Treating Depression by using Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements

What do you mean by Depression?

Depression is a type of feeling in which people experience emotional feelings like sadness, loneliness and they don’t feel like talking to anyone. If it stays for a long period of time, it will lead to symptoms like suicidal thoughts, reduced enthusiasm, insomnia, and not showing interest in doing their daily activities.

Are there any Possibilities to treat depression naturally?

Normally, depression will be cured by Counselling by a Psychologists, or a combination of drugs prescribed by the doctors. If you use antidepressant drugs in order to cure depression, first it will help you to resolve your physical problems like chemical imbalances in the brain. Whereas in counseling, the psychologist will try to know about you completely, including your past life, marriage life, or are there any events causing you to behave like this.

Researchers have done numerous studies on herbs, supplements, and vitamins in order to find the correct procedure to treat depression, but the results are mixed. Following are the herbs, vitamins, and supplements to treat depression and make sure that your doctors know that you are using this.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is a shrubby herb having yellow flowers on it. This herb is available in Europe, Parts of Asia, Parts of Africa, and the Western United States. This herb is used to used for medicinal purposes and for centuries, it has been used to treat various health conditions like Mood disorders and Mental health disorders.

St. John’s Wort shrubby herb is a combination of anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. People used to take this herb in order to cure infections and wounds on the skin.

Today, St. John’s Wort is a widely used antidepressant medicine in Europe. But this herb is not approved by the Food Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States as a remedy for depression.

Even the research studies’ results are favorable to St. John’s Wort herb that it will treat depression better than a placebo. However, two research studies have shown that it wasn’t a perfect remedy to treat mild and severe depression and this study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

People used to create supplements like teas, tablets, and capsules with the help of St. John’s Wort plant flowers.

Dosages of St. John’s Wort

Mild to Moderate depression – 20 to 1800 milligrams daily
Severe Depression – 900 to 1800 milligrams daily

You should talk with your doctor, if you would like to use this in order to treat your depression problem.

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe)

S-adenosyl-L-methionine is a chemical compound made naturally and is present in the cells of the body. It is approved by the Food Drug Administration (FDA) in the late 1990’s, used as a dietary supplement. This compound has been a prescription drug in Europe, since 1970.

Doctors have prescribed this drug to treat conditions like depression, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diseases, seizures, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

SAMe plays an important role in our body functions. For example, SAMe helps to produce serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine in the brain. Serotonin is an important chemical which will enable the function of neurotransmitters. The function of neurotransmitters is to carry signals into your body from your brain.

Having more serotonin levels in your brain will reduce the chances of diagnosing depression. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine if you have inadequate serotonin levels in your brain and this drug will help to raise your serotonin levels.

It will be better if you discuss it with your doctor or psychiatrist before using this drug for your problem. Following are the side effects caused by this drug are

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-Hydroxytryptophan is a chemical which the human body extracts from L-tryptophan or tryptophan, and it is a protein building block. We can find tryptophan naturally in some foods include turkey, chicken, milk, seaweed, sunflower seeds, turnip and collard greens, potatoes, pumpkins, but it is hard to find 5-HTP. That’s why the human body produce 5-HTP with the help of tryptophan.

5-HTP also helps to increase the brain’s serotonin levels like SAMe. Doctors used to prescribe 5-HTP to cure conditions like insomnia, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), premenstrual syndrome, and Parkinson’s disease. Because the researchers believe that increasing serotonin levels in your brain can cure all of these conditions.

Research studies have shown that the long-term use of 5-HTP may negatively affect the function of other neurotransmitters. You can find the 5-HTP from the seeds of an African plant called Griffonia Simplicifolia. These seeds will be manufactured into tablets and capsules.

Taking 100 to 300 milligrams each day is considered as the average dose of 5-HTP. It is better to talk with your doctor about the dosage, because the dosage is not the same for everyone and it depends on the condition of the person.

