Depression is disturbance that involves the psyche, body and feelings. Every human being does experience a bout of depression at some point of his/her lifetime. Either physical or emotional reasons can cause depression. Many of us do not even know that we are
experiencing depression and for the few, who do realize, do not seek professional or medical help. In the United States, almost 20 million
adults succumb to depression every year. Depression is a serious illness and requires immediate medical attention and treatment from a trained health professional.
Remember, depression can be treated if you seek professional help. Short spells of depression are quite common but if your depression lasts for more than a few weeks, consult a doctor. If depression is not treated at the right time, it will worsen and pave way for other illness like panic disorder or phobias. Natural remedies are also available to treat depression these days.
Types of natural remedies
Walk: Sunlight, fresh air, combined with brisk walking for 30 minutes every day can cure depression to a great extent. Brisk walks help the body release natural endorphins into the system; this naturally released endorphin will fight depression.
Spice up your life: The spices stacked in your kitchen rack also help fight depression the natural way. Spices like capsicum, cayenne pepper etc tackle depression and also boost the energy levels of a person. Garlic is supposed to lift the mood of a person.
Yoga: Yoga is very effective in tackling depression, get trained through a trained yoga teacher. The various poses help in relieving tension and in improving overall mood of a person. It makes both the body and mind fit and strong. Yoga and meditation play a vital role in improving emotional strength.
Flower therapy: Flowers have the natural tendency to relieve stress. Flower therapy does help tackle depression to a great extent.
Vitamins: Vitamins like niacin, Thiamin and Vitamin B6 boost mental health. Limited dosage of Vitamin C creates positive emotional balance.
Quit smoking: Smoking can push you into depression; nicotine can harm various parts of the body. Quit smoking, this will reduce depression.
Reduce caffeine intake: Excess coffee and tea can actually harm your emotional health. Hence limit your intake of caffeine to maintain the emotional health of your body.
Exercise: Regular exercise is very effective in improving a person's mood as exercise releases mood-elevating chemicals in the brain that can reduce stress hormones. Exercises provide happiness and mental relaxation.
Natural herbal remedies: Herbs have the property to reduce depression. Herbs like St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) are very famous. St.John's Wort is effective in treating mild to moderate depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Nervous Exhaustion and even Jet lag. Hypericin - a key constituent in St.John's Wort has been found to be active against depression and also to have antineoplastic, anti tumor and antiviral properties. The herb St. John's wort has been used to cure sadness, nervousness, poor sleep and worry for a very long time. This herb is available in the form of tablets, liquid extracts or tea at all leading drug stores, health food stores and online.
Other herbs like lemon balm, lady's slipper root and skullcap are also useful in tackling depression.
Light therapy: Sunlight is effective for depression and can help deal with seasonal mood changes (particularly in winter). A brain chemical called serotonin holds the key to controlling our mood. This chemical, on exposure to light does its best to uplift the mood of a person; thus sunlight exposure is very important for good mood. If there is no sufficient sunlight in the area where you live, you can use special lights that simulate natural daylight.
Folic Acid: Folic acid also popular as folate, is a B vitamin. It is found that people who are depressed have low levels of this vitamin in their body. Folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, and fortified grains. Folic acid is also
available as a vitamin supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acids/PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acid): Omega-3 fatty acid, a variety of good fat, is essential for the normal functioning of the brain. Omega-3 fatty acid can be ingested only through the diet as our body does not naturally produce this. Cold water fish such as sardines, salmon and anchovies are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil capsules are an alternate source for omega-3 fatty acids and are sold at drug stores and health food stores.
Limit sugar intake: Modifying the diet helps in handling depression, reduced sugar intake will help tackle depression to a great extent.
SAM-e: SAM-e is the short form for S-adenosyl-L-methionine - a chemical that is found naturally in the human body. SAM-e is available as an over-the-counter supplement in health food stores and drug stores. Although an expensive supplement, it is the best available remedy for depression.
Valerian: It is a flowering plant with white or pink flowers. The roots and the rhizomes of this plant are used to make the supplement that is available in the form of tablets, liquid extracts and capsules.
Change your monotonous routine: Come out of your dull and monotonous routine, change your routine and do things that interest you. Indulge in activities that make you and keep you happy.
Quick natural home remedies for depression
- Eat an apple along with milk and honey; this is an effective home remedy for depression.
- Cashew nuts can reduce depression.
- Powder the seeds of 2 green cardamoms; add this powder to boiling water. Add sugar as per taste and consume this twice a day.
- Add a handful of rose petals to boiling water; add sugar as per taste and drink twice a day. Rose petals are effective in reducing depression.
- Drink orange juice every morning along with breakfast; this helps tackle depression.
- Add 1tsp of ginger powder to boiling water, drink this twice every day.
- Soak ten almonds in water overnight, peel the skin and eat the almonds next morning.
- Try licorice tea, this a perfect natural remedy for depression. Do not consume this tea more than thrice a day.
- The dried root of asparagus can be powdered and consumed once daily.
Tips to prevent depression
- Cut down on meat products while you are under the spell of depression.
- Avoid fried food, excessive caffeine, chocolates, and junk food.
- Cut down on milk products while suffering depression.
- Consume food that is easy to digest.
- Eat food rich in Vitamin C, as it is a natural anti-depressant.