Natural Medicines for Depression

May 12, 2008 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Depression

shutterstock_5239246.jpgI am very passionate about helping people with depression using naturopathic medicine. Alternative medicines, herbal medicines, nutritional therapies, diet, and lifestyle are wonderful complementary approaches to addressing depression over the long haul.

Please do keep in mind when I am discussing depression I am doing so VERY generally and you will need to work with your health care provider to determine the type of depression you have whether it be mild, moderate, severe, bipolar or what not.

Also, I am writing this up as general self help to get you pointed in the right direction with the natural medicines that should be the most helpful.

You can print out this list of well researched and safe suggestions for depression and bring it to your appointment with your physician to determine which treatments will particularly benefit your form of depression. You should ALWAYS work with a professional when treating your depression because the consequences of sub-optimally treated depression can be life threatening.

I also strictly advise AGAINST combining herbs or natural therapies (aside from vitamins, minerals, or fish oil) with any form of anti-depressants. Although it is occasionally done, most naturopathic physicians, MD’s, and psychiatrists agree that until we have research demonstrating efficacy and safety herbs and natural anti-depressants with similar mechanisms to prescription drugs should not be simultaneously used. Also, although these medicines are “natural” they are still medicines. Please do not choose to discontinue your natural medicines without the advice of your physician, someone should be overseeing your care. Depression is complicated to sort out. Please do not try to do it alone. Someone needs to be documenting your mood fluctuations as well as when you start and stop specific therapies.

Before we get started let’s just be perfectly frank about what natural medicines and herbs will and will not do. Herbs work well for mild, moderate, and situational depression, however they will not likely be solely effective for SEVERE depression. Herbs are a great alternative for people that do not like the side effects of their anti-depressant, or that feel they no longer need to be on a treatment as strong as a prescription anti-depressant. Herbs are helpful for transitioning all the way off medications and can be used for a period of time after an anti-depressant is discontinued to help stabilize the mood. Natural remedies may be helpful for women suffering from pre-menstrual, menopausal, or post-partum depression, however if you are pregnant or breast feeding you should never take any natural remedies aside from vitamins (at standard prenatal doses) unless advised by your physician.

Unless you are actually deficient in a vitamin, mineral, or amino acid that is causing your depression, natural treatments will not likely “cure” your depression, as they have similar mechanisms as medications, and most medications typically only work while you are taking them. Be sure, however, that you are not iron deficient if you are depressed, as a public health study saw a correlation between iron deficiency anemia and depression in young women. Herbs and natural medicines are more gentle than drugs and will thus take longer to work in your system. You therefore have to be PATIENT when working with naturopathic medicines. Most therapies will take at least two weeks to notice an effect. Natural medicines also require the same diligence as daily drugs and should be taken at the same time of day religiously for optimal effect.

Addressing the root cause of your depression with therapy is fundamental to any treatment plan, whether prescription or alternative. If counseling “did not work”. Find a new counselor with a different approach or technique. There are so many helpful techniques out there, don’t give up on therapy, give up on the therapist if after three months you do not notice notable improvement.

The Nine Best Natural Remedies for Depression:

1. St. John’s wort- Pictured above, the bright yellow flowers of the St. John’s wort plant are full of an oily red substance called hypericin. If you have St. John’s Wort growing nearby you can see the little red spots in the plant (hence the perforations in the name Hypericum perfoliatum), now roll the flowers between your fingers to release the red oils and see the medicine first hand! The red oily hypericin is the active constituent of Hypericum perfoliatum. This herb has been highly studied in many double blind research trials and shown to have significant effects similar to prescription anti-depressants. St. John’s Wort has also been shown to have a lower risk of side effects than conventional anti-depressants.

THIS HERB SHOULD NOT BE COMBINED WITH OTHER MEDICATIONS! The reason for this, is that it activates the liver’s cytochrome p450 detoxification pathway and will metabolize drugs at a faster rate, thus moving them out of your system before they likely can have their therapeutic effect. This is why we don’t combine St. John’s wort and birth control pills. I find it interesting that St. John’s Wort works so well for depression and is also such a great detoxifying agent. According to Chinese Medicine most depressed people have “sluggish livers” and thus the liver/bowel meridians are typically treated. St. John’s wort should NOT be used with prescription anti-depressants as it has a weak MAOI and SSRI effect similar to the standard activity of anti-depressants and thus may cause adverse effects. Standard dose of St. John’s Wort for those not on any other medications, is 300 mg THREE times daily of the 0.3% standardized extract.

