Monday, July 29, 2013

Using Herbs and Amino Acids As Depression Supplements

There are medications that can be prescribed to fight against depression but many people are unwilling to go to a doctor, for whatever reason. The risk level of dependence on prescription medication is too great for some individuals and they begin seeking other methods to fight this disorder. There are amino acid and herbal depression supplements in pill form that can also be used in these cases.

Depression has many causes, some external (such as the death of a loved one) and some internal (such as chemical imbalances). Various studies have shown that low levels of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain can cause debilitating mood swings and severe depression.

Herbs have been used for centuries to treat depression and anxiety. One popular herb is St. John's Wort. These little yellow flowers produce a calm sensation, easing nervous tension and stress. Also effective for insomnia, St. John's Wort is one of the most commonly known herbs to be used for this purpose.

Another natural supplement used is tryptophan, an amino acid essential to the proper functioning of the brain and body. Tryptophan is found in foods high in protein such as turkey. It is what makes the body feel tired after a big Thanksgiving dinner. It is natural to the human body and can be used to level out the mood and calm the nerves. This has been specifically used in cases of severe PMS and related depression. Tryptophan is used because it has the ability to convert to serotonin. Serotonin is one of the natural body chemicals that control mood and stability. A common side effect of this supplement is drowsiness.

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid natural to the body that converts into dopamine, which is another of the major chemicals that control depression and mood. One of the less commonly used depression supplements, tyrosine also encourages healthy hair growth and improves thyroid function. There have been no side effects reported from using this supplement.

SAMe, discovered in 1953, is another natural supplement that has been known to effectively fight depression. It increases the amount of neurotransmitters available for the transference of dopamine and serotonin to the brain. This is also used for bone pain. SAMe has some side effects that should be noted whenever a person begins a regimen that includes this supplement. Things such as nausea, skin rash and dry mouth are some side effects. People with Parkinson's should not use SAMe and studies have not proven the safety of it for pregnant or nursing women. People with established anxiety or mental disorders should only use this under the direction of their practitioner.

Natural depression supplements are common these days, even with the influx of prescription medications for depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. Mood disorders can be treated with natural supplements and talk therapy for the greatest chance of successful recovery.

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