It is better to reduce your dosage after being cured from the depression. This will help you to maintain normal serotonin levels and excess of serotonin levels can lead to side effects or a condition called serotonin syndrome. Following are the side effects caused by this drug are

Omega-3 fatty acids

Everyone knows that the heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. But few people knew that it is a great remedy for preventing the symptoms of depression. We need Omega-3 fatty acids for the proper function of the body and these fats are vital for neurological development. However, the human body is unable to make Omega-3 fatty acids on its own.

Omega-3s can be found in fish, nut oils and some plants. While some research studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can be helpful in relieving the signs and symptoms of depression, but the researchers don’t have any evidence to prove this.

A 2003 study found that the people who are taking omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to face the symptoms of the depression. In other studies, researchers have found that the supplements of Omega-3 fatty acids produced better results compared with a placebo. However, a later study found that we can’t use Omega-3 fatty acids as a treatment option for depression. This study also proved that previous researches are not true or improperly researched.

Fish oil Supplements for treating Depression

People will get the Omega-3 Supplements mainly from two sources and they are Fish and Plants. The supplements of Omega-3 fatty acids which we will get from fish is known as Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The omega-3 fatty acids which are derived from plant sources are known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

People with depression are often recommended to use EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Because one gram of Omega-3s get from fish will effectively prevent the symptoms of depression.

People can take up to 3 grams of omega-3 fish oil supplements every day according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). But for treating depression, you have to take 1000 milligram capsule with EPA according to the reports of Mayo Clinic.

It is better to consult your doctor before taking these supplements for preventing the signs and symptoms of depression. This treatment is effective for people who are suffering from mild or moderate depression.

Vitamin – B

Vitamin B is essential to maintain brain health. Vitamins B-12 and B-6 are also vital. These vitamins help to produce and control brain functions and the absence of these vitamins in your body may be a sign of Depression.

Your doctor may perform a blood test in order to diagnose Vitamin B Deficiency in your body. Your doctor may recommend a daily vitamin B supplement if your levels are really low. He might recommend a B-12 shot if he wants to increase your vitamin B levels in your body quickly.

If you have an adequate vitamin B levels, it may help to reduce the symptoms of depression. It is important to discuss it with your doctor, before taking Vitamin B Supplement. Following are the side effects caused by this supplement are

  • Diarrhea
  • Blood Clots
  • Itching

Vitamin – D

Having Vitamin – D in your body has many health benefits and it also helps to reduce the signs and symptoms of depression. This Vitamin also protects you from some of the deadly diseases like Cancer, High Blood Pressure or Hypertension, and other diseases.

People who are suffering from depression tend to have vitamin – D deficiency, that is why maintaining sufficient levels of Vitamin D will be helpful to reduce depression and this report was published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing. Vitamin D is also present in certain foods such as cod liver oil, Milk, Sardines, and eggs. You can get Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight and too much sun exposure can lead to the risk of getting skin cancer.


Saffron is made up of Dried Stigma of the Crocus Sativus Flower and it is considered as a rare spice. Before using this Saffron for Depression, it has been used for Smooth Menstruation, treating constipation, Improve Mood, and relaxation.

A research study found that saffron can prevent the signs and symptoms of major depressive disorder and this study also concluded that Saffron may not be a perfect medication for depression and more research is needed.

Saffron Capsule is made up of Powder from the dried Crocus sativus stigmas and one study found that taking 30 milligrams per day is effective for treating depression. Following are the side effects caused by this spice are

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea

Kava Kava

Kava Kava may not be a perfect remedy for depression but it will give relief for a shorter period of time from the symptoms of depression. It may help patients to stay calm and composed.

Kava Capsule is made up of crushing the dried kava root and it is measured in Kavalactones. Using kava capsule for a long period of time may cause damage to your kidneys. If you are taking this capsule with other medications, you may experience severe side effects.

It’s better to talk with your doctor before you would like to use this medication.


If you want to treat your depression by taking herbs, Vitamins and Supplements it’s better to consult your doctor before using it because many of them are comes with serious side effects and let your doctor decide which treatment is best for you.

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