Naturopathic remedies for depression

Clinical depression is a severe mental illness that can destroy person’s life. People who suffer from depression are often in a bad mood and they also have low self-esteem and lose interest in normal activities or things they usually enjoy. In some cases, there could even be thoughts of suicide.

There are many factors that can contribute to depression. People who have had previous problems with depression in their family are more likely to suffer from this illness. The gender of a person also plays a part. Women are more likely to suffer from depression, in fact there are twice as many women suffering from depression as men. The reason is not known, but it could be because of hormones or that women are more likely to seek help with emotional issues.

Psychosocial factors can also contribute to depression. People who lose their temper frequently or have low self-esteem are more likely to suffer from depression. Younger people are more at risk then older ones, with people in their twenties and thirties the most at risk.

There are many ways of treating clinical depression. The most commonly used methods are psychotherapy, psychiatric medication and electroconvulsive therapy.

However, there is one alternative way of treating depression that is gaining a following and that is through naturopathic remedies. Naturopathic medicine looks at the person as a whole to pick out anything that is wrong with their health and wellbeing. Naturopathic doctors (ND) look at the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual sides of the individual and develop a treatment plan that suits the individual. It also tries to address the cause of the problem instead of just treating it. This ensures that relapses of depression are avoided.

Depression can be caused by a lack of vitamins and minerals in the body, especially B vitamins such as thiamine, pyridoxine, folic acid, and B12, and others nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, potassium and magnesium. In such cases, naturopathic medicines can be used as supplements in the form of pills.

St. John’s Wort is the most popular naturopathic remedy for depression. It is a yellow coloured flower and produces an oily red substance called hypericin which acts as an antidepressant. Passionflower and schisandra are two other natural herbal medicines that can effect mood.

Naturopathic remedies also focus on the diet of people. Those who suffer from depression often have a very poor diet. If patients lack one of the main elements in their diets, the naturopathic doctor will usually suggest a new diet plan, tailored for the individual.

People undergoing naturopathic remedies for depression may also have to make changes to their lifestyle. They may be advised to stay away from family members causing problems or not to talk to a neighbour or friend or told to take leave from work. They may also be asked to change certain aspects of their relationship. All this is done to ensure the person has a clear mind and are able to take control of themselves.

Naturopathic remedies also look at the prevention of depression in a natural way. Prevention of depression focuses on proper diet to make sure the body is functioning well, good sleep for peace of mind and using the body’s ability to heal itself. They may also be prescribed physical exercises to increase endorphins in the body, which can have direct implications on a person’s mood.

As a general rule, naturopathic remedies should not be combined with any other medication such synthetic antidepressants. They work similarly to other prescription drugs and hence they can interfere with each other. Naturopathic remedies is not usually recommended if you suffer from chronic clinical depression. Conventional medicine is the best for this type of situation.


Last updated on Feb 24th, 2010 and filed under Alternative Medicine. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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