B vitamins, tryptophan, melatonin are your best bet, especially B3 ( niacin ) and B6 ( pyridoxine ) but i strongly suggest you buy a potent vitamins B complex from you food supplement store. I will tell you why i insist on B3 and B6. The liver synthesize B3 from the liver using an amino acid called tryptophan then tryptophan is used to form serotonin. Having a daily intake of B3 will make it easier for the tryptophan. Since tryptophan is used to form serotonin it would be a idea to get a tryptophan supplement but since you are on Zoloft i would be very cautious about it and if you insist you should take very small dose which is less than 100mg and gradually stop Zoloft and increase the tryptophan intake anyway please consult you doctor on this process. One thing you can do is buy melatonin ( also from you food supplement store ) and take 3mg before bedtime. It will help you sleep, but the point is that melatonin melatonin promotes increased serotonin level by it's ability to reduce cortisol level. Reduced cortisol levels will lessen the activity of pyrrolase, the enzyme that degrades tryptophan. With 3mg melatonin at bedtime you should not worry on serotonin syndrome but be careful with tryptophan and take it only if you want to get rid of the Zoloft, don't combine tryptophan, Zoloft and melatonin. You need to have stopped Zoloft for at least 1 week before using the natural antidepressant combo tryptophan, 5-HTP and melatonin. Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant, it boost your immune system, prevent ischemic damage and it is the natural sleep hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. When there's light your pineal gland produces less melatonin and when it's dark it produces more. Melatonin have a mild sedative effect that promotes sleep.
I also recommend you take vitamin C ( a good one from the food supplement store like Ester-C 500 or 1,000mg with calcium ) and vitamin D. They might not have a a strong impact on you anxiety but i'm telling you this for your general health. Combining the Bs, C, D vitamins will gives your body everything it needs to be healthy and hopefully resulting with a healthy brain. I won't start telling you all the advantage of vitamin C but it's gonna be one of my next article i will write in the forum. Vitamin D have also some proprieties people are unaware other than helping with the calcium and phosphorus absorption.
Magnesium is also to be considered since it lower cortisol levels.
Finally you can grab yourself a natural antidepressant called Rhodiola rosea. Rhodiola rosea's effects potentially are related to optimizing serotonin and dopamine levels due to monoamine oxidase inhibition and its influence on opioid peptides such as beta-endorphins.
You can have more information on why B6 is also important by reading my article on this forum about it: http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Alternative-Therapies-Community/Vitamin-B6-benefits/show/1130378
Caution with using rhodiola -- it is stimulating, so if you suffer anxiety it might not be the best adaptogen to use. Eleuthero and ashwagandha would be better. For reducing cortisol, holy basil is probably the best supplement, but it also affects blood sugar, so be careful with it. Tryptophan, as M4 points out, shouldn't be taken with Zoloft, and tryptophan is not easy to get to the brain. 5-htp is a metabolite of tryptophan, so there's no use taking both; 5-htp is the better form for absorption where you want it. But again, if you're on Zoloft, you shouldn't need or use a tryptophan supplement. The suggested dosage for melatonin is one half to one mg. With that one, less is more. The co-factor for serotonin production is B6, not so much B3. But the B's do work together, and a Stress B is a good idea for those who suffer mood problems.
Yes, I took Rhodiola and got very energized!! The first week had good energy, little sleep, but the longer I took less sleep I got- then came anxiety from lack of sleep. For some it may work, but NOT for me.
L theanine and 5htp, or tiny amount of melatonin works for me.
Thanks for the input. Passiflora are indeed beautiful plants. They are not only beautiful but, like said above, have some interesting chemical proprieties. They contain beta-carboline harmala alkaloids which are MAO inhibitors which basically means antidepressant proprieties. Another interesting propriety is the chrysin. It is proved to be a flavone with anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory proprieties. The combination of all those chemicals most likely have very calming effect and impact on your mood.
Caution is advised tho. Because Passion Flower contains many potent chemicals, it can result into serious drugs interactions especially for those taking antidepressants. You should always check with your doctor the possible interactions when using Passion Flower in combination with other drugs.
I'm a big fan of tv shows such as The Doctors and Dr. Oz by the way kmil1999. If you don't know about The Doctors you should look into it it's very interesting.
Welcome to the community and thanks again for your input.
Passionflower is an excellent all around system relaxant. It is not a strong MAO inhibitor; if it were people would be dying all around us. MAO inhibitors interact adversely with so many foods that if it were, we'd know. It's just like St. John's Wort, also thought to be an MAO inhibitor, but it turned out not to be. Again, plant chemistry is beyond our current knowledge, and most drug interactions with plants are theoretical or based on a single case. It's good to know these things, but they don't tell you much because the numbers of cases aren't there. This is either due to underreporting of adverse events, lack of research, or because the plants aren't in fact all that dangerous. Passionflower, although it does contain extremely minute MAO and serotonin effects, isn't as much an antidepressant as an antianxiety herb. Obviously, if it were to decrease anxiety, it would probably make anxiety related depression decrease. Passionflower's greatest influence is probably on GABA receptors, as with all relaxant herbs, but again, until somebody dedicates a lot of money for research and long-term studies, we only have historical use to go by, and with the quantity of fermented foods and wine consumed, if passionflower, a very widely used herb dating back as far as European history goes, were an MAO inhibitor of any significance, these foods would have caused numerous serious adverse reactions by now. So while there are a lot of possible side effects with all herbs, including passionflower, it's very difficult to tell how serious there are. In one monograph, passionflower is compared with gingko and other herbs that have been connected to internal bleeding because it contains some of the same ingredient. Gingko, for example, is a known blood thinner. But I would be that if these cases were explored more closely, most of these cases would be people who were on blood thinners. But to be safe, herbalists use formulas instead of loading up on any one herb, and in Chinese medicine there's also one herb in the forumula that mitigates the other herbs to prevent bad reactions. In a formula, there's less of any one herb, and combinations are used for synergistic purposes. The best thing when considering an herb is to go online and check the contraindications and see how serious they are as opposed to theoretical, and remember that all medicine can cause possible side effects, including natural medicine. I can tell you that passionflower, green oats, ashwagandha and cactus grandiflora are favored by herbalists for their systemic benefits more than for short-term benefit, but again, hard research is generally lacking. Alas.
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