Natural Remedies

Dealing with Depression Naturally

Cold Showers

16 User Reviews
5 star (15) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Sarah (Nailworth, Glos UK) on 10/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have been an avid reader of your site since i found it. I use many of your suggestions such as acv, bsm and baking soda for a cleanser. I heard about cold showers and depression and decided to give it a try. The main reason i tried it was because one day i was with a friend and we do wind each other up a bit and hurl joking insults at each other, but this one day i got really down about some of his comments as i suffer from depression and menopause i was feeling very vunerable. I could not get over his jokes and as much as i tried to reasure myself that he did not really mean them they still hurt and i was in tears for days. I thought i would take a cold shower to see if it cheered me up. All i can say is WOW. I must admit although i had lost the will to live i honestly thought i was going to die in the shower and decided i am not only depressed i am bloody bonkers, i was convinced i was going to die from heart failure, shock and hypothermia all at the same time. But after i stopped shivering and my teeth stopped chuttering i realised i was going to live after all and actually started to enjoy it. That was only this morning and i have been in such a good mood all day i cant wait to try it again tommorow. My face has also been glowing all day without any make up and i cant stop looking in the mirror, maybe it's just because i feel better but it has took years off me.I have got curly hair and heard it is good for curly hair as mine is going a bit frizzy. I will give you an update in a couple of months to see if it helps . I am one of the few women who love my curly hair and would not touch a straigtener. Everybody comments on my hair and how nice it is but lately with the onset of the menopause it seems to have died so i would love to see if something this simple gets it back to normal.

Replied by Annie
(Portland, Or)

Yikes! Tell your friend to lighten up on the jokes. A true friend will totally understand.

Cold Showers
Posted by Jasmine (Edmonton, Alberta) on 01/19/2008
5 out of 5 stars

GOD BLESS YOU EARTHCLINIC. Cold showers cured my depression. I have never felt so alive and so happy and grateful to be alive. Thankyou Earthclinic for sharing this great remedy. I have more energy and less stress. Oh and some other pleasant changes I've noticed - my hair is shinier and curlier (perfectly soft curls too, not frizzy like before), and my skin is clearer and softer than before. Right after I do my morning stretches and calisthenics routine I will jump into the cold shower (I almost can't describe how incredible it feels!)

Cold Showers
Posted by Remy (Buffalo, NY) on 09/22/2007
1 out of 5 stars


Please tell website users that they have to be very careful if they have low body weight and use the "cold shower" method to alleviate depression. I have low blood circulation and several health problems because I am suffering and loosing to an eating disorder. Cold showers can be dangerous!

For people who are "underweight" it may be a good idea by slowly decreasing the temp. each time you take a shower, followed by taking your temperature afterward.

Core Temp. Side Effect
95 Shivering
90 Confusion
85 Lethargic
80 Coma
78 Death

Measuring the length of the shower is important, as the longer you expose your self to cold water, the lower your body temperature will drop.

I hope this helps, and as always; if you think you may have an eating disorder, you may have one, or develop one!

Replied by Jeffy
(Chicago, IL)

The 78 percent likelihood of death from cold showers is indeed a reality in our society today. There is a study on Cold Shower Death I read in college, and I am certain I have experienced it!

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
509 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!

Replied by Cayita
(Fenwick, Ontario)

Lol, Jeffy, you have a great sense of humor

Replied by Elise
(Perth, Australia)

Yes, cold showers can be ever so deadly... It actually boosts your immune system im afraid... Unlikely cause of death.. Perhaps try sky diving :/

Replied by Learning
(Northern, In)

I'm pretty sure she meant that if your temperature is 78 then you are dead...

