Natural Remedies

Dealing with Depression Naturally

Lemon Juice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jamie (Albuquerque, NM) on 10/19/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I didn't know lemons treat the blues, but I found out accidentally one day when I was bummed out that I cannot live without lemons.

Low BCAA Protein Diet

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lilac (New England) on 04/27/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I am tremendously helped with my chronic depression by a diet that cuts way down on Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's). That is because BCAA'S lower the serotonin and the dopamine in the brain. And you need serotonin and dopamine to feel good. Do your own research. Google "Branched-Chain Amino Acids and Depression."

To experiment with this, try this diet for a few days to a week and see if it works for you:

Vegan + no or very limited nuts, beans, & seeds. Simple.

Explained in more detail:

Vegan means no beef, chicken, lamb, pork, ham, cold cuts, turkey, eggs, dairy (no yogurt, cheese, milk, etc.) IN OTHER WORDS NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS OF ANY KIND EXCEPT HONEY AND GHEE ARE OKAY.

AS WELL, cut way down on these plant proteins: legumes, beans, lentils, peas, all nuts, all seeds. I remember the diet this way:

Vegan plus nuts, beans, seeds. So simple.

It's a limited diet, yes. But you may see good results, as I do. You will have more serotonin and dopamine, which will free your mind. It works for me.

Plus I uploaded my DNA results from 23andMe to Nutrahacker, and now I know what supplements/foods are good for me and which to avoid. For example I'm positive for the MTHFR mutation, so I take folate. Usually one with the MTHFR mutation takes methylfolate, but Nutrahacker tells me I don't tolerate methyl groups well, so It take folinic acid instead. Nutrahacker told me lots else, too. For example I have the CBS mutation, which means I must follow a low-protein, low thiols sulfur diet. No time to go into it all here. It will cost you around $199.00 for 23andMe plus around $35.00 for Nutrahacker. You will never regret it.

For me, my Nutrahacker results plus the low BCAA diet and low sulfur diet is great. Take it from someone who has searched high and low to cure my dysthymia, and doesn't like pharmaceuticals.

Replied by Timh
2080 posts

L: Have you ever tried supplementing the amino acid Tyrosine?? It's one of my favs for mood & energy.

Replied by Lilac
(New England)

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.

Lowering Homocysteine and Copper Levels

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jillery (Rawlly, Nc) on 06/15/2016 90 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 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 and also 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.

Replied by Timh
2080 posts

Glad to see you have found a real cure and shared it with others as depression is quite common and conventional treatment option are limited and come with negative side -effects.

I would like to note that I find it unusual that Molybdenum was not recommended to reduce the Copper, and Vit-B-6 was not recommended to reduce homocysteine as well as a metabolic enhancer of Zinc. And also why B-12 & Folic Acid was not recommended along with the TMG as methyl donors in reducing homocysteine, or simply taking SAM-e as the ultimate methyl donor as well as a great mood booster.

Seems most folks have their own angle and pinpoint problems & solutions from their reference points, maybe it's most profitable for themselves this way, I don't know; but in many cases and especially extreme cases of disease, one's best approach is as broad and holistic as possible (which you have done with a your approach here).


3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Leah (Israel) on 09/01/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have a relative who was so depressed, he tried to hurt himself badly. I had read that magnesium is amazing for depression and works rather quickly. I convinced him to try it. One tablet each day of the daily recommended dosage and he was unbelievably back to his old happy self in two days! However, when he forgets to take this, he sinks back into depression very quickly.

I truly truly believe that depression is a chemical imbalance and not necessarily a psychological problem. I really hope this helps others out there who are suffering with this!

Posted by Celia (Seattle, Wa) on 08/18/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I would like to share my wonderful discovery of the power of simple magnesium to alleviate depression. I had been taking a powdered form of magnesium every night before bed, which made me feel Calm and relaxed. Then I stopped taking it. I began to suffer a lot of mood problems when stopping it, and when I resumed the powdered magnesium citrate, I couldn't believe how much better I felt the next day.

I also use a combination herbal therapy for Mood Support, which works well. And every day I take vitamin D at 4000 mg, fish oil, and something called lithium orotate, a safe, commonly found supplement for brain and mood health. (Don't let the word lithium scare you. Unlike the drug lithium, lithium orotate is safe to take and you don't need to have your blood tested. Please look up lithium orotate online for more info.)

