Most people have occasional low moods, but in depression they become persist for months or years. Feeling tearful and low, particularly in the morning; lack of energy and confidence; find it hard to concentrate or make decisions; sleep problems, loss of sex drive; changes in appetite; frequent crying spells; and suicidal thoughts are the symptoms of depression. Depression is often a reaction to a life event such as bereavement, or it may have no obvious cause. Some women have depression after childbirth and lack of sunlight in winter makes some people feel sad. Antidepressant drugs are commonly prescribed for depression but carry with them many side effects. Natural remedies can improve mood and eventually restore a balanced feeling of well-being.
- Feelings of sadness or unhappiness.
- Feeling irritable or impatient and getting no pleasure out of life.
- Restlessness, agitation or memory loss.
- Sleeping problems such as insomnia or excessive sleeping.
- Excessive smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Change in appetite such as decreased appetite and weight loss but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain.
- Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy. Even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort.
- Loss of libido.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right.
- Cutting yourself off from others emotionally or low self-esteem.
- Thinking about suicide.
Home Remedies for Depression
- Fasting: Try to fast for 2 to 3 days on apple juice. This will act as a very effective nerve tonic and recharge the nerves with new energy and life. Researchers have found that therapeutic fasting alleviates depression symptoms and improves anxiety scores. The mechanism behind this is not known but it might be linked to the release of endorphins in the first 48 hours of fasting.
- Massage: Rub some coconut oil or sunflower oil on scalp and soles of your feet at bedtime. Massage can help to calm your mind, and improve mood. Massage also increases serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
- Nasal drops: Nasal drops of warm sesame oil or brahmi ghee (2 to 3 drops in each nostril) is effective for relieving depression.
- Ginger: Drink ginger tea (1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ginger powder steeped in hot water) twice a day. Ginger is rich in two groups of antioxidants, shaogals and gingerols, that safeguard the brain from damaging free radicals and also increases levels of brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is considered as “motivation molecule” that helps to be focused and productive. Serotonin is “happiness molecule” that is critical for keeping up a positive mood.
- Asparagus: Take one or two grams of the dry root powder of asparagus plant daily. Depression has been linked to low levels of folic acid, and vegetable that boosts this mood-enhancing nutrient is asparagus.
Do’s for Depression
- Eat a balanced diet. Include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits to keep bowel movements regular.
- Include food that help you sleep and has calming effects, such as chamomile tea, rice porridge, pears, oranges.
- Eat a diet rich in protein and low in processed food.
- Consume fish such as salmon, mackerel for their high content of essential fatty acids. Or consume 1 tablespoon of flaxseed everyday for the same reason.
- Exercise regularly, try aerobic, running, jogging, or cycling. Exercise can be the most powerful antidepressant available. Exercise increases the levels of endorphins in the body, which are directly correlated with mood.
- Try practicing deep breathing exercises and muscle relaxation methods.
- If have occasional sad or negative thoughts, distract yourself by listening to the radio or watching TV, which require little concentration.
- Try to spend more time relating to people; it will help lift the depression and also think positive.
- Tackle only one problem at a time; if necessary, break it down into smaller, achievable goals and work through them.
- Get sufficient sleep.
- Do meditation.
Don’ts for Depression
- Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, colas, all white flour products, sugar, food colorings, chemical additives, and strong condiments.
- Avoid simple, processed carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, and saturated fats, which increase fatigue and sluggishness and contribute to depression.
- Try to avoid extra stress. If possible, postpone or delegate important decisions.
- Avoid antidepressant drugs and other prescription drugs (if possible).
- Avoid alcohol, which is known as depressant.
- Don’t bottle up worries. Share your feelings and emotions with close relatives or friends. Talking about problems is not a sign of weakness.
- Having suicidal thoughts.
- Depression is becoming more severe or lasts longer than two weeks.