga, meditation, cardio workouts, and reiki are also miraculous for depression. Be gentle with yourself. Do a self-massage with warm oil everyday, morning and night, with an oil that is suited to your "dosha" (ayurvedic type). For a quick "boost", ACV helps (as others have said here), or I make a shake with bananas, milk and raw cacao powder. If you are smoking, drinking, or using drugs, you need to cease use before you can start really healing yourself.

Psychological - One cause of depression is a pattern of negative thinking, usually learned in childhood. Did your parents, siblings, or friends tell you or make you feel like you were never good enough? Were you ever verbally or physically abused? Were you teased? Did you experience trauma in your early life? You may not realize it, but you may be talking to yourself the way that THEY talked to you - "I'm not good enough", "I can't do this", "I'll never have... " If this sounds like you, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) will help greatly. You can do this with a therapist or do it yourself, but please note this is not an easy task and you will need to put in effort everyday to re-train yourself out of this kind of thinking. My therapist recommended the book "The Feeling Good Workbook" and I still use the lessons everyday. Another book along the same lines is "Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay - a good book on positive self talk. Be thankful for the good things in your life. Also, having a spiritual practice (religious, or even something like yoga, which balances the spiritual with the physical), helps us put everything in perspective.

Environmental - Have a support network. When people are depressed, they tend to isolate themselves from family and friends. As much as you don't want to go out and do things, force yourself to do them. Let people know what you are going through. Take one day at a time. Join a support group. Surround yourself with positive, loving, people. Turn off the news. Get rid of the "toxic" people, influences, and habits in your life. Your parents, your friends, and your family may have hurt you. Maybe they were once victims themselves - forgive them. And above all, remember that you are not alone and you deserve to be happy!

If you have tried everything and you still are struggling with depression, please seek help from a trained psychologist or counselor. I know what a dark, awful place depression can be and you don't want to be there alone. While I think that lifestyle changes and CBT can help most people, if this doesn't help you, medication might be life-saving. Your life is too precious to spend in pain.

I wish you good luck on your journey... Xoxo

5-HTP
Posted by Anon (Somewhere, Usa) on 08/25/2010

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE talk to either your doctor or a pharmacist before you proceed with this. I took meds for panic attacks and the side effects were the most horrible experience to go through during the weaning process. A family member went through bad experience with it too and ended up trying to end her life. These medications are dangerous and should be illegal for doctors to pass out scripts the way they do.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Angelealaahna (Navarre, Fl) on 08/02/2009
4 out of 5 stars

Well I'm back my depression has 65% gone since taken Acv June 10-09..update as of today I lost 1 more pound making it a total of 8pounds since june...WTG ACV

hips was a 40 now they are a 39
leg was a 24 1/2 now they are a 24
waist was a 34 1/2 now they are a 34

I'm still eatting the same food and excerise only thing changes is that I found out about ACV


Acetyl L-Carnitine
Posted by Robin (Minneapolis, MN) on 06/06/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I have had depression most of my life. Everyone's body chemistry and brain make-up is different and that is why dr's have a hard time finding the right meds for people with emotional problems. Anyway, I have just put up with it all these years as I don't like taking Rx. By accident, in taking some acetyl-l-carnitine, I finally realized I wasn't depressed anymore. Not happy, just not down in the pits for a change.

I think Americans are having to eat such nutrient deficient foods that synthetic supplements can't completely cover as good as Mother Nature can; that whole populations are having subclinical and even clinical deficiencies that are being labeled as 'this or that problem' instead of what it really is!

Anyway, I was taking 500mg/day on empty stomach. Another thing it is good for is the heart. L-carnitine is better, but this other helps some with the pressure on the chest also.


Cold Showers
Posted by Rob Dillon (San Francisco, CA) on 05/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I feel sad for a very odd reason. Why on earth did I not find this simple cold water shower cure earlier. I suffered from a lot of diseases all life and this cold water shower cured this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AND A MUST FOR EVERYONE WHO WANT TO STAY HAPPY AND HEALTHY.