Replied by Sam
(Tampa Fl)

No one is going to die from a cold shower or quick dip in icy water. You can die from anything you believe in. Watch this on you tube. It is traditional to dip into an ice hole in january in Russia

Cold Showers
Posted by Christina (Charleston, WV) on 07/01/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Cold showers cured my depression. I just want to thank you for the advice about cold showers. I have suffered from depression for a long time now and nothing seemed to be working. I have been taking two cold showers daily now for about four weeks and I feel a 100% difference. I actually have energy to do things again. Before I started the cold showers all I wanted to do was sleep. Thanks again. You don't know how much your advice has helped.

Cold Showers
Posted by Jacklyn (Vancouver, Canada) on 05/03/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I've been living with depression for two years, I wanted to find a natural way to help ease the stress of life, cold showers every day have helped me feel better and have elevated my mood substantially, I feel less stress, I especially love taking a cold shower after a workout or jog, I am so happy to hear that cold showers have helped do many people, we have to get the word out!by the way, my hair is a lot shinier too!

Cold Showers
Posted by Marc (Toronto, Canada) on 02/28/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I've been suffering from anxiety and depression for years, and recently I've started to get panic attacks. I finally got motivated to start researching my problem on my own because I've discovered that doctors (at least the ones I've been too) are useless.

I've discovered a lot of useful information on this website, but what really caught my eye is the cold shower therapy. I've never taken a cold shower in my life so I tried it today. Honestly, I've never felt so great. I don't know what it did to me, but I got a terrible fit of the giggles that lasted half an hour. I feel a lot better, and motivated, which is rare for me especially in the morning. I'll keep it up and see what else happens, but I definitely recommend trying it, for whatever reason. And Thank You for this great website!

Cold Showers
Posted by Cory (Tacoma, WA) on 02/26/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I am 52 and have been swimming in cold water all my life, and always enjoyed how the cold water made me feel afterwards. I only recently started taking cold showers, and I wish I had started years ago. I had been taking Prozac and other anti-depressant medications for eleven years and desperately wanted to get off them, but the withdrawal symptoms would hit like a nightmare. The cold showers have enabled me to get off these drugs cold turkey. I keep the water ice cold for at least five minutes, then switch to warm and finally hot. I aso discovered that targeting the armpits is absolutely essential.

Cold Showers
Posted by Trevor (Cambridge, NY) on 08/04/2005
5 out of 5 stars

My hot water tank malfunctioned recently so I had to take cold showers. At first I dreaded the idea but have since found that tepid showers invigorate my spirit and lighten my mood. I'm bipolar and have crushing depressive episodes. Believe me when I say that I feel my cold showers mitigate the effects of my dark moods and project a feeling of well being and joy throughout my whole body and mind!

Cold Showers
Posted by Jerry (NYC) on 06/06/2005
5 out of 5 stars

I have found out that taking ice cold showers works wonders for depression, also my skin is much healthier.

Couch Exercise

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Gary (Mesa, AZ) on 05/08/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Dear Earth Clinic, I may have some good advice on how to drastically cut or eliminate depression/anxiety. An exercise. I lay over the edge of the couch face down with my lower stomach on the arm. Keeping my legs straight on the couch I lean down with my torso and back up straight. This works the back muscles and takes pressure off the spine and nerves. Also, a simple visit to the chiropractor helped tremendously.Thanks, Gary.

EC: We emailed Gary for more details...

Replied by Gary

You would lie on the arm of sofa with your stomach. Legs on couch and head off. Use your arms like a pushup to help straighten your body. Your legs may want to raise up but you`ll have to secure them somehow.

In the exercise, I use my arms to help me straighten myself almost like a push up. Most people will not be able to do it without using their arms. I guess whats important is to use back muscles without straining them of course. Also, I just want to tell people with depression to go to a chiropractor,therapist or qualified trainer. This gets dismissed because they don`t have back pain. Spend $30 It could be the answer. It`s well worth it. Hope this helps.


Hi Gary, could you send a photo or the name of the exercise. I think most people don't understand your exercise.

Replied by Kathy
(Melbourne, Australia)

Is this what they call planking? lol :-)


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Gloria (Santa Rosa, CA) on 06/05/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety 6 years ago and i tried the meds for a while, but i hated the side-effects.

