St. John's wort, omega-3 fatty acids, SAM-e, folic acid and 5-HTP are all over-the-counter medications for depression, according to About.com. While depression can be a symptom of additional underlying health problems and should always be discussed with a doctor, these are all natural and herbal remedies that have been long-used to treat depression without a prescription.
About.com reports that St. John's wort has been tested in a variety of studies and has been shown to alleviate mild to moderate depression, but it may take up to six weeks for it to achieve its full effect. SAM-e, a chemical found naturally in the human body, can help increase the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin to alleviate depression. 5-HTP works in a similar way to increase serotonin levels. Omega-3 fatty acids and folate are commonly available supplements that are lacking in people who are depressed, and taking these pills can have an effect on depression.
Dr. Oz states that depression is often a multi-factored issue brought about by lifestyle, dietary choices, lack of exercise, poor sleep habits, inflammation in the body, nutrient deficiencies and stress. Making lifestyle changes in conjunction with taking antidepressant medications ensures higher rates of success and the alleviation of depression over the long term.