What Helps Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder causing sadness, loss of interest, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, diminished energy and poor concentration.  There are different forms of depression including Bipolar Disorder and Postpartum Depression.


Can natural remedies & supplements help?

What Helps is entirely built by you. Your experiences help others decide how to treat their condition. Our users have tried 19 natural remedies for the treatment of Depression.
Through crowd power, we are able to help people feel better. The more you share, the more valuable future recommendations become. Have you tried a natural remedy for Depression?
With your help, we can all improve how we feel.

Discovering solutions, learning through common experience & supporting each other helps us feel better. You have a unique insight into living with your condition. Your story can help countless others also trying to navigate their path to healing.

Learn more

Natural Remedies That May Help Depression

Ranked by our online community.
1
1

St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort is a flowering shrub in the Hypericaceae perforatum family.  Native to Europe, it’s June-blooming, yellow flowers have been used in medicine since ancient Greece. Named after St. John the Baptist, the presence of the photochemical, hyperforin, is the key antidepressant and anxiolytic component. St. John’s Wort has also been revered for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.


How Might It Help

St. John's Wort may help depression due its antidepressant qualities.


Effectiveness
49%


2
2

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fats absorbed through food including fish (mackerel, salmon, seabass), vegetable oils (flax oil, soybean oil), nuts (walnuts) and seeds (flax, chia, hemp). There are three main Omega-3 Fatty Acids: ALA also known as Alpha-Linolenic Acid, EPA also known as Eicosapentaenoic Acid and DHA also known as Docosahexaenoic Acid. ALA is found naturally in plants, while EPA and DHA are found in fish. Omega-3 Fatty Acids maintain heart, vascular, lung, brain, immune and endocrine system health, while reducing inflammation.


How Might It Help

Omega-3 Fish Oil may help depression by inducing an antidepressant effect.


Effectiveness
46%


3
3

SAMe

SAMe, the acronym for S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is a compound found naturally in the human body. Discovered in the 1950s as a derivative of the amino acid methionine, it maintains cell membranes, in addition to, producing and regulating hormones. It is not found naturally in foods, therefore a synthetic version is required to normalize inadequate levels.


How Might It Help

SAMe may help depression due to its antidepressant effects, specifically mechanisms increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.


Effectiveness
40%


4
4

Kava Kava

Kava Kava is made from the ground roots of the tropical, evergreen shrub Piper methysticum. Kava Kava’s key components are lactone compounds called kavalactones, which are known to have a psychotropic effect. Native to the South Pacific islands including Hawaii, the plant has been used for hundreds of years in a ritual drink revered for its tranquilizing properties.


How Might It Help

Neurotransmitter imbalances are believed to be a key factor in depression. Kava Kava may help depression by stimulating neurotransmitter production.


Effectiveness
18%


5
5

5-HTP

5-HTP, abbreviated from 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is a chemical produced by the body from tryptophan, an essential amino acid. Tryptophan is naturally occurring in foods including seeds (pumpkin, chia, sesame, sunflower), dairy (mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar), meat (beef, pork), poultry (chicken, turkey), fish (halibut, salmon, trout, snapper) and grain (oats, buckwheat).  5-HTP is attributed to increasing the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter affecting mood, sleep, appetite, sexual behavior and pain, while promoting feelings of well being. As a supplement, 5-HTP is produced from Griffonia simplicifolia seeds, a woody, climbing shrub native to Africa.


How Might It Help

5-HTP may help depression by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain.


Effectiveness
67%


6
6

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in foods including fish (salmon, trout, sardines) and mushrooms (morel, chanterelle, oyster, shiitake), but more substantially from sun exposure, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays trigger synthesis. 


How Might It Help

Vitamin D may help depression by improving mental well being.


Effectiveness
43%


7
7

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland. It works with your body’s circadian rhythm, as well as, regulates body temperature, blood pressure and hormone levels. Production naturally decreases with age. Melatonin is commonly used as a treatment for sleep disorders including jet lag and insomnia.


How Might It Help

Melatonin may help depression by balancing circadian rhythms and promoting healthy sleep patterns.


Effectiveness
58%


8
8

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is one of the eight, water-soluble B vitamins that play a key role in cellular metabolism. Naturally present in animal foods including dairy (milk, swiss cheese, eggs), fish (tuna), meat (beef) and shellfish (clams, crab). Vitamin B12 aids red blood cell production, neurological function and DNA synthesis.


How Might It Help

Vitamin B12 may help depression by improving neurological functions.


Effectiveness
25%


9
9

GABA

GABA, the acronym for gamma-Aminobutyric acid, is a naturally occurring amino acid. Produced within the brain, GABA functions as an inhibiting neurotransmitter aiding in relaxation, reducing stress and pain alleviation. Found naturally in vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potato), mushrooms (shitake), legumes (soy beans, adzuki beans) and tea (green, black, oolong), as well as, fermented foods including (kefir, yogurt, tempeh). 


How Might It Help

GABA may help depression due to its inhibitory effect on excessive brain activity.