But to me, the most important missing link in the puzzle was magnesium. You can buy it at the drugstore, but I do suggest taking at least 700 mg a day to begin to see results. I stagger the dose, taking 200 mg magnesium citrate tablets twice a day at work, and then taking the wonderful fizzy magnesium drink at night as a hot tea, which makes me feel very sleepy and Calm.

Replied by Bess
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

Hi Celia - I like your message about being calm while taking... Calm! I, too, use it nightly - although I only take a teaspoon (about 200 mg) so I probably should increase it. I use it to help me with restless legs and it works. I do get rather vivid dreams, though. I'll gradually up my dose and see what happens. Cheers, Bess

Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)

I read yesterday that the best way to get magnesium into you is to take it transdermally... Through the skin. A great way is to use magnesium oil and rub it on the skin but the best way is to swin in the ocean.. it is a veritable magnesium bath. The reason racehorses swim in the ocean after a race to relieve their muscles.

So if you live near the ocean go for a swim every day to relieve your depression or aches and pains. Or grab a bucket of sea water and soak your feet!

Posted by Jennifer (Chicago, Il) on 10/09/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Feeling extremely depressed, anxious, panicky, I first stsrted taking Magenesium Glycinate, which I thought worked well until I ran out read a little more about different types of Magnesium and went to my local health food store and bought Magnesium Citrate, 200 mg. I started taking 400 mg. in the morning and 400 mg. at night before I go to bed and I can't believe how much better I sleep on Magnesium Citrate! I just wanted to highly recommend it for depression and/or anxiety, it seems to relax your body and take you in to a deep sleep throughout the night.

Replied by Serach

I will try the magnesium I tried liquid mag, no luck yet tastes horrible. My chiro put me on homeopathic lithium, and also a combo of bacopa, for brain fog and a few other herbs. I am unbelievabley moody, rage attacks, deep frustration often cannot stop crying and terrible depression. I was on 300 mg of gabapentin for moods, about 3+ weeks ago went down to 250 with drs ok, and feel nuts. Am also on 100mg trazodone for sleep.

I will not go up again, but wonder why I feel so much worse on such a small dose change. My holistic md friend says they make it so that when you withdraw you feel awful and want to go back on it for relief.

I am alos on high doses of valerian, cal poppy, but sleep is awful.

Any ideas? Serach

Replied by Nanowriter
(Hotspot, Texas)

Hi Serach, I'm not sure, but I think that Gabapentin is a drug that works by enhancing the effects of the GABA that you do have. The problem I see with this is that it doesn't give you more GABA so what happens when the GABA deficiency becomes so bad that it can't be "pushed" anymore? Suicidal tendency is also a side effect of this drug.(! )

I took Xanax for a short time for anxiety and felt that it did make the anxiety worse, kind of like a rebound effect.

There is a good book called The Mood Cure that discusses neurotransmitters and depression, anxiety, etc. The author gives detailed instructions as to what nt to take for what condition.

I found that my anxiety and insomnia went away as I supplemented with large dose vitamins and minerals. Interestingly, vitamin C seemed to add to my problems of anxiety.

At night, I take zinc, magnesium, copper, and niacin, as well as tart cherry juice and sauerkraut and have minor sleep issues, if any.

Replied by Nanowriter
(Hotspot, Texas)

Hi Serach, I'm not sure, but I think that Gabapentin is a drug that works by enhancing the effects of the GABA that you do have. The problem I see with this is that it doesn't give you more GABA so what happens when the GABA deficiency becomes so bad that it can't be "pushed" anymore? Suicidal tendency is also a side effect of this drug.(! ) I took Xanax for a short time for anxiety and felt that it did make the anxiety worse, kind of like a rebound effect.

There is a good book called The Mood Cure that discusses neurotransmitters and depression, anxiety, etc. The author gives detailed instructions as to what not to take for what condition. I found that my anxiety and insomnia went away as I supplemented with large dose vitamins and minerals. Interestingly, vitamin C seemed to add to my problems of anxiety.

