Natural remedies for depression offer a lot to improve your mood and relieve anxiety. They are widely available and have many benefits to physical well-being along with improving your mental health. As some of those who experience depression have nutrient deficiencies of some kind, while others suffer from stress or just go through a difficult time, we gathered a comprehensive list of natural home remedies for depression that can provide the right nutrients AND alleviate the mind from stress and anxiety, leading to mindfulness, resilience, and improved mental health.
Exercise is one of the most effective and fastest-acting home remedies for depression. Working out releases endorphins which decrease the perception of physical pain and trigger pleasant, satisfactory feelings; many people report a certain euphoria. Working out also improves the quality of sleep and helps regulate sleeping patterns, can regulate metabolism and digestion, reduce stress, and get you rid of anxiety and depression.
It doesn’t really matter which sport or activity you pick – you could bike, go to the gym, go run in a park and enjoy the fresh air, work out at home, go swimming, or pick a team sport – as long as you spend energy and get your muscles working.
- Some good running or sports shoes, sports clothing, swimming gear, roller skates, bike, or the like;
- Gym pass or anything else that sounds fun and challenging to you.
Aromatherapy helps people on physical and emotional levels because it works with blood and brain chemistry. It is one of the simplest home remedies for depression and anxiety, especially when used with other treatments. Aromatherapy oils are also some of the fastest natural antidepressants because it only takes four seconds for a smell to reach the brain. Our sense of smell is located in the same part of the brain that processes emotions and many people associate happy memories with certain smells.
Think about what scents you like. Do any remind you of something from your childhood? Scents that help to uplift moods include floral scents and fruity scents, specifically citrus scents.
Set up a hot bath and add 2 drops each of your favorite essential oils. Allow the smell and the warm water to soothe you and diffuse through the room with the help of the heat. Anything involving warm water is an excellent natural antidepressant.
Massage stimulates blood flow and helps relieve pain and tension that is often one of the symptoms of depression. The soothing feeling and pressure of massage helps to release endorphins and can help someone process emotions. Learn how to give yourself a massage or have a licensed massage therapist treat you to a session. The meridians in the body are supposed to help with overall health and massage helps activate these channels. Here’s what you will need for a massage:
- Carrier oils such as almond oil or coconut oil
- A clean towel
- A quiet space, or soft music
- Optional: a foam roller, massage balls, Back Buddy self-massage tool, or an electric percussion massage device.
You can use a back roller for your shoulders, or use your thumbs to make small circles near your shoulder blades. Gently massage your feet, making sure to press into the ligaments and tendons, applying firm pressure. Stretch your toes and softly rotate the ankle with smooth continuous movements. Youtube has free instructional videos about how to give yourself a massage if you would like a visual guide. Here’s one for relieving tight shoulders and overall relaxation:
Ancient Chinese medicine prescribed green tea for centuries to cure disease including as a home remedy for anxiety and depression. Tea hydrates the body which is important for health, and it also releases beneficial medicines. Several components in the tea such as caffeine and L-theanine help the body to relieve anxiety, relax, and feel well, making it one of the best home remedies for depression and anxiety attacks.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system which helps with feelings of depression. L-theanine is an amino acid that helps produce dopamine, a “feel-good chemical”, and GABA which relaxes the body. Green tea is a natural remedy for depression that is very inexpensive and you can find it at any grocery store.
Bring water to a boil and add a tea bag. Let it steep for five minutes and then cool down before you drink it. Drink at least two cups a day for a natural remedy for depression.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known to affect the mood with people experiencing disorders such as seasonal affective disorder. Our skin makes vitamin D with sunlight, so sunbathing is one way to increase the amount of vitamin D in your bloodstream. It is also present in dairy foods such as milk or yogurt, as well as eggs and tofu. Vitamin D contributes to many aspects of well-being, such as building bones, preventing cancer, and controlling weight. This natural remedy for depression works after a few weeks of increasing Vitamin D.
- Vitamin D supplement
- Yogurt or milk
- Mushrooms, trout, eggs, tofu, pork
- A sunny porch or beach/pool
Eat more foods with vitamin D, such as dairy foods.
Another way to boost vitamin D intake is by sunbathing, which is an excellent natural treatment for depression. The skin needs direct exposure to sunlight to make enough vitamin D, so aim for around 10 minutes or more a day. Vitamin D is one of the most affordable natural depression remedies because it only involves going outside.
Yoga is one of the oldest exercise programs and one of the most complex, too. It features several styles or forms and comes with a myriad of routines, movements, and breathing exercises. Overall, yoga is gentle on your joints, but does require strength and flexibility. However, these can also be developed with time. When combined, yoga routines work your core, arms, legs, glutes, and back.
Yoga is ideal for beginners of all ages and fitness levels and doesn’t require significant expenses. Although it has plenty of physical benefits, the most significant advantage of yoga is that it strengthens the mind-body connection, thus being one of the most effective home remedies for depression.
- Yoga mat; you could also go for yoga blocks and a strap, but these are entirely optional.
