Alternative Therapies Community
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GAD, anxiety and mild depression.

Can you please point some alternatives for GAD and resulted from it mild depression. I am against medication. I appreciate your responses.
13 Responses
Avatar universal
rocky, take a look at the web address below.

Avatar universal
monosodium glutamate (MSG) and other excitotoxins in foods and beverages can induce a panic disorder  low magnesium can magnify this effect avoid  MSG, aspartame,
hydrolyzed proteins, vegetable protein, isolated protein, soy products (including soy protein isolates, soy protein and soy milk), natural flavoring, sodium or calcium caseinate and others. All of these food additives worsen brain excitation and have been
shown to specifically target the amygdala nucleus — a set of neurons in the brain’s temporal lobe. They are key to the processing of emotions.  Increase your vegetable intake to at least 5 servings a day. Many of the flavonoids in vegetables have been shown to reduce anxiety — especially hesperidin, quercetin and curcumin. All
three are available as supplements. The dose is 250 mg. of each three times a day. Quercetin comes in a water-soluble form. Otherwise it must be dissolved in either fish oil or extra-virgin olive oil. Reduce your intake of fats — especially saturated fats and omega-6 fats (vegetable oils, such as corn, safflower, peanut, sunflower,
soybean and canola oils). Studies have shown that animals on high-fat diets release more cortisol and take longer to recover from stress than those on low-fat diets.
Magnesium is the body’s natural calmative agent. It reduces excitotoxicity and when taken at bedtime, it aids sleep. It also reduces the immune over-reactivity seen with anxiety disorders. In addition, it reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes (and metabolic syndrome) White tea contains a flavonoid called epigallocatechin gallate. This flavonoid has recently been shown to calm the brain and reduce anxiety. It works by activating the organ’s most
protective system against anxiety — the gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor. This aids sleep as well. White tea has a higher level of this flavonoid and much less fluoride than green tea. The herb valerian has been shown to activate the same calming brain GABA receptor. It has been used to induce sleep but also calms anxiety during the day. It should not be mixed with medications that act as sedatives or tranquilizers.
A product is called Relora. It is a blend of two extracts — Phellodendron
amurense and Magnolia officinalis. In a number of tests, Relora has been shown to reduce excess cortisol levels associated with stress while improving mood and reducing stress. It acts via the brain’s GABA and serotonin systems, which are both
important in controlling anxiety.
Avoid caffeine. People with anxiety disorders hyper react to stimulants, such as caffeine. They can also worsen insomnia.
Vitamin C (as magnesium or calcium ascorbate): The dose is 500 to 1000 mg. three times a day between meals.  Vitamin E (natural form-Unique E is the purist form): 400 to 800 IU a day
Multivitamin/mineral without iron: I like Extend Core.
Riboflavin 500 mg. a day for those age 50 and over: This increases brain cell function
and reduces free radical formation. It also blocks excitotoxicity.
Curcumin 250 mg. twice to three times a day: Curcumin is being shown to be one of the
most powerful brain protectants known. A new study in the journal Experimental Neurology found that curcumin dramatically improved synaptic plasticity (brain healing), mental ability (cognition) and reduced free radicals and lipid peroxidation in
animals with severe brain injury. Mix the curcumin with a half of a tablespoon of fish oil.
Quercetin (250 mg.) twice to three times a day: Also a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant for the brain. Mix with the fish oil and curcumin.
Fish oil: It has been shown to specifically reduce brain inflammation and
improve healing. The dose is 2 to 4 grams a
day. Keep the oil refrigerated. Relora: this reduces cortisol elevation caused by stress. The usual dose is 3 capsules a day with or between meals.
Regular, moderate exercise is important: Studies show that it strengthens the antioxidant systems and releases endorphins  from the brain, which calms the mood
and reduces depression. Excessive exercise will increase free radicals and can be harmful. Also, exercising in the late evening can cause insomnia.
Avatar universal
GAD is a tough one since it's constant, not episodic.  It would therefore require a constant regime until therapy hopefully solves the problem.  Because natural remedies, like meds, are trial and error and because there are so many of them to try in endless combinations, it might not be a bad idea to do this with the guidance of a naturopath or at least holistic nutritionist.  A good book to look at to see somewhat what the universe offers, Natural Highs by Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist at UCLA, is a good place to start.  Probably the best place to start is 5-HTP, which is a metabolite of tryptophan which manufactures serotonin in your body.  You'd also want a Stress B complex, since the B vitamins are essential co-factors to producing GABA and serotonin, particularly B6.  Passionflower and green oats are good overall system relaxants.  So is cactus grandiflora.  Kava and valerian are good for anxiety, but avoid kava if you have liver problems.  Adaptogens are good at regulating your adrenals; ashwagandha and eleuthero are usually considered the best for anxiety since they're not stimulating.  Homeopathy can also be helpful, but it's even more trial and error than other remedies.  Taurine manufactures GABA, so it can be quite useful.  As you can see, there's a whole lot of stuff out there.  Some of it is best taken with meals, some not.  Dosing is usually multiple times a day to keep it in your digestive system.  Trying one at a time will let you know if any don't agree with you.  The full program would include therapy, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and dietary changes such as reducing sugar intake and avoiding other foods that don't agree with you.  It's complicated, and you can do as little or as much as you like.  Good luck.  
Avatar universal
Did you hear about Evening Primerose?
Avatar universal
I tried it, but it made me more nervous.  But I have complex problems.  It's been touted in the depression forum, but before that I'd never heard of it being used other than for female hormonal problems.  Can't hurt to try it, though.
Avatar universal
Natural help for depression can almost always be cleared up with an individualized amino-acid supplement program.
Most patented antidepressants work by boosting the levels of mood-regulating neurotransmitters in the brain. Amino acids do the same thing. Most depressed patients have low levels of amino acids.Usually, a specific combination of amino acids determined by their personal test will result in them starting to feel better in just a few weeks. Once their depression has cleared up, it usually stays away for good.
You can have your fasting essential amino acids checked with a blood test. If your levels are low, make sure to use a blend of all eight essential amino acids (including tryptophan) individualized for you. And, just as importantly, make sure to look for the cause of your low levels. Quite often, that cause turns out to be low stomach acid.
If that's the case, then add injections of vitamin B12 with folic acid to your program: These are always a good idea for anyone with low stomach acid. Individualized amino acids along with these injections can frequently help your depression clear up over a few weeks to a few months time. If this isn't effective enough, you may want to consider adding the mineral rubidium. All of this may be a little complicated, so it's best to work with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine to help you coordinate it all. For a list of physicians in your area, contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine.
Avatar universal
Actually, antidepressants don't boost neurotransmitter levels.  There is no evidence other than in pharmaceutical company advertising that the neurotransmitter levels in people with depression or anxiety are any different than anyone else's.  What anti-depressants do is work to prevent the breakdown of used neurotransmitters so they wash in the neurons longer.  No more is produced, it's just used longer.  This usually leads the body to shut down other neurons as they're no longer needed.  While it's true each neurotransmitter is manufactured by a combination of amino acids and vitamins, the body will only use supplements if it feels they're needed.  Generally, what's involved is the efficiency of neurotransmitter use, not the quantity, and that's not currently measurable.  The only way to measure amino acids would be to do regular testing over a couple months time since everyone has peaks and valleys every day.  It's not so easy as getting one test.  And supplementation is complicated.  For example, tryptophan manufactures serotonin with the aid of B6 and other co-factors, but it's very hard to get past the blood brain barrier, and most serotonin in the body isn't in the brain, it's in the digestive system and the blood vessels.  5-HTP, a metabolite of tryptophan, is much more likely to get past the barrier.  This isn't to say the above method isn't worth trying, it's just to say depression is a disease with no known cause and therefore no known cure, but for most people it's episodic so it will disappear and reappear at intervals.  The best treatment would be a combination of amino acids with herbs, therapy, dietary changes, exercise, meditation, etc.  All hard to do when you're depressed because by definition when you are you lack motivation.  The other problem is depression very often is accompanied by or caused by anxiety, and substances that help depression can be stimulating and thus aggravate anxiety.  Still, it's worth trying if one can afford it and can find a professional who has experience with this.  A good book to read on what's available is Natural Highs by Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist at UCLA.
Avatar universal
Want to add, I'm not discouraging this route, just noting that it's a bit more difficult and much less certain than explained.  I think it's a great route to try, but wouldn't want someone to give up just because a first try didn't work.  
Avatar universal
Four supplements failed testing due to contamination with cadmium.
The World Health Organization (WHO) proposes a limit on cadmium in medicinal plants of 0.3 mcg per gram of whole herb.  