Dietary Recommendations
Posted by Anna (Daytona, Florida) on 09/04/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I wanted to add my experience to the dietary reccommendations. My depression has vanished since I added more fat to my diet and since I have been taking a b complex pill everyday. I now eat a tablespoon of cocunut oil in my tea each morning.

Many people who have adopted a low carb diet with adequat fat and protein have been able to get rid of there depression. Protein is great but please don't forget the fat!! And no fat does not make you fat! In my opinion carbs do!

Hope this helps someone!

Anna


Acetyl L-Carnitine
Posted by Molly (Madison, USA) on 04/11/2008
5 out of 5 stars

One time I purchased a bottle of 5-htp, and after taking one capsule morning & evening, just twice, I threw the bottle away. My reaction to 5-htp was horrific; upon further research I learned that high levels of serotonin are associated with SEVERE ANXIETY. I also read that the spice ginger is a serotonin antagonist, so I have a bottle on hand, just in case I ever feel so anxious ever again.

Then I read somewhere online that there is a set of people whose depression responds to Acetyl L-Carnitine, they said the depression lifted in these people when using 3-4 grams a day, and to take two grams of acetylcarnitine on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.

This amino acid is the most amazing substance; I've never been able to take more than 2 grams per day - there is such great mental clarity, there is utter inability to be depressed, but there simultaneously is no euphoria - just calm lucid clarity. I've read that it assists the brain in making many different neurotransmitters - so it is not anything, not anything at all like 5-htp which floods the brain with serotonin - which, if you don't need it, might create severe anxiety.

Acetyl L-Carnitine
Posted by Molly (Madison, USA) on 04/11/2008
5 out of 5 stars

One time I purchased a bottle of 5-htp, and after taking one capsule morning & evening, just twice, I threw the bottle away. My reaction to 5-htp was horrific; upon further research I learned that high levels of serotonin are associated with SEVERE ANXIETY. I also read that the spice ginger is a serotonin antagonist, so I have a bottle on hand, just in case I ever feel so anxious ever again.

Then I read somewhere online that there is a set of people whose depression responds to Acetyl L-Carnitine, they said the depression lifted in these people when using 3-4 grams a day, and to take two grams of acetylcarnitine on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.

This amino acid is the most amazing substance; I've never been able to take more than 2 grams per day - there is such great mental clarity, there is utter inability to be depressed, but there simultaneously is no euphoria - just calm lucid clarity. I've read that it assists the brain in making many different neurotransmitters - so it is not anything, not anything at all like 5-htp which floods the brain with serotonin - which, if you don't need it, might create severe anxiety.

Rhodiola
Posted by Mary (Newport News, VA) on 04/08/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Wow! Where do I start. I have been obsessed with your website for a couple of months now. It started when I was looking for an alternative to visiting a Dr. yet again for recurring UTI's and yeast infections. Well, that was easy. I started using Borax, Sea Salt, and I started oil pulling. These of course gave me more benefits than just no UTI's, or yeast infections. This has been an expensive venture. I am constantly browsing natural food stores, and have used several other remedies. My sunuses are amazingly better, and I think one of my favorite discoveries here is VCO. I am a youthful looking 49 year old. But I have always had very oily skin and have fought acne my entire life. I started washing with Baking Soda, using a ACV toner and following with VCO. No more acne. NONE! I bathe in Borax and Epsom Salt and use VCO as a moisturizer. My cellulite is going away. And, the rest of my skin seems to be doing an age reversal. I have a lot of sun damage for years in the sun in my youth in California. And the main reason I am praising this site; after having such amazing results from all I have listed so far. I was given the courage to stop taking my antidepressants. I have clinical depression. One of those things that runs in the family. I was convinced that I would be on antidepressants for the rest of my life. There was no way I was going to risk feeling like I remember feeling. I started lowering my dosages (I was taking Wellbutrin and Zoloft without any noticable side effects). I purchased some Rhdiola, and just waited to see what would happen when I stopped completely. Keeping the Rhodiola handy for when/if I needed it. Last night I was really edgy. I was very crabby with my kids (I got a late start here and have three at home, ages 15, 13 & 8) until one of them asked me about my medications, and I realized where I was. Later I found myself on the verge of tears for no good reason. I took my first Rhodiola this morning, and within a few hours knew I was feeling better. I took another one before lunch, and I cannot believe how good I feel. IT WORKS! I never would have believed anyone would get me off my medications. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU! And I'm sure my kids thank you. Now I will be looking for the 5htp

Cold Showers
Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 07/28/2008 510 posts

Hi Jeffy, excuse me for asking, but if you experienced death from a cold shower, please tell me whose computer you sent this message on!


