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The 11 Best Natural Antidepressants You Can Make For Yourself

Antidepressants are commonly prescribed for people with depression. They are often the first step for someone suffering from the illness that affects about 321 million people worldwide. Antidepressants help by balancing chemicals in the brain and easing symptoms, but they also come with many potential side effects. The good news is, there are natural alternatives to antidepressant drugs that can also effectively reduce your symptoms of depression. If you have been diagnosed with clinical depression and are looking into alternatives to your standard antidepressant drugs, you’ll be happy to know that there are several natural remedies that can assist in improving your mood and overall wellness without any nasty side effects. These natural antidepressants will not only boost your mood, but they could also assist in tackling the root cause of your depression.

Natural Antidepressants: How They Work

All antidepressant drugs work to boost serotonin levels in the brain, but they do so in different ways. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) both increase serotonin in the body. However, these drugs come with a host of side effects that include increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and even birth defects. Natural antidepressants, on the other hand, work by supporting the serotonin pathway without increasing it. Natural antidepressants work by impacting other hormones in the brain that contribute to feelings of depression. When one hormone is out of balance, it can lead to issues with serotonin, which can often cause feelings of depression. Natural antidepressants alleviate symptoms by balancing other hormones in the brain, like norepinephrine, dopamine, and GABA.

Are Natural antidepressants safe?

There is a lot of debate surrounding the safety of natural antidepressants. Some people believe that they are safe and effective, while others believe that they can be dangerous. Here is a look at the pros and cons of natural antidepressants to help you make an informed decision about whether or not they are right for you.


  • Natural antidepressants are often made from herbs and other natural ingredients, so they tend to be gentle on the body. They also typically have fewer side effects than prescription medications. Additionally, many people find that natural remedies work better for them than traditional medication because they address the root cause of their depression, rather than just masking symptoms.


  • Whilenatural antidepressants may be gentle on the body, some can still interact with other medications you’re taking or cause unwanted side effects. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any kind of supplement, even if it’s considered “natural.” Additionally, because these remedies aren’t regulated by the FDA in the same way as prescription drugs are, there is no guarantee of their safety or effectiveness.


CBD (cannabidiol)

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis plants. Unlike its more famous cousin THC, CBD does not produce a high. However, it does have a number of potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety and depression.

A growing body of research suggests that CBD may help to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. In one study, participants with social anxiety disorder who took 600 mg of CBD before giving a public speech reported feeling significantly less anxious than those who took placebo (a dummy pill).

CBD has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain and nervous system, which may help to improve mood and alleviate pain. In one animal study, rats given CBD showed reduced levels of inflammation and pain compared to those given placebo.



Tumeric has been found to be an excellent natural antidepressant that works by increasing serotonin levels in the body. It also has a positive impact on GABA and dopamine levels, which can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety while increasing feelings of happiness. Tumeric has been shown to be just as effective as Prozac when it comes to treating depression. It’s important to note, however, that it takes about two weeks for tumeric to start working. It’s also important to drink plenty of water when taking tumeric, as dehydration can decrease the effectiveness of the herb.


Passion Flower

Passion flower has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for anxiety and stress. It’s also been found to be a powerful antidepressant that works by increasing norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain. Norepinephrine and dopamine are hormones that help regulate your mood, so balancing them can make you feel more relaxed and happy. Passion flower is also a mild sedative that can help you get a better night’s sleep and reduce feelings of anxiousness. It’s important to note that passion flower is not recommended for people who take MAOIs. MAOIs are a type of antidepressant that works by inhibiting an enzyme in the body. Passion flower contains a substance that prevents this enzyme from working, so it would not be a safe combination.


St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort has been used as a natural antidepressant for thousands of years. This herb has a chemical composition very similar to modern antidepressants, such as SSRIs. It’s also been found to be just as effective as other natural antidepressants, like passion flower, when it comes to treating depression. St. John’s wort is a safe and effective alternative to antidepressant drugs. It’s important to note that you should not take St. John’s wort if you’re already taking an antidepressant, as it could cause a dangerous reaction. St. John’s wort also requires you to take it for a longer period of time than most antidepressants; it can take about 6 weeks for it to start working and up to 3 months to see full results.



Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is a neurotransmitter that works to regulate mood. When your GABA levels are too low, you can experience feelings of anxiety and depression. There are a few ways you can increase your GABA levels. One of the best ways to do this is by taking an herbal supplement that contains GABA. Another way to naturally increase GABA is by practicing mindfulness meditation. Meditation has been shown to increase GABA levels by as much as 50%. Another good way to increase GABA is by eating foods that are rich in it, like bananas, avocados, and almonds.


B Vitamin Combination

One of the best natural antidepressants you can take is a B vitamin combination. B vitamins, in particular vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid, have been found to be effective antidepressants. B vitamins are also essential for optimal health, as they assist in everything from metabolism to nerve function. This natural antidepressant can be particularly helpful for people who are suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is depression that is brought on by winter and the lack of sunlight. A B vitamin combination is one of the best and most natural antidepressants you can take and can be taken indefinitely.


Dark Chocolate

Chocolate has long been deemed a mood booster, but it turns out there’s actually some science behind this. Dark chocolate is rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which has been found to assist in decreasing feelings of depression. Specifically, tryptophan supplementation has been shown to be just as effective as antidepressants when treating SAD. However, there is a catch; you’d need to eat a lot of dark chocolate to get enough tryptophan to see any effect.



Magnesium is another excellent natural antidepressant that can also assist in treating insomnia and anxiety. It works by increasing serotonin levels in the body and regulating cortisol, the stress hormone. Magnesium is also important for muscle and nerve function and can assist in regulating blood pressure. This mineral can be found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and legumes. There are also a few different types of magnesium supplements, including magnesium citrate.


Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats found in fish and nuts that assist in regulating mood and cognition. Studies have shown that people with low omega 3 levels are more prone to feelings of depression than people with normal or high omega 3 levels. There are a few different types of omega 3 supplements, including fish oil and algae. You can also get your daily recommended daily dose of omega 3 by eating nuts and fatty fish. This natural antidepressant can be taken long-term and has no negative side effects.



5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid that is derived from the Griffonia simplicifolia plant. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and it has been used in supplements to help with conditions like depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Some research has shown that 5-HTP may be effective in treating migraines and fibromyalgia.

5-HTP supplements are generally well tolerated, but there are some potential side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. There have also been rare reports of more serious side effects like liver damage. If you are considering taking a 5-HTP supplement it is important to speak with your healthcare provider first to weigh the risks and benefits.



Tryptophan is an amino acid that is commonly found in food. It is also a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a role in mood and sleep. A lack of serotonin has been linked to depression.

While tryptophan supplements have been shown to boost serotonin levels, their effectiveness as an antidepressant is unclear. Some studies have found tryptophan supplements to be helpful for people with depression, while others have not. It’s possible that tryptophan may only help certain people with depression who have low levels of serotonin.

If you’re considering trying a tryptophan supplement for depression, it’s important to speak with your doctor first. Tryptophan can interact with some medications and may cause side effects such as nausea and headaches.

Natural Antidepressants

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Antidepressants have been proven to be an effective treatment for depression, but they also come with a list of side effects. Luckily, there are many natural antidepressants that can be just as effective when used in conjunction with therapy and lifestyle changes. Many of the best natural antidepressants are also effective against SAD, which often needs extra help during the winter months when the sun is not as prominent. These natural antidepressants can be helpful to compliment your existing treatment plan and can even be used as long-term maintenance once you’ve recovered.
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