Natural Ways to Treat Depression: Alternative Ways of Treating Depression

If you are afraid of doctors and drugs, there are other ways of treating depression. Here are some alternatives that you can turn to.

There are some people who have misgivings with western ways of dealing with depression. Some perceive antidepressant drugs as very potent and are afraid of the side effects, and there are others who do not like talking about their past as well as present. So they turn to other methods of curing depression.

There are alternative routes to turn to. Alternative medicine has come up with natural ways of curing depression and these have been proven effective by scientific studies. Aside from western and alternative medicine, traditional medicine, as well as other methods from different cultures, has their own ways of dealing with depression.

Herbal and traditional drugs have been used by several cultures to treat many diseases and depression is no different. Some of the well known natural herbal drugs are St. John’s Wort, , Sam-E, Folic Acid, 5-HTP and dietary regulation.

St. John’s Wort has been extensively studied because of the many testimonies of people who have used it. Results are conflicting and still under debate but they all agree that it can interact with other drugs like antidepressants, anti-HIV drugs and immunosuppressive agents. Omega-3 fatty acids are taken from fish oil and there are studies that show that people whose diet are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids have lower risk of developing depression.

Sam-E is S-adenosyl-L-methionine is a substance that is naturally produced by the body and there are studies that higher levels of this substance can prevent the development of depression by increasing the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Deficiency of these two is the cause of depression as proven by scientific studies. Folic acid is a member of the vitamin B family and it was found out that depressed people are deficient in folic acid. This is usually found in green leafy vegetables and is also sold in the form of capsules compounded with other vitamin B members. 5-HTP is short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, which is needed to synthesize serotonin in the body. These are also produced in the body but there are no studies yet to prove its efficacy.

Aside from natural drugs, there are other methods of treating depression. Oriental medicine believes that a healthy body is attributed to a free flow of energy or Qi throughout the body and any obstruction to this flow causes disease. The flow can be restored in many ways and one of them is through acupuncture. For every disease there are specific points or channels in the body that needs to be opened for energy flow. Ac

upuncture for depression aims to increase blood flow to the head and clarify thinking, regulate hormonal functions, produce calmness by relieving tension, improve circulation of the digestive tract, boost the immune system and increase the sense of well being. Acupressure also has the same principle but without the use of needles.

Simple guided meditation, massage, aromatherapy and yoga are also found to be effective for some people. These work by revitalizing the tired mind and body. It relaxes the tense muscles and also sweeps the mind of mental clutter. All these are known to improve the sense of well being and in so doing decrease the level of depression and gives the person a new perspective and strength to solve the cause of depression.


The author is a health care specialist that deals studies on the subject of alternative medicine.


No alternative (medicine)
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