Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 64029

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Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?

Posted by N.P. on May 23, 2001, at 15:38:28

Has anyone tried St Johns wort or any other natural stuff? Does it help? I'm on 600mg of St. Johns wort now and the stuff does work, but not as good as I would want it to. Maybe it's because it's been a little more than a week and it didn't kick in yet. Or maybe I need 900mg a day. Anyone ever had any good results with herbs? I would love to see a realy good herbalist about it but don't want to just pick one out of yellow pages.

Any feedbacks are appreciated.

 

Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?

Posted by PaulB on May 23, 2001, at 17:09:07

In reply to Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?, posted by N.P. on May 23, 2001, at 15:38:28

> Has anyone tried St Johns wort or any other natural stuff? Does it help? I'm on 600mg of St. Johns wort now and the stuff does work, but not as good as I would want it to. Maybe it's because it's been a little more than a week and it didn't kick in yet. Or maybe I need 900mg a day. Anyone ever had any good results with herbs? I would love to see a realy good herbalist about it but don't want to just pick one out of yellow pages.
>
> Any feedbacks are appreciated.

There are lots of natural remedies for depression. St Johns Wort is a well known one and is indicated for mild depression. Basically its a 'weaker prozac'. It blocks the re-uptake of serotonin in the brain by 50% but its unselective unlike the SSRIS so enhances serotonin generally.

Other natural treatments include amino acids which are the precursors to neurotransmitters in the brain. If these work you are likely to see much quicker results than with the St Johns Wort. They include serotonin precursors-L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP and dopamine/noradrenaline precursors L-Phenylalanine and L-Tyrosine.

There is also SAM-E which may work syngernistically with these amino acids to enahance the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

There are several natural hormones that have been shown to improve mood including pregnenolone and progesterone.

There are other natural mood-boosters about but the evidence is flimsy for their use in depression which is a serious illness. If you suffer from severe depression I would recommend an SSRI over SJW although 5-HTP has shown effaciousness comparable to the SSRIS and L-Tyrosine has shown effaciousness comparable to some TCA's.

I would suggest you visit the website www.raysahelian.com. Sahelian has written quite a few books on natural mood boosters, answers questions at his site and I think it might be what your looking for.

You may also want to read 'Dealing with Depression Naturally' by Sid Baumel, 'The Way Up From Down' by Patricia Slagle(www.thewayup.com)

Good luck
PaulB

 

Re: Has anyone tried...N.P.

Posted by Paige on May 23, 2001, at 20:22:56

In reply to Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?, posted by PaulB on May 23, 2001, at 17:09:07

I would also look into www.naturaldatabase.com
and www.tnp.com. I read about them today while
sitting at the dentist's office in Newsweek or
something or other. Websites for natural medicines
for doctors and laypeople. I am looking into sites
myself later. They also recommended 2 books
Nutraceuticals (Berkeley) and Complete Guide to
Herbal Medicine (Springtime or Springhouse)I don't
know a thing about either one, just saw it today and am
passing it on.

You can also find alot of info on this board if you
go to search and type in what you are looking for.

Good luck to you-
Paige

 

Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants? PaulB

Posted by sl on May 25, 2001, at 7:48:03

In reply to Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?, posted by PaulB on May 23, 2001, at 17:09:07

>much quicker results than with the St Johns Wort. They include serotonin precursors-L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP and dopamine/noradrenaline precursors L-Phenylalanine and L-Tyrosine.

Um. Do you know what the L- means?
I know phenylalanine is in a lot of foods and I'm curious if that has any effect or if the L really means something important.

> There is also SAM-E which may work syngernistically with these amino acids to enahance the synthesis of neurotransmitters.

I'm taking that currently and it seems to keep me fairly level. It's very weird to BE fairly level. :P And I guess I just need something to back it up and keep my thought-patterns from degenerating.
And you seem to know your stuff so I thought I'd ask.

> suffer from severe depression I would recommend an SSRI over SJW although 5-HTP has shown effaciousness comparable to the SSRIS and L-Tyrosine has shown effaciousness comparable to some TCA's.

Well, SSRIs don't work for me anyway. So I could try L-Tyrosine then?


sl

 

Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?

Posted by Bill L on May 25, 2001, at 10:34:00

In reply to Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?, posted by N.P. on May 23, 2001, at 15:38:28

NP- Let me just say first that if you have severe depression, you will probably not get sufficient relief from SJW. If you are suicidal, you need to see a doctor and probably try a prescription antidepressant. They are very safe and effective for most people.

If you have mild depression, SJW could work. It can interfere with birth control pills so that would be a factor for some people.