2. Schisandra- “Chinese Prozac” is the perfect herb for depressed people that are stressed out. The berries of Schisandra chinensis improve mood, break up anxiety, support the adrenal glands through their “adaptogen” properties, enhance libido, and aid the liver’s detoxification.

I would say if you are a stressed out stay at home mom with a low libido and feeling frazzled then this herb is most likely created just for you! Standard capsule dose is two 500mg capsules taken twice daily. Take in the morning and at lunch. Because of the adaptogen properties, do not take this herb in the evening as we want it to support the adrenal glands when they are the most active. Adrenal gland support is imperative for people “running on empty” and under chronic stress, as the adrenal glands create the “fight or flight” response in the form of cortisol and catecholamines that eventually become burnt out and dysfunctional from chronic stress.

3. Passionflower- I have yet to meet a depressed person that does not have some degree of anxiety, so I am including this gentle nervine relaxant herb on my list so that if you are depressed because you are anxious, you can use Passiflora incarnata to help calm down a bit. From my observations anxiety typically feeds depression forward.

Watch your depression patterns, and if you tend to get REALLY stressed out, and then just crash and burn in to a depressive state, an herb like passionflower might help you more than an anti-depressant herb, or both can also simply be used. Implementing stress management tools are key, such as “Square Breathing” or “Five Minutes to Zen”. Passion flower extract at 45 drops daily (tincture) was shown to be as effective as oxazepam (similar to valium).

4. B-vitamins- Now I never prescribe B-vitamins alone without prescribing the WHOLE family. The family works synergistically together on the Kreb’s cycle to produce energy in the form of ATP as well as serves as very important coenzymes for a ton of other important biochemical pathways. B-12, cyanocobalmin, for instance is needed for the production of the myelin conductive sheath that insulates the neurons of our nervous system, adequate B-12 is thus critical to a healthy nervous system. B-6, pyridoxine, is imperative for women suffering from PMS, and folic acid has research supporting it’s ability to improve the efficacy of fluoxetine (prozac) in a clinical trial. Folic acid comes from “foliage” so be sure to eat your green leafies too! All depressed people need green vegetables. Be sure you are taking 800mcg of folic acid in your supplement.

B-vitamins are dirt cheap and can be like water on a wilting plant for a depressed person. A good quality multi-vitamin is typically what I prescribe to my depressed patients for B-vitamins. A multi-vitamin is a great insurance policy that nutritional deficiency is not contributing to depression. B-vitamins and standard multi-vitamin doses are most likely safe to take with anti-depressants and most medications.

5. Calcium/Magnesium- Also dirt cheap are a simple quick fix for reducing the stress, muscle tension, and insomnia associated with depression. Most people on the Standard American Diet (SAD) are deficient in magnesium, and some are likely deficient in calcium. A 500mg calcium citrate with a 250 mg magnesium an hour before bed will help replete this likely deficiency while improving quality of sleep at night. Cal/mag is most likely safe to combine with most prescription medications, but always check with your doctor before starting anything new!

Magnesium helps SAMe donate methyl groups to form neurotransmitters, and is also needed for muscle relaxation as well as over 400 enzymatic processes in our body including detoxification pathways and is also beneficial for constipation, muscle cramping, torticollis, acute angina after myocardial infarction, stroke, asthma, kidney stone prevention, dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, acute gastrointestinal spasms or cramping, eclampisa, heart disease especially cardiomyopathy, diabetes mellitus, nocturnal muscle cramping, mitral valve prolapse, toxemia of pregnancy, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, lead toxicity, and fatigue.

Calcium is of course necessary for bone and muscle health, optimal functioning of our nervous system and is shown in the research to benefit hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, blood clotting, periodontal disease, insomnia, smooth and skeletal muscle relaxation, anxiety, hyperactivity, lead toxicity, prevention of calcium oxalate stones, prevention of colon cancer, and leg cramps.

