3. Lemon Balm. Melissa officinalis is a safe and mild herb that has a longstanding history in American herbalist traditions for treating the winter blues. There are scientific studies showing that the use of this herb improves patient’s score on the Beck Depression Index scale (often used to measure symptoms of depression). It has a bright, citrusy scent and a mild lemony flavor. This herb grows well in a window sill and is nice to keep fresh and use as aromatherapy and in teas. There are also tinctures (alcohol extractions) and capsules (dried powder) available on the market. There are some contraindications for this herb, such as pregnancy/lactation and hypothyroidism, so if you plan to take a more potent supplement (capsule, tincture) experts suggest working with a healthcare professional such as a naturopathic doctor.
4. Laughter. This is truly the best medicine although the statement is cliché. There are many studies on social interactions vs isolation in depression and the research shows that positive relationships are healing. Find a friend that you can laugh with!
5. There are many amino acids and vitamins that may benefit someone with seasonal depression. For example, 5HTP is a precursor to serotonin. Some patients see benefits such as decrease in symptoms of depression when providing this precursor or the vitamin/mineral cofactors necessary for neurotransmitter (dopamin/serotonin/gaba) production. Examples are vitamin B6 and magnesium.