How to Cure Depression with Natural Remedies

depression

Depression; It’s not an illness, it is a state of mind that slowly poisons and takes over your body. Demonizing depression hasn’t helped anyone. However, accepting that you have it and trying to work towards curing it has helped many. Depression may seem like a crisis and suffering from it, the end of the world.

Depression is fatal, it drives one’s mind to derangement and aberration, According to a study(1)conducted by the WHO (World Health Organization) depression affects around 300 million people worldwide.

Most people ignore the symptoms or don’t take up the necessary steps required to deal with it. Stigmatizing this disease and prejudice against the people suffering from it has been fatal. WHO estimates(2) that 800000 people die due to suicide every year.

Effective Natural Remedies for Depression

CURE 1: Foods for depression

It may seem shocking to learn this, however, food is a powerful modifier that could influence your brain and depression. The choice of what you put on your plate could help you control/prevent and even cure your depression.

Magnesium rich foods have proven to boost mood(3) and help people reduce stress levels. Magnesium is a significant element that is a cofactor in 300 reactions in the body. It controls the neural synapses in the brain and can influence it, lack of it in the diet can cause a lot of problems physically and mentally.

[Also Read: Foods that help depression]

1. Banana (Musa acuminata)

Musa acuminata banana
Image:ShutterStock

In 100 grams of squashed banana, there are about 27 milligrams of magnesium. It is classified as a rich source of magnesium, which is directly absorbed into the bloodstream and acts almost instantly on depression.

How Does it Work?

Magnesium ions are directly absorbed into the bloodstream while they are being digested in the stomach. These ions directly act on the brain synapses and help increase the serotonin levels. This hormone colloquially termed as the happy hormone boosts the mood and happiness significantly. Additionally, the smoothie also contains flax seeds that have omega-3 which can boost your mood as well.

How to Use?

You can eat a banana as a whole, or you could even make a delicious banana shake (who said being healthy isn’t tasty?) However one of the best recipes for ingesting banana is a banana almond flax smoothie.

Ingredients:
  • One large banana
  • 2/3 cup of almond milk
  • One tbsp of roasted unsalted almond butter
  • One spoon of flax seeds
  • One tbsp honey
  • Few drops of almond extract or vanilla extract

Procedure:

  • Add all of them into a blender. Blend them properly until you see a smoothie like consistency.
  • Add a few ice cubes (skip if you have a cold, of course)
  • You could add a few pieces of banana on the top and slurp on it!

How Much to Use?

You could have a banana almost after every meal, as a dessert. The banana almond flax smoothie can be had twice a week, in the morning on an empty stomach.

2. Chicken Eggs

Chicken Eggs for depression
Image: ShutterStock

Don’t miss out on those eggs that are passed around at brunch. Eggs, especially raw eggs are known to have anti-depressant properties(4). This is due to the plethora of essential nutrients (magnesium and zinc) and omega 3 that it holds.

How Does it Work?

Eggs are known to have a lot of nutrients and minerals in it. It contains rich amounts of magnesium that helps in boosting the mood, as well as omega -3 that is also known to help stabilize the mood and help reduce anxiety. They also contain choline, an amino acid which is the building block for acetylcholine that is a neurotransmitter that aids in cognitive and learning process and keeps depression at bay.

How to Use?

You can eat boiled eggs by slicing them into pieces and adding in a dash of black pepper and salt. However, a poached egg is an easy and effective way of keeping depression at bay, as the yolk still remains uncooked.

Procedure:

  1. Crack two eggs into a bowl
  2. In a medium-sized pan add water and let it simmer
  3. Don’t add any salt in the pan as it will break the whites of the egg
  4. Now pour this egg into the pan in a way that the yolk should follow the white of the egg
  5. Cook for two minutes. Then turn the fire off
  6. Leave the pan for 8-10 minutes
  7. Now use a slotted spoon to lift the egg out from the pan
  8. Drain it out on the kitchen paper

You can add this poached egg on top of boiled chickpeas you could also add onions, tomatoes, coriander, and spices of your choice.

How Much to Use?

You could consume up to two eggs every day, you could have it anyway. Raw, cooked, poached. Any way you’d like. Just make sure that you don’t overload it with salt.