6. Omega 3 Fatty acids- although fish oil is likely more efficacious than flax oil, I would experiment with the oil that works best for you. You can read my article on “Fish oil vs Flax oil”. A concentrate of 9.6 grams per day was shown to be effective compared to a placebo in a small pilot trial. Patients on the study were not taken off their current medications. This is one natural therapy you can safely add as an adjunctive to most treatment plans unless you are taking blood thinning medications. I typically prescribe one tablespoon of Carlson lemon flavored cod liver right before a meal, and yes you can take it in capsules if the thought of drinking fish oil makes you gag.

7. 5-HTP- Now most studies have been done on tryptophan, but because of past contamination issues it is tough to get your hands on tryptophan except through diet. 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan is just the new and improved tryptophan, and is a better therapeutic agent in my opinion because it is a biochemical step ahead of tryptophan in the production of serotonin, passing the “rate limiting step” that tryptophan fails to do. This means that 5-HTP can only feed forward in to serotonin and not go backwards in to something else.

With that being said this medicine can be a bit expensive, but is certainly worth a try! Do NOT combine this natural anti-depressant with prescription anti-depressants. I typically prescribe about 250 mg of 5-HTP on an empty stomach once or twice daily. This is pretty mega considering that most capsules start at 50mg, but the 200mg to 300mg range is what appears to work best.

5-HTP is also beneficial for insomnia, pain syndromes, schizophrenia, anorexia and bulimia, PMS, and migraine headaches. Excess tryptophan in the body is converted to serotonin (makes us happy) and melatonin (makes us sleepy). So if you have depression with insomnia this should work well for you.

8. S-adenosyl-Methionine (SAMe)- A natural amino acid anti-depressant that is part of the homocysteine metabolism pathway and serves the role of “methylating” neurotransmitters. As SAMe converts to S-adenosyl-homocysteine it donates “methyl” groups (CH3) to the nervous system so that it can effectively produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and catecholamines that make us feel GOOD and HAPPY. This natural anti-depressant is also a great detoxifying agent for the body as it activates phase II detoxification pathways in the body.

If you are recovering from alcoholism or drug abuse this may be the better choice of natural anti-depressants, however it should not be used by those that suffer from bipolar because of it’s ability to increase catecholamines and may trigger a manic episode. I would stick with St. John’s wort or 5-HTP for those susceptible to manic or hypomanic episodes. Do NOT combine with prescription drugs. Typical dose of SAMe is 50 mg once to twice daily. Always take SAMe with magnesium for optimal methylation of neurotransmitters, and a multi-vitamin as the B-vitamins folic acid, B-6, and B-12 are necessary for preventing homocysteinemia, a potential consequence of consuming elevated levels of SAMe. Homocysteine is correlated with cardiovascular damage and B-vitamins will ensure it’s conversion to an inert substance.

9. Vitamin D- I typically place depressed patients on a starting dose of 2000 IU’s of vitamin D, check their calcium and vitamin D levels and then decide if the dose should go up or down from there. I have seen great response to vitamin D especially in those that are low. Most people that live in the northern lattitudes like Seattle will be low on vitamin D. Out of the hundreds of patients I have checked, I have only found one person in Seattle that had a normal vitamin D level. Repleting deficiency is imperative, as this vitamin that is now considered a “pro-hormone” may have more of a role in the physiology of the body than we are currently aware. Overdosing on vitamin D can result in a life threatening case of hypercalcemia as vitamin D and calcium absorption are interrelated.

Do NOT take more than 1000 IU of vitamin D without being monitored by your doctor. Although the active form of vitamin D in the body is 1, 25 cholecalciferol the best test for vitamin D levels is 25-D-OH, ask your doctor to do a basic metabolic panel and check your vitamin D, pre-treatment, a month out, 3 months out and so forth. If you are deficient in vitamin D and start a 2000 IU daily dose it will take about 1 week to raise your vitamin D levels 1 point.

So if your level is 16 and you need to get to 60, it will take about 44 weeks to get you back to the normal range. You are better off doing this gradually in my opinion as we do not want to cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by hypercalcemia from taking large doses of vitamin D at once. Other naturopaths may be willing to dose you up really high, but I am completely against it, until we have more research supporting the safety of this fat soluble vitamin that stores in the body. Be sure to use vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in an emulsion form, because vitamin D2 is just crap, and not worth your time taking.

