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8 Natural Remedies for Depression – No Drugs or Doctors

These natural remedies for depressed feelings include herbs, supplements, foods, and lifestyle changes. Treating depression naturally depends on the cause of depression.

ST JOhns Wort Natural Remedies for DepressionNeuro Clarity #1 All-Natural Brain function booster is a holistic blend of Super Ginkgo Biloba complex with St John’s Wort and Bacopin. It supports mental clarity, focus, memory and more – and it comes with a 100% money back guarantee.

You might also want to read The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs by Stephen Ilardi. Here’s what one reader says about this book: “For the last 7 years I have fought with depression that has gone from mildly inconvenient at times to downright debilitating at other times. I discovered Dr. Ilardi’s book after coming off of almost a full week of being unable to even make it out of bed. At that point I had already gone through 3 different types of drugs and was thinking I was going to be moving to another type soon. The Depression Cure is not a pipe dream – it is the real deal.”

Serious depression may require treatments that involve both antidepressants and psychotherapy. Less serious or “lighter” depression — feelings of sadness or the blues — may be remedied in natural ways, such as with foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids or natural fish oil Omega-3’s.

Natural Remedies for Depression

Movie star Anne Hathaway struggled with depression, sadness, and hopelessness. Here’s how she describes it:

“I went through phases in my life when I was really out of balance. It’s not so much that I was depressed; I was in despair, which is a very tricky emotion,” says Hathaway. “It’s self-loathing. It’s hopelessness. It’s worthlessness. It’s a bad, bad place to be.”

Different people find different treatments helpful — and these natural remedies are worth experimenting with.

Learn about herbs that cure depression naturally

In The Brain Wash, Michelle Schoffro Cook describes two natural depression medications: St. John’s Wort and ginkgo biloba.

“St John’s wort is particularly effective for depression, particularly for mild to moderate symptoms without the side effects often associated with drugs,” writes Cook. St John’s wort may not be as effective for severe or double depression, but if you’re not taking any antidepressants, it may be worth a try.

“Ginkgo Biloba improves neurotransmitter production in the brain and helps bring oxygen-rich blood to the brain to improve functioning,” says Cook. This natural herb may also help fight feelings of despair. To learn more about this natural cure, click Source Naturals’ St. John’s Wort (pictured).

Note about natural herbs, foods, and remedies for depression:

Never take St John’s wort, ginkgo biloba or any natural medicine for depression if you’re taking antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil or Effexor. Talk to your doctor before combining natural remedies and antidepressants. It’s important to talk to your doctor when you’re trying different cures for depressed feelings, especially if you’re taking any type of prescription medication.

Increase your physical activity – change your lifestyle

Exercise is difficult when you can barely get out of bed or drag yourself to work — so start slow! Go for short walks, swims, yoga classes or bike rides – the movement and oxygen may help you overcome feelings of anxiety and sadness.

If you’re struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s especially important to increase your exposure to light. In What Is SAD? I describe different types of light therapy boxes, which are effective and easy natural ways to treat depression.

Eat natural foods – they can lift depressed feelings

Avoid unnatural processed foods such as refined sugars unhealthy fats, caffeine, processed foods or fast food restaurants.

Natural Remedy for Depression

Natural Remedy for Depression

Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, natural foods, proteins, and foods high in antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. A natural cure for depression may be in the food you eat! “Investigate other factors that may contribute to depression, such as anemia, blood sugar imbalances, candida overgrowth, chromium, zinc and/or magnesium deficiencies, adrenal weakness, or toxic overload,” says Cook.

Never underestimate the effects of food and nutrition on your emotions! Read The Best Foods to Improve Your Mood.

Focus on what you love to do

Paint, garden, read, write, daydream….immersing yourself in creative activities can alleviate feelings of self-despair. Expressing yourself and finding your self-identity can are natural cures for depressed feelings. This “treatment” has been shared so many times that it’s a cliche, but it works.

Make an impact others’ lives

Anne Hathaway describes how she overcame her feelings of sadness and depression:

“Now, my life has gotten much bigger. I’ve traveled. I’ve seen true suffering. And what I was dealing with pales when compared with what is really going on out there. So then it became not ‘Woe is me’ but ‘Let me help you.’ That changed everything. I was seeing myself as a victim, but I’m in a position of power, and now I’m going to make up for lost time.”

Find ways to laugh

Watch funny movies, go to live comedy shows, tune in to your favorite funny tv sitcoms.

Natural Remedies for Depression

Natural Remedies for Depression

Listen to uplifting, upbeat music. Research shows that laughter and music changes brain chemistry and reduces feelings of anxiety, which can help you overcome depressed feelings. Again, natural remedies for depression depend on the cause of depression, and it’s always good to talk to your doctor first.

