Posted by bleauberry on June 14, 2012, at 15:59:56
I used to take med combos like most of us here but in recent years it has been mostly herbs. I use psych meds on an as-needed basis because they do have benefit when I need them. In the herbal journey I have found pretty much everything that claims to be antidepressant really isn't really much more promising than meds except sometimes, just enough to keep its usage alive. Primary advantage is most plants offer a wide array of health benefits on top of the desired effect, side effects usually a lot less, most have very low toxicity levels, most counter chronic disease in one way or another.
Anyway, so one of the herbs I've been taking a couple months is Berberine. Its purpose in my case is....antiyeast while taking antibiotics, anti inflammation important in lyme-like stuff, and fairly good antimicrobial activity against yeasts, virus, and bacteria. Also very helpful in resetting insulin issues, diabetes, and very heart healthy, and more.
I did not know it could also be an antidepressant. I guess my mood has been more stable the last couple months, I wouldn't say great or anything, but yeah now that I think about it berberine has been helpful. I remember when I stopped it last time I did have a sinking spell for a few days but I never linked it to stopping berberine. Anyway, just one of nature's milder prozacs, thought I would share"
Berberine, an alkaloid isolated from Berberis aristata Linn. has been used in the Indian system of medicines as a stomachic, bitter tonic, antiamoebic and also in the treatment of oriental sores. Evidences have demonstrated that berberine possesses central nervous system activities, particularly the ability to inhibit monoamine oxidase-A, an enzyme involved in the degradation of norepinephrine and serotonin (5-HT). With this background, the present study was carried out to elucidate the antidepressant-like effect of berberine chloride in different behavioural paradigms of despair. Berberine (5, 10, 20 mg/kg, i.p.) inhibited the immobility period in mice in both forced swim and tail-suspension test, however, the effect was not dose-dependent. Berberine (5 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.) also reversed the reserpine-induced behavioral despair. Berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) enhanced the anti-immobility effect of subeffective doses of various typical but not atypical antidepressant drugs in forced swim test. Berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) following its acute administration in mice resulted in increased levels of norepinephrine (31%), serotonin (47%) and dopamine (31%) in the whole brain. Chronic administration of berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) for 15 days significantly increased the levels of norepinephrine (29%), serotonin (19%) as well as dopamine (52%) but at higher dose (10 mg/kg, i.p.), there was no change in the norepinephrine (12%) levels but a significant increase in the serotonin (53%) and dopamine (31%) levels was found. The antidepressant-like effect of berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) in forced swim test was prevented by pretreatment with l-arginine (750 mg/kg, i.p.) or sildenafil (5 mg/kg, i.p.). On the contrary, pretreatment of mice with 7-nitroindazole (7-NI) (25 mg/kg, i.p.) or methylene blue (10 mg/kg, i.p.) potentiated the effect of berberine (2 mg/kg, i.p.) in the forced swim test. Pretreatment of mice with (+)-pentazocine (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.), a high-affinity sigma1 receptor agonist, produced synergism with subeffective dose of berberine (2 mg/kg, i.p.). Pretreatment with various sigma receptor antagonists viz. progesterone (10 mg/kg, s.c.), rimcazole (5 mg/kg, i.p.) and N-[2-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)ethyl]-N-methyl-2-(dimethylamino)ethylamine (BD1047; 1 mg/kg, i.p.) reversed the anti-immobility effects of berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.). Berberine at lower dose did not affect the locomotor activity and barbiturate-induced sleep time. It produced mild hypothermic action in rats and displayed analgesic effect in mice. Taken together, theses findings demonstrate that berberine exerted antidepressant-like effect in various behavioural paradigms of despair possibly by modulating brain biogenic amines (norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine). Further, nitric oxide pathway and/or sigma receptors are involved in mediating its antidepressant-like activity in mouse forced swim test.