Just L-Theanine
Posted by Hermano (Lisbon, Portugal) on 10/16/2006
5 out of 5 stars

L-THEANINE is the best for a mild anxiety. also i tried before playing golf and the results are a four or five better score.this site of yours is the most informative and serious that i have found. thank you.


B12, Folic Acid, 5-HTP
Posted by Justin (Port St. Lucie) on 08/22/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I was under constant attack from anxiety, and depression was setting in because of it. I saw a therapist who taught me about positive thinking and ways to get myself out of a panic attack. It kinda worked but was a constant effort to always be managing my moods and still fighting random panic attacks. I started self medicating with a popular narcotic made to ease anxiety. We all know it as a small white rectangular pill. I became dependant and my tolerance built up way to high. I lost my job, and almost my wife and kid because of that stupid pill! I checked myself into a rehab ...mainly to get it out of my system while in a secure, stable environment. My mind was definitely set on getting that pill out of my life so it was easy to kick. When I got out I was so scared of my anxiety coming back...and it did! I then remembered someone telling me about B-12 and Folic Acid as a natural cure for anxiety. I went to the store found the vitamins and saw it was like $6 for a 3 months supply and said "what the heck, I'll try it".....2 years later only one ten minute panic attack! The one I did have was after a night of drinking and did not take my vitamins...so def. my own fault. I take 500mcgs of B-12 and 400 mcgs of Folic Acid twice a day (i'm a big guy) I rarely, very rarely even think of my anxiety.

I have also, overtime, added a supplement called 5-htp and always carry around Altoids. I take the 5-htp when it just feels like things aren't going my way, and within an hour I am as giddy as a 3yr old watching blues clues! The Altoids help me out just whenever, they give me my own personal break from everything. The freshness it gives just puts everything back on a balanced level. The extreme peppermint taste relaxes me. I pop one in before any stressful meeting, event, issue and it's like my own personal shield from stress!

As a side note since taking these new vitamins I have only been sick with a cold for one day out of 2 years! I have not gotten a single sore throat, flu, ear ache ...Everyone in my family can be sick and I get nothing! I feel invincible! Smiling more,


Water With Lemon, Music
Posted by Courtney (Caldwell, Idaho) on 03/08/2006
5 out of 5 stars

A tall cold glass of water with a slice of lemon and peter sterling's cd's cures depression and anxiety. i have not been diagnosed with depression, but it runs in my family and i get it often. it is always accompanied with anxiety. i have found that if you just put peter sterling's music on, and just sit back and SLOWLY sip a glass of lemon water, it will help you relax and brighten your mood.


Amino Acid Lab Tests
Posted by Antrius R. (Cyprus) on 08/08/2021 16 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Since I am a researcher, I strongly recommend this test. Please make the amino acid test (either amino acid serum or amino acid plasma, both equally reliable). Thus simply find which one of the two tests exists in the area you live.

When you get test results, check firstly Tryptophan which makes Serotonin and then also check Tyrosine which makes dopamine.

  • If you have low Tryptophan then you have low Serotonin.
  • If you have low Tyrosine then you have low dopamine.

This test will show you exactly what is happening to the body. Find a good doctor that knows about amino acids. Unfortunately, many doctors have no idea about this test.

Check also Taurine and also check every single other amino acid, since each amino acid has great importance.


St. John's Wort
Posted by Paracelsus (Orlando, Fl) on 09/16/2020 45 posts
5 out of 5 stars

If you suffer from the occasional blues or even extended depression, St. John's wort is the herb for you. There have even been scientific studies that show St. John's wort to be as effective if not more effective than Prozac.

