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Mild depression can often be treated successfully using these simple, natural techniques

  • Have a cup of tea, (hops, valerian and powdered liquorice) helps to stabilize mood

  • Ylang Ylang, lavender, clary sage and chamomile teas are sedative and can calm depression.

  • St. John’s Wort, from the time of the Greeks through to middle Ages, has been known for its “magical” powers for healing. Modern research backs up that contention; short-term studies suggest it can be as effective as many antidepressants for treating mild depression, thanks to the hypericin contained, which releases the antidepressant effect after regular usage over an extended period.

Saffron is a surprisingly powerful treatment for depression. Just 30 mg of dried extract of saffron is as powerful as 20 mg of the antidepressant drug Prozac, but without the side-effects of Prozac (bad side effects of SSRI drugs like Prozac occasionally include: increased depression and suicidal ideation.

  • Exercise can help people recover from depression and prevent them from becoming depressed in the first place, because it can give back control of their bodies and this is often the first step to feeling in control of other events.

  • Essential oils ease the blues: a tried-and-true mixture for the fragrance oil burner consists of 2 drops each of rose and lemon balm oil and 3 drops of lavender oil.

Banish gloomy thoughts by slowly sipping a glass of milk with fennel and honey 30 minutes before going to bed. Bring 2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds and 1 cup milk to boil, let it steep briefly, strain, and sweeten with honey.

  • Smell yourself better. A scented sachet of valerian, lavender, primrose, elder or hops placed under your pillow may help you sleep better.

  • Light and colour can have an impact on mood: a bright, friendly environment in warm colours such as yellow, red or orange can lift your spirits

Evidence is piling up that fish oil, which contains a type of fatty acid called EPA, that can help chase the blues away, especially when it is combined with pharmaceutical antidepressants.

  • Cut back on pop and soft drinks that contain caffeine. Some research links caffeine, which suppresses serotonin production, to depression.

  • Go away for a few days. A break from your routine and discovering someplace new will give you a boost.

  • Depression which occurs just before menstruation may be caused by a vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency, also ensure you have an adequate intake of vitamin C.

From: Natural Remedies for Healthy Living, The Readers Digest Association, 2011 From: The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Healing Remedies, C. Norman Shealy 2002

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