References:

  • PMID: 11552767; A systematic review and meta-analysis of Hypericum perforatum ion depression: a comprehensive clinical review. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2001 Sep;16)5):239-52.
  • PMID: 11939866; Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002 Apr 10;287(14):1807-14.
  • PMID: 11308434; Effectiveness of St. John’s wort in major depression: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2001 Apr 18;285(15):1978-86.
  • PMID: 12053635; St John’s wort or sertraline? Randomized controlled trial in primary care. Can Fam Physician. 2002 May;48 :905-12.
  • PMID: 16160619; A Double-blind randomized trial of St. John’s wort, fluoxetine, and placebo in major depressive disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2005 Oct; 25(5):441-7.
  • PMID: 9539254; Vitamin D3 enhances mood in healthy subjects during winter. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1998 Feb;135(4):319-23
  • PMID: 386715; Symptom reduction in depression after treatment
  • PMID: 11679026; Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2001 Oct; 26(5): 363-7.
  • PMID: 12888186; Omega 3 fatty acids in major depressive disorder. A preliminary double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Eur neuropsycholparmacol. 2003 Aug;13(4):267-71.
  • PMID: 12365878; A dose-ranging study of the effects of ethyl-eicosapentaenoate in patients with ongoing depression despite apparently adequate treatment with standard drugs. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002 Oct;59(10);913-9.
  • PMID: 10967371; Enhancement of the antidepressant action of fluoxetine by folic acid; a randomized, placebo controlled trial. J Affect Disord. 2000 Nov; 60(2):121-30.

So that is a long list of natural medicines! Gosh should you take it all at once?

Probably not!

So where to start?

If you are currently on anti-depressants, I would add only vitamins, minerals, and omega 3′s in for the time being and see if your mood can be improved enough to consider titrating off of them, work on implementing the Depression Diet gradually. NEVER ever ever… discontinue your prescription medicines without following the advice of the doctor that prescribed them.

I would start a depressed patient on either St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP, OR SAMe in conjunction with a multivitamin, vitamin D, omega 3′s, and cal/mag. If stress and anxiety is a problem, I would then add in schisandra or passion flower. Following the Depression Diet guidelines to ensure adequate amino acids in the nervous system, and counseling are integral to a comprehensive mind/body/spirit approach to the management of depression. Try the St. John’s wort, 5-HTP, or SAMe at least a month if not three before swapping out for a new treatment.

Be cautious when using combinations of the three together as “Serotonin Syndrome” which results in too much serotonin causing anxiety, profuse sweating, irritability and agitation may occur.

Recommended Reading for Depression: Ten Ways to Better Cope with Depression, The Depression Diet, The Low Glycemic Index Diet, Fish Oil vs Flax Oil, Depression, Anxiety, Square Breathing, Five Minutes to Zen, The 3 Day Depression Walk.

Online Recommended Resources for Depression: DocintheBiz: Online Psychotherapy; “A Daring Adventure” a Life Coaches blog featuring Neurolinguistic programming techniques; Ya-ttitude: Improve Your Attitude; Principles of Peace: Self Help Tips for Peaceful Living

Hope that helps! Please ask your general questions in the comments section.

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician

http://kitchentablemedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Comments

33 Responses to “Natural Medicines for Depression”

  1. Scott Becker on May 12th, 2008 11:05 pm

    All I can say is fantastic information – you really hit the nail right on the head and give great alternatives to main stream medication and therapy. Thanks!

  2. Justin on May 13th, 2008 2:09 am

    Interesting suggestions Doc! I am still being fed Prozac and waiting for CBT.
    I’m really pleased that you are able to talk frankly about depression – I can share it with you and your readers but could never tell my colleagues!

  3. Benny Greenberg on May 13th, 2008 6:32 am

    This is just so full of information it is incredible. I actually printed this out so I could read it at lunch. Thanks Nicole – Simply Amazing!

    BTW: One of my great anti-depressers… Smile! Keeping a smile with me all the time – and trying my hardest to make others smile!

    Benny

  4. Jennifer on May 13th, 2008 12:14 pm

    Dr. Nicole. Great article!! I’m glad you are sharing your expereince. I think it gives you more credibility since you have gone trhough it yourself. So thank you for sharing. I have been wanting to learn more about natural foods and such that can help with depression.

    Thanks for the link. This is the best post on my site for this information: http://principlesforpeace.com/?p=37. I encourage EVERYONE to read it. This post links to a fabulous article that explains so much about depression. It’s all a must read for anyone suffering from depression.

