Treating Depression Naturally

Naturally Savvy
Naturally Savvy

Depression is an illness of the entire body, mind and spirit. Its symptoms vary from person to person in severity and can last for weeks, months, or years. The most common form is termed dysthymia, a chronic low-grade depression that is not necessarily disabling but prevents normal functioning, relationships, and enjoyment of life.


• chronic fatigue

• sleep disturbances

• appetite changes

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• irritability, sadness, or chronic anger

• loss of interest or pleasure in life

• feelings of despair, worthlessness, or inadequacy

• increased thoughts of death or suicide


• traumatic life events, stress, or tension

• heredity; in up to half of all cases one or both parents had depression

• chemical imbalances in the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, melatonin, or serotonin

• thyroid disorders, especially hypothyroidism (low thyroid)

• nutritional deficiencies in B vitamins (especially B6, B12 and folic acid), vitamin C, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, or potassium

• excesses of magnesium or vanadium

• hypoglycemia caused by excess caffeine or sucrose

• food allergies

Natural antidepressants

• Lithium, especially in manic depression

• D,L-phenylalanine or L-tyrosine (nutritional precursors to dopamine and norepinephrine)

• L-tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (nutritional precursors to serotonin and melatonin)

• Hypericin, an extract of St. John?s Wort (mimics the action of MAO inhibitor class of prescription antidepressants)

• Ginkgo biloba, kava kava, licorice root, ma huang and Siberian ginseng all have mild to moderate antidepressant effects

• Light therapy to regulate melatonin levels if depression is seasonal (seasonal affective disorder = SAD); recent research implicates vitamin D dficiency as another cause of SAD.

Dr. Rona

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Dr. Zoltan P. Rona is a graduate of McGill University Medical School (1977) and has a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry and Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut (1984). He is past president of The Canadian Holistic Medical Association (1987-88) and is the author of three Canadian bestsellers: The Joy of Health (1991), Return to the Joy of Health (1995) and Childhood Illness and The Allergy Connection (1997). He is co-author with Jeanne Marie Martin of The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook (1996) and is the medical editor of the Benjamin Franklin Award winning Encyclopedia of Natural Healing (1998). He has had a private medical practice in Toronto for the past 35 years, has appeared on radio and TV as well as lectured extensively in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Rona currently writes regular articles for Reader’s Digest, Alive, Vitality magazine and for several web sites. His latest book “Vitamin D, the Sunshine Vitamin” was published in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Rona was named Chief Medical Advisor for NAKA Herbs and Vitamins and has developed a line of nutritional supplements (TriStar Naturals) which are sold in health food stores across Canada. He can be found at