Breathe in the air, sunshine, and sounds of nature

Drink plenty of water and get some sunshine. Improving your mood can include the basics of life: air, water, and the sun. Oxygen, Vitamin D, and the sights and sounds of nature can soothe your soul – and they’re all natural remedies for depression.

Look into Omega-3 fatty acids

Increase your Omega-3’s to remedy depression, B-complex vitamins, fish oil supplements, multivitamins and minerals, and S-Adenosylmethionines (SAMe’s). Omega-3 fish oils offer incredible health benefits, besides lifting your mood! Again, talk to your doctor in case these natural remedies can interfere with antidepressants, other prescription medications, or other treatments for depressed feelings.

Cook says, “While some health practitioners dismiss the symptoms as being ‘all in [the patient’s] head,’ increasing volumes of research identifying this disorder as a physiological, not psychological problem.” If your depression is a physiological problem, then curing it may involve physiological treatments (such as antidepressants or natural remedies).

If you have any questions or thoughts on these natural remedies for depression, please comment below…I can’t offer advice or counseling, but it might help you to share your experience.

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22 thoughts on “8 Natural Remedies for Depression – No Drugs or Doctors”

  1. I have been receiving treatment for depression for over 2 years! I am on a vicious cycle where I regularly forget to take my medication within moments of taking it! I feel that I am getting worse to the point that I have lost my home 3 months ago… M homeless and sleeping where I can!
    I have been off work with this since February… M now on half pay and facing a disciplinary meeting which was last Thursday I missed it cduse I thought it was last Friday! I have debts most of it due to loans for my son…. I can’t go back to work as I am cos I actually feel that this time I have done it! Had a massive argument with my son and the way things are, the only conclusion I can come to is that the only way to stop this agony is by ending this existence!

    I can’t see any way out!

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Fawasi,

    It makes me sad to hear how you’re struggling with depression 🙁 You need to get help in person! Who can you talk to? If you can’t get help in person, can you reach out to a depression website online? I’m not a psychologist or counselor, so I can’t treat or counsel you…but there are many websites that offer help for people who are depressed.

    Sometimes it helps to write your feelings down. If you’d like to share the cause or your feelings of depression here, I welcome you.

    I wish I could be more helpful! I also encourage you to read the other comments about treating depression naturally and coping with depression – it may help you figure out what to do and how to get help.


  3. hi guys,
    iam a 21 years old boy a month ago i went to doctor, and i said my felling
    to him he said that you have depression he gave me a anti depression
    (Citalopram) for two months now iam felling good then before but sometimes
    i decide to kill myself or very sadness come over me.
    i dont know what to do any one pleas help me!!!

  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for sharing about Natural Cures! Sometimes natural remedies for depression are effective, but it depends on the cause of depression, how long the person has struggled with depressed feelings, their genetics and biochemistry, etc.

    It can take time and experimentation to find the best way to treat depression, both naturally and otherwise.

  5. Naturalcures is an independent resource that covers the natural health and natural cures topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their personal health.

  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks, Zenith, for taking the time to comment!

    Though I’ve never struggled with depression, I’ve done lots of research on natural cures for depression…and infertility depression.

  7. Wonderful information about health cures. Natural Cures are the best solution to treat health problems. Natural Cures, Natural Treatments, Natural Remedies and Natural Supplements are easier to use, less costly and importantly enough, Natural Cures don’t carry with them the side effects or health hazards of chemical based solutions.

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comment, Steve. I agree that trying natural cures for depression and other health issues can very effective. The trick is finding the right way to treat depressed feelings naturally; it can take time and patience.

  9. Hi Laurie,

    I wish everyone would read this article!

    Why more people don’t try natural cures before they run to the doctor, I’ll never know!

    Thanks again!

  10. Natural Home Remedies

    Home remedy and natural treatments or medicines made at home from natural ingredients such as
    Honey, Garlic, Cranberry, Lemon. Read the most comprehensive health guide on natural cures, home remedies.

  11. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear do i exist,

    I’m sorry to hear how difficult your life is right now. It sounds like you’re really struggling with depression, anxiety, self-doubt, and other sad feelings.

    Other than the natural cures for depression I mention above, I don’t really have any other suggestions for treatments.

    But, I do wonder if it’s time to break away from your dad? If you can move out and live with roommates, you may find it easier to rebuild your self-esteem and deal with your depression.

    Depression can come from feeling powerless in our lives. If you don’t have alot of control or power, then you’re more likely to be depressed than if you do have control! So, if you can take control of your living situation, eating habits, academic studies, and relationship, then you may have found your own natural way to treat depression.

    I also encourage you to seek counseling. Talk to your spiritual leader or pastor, a school counselor, or a distress line. Making big changes in life requires support — we can’t do it alone!

    I hope this helps a little, and wish you all the best. Maybe you could pick one thing to change in your life, and tell me about it. Make it a goal, write it down, stay acocuntable — and you will move your life in the direction you most want!