APPROVED ST. JOHN'S WORT  CVS Pharmacy St. John's Wort 300 mg  1cap-3x,  Kira St. John's Wort (1 tablet, 3 per day),
Nature's Bounty Double Strength St. John's Wort 300 mg (1 capsule, 3 per day), Nature's Way Perika St. John's Wort (1 tablet, 3 per day), New Chapter St. John's SC27 (1 softgel, 1 per day), Rite Aid St. John's Wort (1 tablet, 1 per day), Vitamin Shoppe St. John's Wort Extract (1 vegetarian capsule, 1 to 3 per day),
Puritan's Pride St. John's Wort 300 mg (1 capsule, 3 per day) , Vitamin World Get Healthy St. John's Wort (1 capsule, 3 per day),
NOT APPROVED  FreeLife Depeze (1 caplet, 1 to 2 per day) Found only 22.6% of claimed hyperforin,
L.A. Naturals St. John's Wort (1 mL [30 drops], 40 to 180 drops per day) Found only 36.2% of the minimum expected hypericin,  Nature's Answer Super St. John's Wort (1 capsule, 3 per day) Hypericin
Found only 32.4% claimed hyperforin and  lead  Found 0.18 mcg of cadmium per gram of St. John's wort
Nature's Sunshine Concentrated St. John's Wort (1 capsule, 3 per day)  Did not meet FDA labeling requirements. No plant part listed.  lead Found 0.18 mcg of cadmium per gram of St. John's wort,
Solaray St. John's Wort (2 vegetarian capsules, 2 to 4 per day)  Found 1.1 to 2.2 mcg of lead per day and 0.86 mcg of cadmium per gram of St. John's wort, Standard Process St. John's Wort-IMT (1 capsule, 3 per day)  Did not meet FDA labeling requirements. No plant part listed. lead Found 0.32 mcg of cadmium per gram of St. John's wort,

