Natural Solutions for the World's Biggest Health Issue

Depression has been making headlines a lot lately, and with good reason: the World Health Organization has recently named depression as the world's leading cause of illness and disability.  

According to WHO's recent report, more than 300 million people worldwide are now living with depression, an 18% increase from 2005. “These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves,” says WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan.

Read about the link between diet soda and depression

What depression looks like

Depression is often linked with other long-term illnesses like heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes. It also increases the risk for substance abuse and addiction. Symptoms of depression typically last at least 14 days.


• fatigue
• insomnia or oversleeping
• increase or decrease in appetite
• irritability, anger, and anxiety
• loss of interest or pleasure in life
• inability to carry out daily activities
• feeling despair, hopeless, or worthless
• increased thoughts of death or suicide

Natural ways to treat depression

Whether the depressive symptoms are a result of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a result of another condition, or standalone, there are natural solutions to help manage your mood. If you're experiencing any of the above symptoms, speak with a professional healthcare provider about the right solution for you.

Read more about boosting your mood naturally

Adaptogenic herbs. Herbs like ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea can help calm the nervous system, balance emotions, and improve your overall mood. 

Supplements. Important vitamins and minerals linked to mood and depression include vitamin D, omega-3's, magnesium, B6, and B12. Your natural healthcare provider can determine where you may be deficient.

Aromatherapy. Essential oils have long been used to balance mood. Try diffusing bergamot lavender, wild orange, or rosemary or use with a carrier oil and apply directly on your skin.

Read more about the benefits of essential oils

Exercise. Not just a way to stay fit, exercise causes the body to release chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive natural high. You don't need to spend hours at the gym to reap the mood-boosting benefits of exercise. Just choose something you like that gets you moving, from a boxing class, to dancing with a friend, to a family nature walk.

Therapy. Seeing a psychologist or psychotherapist is common way to manage depression without medication. Many people choose not to use pharmaceutical antidepressants due to their side effects, and talk therapy and protocols such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have been proven to be as effective as antidepressants for many types of depression.

If you think you might be one of the 300 million people worldwide affected by depression, know that you're not alone. The first step is to talk to a healthcare professional to find the best treatment and work towards feeling better naturally.

By Steph Davidson| April 18, 2017
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Steph Davidson

Steph Davidson

Steph is a writer and editor with a love of tea, books, and horror movies. Steph grew up under the impression that most meals came out of a box and had to contain some sort of animal protein. When an interest in a more environmentally friendly way of living led to her vegetarianism in 2012, she decided to teach herself how to cook. You can catch her kitchen wins (and the occasional opportunity for improvement) on Instagram @_stephinitely_.


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