    “Addressing the root cause of your depression with therapy is fundamental to any treatment plan, whether prescription or alternative. If counseling “did not work”. Find a new counselor with a different approach or technique. ”
    - The program I am with works because it does address the root cause. It is not counseling. It is training – People use the information every day for the rest of their life.

  5. Doc KC on May 13th, 2008 7:41 pm

    This article is amazing! Not only is it FULL of pertinent information on many natural treatments for depression, but it truly illustrates what kind of person Doc Nicole is. To share her true life experiences with her readers shows her incredible authenticity and true desire to help others!

    All advice and/or suggestions given are things that she has seen to be proven successful. That doesn’t mean that everything said will work for everyone, but it certainly is worth giving some a chance!

    I have personally seen in my face to face practice and through clients I have helped at http://www.DOCintheBiz.com, many people who just could not handle the side effects of anti depressant medications. I am thrilled to recommend this article for them to read. Some of these naturopathic remedies would be terrific alternatives. We all do what works for us. And it’s important to remember that if one thing doesn’t work, please don’t give up, but try another. You don’t have to suffer. And you don’t have to suffer alone!

    Doc KC
    http://www.DOCintheBiz.com

  6. Dr. Nicole on May 15th, 2008 6:43 pm

    Hi Scott- thanks for the compliment! Not every approach works for every person so the more possiblities we have available the more we can hopefully find some relief for people…especially those with less severe cases of depression that don’t feel they want to be on prescription drugs. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Dr. Nicole on May 15th, 2008 6:45 pm

    Hi Justin- I am hoping that at least here we can talk frankly about a lot of things since people are able to hide safely behind their computers and ask their burning questions! Take care :D

  8. Dr. Nicole on May 15th, 2008 6:46 pm

    Hi Benny! We always need a reason to smile! I agree :D

  9. Dr. Nicole on May 15th, 2008 6:48 pm

    Hi Dr. KC- I agree completely that not all of these things will help everyone, just as not every anti-depressant works for an individual’s biochemistry.

    As I mentioned in my comment to Scott, the more options we have available, the more likely we can come up with a beneficial treatment that will help people.

    I love what you are doing at http://docinthebiz.com and think it is a great way to offer alternatives to common psychotherapy practices.

    Keep up the great work!

  10. Dr. Nicole on May 15th, 2008 6:49 pm

    Hi Jennifer- I love that suggestions! I believe that good therapy involves more than just active listening…it needs to teach people coping skills to deal with life. “Training them to deal with life” is a much more positive way to phrase it. I can’t wait to read your article I am sure it is great as is everything else you do over at your site!

  11. Jirel on May 22nd, 2008 6:19 am

    Wow, I like this article very much and especially where it reads”I am frank about my depression because I see it as a disease just like any other disease, and I don’t see any reason to be ashamed of it.

    Nor do I want my readers to be ashamed of it.” Being a almost winner over depression, I think most people who suffer from depression think that they should not tell other people about this illness and if they do so, others will reject them. Though there are thousands people suffering from depression, these people think that they are the only people who are suffering from depression and there is no one who likes them…means all others hate them.

  12. pamelabaker on July 12th, 2008 2:36 pm

    This is a wealth of information. I am not a doctor but this is a subject that I am passionate about.

    I love the fact that you have such an extensive list here. I am noticing that as in the case of medicines, some natural remedies seem to work better for some than for others. My nonprofessional guess is that it may have to do with blood type. The more remedies you know about the better, as it may be a bit of trial and error to find the combination that works.

    Thank you so much for this post!

  13. BlankVerse on July 12th, 2008 6:35 pm

    Be very careful with taking both ‘natural’ medicines and prescription medicines for depression. I experienced Serotonin Syndrome after taking both SAMe and Ginko Biloba, as well as the prescription drug Elevil. The Wikipedia article on Serotonin Syndrome says that it can also be experienced with St John’s Wort, Yohimbe, and Boswellia, as well as a number of other drugs (both legal and illegal).