[Read: Natural Remedies for Depression]

3. Fish

fish
Image- ShutterStock

Although it might seem like a very broad food category, we will narrow it down for you. It is recommended that you consume oily, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines. These fishes are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. In a Norwegian Study(5), it was observed that people who didn’t take pills developed depression, in comparison to people who took the pills.

How Does it Work?

Our brains are mostly fat, it may come as a shocker. It is imperative that our brain is supplied with enough omega-3 fatty acids. As these fatty acids are needed for the optimal growth, development, and functioning of the brain.

If there is a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids it leads to the disintegration of the brain structure, cell membranes, and the nerve connections. This could lead to emotional and cognitive disorders.

How to Use?

Supplements: It is easy to get your hands on fish cod liver oil supplements, however, it is advised that you consult your physician before you start this regimen.

– Cooked Meat:
There are several fishes that are considered as the best meat to help curb depression.
You could have all these fishes and integrate it into your diet. All these fishes have above 500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per 85 grams.

  1. Anchovies
  2. Black sea bass
  3. Herring
  4. Mackerel (canned)
  5. Oysters
  6. Salmon, including Chinook (King), chum, coho, farmed, pink, and sockeye
  7. Sardines

How Much to Use?

For the supplements, it is advised that you consult with your physician before using them to find out the right dosage suited for you. For the meat, it is advised to eat 2-3 servings of 100 grams, each week for the best results.

Summary:
Foods have a negative image when it comes to dealing with depression, however, integrating these foods into your diet could balance out your need for essential nutrient and minerals and would help you feel satiated from your body and mind.

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CURE 2: Herbs for depression

Herbs are naturally occurring substances which originate from plants or plant derivatives. They show immense potential in curing a lot many diseases effectively including mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Herbal remedies are easily accessible and don’t bear any kind of side effects. Some of the best herbs to deal with depression include

1. Kratom for Depression (Mitragyna speciosa)

Kratom for depression
Image: ShutterStock

This is a psychoactive plant that is native to southeast Asia, has been gaining a lot of traction for its benefits in the domain of mental health. It was earlier used and is still used as an analgesic. In recent years, there have been a lot of studies(6)that have linked it to being  a herbal antidepressant.

How Does it Work ?

Kratom isn’t technically an opiate, but it does function as one in the brain. The active in kratom is Mitragynine, this compound binds to the receptors in the brain and helps in relieving pain and helps in feeling relaxed.

Although there isn’t much research about the same, users have reported that they feel less anxious and depressed. In an independent study(7) conducted in 2017, it was confirmed that kratom does help relieve depression and enhances the mood of the user.

How to take kratom?

Kratom can be used/ingested in several methods. Capsules, tablets, gum, tinctures, extracts are all available in the market for consumption. There have been some cases were kratom leaves were consumed directly, boiled and even consumed in the form of tea.

Ideally, it is suggested that you use tinctures or capsules as they are safe, however, you could still employ any of the other methods as well. There is currently no research available that identifies the best way to ingest kratom.

How much kratom to take?

The dosage of kratom is a serious issue that is still under debate. However, in a 2018 study that was conducted amongst individuals that used kratom for depression concluded that 5 grams of powder taken up to 3 times a day had enough adequate effects.

It is ideally advised that you start from the lowest dosage possible and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired effects

Dose: 1-5 grams

2. Holy Basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum)

benefits of holy basil
Source:ShutterStock

It is mostly found in every household in the southern part of India as it is treated as a deity. This auspicious plant has several medicinal plants and one of them is to curb depression and keep your mood enhanced. This happy herb makes up for a refreshing cup of tea which is very useful in bursting your anxiety and dullness.

How Does it Work?

Holy basil is a well-studied herb and has several types of research and studies backing its effects on the human body. Several studies have proven that this plant can help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress.

The exact mechanism is yet a mystery, however, it has been hypothesized that these leaves work on reducing cortisol levels in the blood, which thereby helps in reducing depression. It also helps keep the blood sugar levels in check which reduces the adrenal fatigue, thereby keeping cortisol off the bloodstream.

How To Use?

Holy basil is available in so many different forms. Tinctures, dried powder, extract, capsules, gum. You could choose to use any kind of form that is readily available near you. Ideally, plucking the leaves the fresh from the plant has proven to have a lot of benefits.

