Home Remedies for Depression
If you prefer natural therapies, then you might be searching for home remedies for depression. There is no evidence that any alternative treatment or home remedy is effective in treating moderate to severe depression. However, some people with mild depression may find benefit from home remedies through increased relaxation.

Relaxation can provide relief from depressive symptoms. It can also help you cope with some of the causes of depression, such as grief, anxiety, changing roles, and even physical pain. If you have depression and are considering using an alternative form of therapy, it is important to seek the advice of your health care provider.

What is an alternative therapy?
A health treatment that is not classified as standard Western medical practice is referred to as "alternative" or "complementary." Alternative therapy encompasses a variety of approaches. They include everything from diet and exercise to mental conditioning and lifestyle changes. Examples of alternative therapies include:

Chiropractic treatments
Guided imagery
Herbal remedies
Massage therapy

Which herbal remedies can help depression?
There is a wide variety of herbal therapies that people believe can treat many illnesses. For depression, St. John's wort and ginkgo biloba are the most popular for altering mood.

St. John's wort has been used for medical purposes in other parts of the world for thousands of years. But it hasn't been scientifically proven to treat moderate to severe depression. Ginkgo biloba is thought by some to improve memory and other intellectual functions. Again, the evidence is not conclusive.

Any herbal supplement should be treated just like a medication. It requires caution and should be taken only after consulting your doctor. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks and potential benefits. That way, you can make an informed decision.

Is meditation helpful for depression?
Meditation is sometimes described as an altered state of consciousness. It is a form of relaxation that, unlike sleep, is entered into purposely. Meditation is usually practiced regularly for at least 10 minutes each day. While the body is at rest, the mind is cleared by focusing on one thought -- sometimes a word, a phrase, or a particular scene.

Relaxation is marked by decreased muscle tension and respiration, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and improved circulation. The relaxation response summoned by meditation slows down the sympathetic nervous system. In addition to slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure, this response can also lead to:

Decreased sweat production
Decreased oxygen consumption
Decreased catecholamine production (chemicals associated with the stress response)
Decreased cortisol production (stress hormone)
Once you’ve learned the physiological process of relaxing, you can summon this decrease in sympathetic arousal with many different interventions. In addition to meditation, you can use a number of other approaches such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or music therapy.

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