  14. MortalynFlux on July 13th, 2008 5:55 pm

    Avocados block estrogen and regulate insulin levels. This is good for regulating moods. It also lowers cholesterol, which can lower blood pressure. Also, a balanced, nutritious diet with calorie deficiency will optimize your body, nervous system, and brain functioning. Aside from vitamin D, most people don’t get enough vitamin A, K, C, and E. You can vitamin A and K from Kale, Broccoli, and Spinach. You can get vitamin C from grape juice and onions. You can get vitamin E from wheat germ oil. As far as the B vitamins, clams, oysters, and mollusks are a great source of B12 while being low-calorie. Brewer’s Yest, Mushrooms, Lentils, and Quinoa are great sources of the other B vitamins while being low in calories and very healthy and good for you..

  15. ginkgo guy on July 14th, 2008 2:56 am

    If you think you’re suffering from depression you should speak to a therapist or psychiatrist FIRST and then consider some of the herbs and remedies mentioned here. Discuss them with your doctor and they’ll probably be able to recommend the best course of action for you.

    If prescription drugs can be avoided in favor of natural herbal remedies that have been around for thousands of years then the consumer should consider themself lucky.

    A well balanced diet and exercise are also tantamount in managing a disorder like depression. Avoiding unhealthy soft drinks in favor of more responsibly formulated ones (for example, check out http://drinkvivi.com) can also help. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also great – cooking for yourself can also be a great way to eat healthy and feel good about yourself.

  16. tom on July 15th, 2008 6:06 am

    Hi Dr Nicole,

    I’m glad your list includes at least one amino-acid. Few such lists of “natural” treatments for depression include this.

    I’ve encountered a variety of physical and mental health issues over the last few years, most notably a combination of anxiety, mild depression, bipolar II/cyclothymia and inattentiveness. Having tried a variety of treatments, both conventional and natural, I finally seem to have largely overcome these problems in the past couple of months with a program of nutrients and supplements.

    The key feature of my treatment is a combination of amino acids, but it has a wide variety of other vitamins and nutrients to assist in the process.

    It was inspired by Allen Darmen of New York, who has successfully treated himself for bipolar, then his teenage son for bipolar and ADHD. His remarkable story is a worthwhile read. – http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-Kgb7fcYwd6q.3mLsjmULpwU-?cq=1&p=235

    I’m blogging about my own health journey at http://www.holstep.com.

    I’d be pleased to stay in touch; as a scientifically-minded, skeptical person, I find it very difficult to find good quality sources of info on physical and mental health that accommodate both conventional and natural treatments. In particular, I’m hoping to find people who might be able to apply more rigorous scientific scrutiny to this treatment so we may have more compelling evidence of its effectiveness than a handful of anecdotes.

    Best regards!
    Tom

  17. Ian on August 12th, 2008 11:54 am

    I like what you are saying. I’d also recommend gamma linolenic acid. I read a study that showed that altering PGE1 is helpful for unipolar depression. GLA also helps schizophrenia, but is contra-indicated for bipolar. The study in question found that in the manic phase of bipolar depression patients had a greatly elevated levels of GLA. Depressives had less than normals, and schizophrenics had less than depressives.

  18. The Healing Power of Thanksgiving | Kitchen Table Medicine on November 26th, 2008 11:42 pm

    [...] Renowned for its high tryptophan content, turkey has the potential to lift our mood and/or make us sleepy. It really depends on how we choose to pair up the amino acids in turkey. When turkey is consumed in conjunction with refined carbohydrates found in mashed potatoes or dinner rolls, the tryptophan converts to serotonin, and in low light conditions the excess serotonin converts in to melatonin, the nighttime hormone that makes us feel sleepy. Serotonin gives you that good “Turkey Buzz” and Melatonin is what sends you straight to the couch for a nice nap. If you are depressed you should work turkey, cottage cheese, and salmon in to your weekly rotation so you can benefit from the highest tryptophan foods, or you can also just try some 5-HTP. [...]

  19. 0 cholesterol diet fiber high recipe on December 14th, 2008 7:24 am

    0 cholesterol diet fiber high recipe…

    I found this on Sunday while I was searching for 0 cholesterol diet fiber high recipe….

  20. The Fifteen Most Fabulous Herbal Sedatives | Kitchen Table Medicine on December 18th, 2008 10:27 pm

    [...] St. John’s Wort- Although we think “depression” the second we hear about St. J’s Wort, we also need to address that depression and anxiety tend [...]