I had always wanted to take dance classes so in college i took a class for p.e. credit. It was extraordinary how much dancing affected me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I got into better shape while being challenged to learn steps and movement and when i danced, i felt so happy like i could fly!

Since then, I haven't had any need to see a therapist or take meds and I've now changed my major to became a movement therpist (who knew there was a whole field dedicated to what I had experienced). I hope to inspire others to make that connection with their body and mind and I will continue to pursue this awareness for the rest of my life.

Here's a tip for those of you interested in trying this. Most community colleges have beginning adult dance classes and it's usually really cheap (in california it's $20 a unit and dance classes are normally only 1 unit).

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
509 posts

Yea and congratulations. DANCING is a whole lot more fun and safer than popping antidepressants (which I have read are mostly fuorides, which is another excitotoxin or neurotoxin). The only adverse side effect I ever heard of from dancing was, my physical therapist, telling me that one of his male patients said his knee went out on him while he was dancing - Must have been "break" dancing, huh?

Posted by Elise (Irving TX)
5 out of 5 stars

I am a manic depressive and i found that dancing gets my mind off of things when I'm feeling down plus it's a good exercise.

Day Light Lamp, Dietary Suggestions

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Toma (Chicago, IL) on 01/23/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Day light lamp not only helps to relieve the symptoms of SAD, but it also works great for depression. Make sure the lamp has a filter that blocks UV rays. Also, the supplement Isocort helps to fight every day stress.This diet will help your mood swings and depression a big deal: avoiding diary products, sugar, caffeine, canned foods, red meat, roasted foods, and alcohol. Doing deep breathing exercise 3 times a day helps to fight anxiety, and, also, a good remedy for panic attacks. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day may help to relieve depression symptoms, too.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Brian Mahoney (Bellingham, Washington) on 05/21/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I've been on different antidepressants the last several years, natural and pharmaceutical and have found DHEA supplementation to be one of the most effective for myself. I'm currently taking usually 150mg /day of dhea and 200mg of Zoloft. Added in deer antler velvet this last month. The jury's still out on the DAV. I aso just tried Saint John's Wart standardized for hypericin and hyperforin and can't say it did any good. D3 didn't help. Will probably try urine drinking last if at all. Rhodiola may be next and/or a trip to a sunnier climate. I just saw some info at Perlmutter Health Center (Naples Fl) web site about hyperbaric oxygen giving some people depression relief, so that will be in the future as well.

Replied by Debbie
(South Bend, IN)

Please don't discount D3 so quickly. If you are deficient it can take months to rebuild your levels.The RDA that the gov. has been recommending is way below what we need. Please, everyone, have your vitamin D levels checked. It's not a vitamin, it's an essential hormone and every single cell in your body has a receptor for it.

Please visit for current and improtant information on vitamin d.

South Bend, IN

Replied by Joylie
(Solana Beach, Ca)
5 out of 5 stars

I like 5-HTP very much. I take one of the smallest dosages, 50 mg., but it has been very helpful.

Dietary Change

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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.

Replied by Eliza

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.)

Next day:

This is a follow up to my post yesterday about depression. I want to explain the science behind my suggestions.

1. Avoiding protein for depression. Two reasons: a. Protein, especially animal protein, has high Branch- Chain amino acids. They compete with Tryptophan to enter the brain, and Tryptophan is needed to make Serotonin. More Serotonin = less depresstion. b.Protein is high in Choline. Choline is used by the brain to make Acetylcholine. As Acetylcholine goes up, Serotonin goes down. The ancient Greeks knew that Choline is associated with depression, hence the word "MelanCHOLIa."

2. Avoiding pesticides for depression: Pesticides including Roundup are Cholinesterace Inhibitors. That means they inhibit Cholinesterace. Your brain uses Cholinesterace to limit Acetylcholine. Too much Acetylcholine means less Serotonin. They are in inverse proportion of each other: as Acetylcholine goes up, Serotonin goes down.