The usual starting amount is 900 mg per day of 0.3% hypericum (in 2 doses of 450 or 3 doses of 300). But some people get better results using up to double that amount. Since you are getting fast results, maybe it will help you. SJW often takes 2 or 3 months to build up in your body. But once again, it's not for severe depression.

Some people get good results with SAM-e either alone, or in combination with a prescription AD. I personally have taken SAM-e for 2 and a half years. I take it along with Celexa (prescription AD) with very good results.

5-HTP has good stuff written about it in some books. But I have not read too many actual success stories about it in posts.


> Has anyone tried St Johns wort or any other natural stuff? Does it help? I'm on 600mg of St. Johns wort now and the stuff does work, but not as good as I would want it to. Maybe it's because it's been a little more than a week and it didn't kick in yet. Or maybe I need 900mg a day. Anyone ever had any good results with herbs? I would love to see a realy good herbalist about it but don't want to just pick one out of yellow pages.
>
> Any feedbacks are appreciated.

 

Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?

Posted by PaulB on May 25, 2001, at 12:57:53

In reply to Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants? PaulB, posted by sl on May 25, 2001, at 7:48:03

> >much quicker results than with the St Johns Wort. They include serotonin precursors-L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP and dopamine/noradrenaline precursors L-Phenylalanine and L-Tyrosine.
>
> Um. Do you know what the L- means?
> I know phenylalanine is in a lot of foods and I'm curious if that has any effect or if the L really means something important.
>
> > There is also SAM-E which may work syngernistically with these amino acids to enahance the synthesis of neurotransmitters.
>
> I'm taking that currently and it seems to keep me fairly level. It's very weird to BE fairly level. :P And I guess I just need something to back it up and keep my thought-patterns from degenerating.
> And you seem to know your stuff so I thought I'd ask.
>
> > suffer from severe depression I would recommend an SSRI over SJW although 5-HTP has shown effaciousness comparable to the SSRIS and L-Tyrosine has shown effaciousness comparable to some TCA's.
>
> Well, SSRIs don't work for me anyway. So I could try L-Tyrosine then?
>
>
> sl

PaulB:

I should know what the difference between the D and L forms of Phenylalanine/Tyrosine/Tryptophan and 5-HTP are because I have read about it. What I do know is that it can make a difference which one you take.

Phenylalanine is the precursor to Tyrosine. They both in their D+L forms increase levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain. Phenylalanine both in its D+L form increases the level of phenylethylamine(PEA) while Tyrosine will will increase levels of two other neurotransmitters, Octamine and Tyramine. This is why a doctor will warn you about what not food to eat when taking MAO's because some foods contain Phenylalanine which which raise, Tyrosine and hence Tyramine levels. Generally speaking its the L-form of amino acids thats used as antidepressants.

SAM-E, for me really enhances the effect of the L-Tyrosine, in that I dont need to take so much and so often. You need to be careful because amino acids work like antidepressants and not recreational mood elevators. If you take too much you may not see an effect immediately. Like antidepressants, they correct the chemical imbalance. When you first take an antidepressant the common time-lag for response is 2-3 weeks because your brain needs to adjust to the increase in the level of neurotranmsitter via down-regulation-a decrease in the number of receptors. Occassionally if I take too much L-Tyrosine my mood wont improve for a day.

You mentioned that because SSRI's didnt work for you you could try L-Tyrosine. You certainly could but you may be better trying 5-HTP first or even L-Tryptophan(Still available at two places if you want to know?).
You need to know what neurotransmitter lies at the root of your depression. I didnt come to amino acid therapy straight away. I have been on Paxil, Effexor and Reboxetine. I learnt that it was serotonin that seemed to lie at the root of my problems with anxiety and noradrenaline at the root of my problems with depression. I was an idela candidate for Effexor unfortunately it stopped working.

Hope some of this information helps

 

Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?paul

Posted by roo on May 25, 2001, at 14:24:41

In reply to Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?, posted by PaulB on May 25, 2001, at 12:57:53

Paul B--

There seem to be a lot of differing opinions about
which is better: 5htp or L-tryptophan. What do
you think?
Also, how did you go about learning which of your
neurotransmitters is at the root of your depression?
I'd be interested in hearing more about that. I've
noticed that the ssri's work best for me, and that
wellbutrin and serzone make my depression worse. I don't
know if that indicates anything.
I'm now taking sam-e with prozac. I initially took
it to see if I could taper down on my dose of prozac and
substitute the sam-e, but my depression got too miserable
so I went back up on my prozac dose. The sam-e didn't
do much for my depression, but a surprise side effect
of it was that it made the pain in my feet that has kept
me from running for years go away! I've been running all
this past week with no problems. I'll continue to take
it just for that! Plus the running helps my depression more
than walking does.
Anyway, take care and thanks for the helpful info.

