Alternative Health Remedies for Depression

Alternative health remedies are being used frequently to treat depression. Natural supplements can relieve depression in persons deficient of certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Chemical imbalance is influenced by malnutrition. Using these natural supplements as alternative health remedies to treat depression addresses chemical imbalance directly.

B Vitamins

Vitamins B9, B6 and B12 work as a team to lower homocysteine levels in the blood and improve nervous system health. High homocysteine levels have been known to cause depression. These alternative health remedies are also thought to be helpful in preventing Alzheimers disease.

Potassium

Potassium deficiency can cause depression, fatigue and mental sluggishness. This alternative health medicine remedies depression by regulating blood pressure and balancing water in the body. The recommended daily allowance of potassium is 2000 mg.

Iron

Iron deficiency can cause depression, weakness, headaches and exhaustion. Alternative remedies for depression should always include testing iron levels. Follow iron and other natural supplements dosage recommendations carefully. Too much of some alternative health remedies can cause serious issues.

Zinc

Zinc supplements play an important role as alternative health remedies. Zinc activates the production of brain derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF, as it is called, is known to prevent depression. Zinc is lost through perspiration. Athletes should be especially careful to get their daily zinc dose.

Calcium

Alternative health remedies for depression include calcium. Calcium is helpful in preventing PMS type symptoms such as mood swings, sadness, irritability and unwarranted depression. Calcium deficiency is known to cause problems with the central nervous system.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is among alternative health remedies for depression due to it’s effect on neurotransmitters in the brain. Vitamin C helps convert dopamine to norepinephine and tryptophan to seretonin. Seretonin and norepinephine keep depression at bay.

Vitamin D

Of all alternative health remedies for depression, Vitamin D is probably the most familiar. Everyone knows the sun cures depression quickly. The sun aids in Vitamin D production and also in the production of serotonin. The best way to get Vitamin D is a good hour of sunlight per day.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is one of the natural health remedies for bipolar depression in individuals. Manic episodes have been shown to decrease significantly using Omega 3 supplements

Please note: The author is not a medical professional. This article is not intended to replace professional medical advice.

Complementary and alternative medicine

In a recent Journal of the American Medical Association, St. John’s wort was reported as ineffective in the treatment of severe major depression, according to a randomized controlled clinical trial. Deepak Chopra, former endocrinologist and author of books that have sold more than 10 million copies, packed B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada, with people wanting to hear more. He preaches a philosophy of health, integrating ideas as diverse as Ayurvedic medicine and quantum physics. His recommendations include herbal or aromatic therapies and even crystals as part of a wide-ranging selection of cures to affect a person’s harmony with the cosmos, and hence, their health.

What is CAM, complementary, and alternative medicine? Most definitions cover a broad range of healing philosophies, approaches, and therapies outside of the domain of conventional or allopathic medicine. These therapies may be separated into 5 major groups:

  1. Alternative medical systems, such as naturopathic or Ayurvedic medicine.
  2. Mind-body interventions such as music therapy and meditation.
  3. Biologically-based treatments that include most herbal, special diet, and megadose vitamin therapies.
  4. Manipulative and body-based treatments such as chiropractic and massage therapies.
  5. Energy therapies, examples of which are Qi gong, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch.

Many mainstream therapies of today were once herbal, alternative, or complementary treatments that were proven effective and safe. The name “complementary” hints at the helpful role treatments such as chiropractic manipulation, massage therapy, or acupuncture may play when carefully selected, administered by trained professionals, and combined with more conventional medical therapies in treating complex disorders.

As physicians are under greater pressure to practice scientific or evidence-based medicine, more and more people are flocking to the fringe, to unproven alternatives for their health concerns. Why? Could it be because our world is more complex and frightening and we seem to have less control over our own lives? Or is it because powerful mass marketing of health enhancing substances, devices and cure-all therapeutic approaches is having unprecedented influence on our behaviour as consumers, convincing us we need more youth, vigour, or sex drive to be whole? Since earliest recorded history humans have shown a need to worship and to believe, yet now we see traditional religious systems being challenged and discarded. Some health techniques come complete with a religion or philosophy of hope. Doctors, our traditional western healers, under worsening time pressure as they earn their wages (fee-for-service), find themselves with too little time to provide the answers, offer support, or maintain healthy relationships with their patients.

What are the dangers of alternative therapies? Some diseases are dangerous and require timely investigation and treatment with proven therapies. Some herbal preparations can interfere with traditional medications, making conditions such as diabetes or HIV less responsive to proven medications. Certain substances can mask important symptoms of serious medical conditions. Here’s my advice on complementary and alternative therapies: first check out the credentials of the person offering them. If they don’t have training, experience, and haven’t established a track record of successfully treating people with your condition, run - don’t walk - to the nearest exit. Second, remember, the questions you need answered are:

  • effectiveness: show me evidence that it works
  • safety: prove that it will not harm me
  • cost: is the potential benefit worth the cost or are there cheaper alternatives with equal effectiveness?

And finally, discuss alternative and complementary medicines with your doctor, but be patient with them: it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest medical developments as well as the mushrooming volume of complementary and alternative therapies. Your physician might be able to give you helpful advice to guide you on your journey. And when you do decide to use complementary and alternative therapy, for safety’s sake, keep your doctor informed.

&nbs