  12. Hi, i have messed up my studies, relations, health, trust, my routine. i have lost faith and trust. i cant share my feelings or secrets with anybody in my family or even with a person i wanted (or may be still want) to marry. i lost my mother when i was 9. my fther married again. we moved to a new house. i have 1 step sister. my dad is an extreme harsh and a strict cold person. he is not the same with my step sister. he has beaten us with every possible thing n that he does not say even a single word to his step daughter. i hate this diplomacy. i completed my school, college. i took admission in fashion school. it was my dream to become a fashion designer. i was going great i completed half of my degree n i soon found myself in a relation with a person. i did not want to keep it a secret so i shared it with dad n he ended up in grounding me at home forever. dad broke up my dream. i spent a year staying home no friends no activity.now i feet a visible change in myself as my memory is no more longer. i hesitate meeting people because they question me abt my degree. i prefer sitting alone rather than with my dad or anybody im my home. i hardly eat anything. i am 23. i weigh 40 kg. i dnt speak out what i feel. n the person i loved is another story. as he now ignores me due to my abnormal behavior. i take my depression out on him result we end up with fight like world war. n now he says to get the hell out of his life. wow now i am nowhere. can you help me. please. help me making up my life back to normal. suggest me the natural treatment. regards.

  13. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Dori,

    I’m sorry to hear about your struggles with depression — but don’t give up! You CAN be free from the “black dog” (I think that’s what Winston Churchill or someone famous called it).

    I can’t give any advice about prescription medications for depression, or antidepressants. Whether they cause weight gain depends on the dosage, your genetics, and your lifestyle. There’s no way I can give you medical advice like that.

    The same goes for which natural cure works best for depression…it just depends on your individual chemistry and lifestyle.

    I encourage you to go to a medical doctor AND a naturopathic physician, and ask the questions you’ve asked above. You need direct advice that relates to the cause of your depressed feelings, my friend.

    Talk to someone in person. The sooner you take action and start working to overcome your depression, the happier and more empowered you’ll feel!

    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post …Establish Good Financial Habits – 6 Ways to Make Money Saving Tips Stick =-.

  14. I’ve been suffering from depression for about a year. I hear so much about the weight gain side effects of the prescription medications. Can you please tell me which antidepressant has been least likely to cause weight gain? Which natural remedy works best? And would you recommend prescription over natural? Thank you

  15. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    New research shows that St John’s Wort may not be a good natural treatment for anxiety…

    Doctor Warns Against St. Johns Wort for Anxiety

    In a broad-based review of studies focused on drugs that treat anxiety, a Saint Louis University doctor found no evidence supporting the use of so-called “natural” treatments in combating the effects of anxiety.

    St. John’s wort, kava extract and valerian, herbal remedies touted on the Internet, have not been proven to be effective in treating anxiety wrote Kimberly Zoberi, M.D., associate professor of family and community medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Additionally, she raised concerns about the safety of valerian, particularly lacking any long-term studies of the herb.

    “Patients should be extremely cautious about garnering medical advice from the Internet,” says Zoberi. “There is no evidence that those medications are effective. If a patient wishes to avoid drug therapy, her doctor can suggest alternatives such as cognitive behavioral therapy.”

    In addition to the findings regarding “natural” treatments, Zoberi compared the differing prescription drug regimens available on the market for patients suffering from anxiety. According to Zoberi, most physicians recommend selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as a first-line treatment because they were safe, effective and less expensive. However, some patients suffer libido-related or gastrointestinal side effects.

    Zoberi found that medications from the anticonvulsant class of drugs are among the quickest and most effective ways to provide relief to patients in distress without the side effects of other first-line treatments. The downside is that these prescriptions are fairly expensive compared to other treatments.

    Ultimately, Zoberi strongly recommends consulting with a health care professional before beginning any drug regimen for anxiety.

    The review article was published in last month’s issue of the Journal of Family Practice.

  16. This statement, “Focus on what you love to do. Paint, garden, read, write, daydream….immersing yourself in creative activities can alleviate feelings of self-despair.” is very good. Focusing on positive things will help. Finding the right method will help get rid of anxiety attacks.

  17. I live on Bowen Island, British Columbia (right off Vancouver), where it’s rainy and gray from November to April (or so). I don’t have a light box, but boy do I LOVE it when the skies are finally blue in May! Talk about a natural cure for depression or whatever ails you…

    Thanks for your comment, Sandy! Who knows, we may be neighbors…

  18. I live in the Pacific NW, where it is gray much of the year. And rainy. So, one thing that gets me thru the winter months (besides escaping to a sunny location!) is using my full spectrum light box.

  19. I agree with all of the above (having been depressed over the loss of loved ones) and would add (at the top):

    Surround yourself with people who you love and make you happy. Whether it is family, friends, neighbors, etc…a support system is of the utmost importance. Lean on them, use them and envelop yourself in their love and positive energy. They will help you more than you can imagine.