Natural Supplements for Depression

Natural Supplements for Depression

Many people experience some level of depression in their daily lives. This depression can include symptoms such as:

Lack of energy
Difficulty concentrating
Loss of appetite
Loss of interest

Having one or more of these feelings does not necessarily mean you’re clinically depressed. It also does not mean that anti-depressants are the only answer. There are powerful natural supplements that can aid in depression while also providing other health benefits.

These supplements can also be a great option for those who have tried anti-depressants with negative, or no results. Everybody’s body is different, so while Prozac may be the most effective treatment for one person SAM-e may be a much better option for somebody else. If you’re looking for safe, natural, alternative treatments for depression and anxiety, the two supplements discussed below are your best options.


SAM-e or S-Adenosyl methionine, discovered in Italy in the late 1950’s, is a combination of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) and the essential amino acid methionine. SAM-e is an important molecule in the body that is involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin and is required for cellular growth and repair. Many people who suffer from depression have low levels of SAM-e.

This all natural, OTC treatment has been used to treat depression in Europe for the past twenty years. In Italy (where it is primarily produced) it outsells Prozac as an anti-depressant. Prozac has only shown to be effective in about 10% of users and can cause serious side effects in some people. This just goes to show that prescription drugs are not always all they’re cracked up to be. The western hemisphere is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to the natural treatment of disease and illness.

SAM-e has also shown to be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and liver disease. After reading dozens of SAM-e supplement reviews myself I can say that many people report increased energy and mood and the urge to get things done. Several previous users of prescription anti-depressants had much better results with SAM-e. Although this supplement may not be the answer for everyone it is worth trying for those who suffer from mild depression.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when using SAM-e:

Take it on an empty stomach
It can take over a week to see results so be patient
Higher doses can cause anxiety in some people so always start with a low dose (100-200 mg/day) and gradually increase
SAM-e is an unstable molecule so don’t take it out of its container until you are ready to take it
If you are severely depressed or bi-polar always consult a doctor first, as this is a very powerful substance
Be sure to buy a reputable brand. NatureMade and Jarrow Formulas brands are both considered gold standard for SAM-e (there can be a big difference in the quality and effectiveness between brands)
Taking it with a B complex vitamin can increase its effectiveness
Don’t suddenly stop taking it; slowly wean off

St. John’s Wort

This well known treatment for depression comes from the Hypericum perforatum plant. St. John’s wort has been used for centuries to treat depression and a variety of other health conditions. Like SAM-e, this supplement is widely prescribed for depression in Europe. Clinical trials suggest that St. Johns wort is much more effective for treating mild depression than more severe depression, however one study showed it to be much more effective than Prozac.

The way this herb interacts with the body is still not fully understood and studies continue to test its effectiveness. It is thought to work by keeping serotonin from being reabsorbed by cells in the neural structure, or by lowering levels of a protein participating in the body’s immune system.

The most common side effects associated with St. John’s wort are gastrointestinal symptoms, dizziness, confusion, tiredness and sedation. It can cause certain drug reactions so it is a good idea to check with your doctor first, especially if you’re using any prescription drugs. Don’t stop taking St. John’s Wort suddenly as it may make you more depressed.

Tips for Curing Depression Naturally

Both SAM-e and St. John’s wort can be safe and effective treatments for many people, however some of the most important things that can be done to treat depression are the easiest ones. Start by doing the things listed below and if you still need feel that you need something more, then try incorporating one of these supplements.

1. Walking and/or exercising – clinically proven to be highly effective for treating depression
2. Nutrition – Eat right and take a multivitamin
3. Get more sunshine
4. Get 8 hours of sleep (if you have trouble sleeping try a natural sleep aid like melatonin)
5. Take a B complex vitamin and Fish oil
6. Cut out caffeine and alcohol

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