At night, I take zinc, magnesium, copper, and niacin, as well as tart cherry juice and sauerkraut and have minor sleep issues, if any.

Replied by Suzy
(Fort Wayne, In)

Serach from Jerusalem, I want to suggest a website for help with your anger. It is On the home page hit Library and then click on the article Nutritional influences on Aggressive Behavior. Please read the complete article as it has much information. The site has helped a lot with our bipolar son. I wish you the best.

Magnesium Chloride

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Art (California ) on 09/10/2017 1291 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Many people have reported the benefits of magnesium chloride oil applied topically here on EC, but magnesium chloride tablets are also well absorbed and according to the recent study link below, at the proper dose can have a significant impact on depression in people. This is important because many of the side effects from prescription antidepressants can be hard to deal with and even unhealthful, so alternatives like magnesium chloride tablets which are more likely to have healthful side effects are very useful in the treatment of depression.

This study is very helpful because it not only shows that mag chloride tablets are useful for depression, but it is also well tolerated with a very good safety profile. This study is also useful because it shows the dosing used and describes the benefit achieved. According to the study, some participants started to see benefit after just two weeks of supplementing. Participants of the treatment group took 4 tablets of magnesium chloride per day. This is the manufacturer who supplied the magnesium chloride tablets and the tablets are similar to those used in the study, but possibly 20mg more per tablet.

As you can see from the study they used four tablets of Alta Health Magnesium Chloride at 500mg per tablet for a total of 248 mg of elemental magnesium per day. Magnesium chloride is well absorbed topically or orally. The tablets seem relatively easy to take compared to mag oil application to the skin everyday.

Here is a link to the full study:

One important finding from the study is that some people may be able to get by with a smaller dose than what was used in this study.


Magnesium Glycinate

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Doris (Murfreesboro, TN) on 12/05/2007
5 out of 5 stars

My son suffered from anxiety and depression after his divorce. I read an article by George Eby about Magnesium Glycinate for depression. I bought my son some of the magnesium and after a few days he started feeling better and talked about having more energy and concentration. He took 800-1000 mgs. for a few days to build it up in his system, then backed down to 400 mgs. The Magnesium Glycinate really changed his life.

Medication Side Effects

Posted by Joy (Battleground, Wash) on 03/22/2013

I can't say I like prozac , but for some reason for three years I could eat normal food, sleep 12 hours a night and a four hour nap during the day and NOT ONE YEAST INFECTION WHILE EATING NORMAL: PIZZA , BURGERS, FISH AND CHIPS, CHINESE FOOD, STUFF I COULDN'T TOUCH MY WHOLE LIFE , once or twice a week, never had a yeast outbreak, and prozac makes constipation MUCH worse.

I suspect that cortisol from fight or flight emotions feeds the yeast. Three years on prozac, no emotions, no symptoms. I don't think it is good for people to take prozac, I felt suicidal the whole time I used it, but wasn't depressed anymore.

Having HAD been both most of my life, there is a difference, depression is hopeless dark tunnel and suicidal is like BEAM ME UP, I HAVE NO DESIRE TO LIVE! Your mind constantly thinks of ways to end it . Of course you have to resist.

I don't have those battles anymore! Whew!!!

Replied by Jenifer
(San Francisco)

Seems to me being suicidal is worse than just being depressed! I had a friend who was on an antidepressant and she did take her life this past year. Sigh...glad you are doing well now.

Replied by Casey
(Montebello, Ca)

Please, Joy from Battleground, Wash. tell us what is your normal dose. Since double dose may cause heart palpitations, we would like to know the amount. Thank you.

Meditation and Movement Arts

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ed (West Milford, New Jersey)
5 out of 5 stars

I suffered from hereditary clinical depression and I tried getting rid of it with every way possible naturally. I had thoughts of killing myself and thoughts that I didn't matter and no one cared about me. I personally think the best way to cure depression is to meditate and do yoga/some sort of japanese or chinese martial arts. If you sip tea and stare out at the sunrise as well it puts a lot of things into perspective that the world is larger than yourself but you are still a major piece of it. I personally meditated for about 3 hours a day in complete focus of happiness and forced away bad and depressing thoughts. I also tried a therapist but its more of a temporary relief because in actuality they are just in it for the money. I hope this advise helps

Milk Thistle

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sophia (Lewisville, Tx) on 01/08/2010
5 out of 5 stars

For depression that gets worse at that time of month, Milk Thistle works great for me. I usually start feeling better within 20 minutes. It works great for the kind of depression where you just feel bad. It also works for guys' depression (I give it to my son). Try not to take it every day. I've read, and found from my own experience, that taking it daily lessens its effects.