My wife and I have been using it whenever needed for years. Always great results. As with all herbal remedies, you probably want to pay attention to the quality and the place or origin. Personally I avoid everything from China. If you can get something locally, I think that is much preferred.


Ginger
Posted by Anon (Anon) on 08/09/2020
5 out of 5 stars

A one inch piece of fresh organic raw ginger, chewed and swallowed with water. Effective within minutes. Suicidal thoughts and depression had been happening for a few hours. Took more as needed, 3 or so times over the next few hours. Continued as needed over the next few days.


Dietary Change
Posted by Eliza (Vermont) on 09/19/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I have enormous help with depression by avoiding all animal protein and limiting plant protein. (Plant protein is nuts, beans, and seeds.). Also avoid GMO foods because the high pesticides on them contributes to depression. Also avoid wheat, oats, and barely unless they are organic, because in a process called "desiccation, " they are sprayed with pesticides a few days before harvest. Also experiment with avoiding nightshade foods. Supplements that help are zembrin, inositol, and P5P ( active vitamin B6). But most crucial for overcoming depression is to minimize eating protein. It would be too lengthy here to explain how this strategy increases serotonin. Especially avoid animal protein. (don't eat anything with a face and avoid eggs and all dairy). You already know to choose whole grains over refined grains, and avoid sugar. (Most sugar is GMO beets, anyway.)

Please comment on whether this helps you. It is saving me from unbearable misery. I did a great deal of research on this.

Lowering Homocysteine and Copper Levels
Posted by Jillery (Rawlly, Nc) on 06/15/2016 88 posts
5 out of 5 stars

High Homocysteine and high copper = depression

After reading the book Nutrient Power by Wm Walsh and meeting with a holistic psychiatrist I was able to lower my homocysteine level from 11.9 to 8.5 and my copper from 150 to 115, resulting in improved mood and no anxiety. I was taking TMG 3000 mg and zinc 80 mg per day. I got my blood levels done thru www.lifeextention.com at a decent cost (about $125.00 for homocysteine, copper, copper protein, and zinc). It took about 2.5 months and I did go thru a detox for about 3 weeks. Now I balancing my overall supplements with my Lic. Accupuncture doc who also has training in the Walsh application. More info can be found on www.walshinstitute.com and also www.samanthagilbert.com. I would suggest getting the book thru Amazon and reading it. It is hard reading but understandable. You can find a list of practictioners thru the book also. The levels of the three components need to be in balance and it important to work with a medical professional. Samantha Gilbert provides online assistance.

Low BCAA Protein Diet
Posted by Lilac (New England) on 04/28/2016

Tyrosine increases norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Those neurotransmitters speed up the brain and make one more alert. For some that may be good, while for others who are low on serotonin, it could be harmful. Tyrosine is found in protein foods, so eating more protein, especially animal-source, will increase this alert, speeded-up mentality. But if one is worrying and sad and angry and obsessive, it's more likely serotonin in short supply, in which case complex carbohydrates are better.

I've tried Tyrosine from time to time. It does make me more alert, but not in a good way, more in a "wired" way.

Anyone wanting to increase their serotonin can try Tryptophan or 5HTP. Again, don't take them with any other protein. Sometimes I take Tryptophan or 5HTP before bed, as they cause drowsiness. My experience is that a diet low in protein and high in complex carbohydrates, NOT TAKEN AT THE SAME TIME AS PROTEIN OR WITHIN A FEW HOURS OF PROTEIN works just as well to raise serotonin. Fruit and vegetables don't have much effect either way. By complex carbohydrates I refer to whole grains, potatoes (white & sweet), and winter squashes. Take without added oils/fats for quickest effect, and watch out for white potatoes as you may be sensitive to nightshades.

Remember to take ANY amino acid supplements on an empty stomach or at least not with within an hour or so of any other protein, since the amino acids in the protein will compete with the amino acid(s) in the supplement. Taking amino acid supplements with fruit should be fine.

Thank you for your suggestion.



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