Natural remedies have been around for a considerable period of time, with a growing interest in those said to treat various mental health issues. Unlike psychiatric drugs, natural substances do not undergo the same rigorous scientific testing and, as such, do not tend to be offered by the medical profession as a suitable alternative to medication that has significant evidence behind it in the form of clinical trials. However, the effectiveness of natural remedies is based on long-standing traditional use, which can be provided to you by a herbal practitioner. If you are considering using natural substances, here are some that are said to help with various mental health issues.


Kratom is derived from tropical evergreen trees from the coffee family known as Mitragyna Speciosa. It is native to Southeast Asia, where it has been used as a herbal remedy since the nineteenth century. Its leaves were chewed to feel its effects. Due to its bitter taste, the sweetener is often added to them. As described at, people use it for various reasons, including treating depression, enhancing your mood, and reducing anxiety. This is done when mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine alkaloid chemicals bond with the brain receptors, leading to your mood being elevated. Kratom is also said to be used to ward off exhaustion, providing individuals with energy. As the leaves have analgesic properties, Kratom can help reduce chronic pain by releasing dopamine and serotonin into the body. It comes in many strains and can be purchased as a powder or in capsules. 
The effects of Kratom are said to take effect between five to ten minutes and last between two and five hours. Its potency is said to increase with the more ingested. It's important to note that just as with pain medication, it is possible to overdose on Kratom. Therefore it is important to purchase it from a reputable seller and follow the dosage instructions provided.

St John’s Wort

Used around the first century by Proscurides, a Roman military doctor, St John’s Wort is almost as old as time. In the middle ages, this yellow flower with star-shaped petals was used in magical potions to treat mental health problems. Despite being used to treat mild and moderate depression and mood disorders, St. John Wort has also been used for menopausal symptoms, amongst other things. However, there is no scientific data to support these claims. 
St John’s Wort can dangerously interact with prescribed medications, including those classed as anti-depressants, so it's important to always seek medical advice before embarking. For instance, taken alongside medication for mental health conditions that are SSRIs can cause serotonin syndrome. This occurs when two different substances that act on the brain’s serotonin are taken at the same time and can be deadly if left untreated. Signs include profuse sweating, agitation, fever, diarrhea, tremors, confusion, and hallucination. 

Omega-3 Acid

This natural substance occurs in algae, although many people state it comes from fish. This is because fish eat algae as it is abundant in the sea. Although Omega-3 is present in our retina, brain, and sperm cells, we actually do not produce it, which is why some of us need supplements.
Omega-3 acid has been studied due to its numerous health benefits, which include improving memory, reducing cardiovascular disease, fetal development, and contributing to protecting the health of your eyes, brain, and heart, amongst others. It’s also said to treat different mental health issues, including various mood disorders, including depression. Over thirty clinical trials have indicated that Omega-3 acid can interact with mood-related brain molecules that have anti-inflammatory actions that could reduce depression. It is often recommended that postpartum women take Omega-3 supplements after giving birth to reduce their chances of having postpartum depression. There are said to be minimal side effects from taking Omega-3 acid, although some people may experience indigestion. If you experience this, taking it in small doses along with food may help avoid this side effect. 
Please be advised that what works for one may not work for another in respect of natural supplements and mental health issues. Just as you should follow the instructions given to you by your doctor when they prescribed medication, you should exercise caution when trying anything that your doctor has not recommended. This is because they have access to your full medical record and base your medication on the information contained therein. However, the growing public opinion of natural substances that are used to treat mental health issues cannot be ignored. Multiple similar experiences can provide assurance and confidence to try alternative treatments if you want to avoid unpleasant side effects that some anti-depressants are known to have. However, if you are interested in trying a natural substance, speaking to your doctor may be a necessary first step in case such substances may be an antagonist for any current medications you may be taking. 


Daria Brown