Sunday, February 18, 2007

Natural Cure For Depression--The Best Scientifically Proven At Home Depression Treatment - Andrea Waggener

"Natural cure for depression" might sound like magic words to someone who is depressed. Can there be such a thing? A natural cure for depression that really works?

Most depression sufferers search far and wide for a natural cure for depression that helps. They try herbs and light therapy and essential oils and body work and all kinds of other alternative therapies. I know. As a bipolar sufferer who once hovered on the brink of suicide during a severe depression, I tried literally dozens of substances (all legal, mind you) and techniques to cure depression naturally.

Most of what I tried didn’t work. But one natural cure for depression did work. And now, scientific proof backs up the natural cure for depression that I used to help make depression a part of my past, not my present.

The Independent UK recently reported that Matthieu Ricard, a French monk who acts as an interpreter for the Dalai Lama, took part in a scientific study designed to see if meditation can affect levels of happiness. Ricard and other long-term meditators (all of whom had completed more than 10,000 hours each of meditation) were given MRI scans to see if meditation had any measurable effect on the brain.

The scans showed that meditation did indeed impact the brain in an observable way. Ricard’s and the other meditators’s scans revealed a high level of "positive emotions" in the left pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This is the area of the brain associated with happiness. The MRIs also showed that the right hand side of that area, which is associated with negative, or depressed, thoughts was suppressed.

Further studies demonstrated that even novice meditators who have done just a little meditation had increased levels of happiness. These studies prove that meditation is a powerful natural cure for depression.

Although it used to be that you had to spend hours and hours meditating to get mood-enhancing benefits from the practice, resent advances in brain entrainment CD technology makes achieving those benefits much quicker. Brain entrainment technology makes meditation a natural cure for depression that is accessible to anyone.

Interviewed after his participation in the study, Ricard told reporters, "Our life can be greatly transformed by even a minimal change in how we manage our thoughts and perceive and interpret the world. Happiness is a skill."

Meditation is a natural cure for depression that can help you effect a happiness-inducing change in the way you think and perceive the world. Using brain entrainment CDs to help you achieve high levels of meditation effectiveness, you can turn your negative depressed thoughts into happy thoughts without taking medication.

When you can retrain your brain to think and perceive in new, positive ways, you can removed depression from your life. Using meditation to change the way you think is the best, and now scientifically proven, natural cure for depression.

Find out how you can use brain entrainment and other techniques to turn your problems into power. Get a free report on how to create outstanding results in your life at Ande Waggener, J.D., is an author and a motivational speaker who shows people how to remove misery from their lives.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Depression-Some Natural Cures From the Health Food Store - Royane Real

Many people who suffer from depression prefer the idea of finding a natural treatment for their condition instead of taking prescription anti-depressants.

Is there anything you can get in a health food store that might help with depression? Yes, maybe, if your depression is in the mild to moderate range of severity. A more severe or long-term depression should be treated by a qualified professional.

If you are already taking prescription anti-depressants, do not also take any natural remedies at the same time without first consulting your doctor!

In some cases, there can be dangerous interactions. Just because something is natural does not mean it is always safe for everybody.

St. John’s Wort

One of the best known and most widely prescribed natural remedies for depression is St. John’s Wort. This herb has been used as a remedy for depression in Europe for decades. It is believed to now be the most commonly used anti-depressant in the world.

Many people who take St. John’s Wort say they prefer the gentle lift this herb provides compared to the side effects of prescription anti-depressants.

The exact method by which St. John’s Wort works is unknown. The main active ingredient is believed to be hypericin. Other factors in the plant may have an anti-depressant effect as well.

A typical recommended dose is 900 milligrams per day, divided. Look for a product that is standardized to contain .3 percent hypericin.

Some side effects with St. John’s Wort may be experienced. They include nausea and abdominal pain. Some people experience increased sensitivity to sunlight and there is some indication that taking it may lead to a higher incidence of cataracts.

Not all studies of St. John’s Wort have shown positive results. Many researchers in Europe say that St. John’s Wort is effective, but at least one large recent American study found it to be ineffective as a treatment for depression.

When buying St. John’s Wort, or any other herbal preparation, purchase only those brands that have a reputation for reliability. Some independent tests have confirmed that not all brands of St. John’s Wort offered for sale actually contain the ingredients being claimed on the package.