Effectiveness
46%


10
10

Meditation

Meditation is a set of techniques encouraging a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Originating in ancient Asia, it migrated worldwide in the 20th century in the form of a religious practice. Due to its calming and relaxing effects, Meditation is used in the treatment of stress, depression, anxiety, blood pressure, pain and other mental health conditions.


Effectiveness
68%


11
11

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine, is one of the eight, water-soluble B vitamins that play a key role in cellular metabolism.  Naturally present in foods including dairy (milk, ricotta, eggs), fish (salmon, tuna), meat (beef), poultry (chicken, turkey), vegetables (spinach, sweet potatoes, green beans) and fruits (bananas, avocado). Vitamin B6 aids red blood cell production, metabolism, and brain & nervous system health.


How Might It Help

Vitamin B6 may help depression by improving serotonin production.


Effectiveness
30%


12
12

Saffron

Saffron is produced from the threadlike stigmas of the Crocussativus flower. The bulbous perennial with blue-violet flowers is harvested by hand during a short autumn blooming season. Originating in Greece, it historically has been used to treat a variety of conditions from asthma to menstrual disorders to pain management. Saffron is revered for its variety of antioxidants, in addition to antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties.


How Might It Help

Saffron may help depression by its antidepressant effects, including balancing levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.


Effectiveness
55%


13
13

American Ginseng

American Ginseng or Panax quinquefolius is a herbaceous perennial and member of the ivy, Araliaceae, family. A traditional and widely-used Native American medicine, Ginseng is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Found primarily in the Appalachian and Ozark regions, as well as eastern Canada, the herb was discovered by a Jesuit priest in the 1700s and imported to China.


How Might It Help

Chronic-stress can cause depression and/or anxiety. American Ginseng may help depression by regulating stress-induced immune responses and hormonal changes, helping to maintain homeostasis.


Effectiveness
27%


14
14

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral obtained through diet. It is naturally present in foods including meat (beef, lamb, pork), shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster), legumes (chickpeas, lentils), seeds (hemp, pumpkin, sesame), nuts (pinenuts, peanuts, cashews), and vegetables (potatoes, green beans, kale). Zinc plays a key role in cellular metabolism, immune function, growth & development support and proper sensory function, including taste and smell.


How Might It Help

ZInc may help depression by modulating the brain's response to stress.


Effectiveness
29%


15
15

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Turmeric is made from the dried rhizomes of the Curcuma longa plant, belonging to the ginger family. Native to South Asia, Turmeric has a long history in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. The key component is the organic polyphenol, curcumin, which is responsible for giving the plant its yellow color. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects have been used in the treatment of arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory and metabolic issues.  


How Might It Help

Turmeric may help depression due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.


Effectiveness
46%


16
16

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a naturally-occurring compound in the Cannabid sativa L plant, commonly known as hemp. Originating in Central Asia, hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years.  CBD is non-psychoactive and has been used to treat conditions ranging from chronic pain and anxiety to autoimmune and skin diseases.


How Might It Help

Cannabidol may help depression due to its antidepressant effects.


Effectiveness
28%


17
17

Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Folate is the natural form of Vitamin B9, sold as a supplement as Folic Acid. Folate plays a critical role in cell division, as well as the formation of red and white blood cells, DNA and RNA. Folate is found naturally in dark leafy vegetables (spinach, romaine, broccoli), fruits (oranges, lemons, banana, strawberries), legumes (beans, peanuts) and eggs.


How Might It Help

Folate may help depression as an elevated incidence of deficiency has been found in patients with depression.


Effectiveness
21%


18
18

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT, is a psychotherapy centered on bringing awareness to inaccurate or negative thinking, therefore altering behavioral patterns. In addition to helping individuals manage stressful situations, CBT is used in the treatment of mental health disorders including depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Effectiveness
77%


19
19

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that naturally live in the human body. They typically include strains from the common bacteria groups, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as the yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii. Found naturally in fermented foods (kombucha, tempeh, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut) and dairy (yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese), probiotics are part of the microbiome or the healthy community of organisms that keep the body healthy.


Effectiveness
18%


Browse Questions Related to Depression

There is 1 question. Please answer one as your input will greatly help others.

Questions

Browse Natural Remedy Experiences Related to Depression

There are 3 experiences available.

Experiences

Symptoms

Symptoms are how you perceive your condition. According to our users, the following are possible symptoms of Depression. Select one to see what may help.

Top Comorbid Conditions

Our users with Depression also report the following conditions. Select one to discover.

What Helps

An online community connecting natural remedies with the people who need them.

© 2021 figure3, inc. All rights reserved.

The information on this Website is educational and informational only and are not medical, psychological, or nutritional advice. It does not create or constitute any professional relationship between us and you, or any other user of the Website and you. Always consult your licensed healthcare providers and never disregard or delay medical advice based on information on this Website. Please review our full terms of use and disclaimers posted on our Website.

If you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

If you are in crisis, reach out for help to a crisis help line.

Comment reported, thank you
Answer marked as helpful, thank you