According to the WHO, it is estimated that in the year 2030, depression will be the main cause of disability and for its treatment the main line of action of treatment is pharmacotherapy. However, antidepressant drugs have a multitude of side effects, as well as a decrease in the remission rate, which leads to a high rate of treatment abandonment. As a result, the need for a treatment alternative is questioned, giving rise to natural antidepressants that effectively treat depression, which can be presented as natural pills, in food or in medicinal plants.
If you are interested in knowing the natural alternatives for the treatment of depression or other disorders that make use of antidepressant drugs for their treatment, in this article, we will show you 11 effective natural antidepressants.
What are natural antidepressants?
The natural remedies are all those that contain one or several active ingredients that allow to be used for a favorable treatment of certain diseases.
They can be presented in the form of a supplement from a single herb (medicinal plant) or in a tablet consisting of several (natural pill). Natural antidepressant therapies have proven to be as effective asconventional psychopharmacology .
Benefits of natural antidepressants
Natural antidepressants have a high number of advantages over usual treatment, since antidepressant drugs such as tricyclic antidepressants produce side effects. The benefits of natural antidepressants are:
- Natural composition
- Less adverse effects
- Better adherence to treatment
- No need for a prescription
- More economical
- They can be used as individual or combined treatment.
In addition, there are certain dietary supplements, such as specific vitamins and minerals of natural origin that can be found in different foods or as nutritional supplements of our body. So our nutrition also plays an important role in the natural treatment of depression.
Medicinal plants as natural antidepressants
There are plants that can be considered natural antidepressants because of their properties and their effect on the body. Some of the medicinal plants that can be used as natural antidepressants are:
- St. John’s Wort : St. John’s Wort or Hypericum , is a yellow flower with a long history in medicine. It is considered a very effective and widely used natural herbal remedy. Normally, it is sold as a food supplement and produces similar effects to SSRI, one of the main drugs used in the treatment of depression, such as fluoxetine, inhibiting the reuptake of serotoninand changing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, producing less adverse side effects than conventional treatments. Its administration is very simple, it can be obtained in herbalist or pharmacy and the dosage is twice a day, in a tea with the herbs of the plant.
- Rhodiola Rosea : this herb provides an increase in energy levels and productivity at work, producing a reduction in fatigue, tiredness and anhedonia characterized in depression, so that it is also considered a good treatment for certain depressive symptoms. The adequate dosage is sustained in doses of 250 to 750 mg per day, in one or two doses, taking the dry plant.
- Ginkgo : the composition of this plant is more useful in people over 50 years, due to its involvement in circulation, since the leaves of this improve circulation . The dry extract should be taken with low doses of 100 to 200 mg per day.
- Lavender : this plant helps in the promotion of appetite and in the relief of colic symptoms , nausea, palpitations, nervous weakness or dizziness, exerting beneficial effects for the treatment of depression. Its administration can be in teas or it can even be found in pastries.
Natural antidepressant pills
There are natural antidepressant pills that can be used as natural antidepressants, some of them are:
- Animus : this tablet is a natural food supplement, consisting of saffron and vitamin B6 that helps maintain a stable mood , produces emotional balance and facilitates relaxation. It can be bought in pharmacies or herbalists, with an oral administration once a day.
- Courage : this natural pill contributes to the regulation of mood thanks to its composition of 5 vitamins (B1, B2, B12, Niacin and Magnesium) and minerals. It is used as a food supplement, with a daily dose.
- Gaba 50 : the effects of this tablet help in the reduction of anxiety , the induction of sleep, it is anticonvulsant and antispasmatic. However, it also works as an appetite reducer. It consists of Vitamin B6 and magnesium, can be purchased in pharmacies and herbalists and should be taken once a day.
There is a wide variety of foods rich in certain substances that contribute to the regulation of mood and therefore are considered natural antidepressant foods, suitable for the treatment of depression. The main ones are:
- Food rich folic acid : numerous studies indicate the relationship between this vitamin and depression, because it has been estimated that depressed people lack it. Some of the foods rich in folic acid are: peanuts, citrus fruits, cereals, vegetables and milk, among others.
- Foods rich in Omega-3 : it has been determined that omega-3 supplements can help reduce depressive symptoms up to 10%. In general it is found in seafood, egg yolks, blue fish or nuts, among others.
- Foods rich in tryptophan : tryptophan is an amino acid increases the production of serotonin, thereby influencing the mood and producing feelings of relaxation or tranquility. Here you can see the relationship between serotonin and depression . Chicken, cheese and eggs are some of the foods that carry tryptophan, as well as pineapple, banana, plums or avocado.
- Saffron : Saffron has become the most expensive spice on the market and has a very powerful effect in the treatment of depression, because it protects the levels of serotonin and dopamine, thereby producing a regulation of mood. Here you can see the definition and functions of dopamine
This article is purely informative, we do not have the faculty to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.
- Arrese, A & García, I (2005). Effectiveness of natural remedies in the symptomatology of the patient with Major Depressive Disorder. The University of the Basque Country.
- Sáenz, D (2003). Medicines, medicinal plants, and natural products. Drugs, 16, 8