Do Natural Depression Treatment Work?

Can You Treat Depression with Natural Remedies?

Depression is a severe mental health disorder that requires medical intervention and treatment. Because the causes of depression are complicated and varied, doctors and therapists often create integrated, customized treatment plans, where patients require treatment methods that attack different facets of the disease. Depression can be triggered by biochemical, genetic, temperamental, and environmental stresses and vulnerabilities. To alleviate the symptoms of depression, patients often need to try several different treatment options. But is it possible to replace medication or deep brain stimulation techniques with natural depression remedies?

Do natural remedies for depression work?

It depends, and it’s critical that depression sufferers and their loved ones understand that natural remedies are not a safe or effective replacement for medical intervention and treatment. For depression treatment plans to be most effective, it’s essential that patients use every tool available to them to alleviate their symptoms and induce remission. But it’s important to note that natural doesn’t necessarily mean “safe.” However, some patients can benefit from certain dietary and herbal supplements.

Why isn’t it safe to only rely on natural remedies?

First, there aren’t many clinical studies conducted on natural remedies – their side effects, or who can most benefit from using them. Furthermore, depression symptoms can sometimes indicate that there is another underlying physical issue with a patient. Only an experienced medical doctor can rule out physical ailments like cancer, heart disease, or hormonal imbalances that are known to cause depression symptoms. Also, some dietary and herbal supplements may interact with other health conditions or medications a patient is taking. It’s vital that people who experience depression symptoms see a doctor first before trying herbal supplements or other natural remedies. Treatment plans for depression are most effective when they are customized to the patient’s unique needs.

What are some of the most common reasons why someone would avoid medications in favor of natural remedies?

For many patients, they are opposed to taking medications for personal reasons. They may be concerned about the side effects, or leery of taking a pill every day for the rest of their lives. For others, medications for depression just don’t work. Fortunately, there are safe and proven-effective techniques for alleviating depression symptoms. Transcranial magnetic stimulation can rapidly treat depression, and it does not involve taking medication. The side effects of TMS are also minimal and short-lived. If a patient thinks that TMS is a good option for them, they will still need to pair their treatment with therapy. Their doctor may also indicate that certain natural remedies for depression may help alleviate their symptoms and prevent recurrence of the disorder.

Do Natural Depression Treatment Work?

What are some examples of natural depression remedies?

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is an herbal supplement that the FDA does not officially recognize as a treatment method for depression. However, it is available at many health food stores and is sometimes used to alleviate mild symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and depression. However, the supplement can interfere with blood thinners, birth control pills, HIV and AIDS medications, cancer drugs, and medications that are prescribed to patients who’ve received an organ transplant. If a patient is already taking an antidepressant, it can be potentially dangerous to take St. John’s wort, too. The supplement can cause Serotonin Syndrome.

Vitamin D Supplements

Studies have found that persons with mood disorders and schizophrenia have lower levels of vitamin D than control groups. Administering vitamin D supplements in people who have low levels of the vitamin has been shown to improve mood and energy levels. However, experiments involving giving vitamin D supplements to psychiatric patients have not been explored yet. Vitamin D supplements do not have adverse effects on people, but they are not a sufficient replacement for therapy, medication, or TMS.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in flaxseed, walnuts, flax oil, and cold-water fish like salmon. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements have been shown to alleviate mild symptoms of depression, but supplements can interact with some medications. Omega-3 fatty acids are also heart-healthy supplements.


5-HTP is a supplement, and in preliminary trials, it has shown promise in lifting serotonin levels, but research is still ongoing and not entirely conclusive yet. However, there is some concern that 5-HTP can induce Serotonin Syndrome in at-risk individuals, and it may have similar risk factors as St. John’s wort. People who take antidepressants should not take 5-HTP because of the potential for harm.


DHEA is a hormone that the body naturally produces. Research indicates that depressed patients experience changes in their levels of naturally-occurring DHEA. Preliminary studies have been conducted on DHEA supplements, and have shown that the substance does improve some depression symptoms.


SAMe is a dietary supplement and a synthetic compound of a chemical that the body naturally produces. Patients who suffer from bipolar depression should not take SAMe because it can trigger a manic episode. High doses of SAMe can cause stomach problems, including nausea and constipation. People who are already taking an antidepressant medication should also steer clear of SAMe.

The most significant problem with natural remedies and supplements is that the FDA does not study or regulate herbal and dietary supplements as vigorously as medications. Patients cannot also know how much of a supplement they are getting in one dose. Manufacturers also aren’t regulated to the same extent as drug manufacturers. Sometimes, disreputable companies can slip through the cracks.

For depression sufferers who want to try supplements to ease their symptoms, they need to speak to their doctor first. Also, they must obtain supplements from a reputable, well-known company. Established brands indicate precisely how much of a substance a customer is getting in a supplement dose.

Have antidepressant medications not worked to alleviate your depression symptoms? You do have options. TMS is a proven effective method for treating stubborn and severe, treatment-resistant depression. Please, contact Pulse TMS today. Technicians are standing by to answer your questions about how TMS can help you or a loved one find relief from depression symptoms.