You could drink it in the form of tea.

How to enjoy a refreshing and soothing tea made of holy basil

Procedure:

  1. In a pan bring two cups of water to simmer
  2. Now add 6-7 leaves of holy basil and grated ginger to this water
  3. After 2-3 minutes, add cardamom powder to this water
  4. After 8 minutes turn off the stove
  5. Strain the tea and add honey and lemon juice to it

Precautions to follow:

If you are suffering from depression during pregnancy, avoid using tulsi as a remedy for how to deal with depression.

How Much to Use?

For general preventive therapy, the dosage ranges from 300mg- 2,000mg of holy basil extract for a single dose on a daily basis. However, it is suggested that you meet your physician before starting this regimen for the right dosage.

3. Ginseng (Panax)

Ginseng for depression
Image:ShutterStock

This oriental root has been used for ages as a traditional medicine in Asia, especially in southeastern Asia. This root has several medicinal benefits such as acting as an analgesic, to control diabetes and promote good mood and relaxation.

How Does it Work?

Ginseng effectively regulates the immune system and the hormonal changes due to stress and thereby maintaining homeostasis. Recent findings(8) suggested that ginseng acts on hypothalamus and pituitary axis and controls the hormones thereby keeping depression and mental stress at bay.

How to Use?

Ginseng is available in so many different forms. Ginseng root can be consumed in many ways. It can be eaten raw or steamed as per your taste. It can also be stewed in water to make tea.  To do this, just add hot water to freshly sliced ginseng and let it rest for several minutes. Strain the solution and add some honey and you are good to go.

Ginseng can be added to various recipes like soups and stir-frys, too. and the extract can be found in powder, tablet, capsule and oil forms.

How Much to Use?

It is ideally recommended that you consume a daily dose of 1-3 grams of ginseng root or 300-400 mg of the extract is suggested. However, it is strongly recommended that you seek professional advice before using this regimen.

Also, it is crucial to remember that you start from lower doses and then work your way to the right dose for you. If you would like to use the extract, it is recommended that you look for 2-3% of total ginsenosides in the extract and consume it before your meals for the best results.

Summary:
Your depression may feel like it is crippling you, however, herbs is all you need, to feel lighter and better. Herbs have proven to be long-lasting and consistent in the treatment of depression. Integrate herbal products into your lives to help you fight with depression.

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CURE 3: Essential oils for depression

Essential oils are now being used as an adjuvant treatment alongside therapy. There have been several studies that were conducted to test the efficacy of essential oils, In one such study(9) essential oils are proven to be a remedy to reduce anxiety and manic depressive disorder to a great extent.

[Also Read Essential oils for depression]

1. Lavender Oil

Image: Shutterstock

Lavender essential oil has calming properties which have helped people suffering from depression to calm down.

How Does it Work?

Lavender oil when infused in the air, is absorbed into the body via the olfactory nerves. Linalool, the active ingredient(10) in lavender oil acts on the brain inhibits the glutamate binding and also inhibits acetylcholine to be released. This causes a euphoric and relaxed feeling

How to Use:

– Diffuse:
Place a diffuser in your bedroom and add lavender oil to it. Enjoy its sweet smell while you sleep at night. This helps to increase clarity and avoids depressive thought build-up in mind.

– Inhale:
When you experience sudden anxiety, inhale lavender oil right from the bottle and get instant relaxation and calmness.

– Topical Use:
You can rub this oil behind your ears or on the inside of your wrists for positive results against anxiety and depression

– Oral:
You could also consume the pills of lavender extract that are available, however, check with your doctor for the proportionate dosage that is appropriate for you.

How much to Use:

Lavender oil can be diffused into the bedroom, ideally, you could use it all the time, especially while you’re sleeping.

You could generally use around 3-5 ml of the oil for application or inhalation, it could be used twice a day or whenever you feel like you are going to have a panic attack.

2. CBD oil for depression (Cannabidiol Oil)

Side Effects of CBD oil
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This is a naturally occurring chemical compound that is found in the hemp plant. This non-psychoactive oil can help you battle depression very effectively. Clinical trials have shown that CBD oil is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, and insomnia and is also known to increase mood scores.

[Also Read: CBD Oil- Benefits And Uses]

How Does it Work?

