6 Effective Supplements and Herbs to fight Depression

There are a number of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Depression. If you are suffering from depression and don’t want to use any medications approved by FDA, you still have options to cure your problem naturally. Some people treat their depression problem by using herbs and natural remedies.

Long ago, many of these remedies have been used in the part of folk and alternative treatments. Today, many herbs are available in the market as mood boosters and people who are experiencing feelings like sadness or hopelessness are using these herbs.

Researchers have conducted studies on these herbs whether it can treat depression or not. If you are suffering from mild to moderate depression, the following are the herbs that may treat your condition by raising serotonin levels in your body.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is a medicinal plant which is used to treat depression, even though this drug is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat this condition. This plant is native to Europe, western Asia, and Northern Africa.

Serotonin levels will automatically rise in your body after taking this herb. Normally, people with depression tend to have low serotonin levels in their body and this herb tries to reduce their problem by increasing the serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical in the brain.

St. John’s Wort can treat in the range of mild to moderate depression according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Just like antidepressants, this plant also give fewer side effects but it is effective in treating mild to moderate depression.

St. John’s Wort can interact with lots of medications including:

  • Blood Thinners
  • Birth Control Pills
  • Chemotherapy Medications

It’s better to discuss it with your doctor before taking this herb.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are available in supplement form, and fish oil capsules. If you want to get it naturally, it can be found in oily fishes such as salmon, trout, and sardines. These fishes are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which is good for a healthy brain function.

In order to get this healthy type of fat, it’s better to increase the amount of fish you eat instead of taking fish oil supplements. Eating fish thrice a day can increase the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in your body without taking supplements.

Avoid fishes such as swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, shark as these fishes containing high levels of mercury. Instead of that, you can eat fishes with lower levels of mercury such as light canned tuna, salmon, freshwater trout, and sardines.


Saffron is a rare spice made from the Crocus Sativus flower. It has been proved that taking saffron spice can be effective in treating mild to moderate depression according to a study in Alternative Medicine Review.


SAM-e is a supplement designed to act like a synthetic form of the body’s natural mood-boosting chemicals and is a short form of S-adenosyl-L-methionine. This supplement is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a drug to treat depression but regarded as a supplement in the United States.

You may experience the following side effects if you take this supplement along with antidepressants:

  • Upset Stomach
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Dry Mouth


Folate is a B-vitamin and it is essential to our body to make DNA and other genetic material. People with depression tend to have low levels of folic acid. Having adequate levels of folic acid in your body may reduce the chances of getting diagnosed with depression.

You can increase the folate levels in your body by consuming the folate-rich foods such as avocados, beans, fortified cereals, dark leafy greens, lentils, and sunflower seeds.


Zinc is an important nutrient and it is linked with mental functions such as learning and behavior. According to an analysis in Biological Psychiatry, People with depression tend to have low levels of blood zinc. You can reduce the symptoms of depression by taking a 25-milligram zinc supplement daily for 12 weeks and the other benefit of taking zinc supplements is it can increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids available in the body.

Herbs That Clinically Not Yet Proven To Ease Depression

You may find different types of herbs and supplements available in the health food stores. Herbs such as Crataegus oxyacantha (hawthorn), Valeriana officinalis (valerian), Eschscholzia californica (California Poppy), Piper methysticum (Kava), lemon balm, Chamomile, lavender, Gingko Biloba doesn’t show any effect in treating depression.

Make sure that the herbs you are using to treat depression are not interacting with your current medication. Also, keep in mind that the FDA don’t check the quality or purity of the Herbs and Supplements.

Bottom Line:

You may think that herbs and supplements can treat depression, but keep in mind that it won’t work if you have the symptoms of severe depression. That is why don’t depend too much on herbs and supplements when you are experiencing severe depression symptoms. It’s better to discuss it with your doctor before using herbs and supplements.

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