Ruth

 

Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?paul

Posted by PaulB on May 26, 2001, at 16:52:18

In reply to Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?paul, posted by roo on May 25, 2001, at 14:24:41

> Paul B--
>
> There seem to be a lot of differing opinions about
> which is better: 5htp or L-tryptophan. What do
> you think?
> Also, how did you go about learning which of your
> neurotransmitters is at the root of your depression?
> I'd be interested in hearing more about that. I've
> noticed that the ssri's work best for me, and that
> wellbutrin and serzone make my depression worse. I don't
> know if that indicates anything.
> I'm now taking sam-e with prozac. I initially took
> it to see if I could taper down on my dose of prozac and
> substitute the sam-e, but my depression got too miserable
> so I went back up on my prozac dose. The sam-e didn't
> do much for my depression, but a surprise side effect
> of it was that it made the pain in my feet that has kept
> me from running for years go away! I've been running all
> this past week with no problems. I'll continue to take
> it just for that! Plus the running helps my depression more
> than walking does.
> Anyway, take care and thanks for the helpful info.
>
> Ruth

I prefer L-Tryptophan because its less likely to cause serotenergic side-effects particularly nausea and I dont have to worry to much about when I take it. 5-HTP usually only works on a completely empty stomach first thing for me.

I sort of came to understnad about my depression and anxiety, as I mentioned, through the use of conventional antidepressants. Paroxetine was the first and it really only helped with my social anxiety which Paroxetine is great for. It actually worsened my depression. I was then put on Effexor and this antidepressant which is dual-acting helped with my depression too.

But in addition to this I learnt that it is serotonin which is indicated in social anxiety as well as depression and I think there is less evidence that noradrenaline and dopamine play a part in peoples social anxiety disorders, panic, ocd etc. The TCA's which are also dual-acting but I think generally are potent noradrenaline acting may be somewhat useful than the SSRIs for depression as is Reboxetinef for severe depression.

Of course experimenting with L-Tyrosine and L-Tryptophan seemed to confirm that my anxiety was a result of low 5-HT and depression low catecholamines. If SSRI's work best for you then maybe you could try 5-HTP. I have read that often a little 5-HTP added to an antidpressant can really help as can l-Tryptophan. Studies show that 5-HTP works much better when given in conjunction with an antidepressant and vise-versa. I think 5-HTP is probably the best option for augmenting an antidepressant.

I have no idea why Serzone made you more depressed. If SSRI's helped you and Serzone didnt well maybe the metabolite of Nefazadone which is serotenergic stopped it from working properly. Maybe the 5-HT2 antagonism didnt agree with you(SSRI's will certainly increase 5-HT2)or the noradrenaline properites of the drug could have back-fired. I thought I would offer my ten cents worth on nefaz in case you were still taking it. Get well soon.

 

Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants? PaulB

Posted by Mitch on May 29, 2001, at 13:25:51

In reply to Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?, posted by PaulB on May 25, 2001, at 12:57:53

Paul,

This is an interesting discussion. Do you know anything about how much phenylalanine is in Diet Coke and other aspartame containing drinks?
I seem to be a Diet soda junky and seem to crave them a lot. Could they be helping depression?

Mitch

> Phenylalanine is the precursor to Tyrosine. They both in their D+L forms increase levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain. Phenylalanine both in its D+L form increases the level of phenylethylamine(PEA) while Tyrosine will will increase levels of two other neurotransmitters, Octamine and Tyramine. This is why a doctor will warn you about what not food to eat when taking MAO's because some foods contain Phenylalanine which which raise, Tyrosine and hence Tyramine levels. Generally speaking its the L-form of amino acids thats used as antidepressants.

 

Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?paul

Posted by outandabout on July 6, 2001, at 15:45:12

In reply to Re: Has anyone tried natural antidepressants?paul, posted by roo on May 25, 2001, at 14:24:41

Hi,

I am experimenting with trying SamE for the first time, after finally realizing that I have suffered from depression for years. I have now ordered some 5HTP over the internet. Does anyone know if these are ok to combine as a natural attempt to treat depression? I am not suicidal or anything, just been depressed for years and finally realized it.

I am also concerned I may have a thyroid condition connected to my depression, because I have a neck injury and my Oriental doctor has wondered if my thyroid isn't swollen (its either that or neck muscles). I have had glandular aching beneath my jaw. Having no health insurance, any advice? Can a normal community health center diagnose thyroid conditions? Thanks a lot for this discussion thread, it has been helpful to read and feel a connection to others dealing with depression.



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