This phytocannabinoid works on the central and limbic nervous system and causes the release of endocannabinoids in the body that causes you to relax and helps your brain’s neural synapses to unwind.

How to Use?

– Inhale:
You could directly take a whiff from the bottle and it could help your body relax and boost your mood.

– Topical Use:
You can rub this oil behind your ears or on the inside of your wrists for positive results against anxiety and depression.

– Oral:
This is one of the best ways to ingest CBD oil for depression. You could take these pills whenever you are feeling low/depressed. However, it is strongly advised that you consult your physician for the dosage and use of these pills.

How Much to Use?

You could use CBD oil without any restrictions, as it doesn’t cause any kind of ‘high’ like THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) products. It is advised that you use 2-4 ml of this solution for topical application.

3. Ylang-Ylang Oil

Ylang-Ylang Oil for Depression
Image:ShutterStock

Canaga odorata, also known as the canaga tree that is seen in the tropical regions is the source for Ylang-Ylang oil. The oil is extracted from the flowers that are present on these trees.

How Does it Work?

Although there are no known studies or research that is clear about the workings of this essential oil, however, it is identified that it is a strong sedative and can reduce cortisol levels in the body, thereby reducing stress which helps in controlling mood changes.

How to Use?

– Topical use:
Rub in a few drops of the oil directly on your wrist, neck, and the back of your ears. This will help in the uprising of your mood and bring a smile to your face.

– Diffuse:
When used in combination with orange essential oil, the mixture helps to decrease cortisol levels in the body which in turn maintains hormonal balance. Add three drops of both the essential oils to the diffuser and relish a happy feeling.

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– Bath:
You could add this into your bath, along with Epsom salt that can help your body relax as well as help in managing your mood and depression

How Much to Use?

Ylang-Ylang oil can be used without any moderation, however considering that it is ideally suggested that you use 3-4 ml for topical application. Also, when you draw your bath you could add around 10-15 ml of this solution.

Summary:
Whatever might be the reason for your depression, the remedy is all about, ‘how you feel’. The effects triggered by the sense of smell has proven to be long-lasting and consistent. Smell good and feel good by lifting your spirit. Use essential oils and get rid of depression.

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CURE 4: Supplements for depression

This is an adjuvant therapy, i.e you do this therapy alongside the primary therapy. Supplements form the backbone for your recovery as lacking nutrients and minerals could lead to depression and anxiety.

1. 5-HTP for depression

This supplement is a precursor of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for boosting happiness and maintaining the emotional well being of a human being.

How Does it Work?

Our bodies are naturally capable of making 5-HTP. However, sometimes the body struggles to convert it from tryptophan into the happy chemical. Artificially supplementing this compound, would allow it to cross the blood-brain barrier and allows you to maintain an organic supply of this compound, thereby reducing stress and depression.

How to Use?

Ideally, it is suggested that you meet with your therapist and then decide on the kind of usage that would suit your condition. For general usage, it is suggested that you use 1-3 100mg capsules before bed or even spread throughout the day.

How Much to Use?

This is completely a subjective choice and it depends on several factors such as the severity of your depression, the kind, your body mass index (BMI). Hence it is recommended that you consult with your therapist for the right dosage that would suit you. For general usage, it is 100-300mg per day.

[Also Read: Supplements for Depressions]

2. Vitamin B12 +Methyl Folate

Vitamin B12 for Depression
Image:ShutterStock

This is one of the crucial elements that is required by the body on the molecular level to keep the body functioning. According to a study(11)published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, roughly 30% of depressed patients are folate deficient, and those with the deficiency experienced the worst symptoms. Folate deficiency is linked with lower of serotonin.

How Does it Work?

Methyl folate and vitamin B12, when combined together, increases the uptake of serotonin as it acts on the receptors and helps in reuptake of serotonin and thereby promoting a betterment of the mood. Also, this combination is known to help your brain cells in staying healthy and promoting a better condition of the nerve cells.

How to Use?

Ideally it is suggested that you meet your therapist and then decide on the kind of usage that would suit your condition. For general usage, it is suggested that you use 800 mcg DFE of folate, with 5mg+ of Methyl-B12.

How Much to Use?