Multiple Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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

Replied by Carly
(Seattle, Wa - Usa)

Google "Lithium Orotate" for depression. It is helping my husband in a major way. It is sold at health food stores and online, no prescription needed. Worth looking at.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Mary (Los Angeles, California) on 07/09/2011 50 posts

I have heard so many helpful hints to help you heal. I use to listen to Louise Hay a very well known woman who helped to heal many people. Ms Hay had been abused by her father as a small child. I didn't pay for her tapes as I found them in the library and made copies for myself.

I listened to her tapes every night for 9 years and they helped alot. Another woman who became a doctor after being Agoraphobic for years has a hospital but sorry to say she charges too much for her programs and that's a terrible shame after knowing how bad these panic attacks and depression feel and most people I know who have it bad can not work. She geta a big lump of coal from me!!

I did a lot of research to help myself. GABA is a very important supplement to take because it relaxes your mind enough to let you sleep and find therapy to help you get through it. Magnesium for me is 700 mg daily but check for your size and weight this helps to keep your muscles loose and not tight. Exercise for depression is very important. Don't eat too many foods that contain MSG this spice can actually bring on anxiety attacks. If you can go and swim in the beach the salt water takes away many negative energies and relaxes you. If you cannot, take epsom salt baths. Laughter is very good for your overall health. I have bought movies that make me laugh or I look up jokes and keep them in a folder. When I am down I go for these things to cheer me up. God bless you all and may you heal and have very wonderful lives. Please don't forget to "pay it forward" and help others who are in a difficult place in their lives.

Blessings to all, Mary

Replied by Steve
(Las Vegas, Nevada)

I have had some severe bouts of depression, crying for several days at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason. One day it hit me for some reason that my seratononin levels must be off for me to be feeling this way. I had heard that many people have had good experiences with 5HTP so I bought some and emptied the cap under my tongue thinking it might absorb a little faster. I could feel a subtle change happening almost immediately. Haven't had any depression since that point. I take it once every few days if I feel a little off. My brother has also been suffering for several years with depression and he tried it the same way 50mg under the tongue. He began feeling better the same day and reported feeling brighter. Like the fog had lifted, and he sounds much happier. I believe if your seratonin levels are low then 5HTP will definitely help you feel better.

Replied by Joylie
(Solana Beach, Ca)

I really like 5-HTP, too. I take 50 mg. Every night before I go to bed. It has made a positive difference for me. I am really pleased.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Loretta (Phoenix, Az, Usa) on 03/11/2011

My husband has weaned himself off prescription drugs for depression and anxiety. Now we are wondering if it is safe for him to take St. John's Wort and Passion Flower at the same time? He has been taking melatonin in the evenings to help him relax so he can sleep better. Is it okay to take all three (in moderate doses)?
Thanks in advance for any info you can provide...Loretta

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Anonymous (Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Usa) on 04/05/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Multiple remedies for depression

Obviously it depends on what's really wrong, but here are some suggestions that have helped me. I scanned the list of titles on the right and did not see the following:

-adequate sleep
-quitting coffee
-tanning/sun bathing
-loseing weight/body image/new clothes
-doing things you've always wanted to but were too afraid to do
-jogging/runner's high - this works well
-fresh fruit and vegetable juices/smoothies/fasting on them
-clean water - not fluoridated/chlorinated tap water with additional mystery chemicals
-spending time alone with Jesus/getting close to Him
-getting enough fiber in your diet - apples
- Drink 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with the fresh juice of a lemon and the juice or minced bits of a few cloves of fresh garlic.
-staying out of co-dependent relationships - love people the way Jesus did
-being honest with yourself about who you are, what you want, etc. For example, don't tell yourself you want to be married, if all you really want/need is fellowship. Be real honest with yourself about your wants and needs. Isaiah 58:4, Matthew 19:12