Depression is a common emotional disorder affecting more than 19 million Americans every year. It’s a mood state that goes far beyond temporarily feeling sad or low. It tends to affect one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health.
Common symptoms that a depressed person experiences are feelings of sadness, feelings of dejection, deep sense of loss, low energy, disinterest in everything, mental trauma, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep. These symptoms can affect day-to-day life and can become very distressing.
Researchers now believe a person can have a genetic predisposition to depression, which is why it seems to run in the family.
Other contributing factors include anxiety, tension, mental stress, drug addiction as well as deficiencies of vitamin B-complex and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, women are 70 percent more likely to have depression than men.
Depression is a serious problem that if left untreated can be debilitating. There are many types of therapies and medications for depression.
Along with these, you can try some simple, natural home remedies to help lift your mood and restore your excitement for life.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for depression.
1. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is a popular herbal treatment for mild to moderate depression. It has chemical constituents like hypericin and hyperforin that work like an antidepressant, blocking re-uptake of serotonin and serotonin receptors.
- Add one or two tablespoons of dried St. John’s wort to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink this tea twice daily. Follow this routine regularly to lift your mood.
- Alternatively, you can take 300 milligrams of St. John’s wort supplement three times a day.
Consult a doctor before beginning regular use of St. John’s wort.
Cardamom can help detoxify the body and rejuvenate the cells, in turn helping improve your mood and treat depression.
- Add one-half teaspoon of cardamom powder to one cup of warm water or milk. Drink it once daily.
- You can also add a few drops of cardamom oil to your bath water. Soak yourself in this uplifting aroma-filled bath for 30 minutes daily.
Nutmeg works like a brain tonic and helps stimulate your brain, eliminate fatigue and stress, and improve your mood.
- Mix one-eighth teaspoon or a dash of nutmeg powder in one tablespoon of Indian gooseberry juice.
- Drink this two times daily to calm the mind and relieve depression.
Do not take raw nutmeg in large doses as it has psychoactive effects.
Saffron is high in carotenoids and B vitamins that help increase the levels of serotonin and other chemicals in the brain. In fact, a study published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology has found saffron to be as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in reducing mild to moderate depression.
- Take 15 mg of dried extract of saffron twice daily to fight depression.
- You can also use a little bit of saffron in cooking, milk shakes or smoothies.
Being rich in vitamin C, cashew nuts stimulate the nervous system. Also, the riboflavin in cashews boosts energy so you can be active and joyful. Other useful nutrients in cashews that help combat depression are magnesium, tryptophan and vitamin B6.
- Add one teaspoon of cashew nut powder to one cup of warm milk. Drink it once daily.
- You can also eat a handful of dry roasted cashews as a healthy snack to lift your mood.
6. Fish Oil
Studies have found that people with depression usually have low intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are required for normal brain functioning, and is highly recommended for people with depression.
- Take a daily supplement of fish oil to fight depression. Fish oil supplements are sold in health food stores, drug stores, grocery stores and online. Consult a doctor for the proper dosage.
- Alternatively, you can eat cold water fish like salmon, sardines, and anchovies that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed and soy products are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.