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Thread: Natural anti-depressants

  1. #1
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Natural anti-depressants

    I just wanted to share this with everyone....I started taking St. John's Wort a while back and I didn't have success with it in high school, but I have now!

    I'm now on a mix of St. John's Wort and Gingko Biloba and I find it great for me. I have moderate seasonal depression.

    I also find that exercise, a healthy diet and salmon oil help.

    Just a warning: St. John's Wort doesn't work for heavy depression or bi-polar disorder. It can also reduce effectiveness of birth control pills

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    ...and it makes you photosensitive.

    (I can't take it b/c of my vitiligo...because photosensitivity + lack of skin pigmentation= bad!!)

    I'm glad its working for you though!
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    Many people don't realize that plain ol' caffeine is an anti-depressant as well - and not just because it's a stimulant. I can actually tell the difference in my own moods on days when I don't have any caffeine vs. the days when I have about 400mg (2 - 3 average cups of coffee).
    The forum member formerly known as perzephone. Or Perze. I've shed a skin.

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    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    Yeah, it works for me too. I never noticed any photosensitivity myself, thankfully. I always mixed mine with eleuthero (commonly, and falsely, known as Siberian ginseng). No ginkgo biloba for me, though, because it lowers blood pressure and my BP is already low.

    In which form are you taking it?
    Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
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    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    ...and it makes you photosensitive.

    (I can't take it b/c of my vitiligo...because photosensitivity + lack of skin pigmentation= bad!!)

    I'm glad its working for you though!
    Yeah I read that but luckily it hasn't had that effect with me at all!

    ---------- Post added at 08:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:11 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by perzephone View Post
    Many people don't realize that plain ol' caffeine is an anti-depressant as well - and not just because it's a stimulant. I can actually tell the difference in my own moods on days when I don't have any caffeine vs. the days when I have about 400mg (2 - 3 average cups of coffee).
    Ahhh I didn't know that. Mind you, it doesn't work for me...I've had coffee since I was 14 (daily) and it's never made me less depressed unfortunately.

    I do notice my moods without it though as well, because I'm really addicted to it and not having it makes me pretty cranky (and gives me a splitting headache)

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    Yeah, it works for me too. I never noticed any photosensitivity myself, thankfully. I always mixed mine with eleuthero (commonly, and falsely, known as Siberian ginseng). No ginkgo biloba for me, though, because it lowers blood pressure and my BP is already low.

    In which form are you taking it?
    Just tablets. That's mostly how it's sold here. Apparently it's really common and when I decided to take it there were like 8 brands, which were all pretty much the same.

    I take Siberian Ginseng too! The Gingko I have is a complex with that and Ginseng.

    The only side effect I've really noticed is that I don't sleep as well. I have to take it in the morning, otherwise I have a bit more trouble getting to sleep and I wake up all night.
    Last edited by DanieMarie; 06 Oct 2011 at 22:16.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    Just tablets. That's mostly how it's sold here. Apparently it's really common and when I decided to take it there were like 8 brands, which were all pretty much the same.

    I take Siberian Ginseng too! The Gingko I have is a complex with that and Ginseng.

    The only side effect I've really noticed is that I don't sleep as well. I have to take it in the morning, otherwise I have a bit more trouble getting to sleep and I wake up all night.
    Hmm, I was always wary of herbal pills. It seems like a very inefficient way to ingest herbs to me, but that's probably just a prejudice on my part. I buy my St. John's and eleuthero in bulk and make infusions. If you're into tisanes I recommend giving St. John's wort tea a try some time, only because with a bit of honey it's very tasty, in my opinion anyway.

    Maybe you could try passion flower at night. It's supposed to relieve depression also, but more importantly it's an awesome sedative. I take it when my anxiety disrupts my sleep. The dangers and side-effects of passion flower, rare as they might be, can be found here.
    Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
    -Erik Erikson

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    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    I find the pills are just fine for me. I have trouble absorbing nutrients but anything with a drug effect I hyper absorb (I HAVE to take children's dosage of any med that makes you drowsy, for example, otherwise I'll be wonky, slow and drowsy for days). I'm wary of making infusions because a) I take SO much now...if it's not in pill form that I can just swallow at night and in the morning, it doesn't happen, because otherwise I'd be taking like 8 teas, and b) I'm SO CRAZY BUSY that I only have time to make my food, which takes up enough of my time since I have to make everything from scratch I find it's ok for me so I'll just keep doing it that way. But thanks for the advice.

    I like valerian, but I do have a tea that I sometimes take called "sleep and nerve tea" and it's valerian and passion flower. It's VERY common in Germany. I don't take it so often anymore though for the reason I listed above...it's just WAY too much tea for me.

    Also, the thing I personally like about capsules is that since I seem to absorb it, it's really better for me. With teas, it's really hard to control the amount you consume and the strength can really vary. In a capsule, it's really outlined EXACTLY how much of everything is there and that's what you get. I need to know that, because things that make you sleepy or awake have VERY strong effects on me and I need to be able to control it exactly or I end up not being able to sleep, or falling asleep at work and other such undesirable results. I'm not sure about the standards in the US so maybe that's where it's coming from with you, but I can assure you that in Germany it's very consistent and good regarding quality and consistency of the dosage!

  8. #8
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    I suspect lot of that also plays into the differences in the oversight of herbal medicines are manufactured and standardized--if you buy pre-made stuff here, is usually not standardized and there is more variability (and sometimes flat out fudging of the contents). Here you pretty much have to buy the straight herb and process it yourself--and you still have the standardization probelm.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    Yeah it's a lot more regulated here. I suspect though that it has to do with the acceptability of complementary medicine. Even traditional doctors are for complementary treatments (when necessary). I know a guy who actually had trouble finding a doctor who was not also a natural medicine practitioner (I guess he wasn't cool with it). So I guess that's why I trust it more...they have to tell you how much of the herb is in the tablet, and exactly what else is in it. And it tends to be pretty consistent (if it's 100 mg in one brand, it will likely be so in every other brand). They're not allowed to fudge up the numbers either.

    Canada wanted to pass similar laws and people were really upset about it, and I was like WHY? All it does is make it more consistent and overall, safer. People there have a big natural vs conventional medicine beef though and it seems really counterproductive. A lot of people into natural medicine are against conventional and vice versa...after living here it seems really ridiculous.

  10. #10
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Natural anti-depressants

    Quote Originally Posted by DanieMarie View Post
    Canada wanted to pass similar laws and people were really upset about it, and I was like WHY? All it does is make it more consistent and overall, safer. People there have a big natural vs conventional medicine beef though and it seems really counterproductive. A lot of people into natural medicine are against conventional and vice versa...after living here it seems really ridiculous.
    I don't know about Canada, but some reasons some people in the U.S. don't want too much regulation of natural products like herbs is that

    A. It puts the power to control these things into the hands of the government instead in the hands of the people

    B. it raises the cost of producing the compounds so much that small producers are forced out of business, or end up being swallowed up by factory producers

    But it sure would be nice if I could buy a bottle of some herb extract and actually know for sure what's in there. I wonder if there is a middle way?
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