So buy organic when you can, and when you cannot, especially avoid GMO foods (get lists online) since they are the most heavily sprayed. Also avoid wheat, oats, and barley unless organic, because although they are not GMO foods, in a process called "desiccation, " they are sprayed a few days before harvest, and then not washed, so the pesticides go directly into the grain.

Note also that in whole wheat, the wheat germ is high in Choline. See above on choline.

You can wash pesticide off produce by soaking for 30 SECONDS in boiling water. But for grains the pesticide goes inside, and you can't soak bread, flour, etc.

A final note on pesticides: Animals are given GMO grains to eat. That means their foods are doused with pesticides, usually Roundup (glyphosate), known to cause Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma. The pesticides reside mostly in the animal FAT.

So I advise avoiding both animal PROTEIN and animal FAT.

3. Here is a helpful strategy to increase your Serotonin: For the times you do eat high protein, you wait a few hours, then eat high carbohydrate foods, especially without added fats. (Fats slow down this process.) This will increase Serotonin because the amino acids from the protein will still be in your blood. The carbohydrates will call forth Insulin, which not only drives down blood sugar, but also pushes amino acids into the muscles, except Tryptophan. That one insulin leaves alone. Without the Branch-chain amino acids in your blood, your Tryptophan is now free to enter your brain, where it creates Serotonin. Please note that fruit, which is also a carbohydrate, will not work for this method because fructose is metabolized differently. Of course fruit being low protein is great for this diet, but it just won't work to drive amino acids into your muscles. For that you need carbohydrates, and please do this responsibly with COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES, not the refined sugary products that are the bane of modern society.

Plant foods that have high Tryptophan are the best for this method: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Also: some persons have a mutation on the BCHE gene that codes for Butyrylcholinesterace. As a result these persons have higher Acetylcholine in their brains. For them, avoiding choline is especially helpful, as well as avoiding Nightshade plants. (Potatoes, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Peppers, Tobacco). Also avoid Fluoride. You can find out if you have this mutation by getting your genes tested by 23andMe, and then uploading your results to If you have it, it will show up near the beginning of your report.

I did a ton of research, and I hope you will benefit from it, as I am.

Think about this: in our parents' day, before factory farms, meat was expensive so animal foods were occasional. Now meat is cheap, so animal foods are abundant in our meals. Suicide rates have skyrocketed, and school shootings are frequent. Low serotonin, now epidemic in society, is a major player. It's Karma: we kill animals, and they kill us.

Two other suggestions:
1. Pay extra attention to your sleep. You can try the various supplements and sleep on grounding sheets. Sometimes a lack of good deep sleep masquerades as depression.

Currently a pricey supplement called Kavinace Zem is helping me sleep, and I am experimenting by trying its ingredients as separate supplements: Zembrin, Phenibut, and Blueberry Extract. Note that Zembrin (an African plant) works like Prozac, Zoloft, and that class of antidepressants: Zembrin increases Serotonin by blocking its reuptake, so your brain makes more use of its supply. Inositol and P5P also help me with sleep and mood, I assume by increasing Serotonin.

2. Be careful about eating too much nuts/seeds/ nut butters. These foods are high in Arginine, which viruses need to replicate. Sometimes chronic low-grade viral infections masquerade as depression. Do you feel achey and feverish along with your depression? That is a sign of viral presence. You can balance out the Arginine with a comparable amount of Lysine foods or Lysine supplements.

A final word: on this diet your main course is whole grains (organic) and vegetables. Fruit too, best absorbed BEFORE a meal. Small amounts of healthy fats are fine, avoid omega 6 fats in favor of olive oil and especially omega 3 like flax and walnut oil. FATS DO NOT HAVE PROTEIN, even when derived from protein foods. The only thing is that fats slow down the release of insulin that you need to create serotonin, as explained above. So be sparing and just experiment.