When buying a St. John's wort supplement, be sure to look at the label to find out if the product is made from an extract or whole herb (i.e., dried, powdered herb). Most of the St. John's wort preparations found effective in human trials were extracts standardized to contain approximately 0.3% hypericin, and taken in a dose of 300 mg three times daily. Other products that have shown benefits were additionally standardized to 1 - 3% hyperforin, again taken at 300 mg three times a day. Whole herb is usually taken at a dose of 2 to 4 grams per day and should contain 0.1% to 0.15% hypericin. Products containing whole herb tend to have higher concentrations of heavy metals than extracts, as some contaminants may be removed during the extraction process.

Labels on St. John's wort products should also indicate the parts of the plant used. These should be the flowers and leaves -- also referred to as "aerial portions" (which may also include stems) -- but not the roots.
Avatar universal
Well, yeah, but heavy metals are found in all natural soils.  Those are not toxic levels, those are normal levels.  Toxicity is found in all the other sources that have been added to our lives.  Basically, you're saying don't buy any organic food, because natural soil always has heavy metals in it.  Seaweed, which leaches heavy metals out of the body, also contains heavy metals.  So of course buying the natural plant will reveal natural levels of heavy metals -- particularly if it's wildcrafted, since virgin soil will always contain heavy metals.  Seaweed is the basic fertilizer of all organic farming, and it will always contain trace amounts of heavy metals.  It will have trace amounts of every mineral found on Earth.  Solaray, for example, is one of the best companies around, and independently tests every batch of everything it bottles at a lab it doesn't itself own.  Whereas the drug store brands you're telling people to take I wouldn't go anywhere near, whatever this test said, because they don't use herbs they themselves grow or harvest.  They buy them on the open market.  As to the standardization, the "tests" you're speaking of were compiled mostly by the German commission E many years ago.  They only tested standardized herbs, because they were helping the pharmaceutical industry.  Standardization may be what you choose to take, that's okay with me, but you're not taking a natural product when you do.  It's a pharmaceutical product.  In order to standardize you have to alter the natural make-up of the herb, since plants will always vary in quantities of active ingredients.  Hypericin turned out to the wrong marker for depression; now they think it's hyperforins, but who knows if that's right?  Plants contain so many different ingredients, and we don't know what most of them are.  What hypericin?  It's named that because the Latin name of the plant is hypericin, not because anyone actually knows what it is.  With ginseng, they standardize for gensenocides, and kava it's kavalectins (and remember, standardized kava turned out to potentially have adverse effects on the liver, whereas natural kava never has shown that).  If you really want the cleanest, best herbs, buy them in tincture form from companies such as Herb Pharm, which grows as many of its herbs itself as it can.  They don't standardize; don't believe in it.  Also remember that St. John's Wort is also used as an anti-viral and an aid to nerve health, and who knows what ingredient is responsible for that?    
Avatar universal
Pax. I'm stating what the WHO says and the products didn't contain the claimed  amount
Avatar universal
I'm not doubting you or the study, just was shocked to see Solaray on the list and all those awful companies on the good list.  Goes against all I've seen from other random inspections.  But it is true, real plants grown in real soil do have things in them and the only solution is to grow unnaturally and then we have all the synthetic stuff in them.  Kind of leaves us without safety in such a polluted world.  But as I say, alcohol tinctures probably avoid most of the problems, they just have to be taken more frequently.  Glad you published this.
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