- Optional: Yoga DVD, but you could also try free online tutorials
You can start with this and continue with other videos in the series:
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkins contain a chemical called tryptophan which makes the body feel more relaxed and helps to release serotonin. You can try making your own roasted pumpkin seeds for a snack high in magnesium and other essential nutrients such as healthy fats. Making sure your body is not hungry is one of the best natural treatments for depression, and this delicious snack is great for nibbling throughout the day.
To prepare this home remedy for depression, slice the pumpkin in half and take out all the seeds. Then, coat the seeds with 3 tablespoons of melted butter and salt. Place them on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 300 degrees.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helps many ailments and cures inflammation which makes it an effective natural antidepressant. Studies link mental health to inflammation, therefore turmeric can be one of the best herbs for depression because it helps boost neural growth, protects the brain and neurons, and helps the brain produce serotonin and dopamine. Curcumin is an antioxidant like many herbal remedies for depression on this list, which repair damaged cells. To use curcumin, you will need:
First, boil the root in water. Then, drink the tea with ginger or other flavor. Curcumin capsules benefit the body as well. Do try to use tumeric powder in a curry recipe.
9. Rose Petals
Rose petals contain high levels of vitamin C. This antioxidant prevents cancer, heals wounds, and helps the body stay healthy. Rose petals relax the body. The tea releases a pleasant scent and prevents inflammation making it a natural supplement for depression. This tea is one of the natural home remedies for depression you should try. Rose petals help you to sleep, and getting more sleep helps fight depression.
The smell of roses improves our mood; rose petals also ease digestion, which ultimately helps with metabolizing nutrients. Natural remedies for depression work alongside each other to balance moods, and drinking rose petal tea will help with stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and digestion.
- Hot water
- Dried rose buds or rose petal & black tea, as tea is another effective natural home remedy for depression
First, put the petals in hot or cold water. Then let it steep until the color changes a bit, and sip on the water throughout the day. You can also use this home remedy for depression to rinse your face. Starting a garden and growing roses is another home remedy for depression and anxiety you can try.
Interested in more home remedies for days that just feel way off? Check out our collection of home remedies for anxiety and anxiety attacks. Some of them work in minutes to alleviate symptoms of a panic attack!
10. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is one of the most well-known home remedies for depression and anxiety. It impacts the serotonin levels in the brain, and the yellow flowers are native to many places in the United States. You might want to see if any grow near you and bring home a mood boosting bouquet.
- St John’s Wort Supplement
Dose with about 900 milligrams a day for optimal effects. It is one of the most popular home remedies for depression.
11. B Vitamins
B Vitamins are vital for body health because they increase energy levels and overall mood. Every person seeking home remedies for depression should make sure they are getting enough B vitamins because of how important they are. Some forms, such as B 12 (cobalamin), can only be taken via food or supplements. Get these in fruits, vegetables or breakfast cereals.
- Super B complex
- Clams, fish, tofu, eggs
- Yerba Mate
These B complexes offer a variety of B vitamins and often will have other nutrients such as folic acid added. Foods offer a rich balance of nutrients and protein.
Warning: If taken in very high doses, Vitamin B12 can cause diarrhea, blood clots, and allergic reactions like itching! Be careful when taking vitamin B complex supplements and when combining them with foods rich in these nutrients!
Chocolate has a chemical known as theobromine which improves mood. Try taking chocolate in raw cocoa form or dark chocolate. The less processed the cocoa is the better it is for you. Chocolate lowers stress by lowering cortisol hormones. Foods with caffeine are popular home remedies for depression because they increase dopamine.
One or two pieces a day will help relieve depression symptoms. Also, consider baking it into foods. Dark chocolate is a delicious home remedy for depression. Here’s a list of the most popular dark chocolate recipes on the web – the lava cake is our favorite!
13. Omega 3’s
Omega 3’s are vital for brain function and are one of the most crucial home remedies for depression. The nutrient improves memory and often measures in high levels in foods that are known as “brain foods.” Omega 3’s help to improve mood in people suffering from depression. They balance neuroactive steroid levels in patients. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids help to control mood. Fish oil and other sources of omega 3’s are documented to improve mood better than or equal to antidepressants.
Take a tablespoon a day of one of these supplements. You can also make salad dressing or cook with them.
5- HTP increases serotonin and melatonin levels. 5-HTP is one of the more known home remedies for depression and it is widely available. It comes from the Griffonia simplicifolia plant from Africa. 5-HTP contains a naturally occurring chemical called tryptophan which is known to boost mood. Remember that Vitamin B6 s a necessary cofactor in the synthesis of tryptophan.
- 5-HTP supplement, taken as advised on the container
Zinc is a mineral nutrient linked with behavior and learning. It helps with the synthesis of omega 3 fats in the body. Adding zinc to your diet is another one of the best home remedies for depression. Zinc is a biomarker for depression and low zinc levels correlate with depression. Many diets lack the mineral and need a supplement.
- 25-50 mg zinc supplement
- Oysters, beef, wheat germ, spinach, cashews, pumpkin seeds
Take a supplement once every few days and keep a healthy diet with lots of zinc-rich foods.
There are many natural cures for depression, and this list of natural antidepressants is only the beginning. Which cures have helped you? Combined with right diet and exercise, many people experience relief from symptoms. Here is to you feeling better in the future by using natural supplements for depression.