If you are already taking a prescription anti-depressant, do not start taking St. John’s Wort without consulting your doctor first. It may not be compatible with your other medications.

Don’t take St. John’s Wort if you have bipolar depression or if you are pregnant.


If you want to find something from the health food store to fight depression, you could ask for SAM-e, also known as s-adenosyl-methionine.

SAM-e is a substance which our body can make using the amino acid L-methionine, and various other nutrients. It is believed that SAM-e can boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which may be able to improve mood.

Research reports from Europe say SAM-e has the same rate of effectiveness as most prescription anti-depressants, about 70 percent, but that it works faster and has fewer side effects. Some studies have found positive improvements in depressed patients in as few as four days.

SAM-e is better absorbed if you take it on an empty stomach between meals. A suggested dose is 400 milligrams per day.

People who have bipolar depression should not take SAM-e. If you are already taking MAO inhibitor antidepressants, do not take SAM-e. SAM-e is not legally available in all countries.

Amino Acid Therapy for Depression

Not all psychiatrists prescribe pharmaceutical antidepressants. Some psychiatrists prefer to treat depression with natural supplements such as vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids.

The amino acids which have been found most effective in treating depression are L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan and L-phenylalanine.

For many decades, the amino acid L-tryptophan was widely used to successfully treat depression. However, in 1989 a contaminated batch of this substance resulted in several deaths, so L-trypophan was removed from the market. Even though the manufacturing process for L-tryptophan has been changed to prevent this problem, the ban on the sale of L-tryptophan in many countries persists.

Today, a product related to L-Tryptophan, called 5-HTP is available in many health food stores. The 5-HTP is believed to have none of the problems that caused L-Tryptophan to be withdrawn from the shelves, and it appears to be effective in lifting depression.

If you decide to use 5-HTP for depression, discuss it with your doctor. People who are taking MAO inhibitor drugs for depression should not be taking amino acid supplements. Very young and very old people should avoid amino acid supplementation.

Other Natural Therapies to Consider

In those countries where the population eats a lot of ocean fish, the rate of depression appears to be low. North Americans don’t eat very much ocean fish, and the rate of depression in North America is quite high. Many nutritionally oriented therapists believe there is a connection.

Certain ocean fish such as tuna and salmon are very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and other compounds that are beneficial to the heart and the brain. Eating more of these fish, or getting fish oil capsules from the health food store may be useful in treating some instances of depression.

However, there is a lot of controversy over whether these fish are safe to eat, since many large ocean fish are now contaminated with mercury poisoning.

Does the benefit of the fish oil outweigh the possible danger of the mercury?

Researchers don’t agree about this at this time. But you can try to include a lot more fish like salmon and tuna in your diet to see if it boosts your mood.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is one of the most important nutrients in the body, but sadly, a lack of folic acid is one of the most common deficiencies in the world.

Low levels of folic acid are associated with heart problems, memory problems, and depression.

If you suffer from depression, consider taking at least 400 mcg. per day in a supplement.

Final Thoughts

This has been a brief rundown of natural products you might find at the health food store that can help with depression.

But there are at least two more ideas I want to mention in closing that have been shown to be very beneficial to cases of depression.

Remember that before antidepressants were invented, people mostly relied on talk therapy to try get better. This can still work really well, if you have a good therapist, and if paying for therapy isn’t a problem for you.

Not all types of psychotherapy work for depression. Cognitive therapy teaches the patient new, more realistic ways of thinking. Cognitive therapy has a record of curing depression that appears to be just as the rate of cure of most antidepressants.

Also remember that before therapists were invented, people talked over their problems with trusted friends, family members and spiritual advisors. So, if good therapists aren’t easily available where you live, you can try look for other people to talk to that might help.

And now, one here is one final cure for some cases of depression that is easily available to most of us – exercise.

In some studies, regular physical exercise was shown to relieve depression just as effectively as medications!

So, consider incorporating some of these ideas into your life if you are feeling a bit depressed.

However, if your depression is serious, then professional treatment may become necessary.

Royane Real is a long time science educator and self help author. To learn more ways to improve the way your brain works by using nutrition, exercise, meditation, and other techniques, download her book How You Can Be Smarter - Use Your Brain to Learn Faster, Remember Better and Be More Creative" today at

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