Supplements for Depression


A healthy gut is so important for general health. If your gut does not have a healthy supply of good bacteria, it can be difficult to fight disease and may contribute to irritability and sluggishness. Ask your doctor if probiotics might be a healthy addition to your routine.


There is some research that indicates that Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help stabilize mood. It also helps to decrease general inflammation in the body. Talk with your doctor about adding fish oil supplements to your diet or try to add more salmon or grass-fed beef to your diet.

Explore here for more foods rich in Omega-3s.

Vitamin D

If you spend most of your time inside, live in a climate with limited sun exposure or have darker skin, you may have lower levels of Vitamin D. People with low Vitamin D levels may feel sluggish, sad or irritable. Ask your doctor to test your levels of Vitamin D. If you are low, you can talk to your doctor about taking a supplement to increase your levels.


If you are vegetarian or vegan or eat very little meat, you may be low in B-12.  This can cause feelings of sadness and loss of energy.  Ask your doctor if this may be a factor in your depression.  Low levels may require supplementation.

Amino Acids and Other Supplements

St. John’s Wort, 5HTP, SAMe are all used by some practitioners to treat depression.  There is conflicting evidence on whether these supplements are effective.  Ask your doctor if these supplements may be helpful to you.  Many doctors do not prescribe these medications regularly so you may need to consult a doctor with experience and training in Integrative Medicine or consult a naturopathic doctor.

Additional Information

For more information about supplements for depression, explore Julie Ross’ work on the Mood Cure.

For more information on the link between nutrition and mood, read this article.

Important Notice: Talk to your doctor and/or a qualified herbalist before beginning use of supplements or botanicals. Supplements are botanicals in highly concentrated form and can interfere with other medications and have undesired side effects. The botanicals listed above can cause drowsiness and are likely to impair your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. We do not recommend taking ANY essential oils internally. The supplement and botanical industry is not well regulated at this time. Ask a trusted source for recommended brands and choose organic options when possible.

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