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six-natural-antidepressant-optionsAre you depressed? Here is information about herbs and supplements for depression and natural ways to treat it.

It is estimated that more than 20 million Americans suffer from depression. And depression affects women more than men. According to the Mayo Clinic, natural depression remedies should not replace a medical diagnosis or treatment. However, for those with mild to moderate depression, some vitamin supplements and herbs can be effective. Some of us that have taken prescribed depression medication have experienced mild and severe side effects, in addition to a struggle to wean off of them. The benefit of herbs and supplements for depression is that the side effects, if at all, are minimal as long as you don't have allergies.

If you want to forgo prescription medication, here are natural ways to treat depression.

How to Fight Depression Naturally

Here are a list of herbs and supplements that have been effective for depression and show promise. Many of the herbals are provided by prescription in Europe and have been used for centuries.

1. St. John's Wort

This herb is used for sleep problems, anxiety and depression. The effective components of this perennial, yellow-flowered herb are known as hypericin and hyperforin, which both work together to allow the brain to produce serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine (the feel-good parts of the brain). St. John's Wort should not be combined with prescribed antidepressants. Furthermore if you are nursing or pregnant, you should not take it.

2. SAM-e

This amino acid originated in Italy and many countries around the world use it for depression. The advantage of SAM-e for depression is that the amino acid boosts serotonin and has proven to be a mood-lifter.

3. 5-HTP

Another amino acid, 5-HTP is derived naturally from the West African plant, Griffonia Siimplicifolia. This amino acid has been known to also increase serotonin and provide a calming effect for anxiety, insomnia and food cravings.

4. Vitamins

Many people with depression are deficient in certain vitamins that can actually help depression. The following are suggested for those of us that may be eating poorly stressed out or battle food sensitivities: Vitamin D, B-6, B-12, folic acid and iron.

5. Exercise

If you have ever heard of the "runner's high," then you know that whenever we exercise we boost those endorphins that make us feel good all-around. And, you don't have to be a runner to attain that endorphin-boost. Pick which exercise you prefer!

6. B-12 Shots

Research has shown that depressed people are low on the B vitamins. When getting a shot, many report that they can tell a difference immediately.

We hope this information is beneficial if you are pursuing natural ways to treat depression. But certainly, consult with your doctor or naturopath before taking them.

Do you have other suggestions for fighting depression naturally? We'd like to know on Twitter or Facebook!

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