Millions of people in the United States suffer from depression each year. Depression causes sadness and loss of interest in things that used to be enjoyed. Unfortunately, depression sometimes even leads to suicide. It can be difficult for some depressed people to identify the cause of the depression, though. Without finding the cause, most people resort to pharmaceutical drugs to alleviate the symptoms. There are other ways to treat depression, however.

There are herbs and spices that have been found to alleviate the symptoms of depression. This allows the depressed person to get in the right state of mind to find the cause or get help. While the healing properties of herbs and spices are not well known to most people, they are not just cooking spices. They are an all natural way to help treat depression. These cooking spices help balance hormones in the body so hormones that are lacking are increased. Usually, hormones being back in balance will alleviate the symptoms of depression and help the person suffering return to a happier state of mind.

10 Essential Spices For Cooking that Help Fight Depression


An ingredient in turmeric called curcumin has been in several studies as a treatment for depression. Each study found that curcumin helped in treating depression. A psychiatry and pharmacology professor from the University of Toronto weighed in on the possible healing properties of turmeric and curcumin for treating depression. He stated, “curcumin does have an effect on several physiological systems that are implicated in the causes of depression. It certainly would be a reasonable hypothesis that it could be in possession of antidepressant properties”. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps those with depression because oftentimes, a depressed person has more inflammation than normal, causing depression.


Clinical research shows that rosemary can reduce the symptoms of depression. A study where 30 students with moderate depression were treated with rosemary and 30 were treated with a placebo showed that rosemary does work. At the end of the 30 days, the students who were treated with rosemary were down to only mild depression. The students who took the placebo still had moderate depression.


Saffron helps treat depression by balancing the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the body. An Iranian study was done where one group of depressed individuals were given saffron and the other group was given Prozac, an antidepressant pharmaceutical drug. At the end of the trial, saffron was found to be just as effective as Prozac.


Thyme is another one of the spices for cooking that are effective in helping treat depression because it contains lithium. Lithium is a mineral that is already used to treat depression but using thyme to get lithium is an all natural way to do it.


Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the symptoms of depression. It also helps control blood pressure, which helps with depression. Cinnamon is one of the easiest spices for cooking to use for depression.


Nutmeg is another spice that reduces the inflammation that leads to depression and anxiety. Regularly adding nutmeg to a drink or food recipe can significantly improve the symptoms of depression. This all-natural method is delicious and nutmeg can easily be added to recipes.


In Hong Kong, studies were performed on over 1,200 people to see if vanilla could help with depression and anxiety symptoms. After the studies, it was determined that vanilla does improve the symptoms, and helps with anger, hostility, and overall well-being. This study showed that just the scent of vanilla would do the trick.


Cloves contain potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate. This provides relief for depression and anxiety.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds help with mental health disorders, such as depression. There are many minerals in fennel seeds that allow them to return the body to a more normal state, easing the symptoms of depression.


Sage, also known as salvia, helps improve the nervous system and blood circulation. This leads to a decrease in depression and the symptoms that accompany it.


Depression is a serious illness affecting millions of people every day so it is important to know your options. There are more natural ways to treat depression than through the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Spices for cooking have many more benefits than just making a meal taste delicious. The spices can help your body return to its natural hormonal balance, potentially easing the symptoms of depression. Spices for cooking are an easy, all-natural method. Simply find ways to use the spices in your favorite recipes and you may find relief from the symptoms of your depression.