This is completely a subjective choice and it depends on several factors such as the severity of your depression, the kind, your BMI. Hence it is recommended that you consult your therapist for the right dosage that would suit you. For general usage, it is daily once with food.

[Also Read: Vitamins to Treat Depression]

3. Zinc for depression

Zinc for depression
Image:ShutterStock

Did you know that your body cannot store zinc? Yes, you read that right. Zinc deficiency is seen in people who don’t eat a balanced diet. This deficiency may cause symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, and memory disorders.

Studies(12) were conducted on serum zinc levels and it was noticed that they were reduced in those suffering from depression. Even further, those with more severe depression had the lowest levels of zinc.

How Does it Work?

Zinc is known to regulate the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a critical brain protein used for regulating mood and stress. Hence a deficiency of this would lead to the lack of formation of this protein.

How to Use?

Ideally it is suggested that you meet your therapist and then decide on the kind of usage that would suit your condition. For general usage, it is suggested that you use 15mg zinc orotate.

How much zinc per day?

This is completely a subjective choice and it depends on several factors such as the severity of your depression, the kind, and your BMI.

Hence it is recommended that you consult with your therapist for the right dosage that would suit you. For general usage, take once daily with a meal, but avoid combining with meals or supplements high in iron, calcium, and phytates, which can decrease the absorption of zinc.

Summary:
Supplements form the adjuvant therapy, i.e you do this therapy alongside the primary therapy. Supplements form the backbone for your recovery as lacking nutrients and minerals is scientifically linked to higher risks of depressionand anxiety. Follow and adhere to your regimen and you would notice a difference in your mental health.

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Lifestyle Choices

Depression and its derivatives could be a crippling condition to live with. You’re bound in a vicious cycle of guilt, procrastination and then again, feelings of depression. This is an endless cycle. However, making a drastic change, such as a new exercise regimen, Yoga or gardening could make a monumental change in your thought process.

1. Exercise

Exercise for depression
Image:ShutterStock

When you have depression, it is understandable that this is the last thing you’d want to do. Breaking a sweat, however, has proven to be one of the better ways of keeping your depression at your bay. Once you’re motivated, you’d be breaking this cycle and getting on one!

How Does it Work?

Once you start regularly exercising, you ’d be releasing feel-good endorphins in your body. These are natural cannabis-like products (endocannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that are necessary for your emotional well being. It could help you take your mind off worries and you can only concentrate on your work out and not on the negative feelings.

How to Use?

Most people are under the assumption that you would need to hit the gym to exercise or to let your mind off certain things. Yes, structured exercise is good, however, good old brisk walking and stretches aren’t inferior either.

It is recommended that your workout includes running, lifting weights, stretches. You could even add in a game to play as well. As you progress you could also increase the intensity of your exercises.

How Much to Use?

It is strongly advised that you stick to a very strict working regimen, it is generally advised to workout in the morning for 30-45 minutes. However, it is strongly recommended that you meet your therapist and your doctor and ask for their suggestion.

2. Yoga for depression

benefits of yoga
Image:ShutterStock

This ancient and age-old body stretching activity that originated in India, can work miracles on your body. It has proven to cure and prevent many diseases. Yoga requires you to learn and control your own breathing and as well be flexible, so don’t be discouraged, with time you’ll learn.

How Does it Work?

Once you regularly start doing yoga, you ’d be releasing feel-good endorphins in your body. These are natural cannabis-like products (endocannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that are necessary for your emotional well being. It could help you take your mind off worries and you can only concentrate on your work out and not on the negative feelings.

How to Use?

There are exclusively three yoga poses for treating your depression. It is very crucial to remember that every pose has specific positions to stay in and a specific breathing pattern. The three poses are

  • The Suryanamaskar (Sun Salutation)
  • The Shoulder Stand
  • The Bala Asana (Child’s Pose)
  • Rigidly follow through with these poses to gain control over your depression and anxiety.

Depression is a crippling mental illness that could eat into your life and take control of it.

Most of us confuse being sad and moody with being depressed. Clinical depression is when all the symptoms have amplified to such an extent that it has broken the ceiling of your threshold capacity.

Feeling momentary sadness and being in perpetual torment of your mind’s confines are two different things. However, you could use these naturopathic remedies to cure/control your depression. It is imperative that you bear this in your mind that depression can we won over and that you matter!

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