Second Nature Care Blog

Treating Depression Naturally - I.V.  Mood Nutrients - Botanical Medicine - Amino Acids

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 2, 2017 5:00:00 AM / by Winter Ninivaggi

Depression is among the most common mental health disorders.

In 2015 in the US, approximately 16.1 million adults had experienced at least 1 major depressive episode within the past year. The lifetime prevalence of depression for adults in the US is 16%.  There are a variety of socioeconomic factors associated with an increased risk such as middle-aged, female gender, Native American ethnicity, lower income status, unemployment, being single or divorced, and having a disability.

The DSM-IV defines major depressive disorder as more than 2 episodes consisting of depressed mood along with anhedonia that occurs most days for the duration of 2 weeks. Symptoms include fatigue, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth, diminished concentration, and recurrent thoughts of self-harm and death.

Typically, treatment of major depressive disorder consists of psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals. Despite the benefits, many patients experience a variety of negative side effects including fatigue, sleep disturbance, weight gain, gastrointestinal distress, and loss of libido. Fortunately, naturopathic medicine offers a variety of modalities for patients with mood disorders including botanical therapies, nutraceuticals, homeopathy, flower essences, nutritional interventions and stress management. For patients with mild to moderate depression who prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals, natural treatments may be an appropriate effective option. The goal of treatment in major depressive disorder is to help the patient to return to full functioning and high quality of life.  Remission is defined as at least 3-weeks absent sad mood and anhedonia. 

Nervine herbs should be considered as a fundamental aspect of mood disorder treatment.  The herbs nourish and calm the nervous system and are especially important when stress, irritability, trauma, or anxiety is present.

Hypericum perforatum better known as St. John's wort is traditionally indicated for neurologic pain and viral infections, however it is widely used for natural treatment of depression. Numerous studies have shown it to be effective in treating mild-to-moderate major depressive disorder. The extracts may have better response and remission rates than antidepressants such as paroxetine in the treatment of moderate MDD. This may be attributed to its ability to increase serotonin production by inhibiting trytophan 2, 3-doxygenase activity. The biggest concern with Hypericum perforatum is potential herb-drug interactions because it has been found to be a potent inducer of cytochrome P450 enzymes and of P-glycoprotein,

Avena sativa has been indicated for nervous exhaustion, melancholy, and diminished mental concentration.  It has been found to affect neural activity in the region of the brain involved in cognition in healthy individuals and have a positive effect on cognition.

Verbena hastate has a long-standing use in traditional herbal medicine as a nervine and antispasmodic. It is used for exhaustion and nervous depression and is specific for people who suppress their emotions and frustrations.

Scutellaria lateriflora can be used for stress and anxiety, especially when there is a strong sense of being overwhelm and over sensitivity. It can also be used in the treatment of restless sleep and dull headaches.

Melissa officinalis often referred to as the "gladdening herb" is useful in nervous depression, especially when there is debility or weakness following chronic stress.

Treating depressive disorder frequently requires an individualized, holistic and integrative approach. Naturopathic medicine can be especially well suited for depression because there are so many modalities available. A comprehensive naturopathic treatment plan can include the use of nervine and/or adaptogenic herbs, flower essences, nutraceutical supplements, I.V. amino acids and an appropriate referral for psychotherapy.

It is no secret that depression is associated with the gut. Eating foods with positive effects on your intestinal microbiome can provide great improvement in depression symptoms. Depression starts in your gut and that is prompting new research and new clinical targets in the treatment of depression. We have the testing and treatment now at Second Nature Care. 

We use I.V. ozone successfully for systemic pain and inflammation. I.V. Ozone with injectable Traumeel in the bag brings immediate relief to our patients. One of our IV options is the "Best Brain Sustain IV". All I.V. therapies are MD ordered. All mood disorder patients are either under the care of a qualified mental health specialist or are referred to one.


Best Brain Sustain IV: IV Nutritional Therapy that combines Glutathione (primary brain anti-oxidant), Folate, Tonico, Circulo Injeel and Cerebrum Compositum to improve memory, impaired concentration, depression, insomnia, dementia and anxiety. This formula is indicated for post-traumatic brain injuries.

Check out the IV menu of services to see what treatment could benefit you and book your consult today.

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Topics: Mood Disorders

Winter Ninivaggi

Written by Winter Ninivaggi

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963