  21. Susan Blackburn, M.A. on January 30th, 2009 9:30 am

    Hi Nicole!
    Thank you for such an informative and well-written article. I am a counsellor and psychotherapist in Toronto where depression factors heavily with many of the clients I see (people with busy lives, living in a Northern climate!). I will be putting together a Workshop Series with a naturopathic doctor colleague of mine. I would love to incorporate much of the information you’ve provided in this article as it’s exactly what people need to hear. Thanks again and please drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.

  22. The Rejuvenation Lounge » An Awesome Shake That Soothes Your Nerves: on February 25th, 2009 1:07 am

    [...] Natural medicine for depression: [...]

  23. Thaedra Robinson on March 9th, 2009 12:42 pm

    If I am taking synthroid can I still take St John’s Wart

  24. Can you Guess the #1 Nutrient Mineral Most Americans are Likely Deficient in? | Kitchen Table Medicine on March 24th, 2009 7:42 pm

    [...] patients, that many common health problems are as simple as magnesium deficiency. In my article “The Nine Best Natural Medicines for Depression,” I discussed the importance of [...]

  25. Psychologist on April 26th, 2009 12:33 pm

    Natural is the way to go. We can all experience depression, so it is good for everyone to have this knowledge. An ounce of prevention . . .

  26. Is Autism Genetic? It’s NOT a Fight, It’s Our Future | Kitchen Table Medicine on May 20th, 2009 8:55 am

    [...] of inadequacy, experience relationship challenges, chronic health issues, and a desire for anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. Some people just seem to be better at stifling their inner world so they can [...]

  27. The Beatles and Bipolarism | Kitchen Table Medicine on May 22nd, 2009 6:47 pm

    [...] has very few clear physical signs, but a disease just like any other disease depression is.  It is easy to get a lot of needless sympathy when you are rocking a hot pink cast, but when [...]

  28. The Difference Between Depression & Losing Your Mojo | OwningPink on July 22nd, 2009 2:22 am

    [...] who looks at the whole picture of who you are. For tips on how to fight depression naturally, read Natural Medicines for Depression.  While natural medicines are great and I’m not a big believer in throwing medications at [...]

  29. Is it Depression or lost Mojo? | Giggle On! on July 29th, 2009 11:02 am

    [...] Lissa also encourages her readers to ask for a helping hand. She says: “Make sure you find someone loving and compassionate to help you sort out what’s going on, not just someone who’s going to drug you without getting at the root of the whole you.  Treating depression is a whole other topic, but make sure you get someone who looks at the whole picture of who you are. For tips on how to fight depression naturally, read Natural Medicines for Depression.” [...]

  30. Michelle on August 16th, 2009 2:03 pm

    I was reading up on natural depression remidies. My boyfriend was diagnosed and perscribed citalopram – seretonin uptake inhibitor. The citalopram is working wonderfully, but his insurance has been cancelled.

    I’ve always heard St. John’s Wort can be helpful but this is the firs time I’ve heard of 5-HTP. Two questions – St. John’s Wort and 5-HTP, do not combine? Also I read that the 5-HTP can be helpful for migraines (I have tension headaches that turn into migranes and migranes everyday of my menstral cycle), I saw that St. John’s Wort can affect birth control, what about the 5-HTP – can I take that with birth control or does it also have a negative effect?

    Thank you,
    Michelle

  31. PulseMed Alternative Medicine, Acupuncture, and More Niche Articles on September 10th, 2009 5:05 pm

    PulseMed Alternative Medicine, Acupuncture, and More Niche Articles…

    No acupuncture is not painful- the needles are very small! However, Winter Park Chiropractic also offers laser acupuncture which does not involve needles! Acupuncture is a 5,000 year old Chinese system of natural healing (No drugs… No surgery), which i…

  32. The Fifteen Most Fabulous Herbal Sedatives | Moxxygirl on September 23rd, 2011 6:20 pm

    [...] St. John’s Wort- Although we think “depression” the second we hear about St. J’s Wort, we also need to address that depression and anxiety tend [...]

  33. Billy on December 4th, 2011 6:24 am

    Light therapy is very powerful for stimulating thyroid. This will help with energy and mood. You can use a 150-250 chicken lamp. Remember to have proper frequency, timing of meals and tweak your ratios of proteins, carbs and fats.

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!





CommentLuv Enabled