Using St. John’s Wort to Boost Mood

st. john's wort
St. John’s Wort is a yellow flowering plant.

Depression affects 121 Million people worldwide. In its severe forms, it leads to 850,000 deaths each year. [1]

There are many kinds of medication that can be prescribed by doctors to treat this condition. St. John’s Wort, on the other hand, is an herbal remedy avialable over the counter for mood.

What is St.John’s Wort?

St. John’s Wort belongs to the plant species Hypericum perforatum, and is also known as Tipton’s weed, rosin rose, goatweed, chase-devil, or Klamath weed. There are many species worldwide and they can mostly be found in North America, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, India, China and Brazil. [2] Australia is the world’s top producer of the plant.

Its name was given because it blooms around June 24, the birthday of John the Baptist. “Wort” is an old English word for plant. It is used for multiple problems such as for chronic fatigue syndrome, exhaustion, migraines, and muscle pain. An oil extract from the plant can also be used for easing scrapes, bruises and other inflammations. [3]

How does it Work?

What If I Can’t Take SJW?

Some individuals cannot take St. John’s Wort, such as those who take contraceptive pills. It also interacts negatively with a variety of other medications, so be sure to discuss it with your doctor first. Some alternative anxioltyic supplements include:

  1. Rhodiola Rosea Supplement
  2. Ashwagandha Powder
  3. Theanine Supplement

Scientists do not yet fully understand how St. John’s Wort works in relation to mood. Its effect is generally attributed to its content of hypericin, hyperflorin, and flavonoids which help elevate dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. [4]

Dopamine is a stimulant that produces good mood. In elevated levels, it makes the user more focused, confident and interested in what he’s are doing. Norepinephrine is similar to dopamine and produces alertness and motivation. Serotonin on the other hand manages mood, appetite, and sleep. With low levels of Serotonin, one will become anxious, irritable, and have trouble sleeping. [5]

During a six week trial involving patients with mood issues, a hypericum extract of 300 mg or 600 mg was given to one group while the other group used Paroxetine in 20 mg capsules. After six weeks, it was discovered that hypericum extract is as effective as paroxetine for patients with moderate or severe mood issues.[7]

Dosage

hypericum
St. John’s Wort is also known as Hypericum.

St. John’s Wort is available in both liquid and pill form. For regular use, a dose of 300 mg taken 3 times a day with meals. [8] The effects of the supplement may be seen in 3-4 weeks and it is recommended that you don’t stop taking it before that. [6]

Sources

1. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725202240.htm
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_John’s_wort
3. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/329.html
4. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/question468.htm
5. http://thedea.org/yourbrain.html
6. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/st-johns-wort
7. http://www.bmj.com/content/330/7490/503
8. http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/st-johns-wort

Nootropics: Willpower and Determination

Today’s the day that you skip grabbing your usual bag of chips and finally get that diet kickstarted. Really. This time you’re serious. Well, maybe you’re actually staring at the empty bag crumpled on your couch, wondering how you finished the whole thing that fast (and resolving that tomorrow is the day you’ll really start).

It’s a lesson you’ll encounter again and again when you try to start a new habit or kick an old one: willpower is a tricky beast, and it isn’t always as easy as firmly making a decision and sticking to it. So what is it then, exactly? Why are people so bad at making a decision and sticking to it? Read on for some insights on how to get motivated, and an overview of key nootropics for motivation.

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Offsetting the Adverse Effects of Common Nootropics

nootropic stacks
Nootropics can help with cognition and memory.

Thanks to your recent foray into nootropics, your memory is better than ever. You commit new information to memory with relative ease, recall old memories in a flash, and are able to work your way through even the densest academic material. Smart drugs are great for increasing cognitive functions in a variety of ways. Better yet, only rarely do smart drugs have toxic thresholds or the potential for harmful overdose. Now, that doesn’t mean that they’re entirely without undesirable side-effects.

It turns out that, with certain compounds, your boosted brainpower comes with a price. Whether it is blunted emotions or wired edginess, there’s a chance that your empowered cognition is costing you something. But fear not! With careful and intelligent supplementations, you can balance out negative effects with synergistic nootropics, allowing you to reduce or erase negative effects while keeping your benefits. Here’s a look at a few of the most common “social costs” of popular nootropics and how to counteract the negative effects.
Continue reading “Offsetting the Adverse Effects of Common Nootropics”

Racetam Stack: Safe and Effective Use of Racetams

Racetams are nootropics, or brain boosters.
Racetams are nootropics, or brain boosters.

Racetams are the first family of nootropics; without them smart drugs might have never been. Racetams are a class of nootropic compounds that share a pyrrolidone nucleus, but in many cases not much else. Fortunately, Racetams go well together and the differences in each work out for the best, creating stacks you cannot get with just any nootropics.

Before we get into the combinations, let’s take look at the racetams and remind ourselves what each does individually.
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Racetams: What They Are, What They Do, and How to Take Them

Racetams are great study aids
Racetams are great study aids

Racetams are derived from piracetam and are the most popular class of cognitive supplement. Because they are derivatives of piracetam, you might expect them to work in the same way, their only difference being their levels of potency in enhancing cognition.

However, it turns out that each offers its own unique range of benefits.

Piracetam

Originally intended to act as a calming agent like GABA, the neurotransmitter it was derived from, piracetam had no effect on relaxation nor did it induce sleepiness. Instead researchers discovered piracetam’s promise as a cognitive agent.
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Learn to Combat Nervousness in Social and Public Situations

how to fight nervousness in publicIf you suffer from nervousness in social settings, while speaking in public, or when hanging out with a group of people, those situations can feel like a natural disaster. Nature has played a sick joke when it comes to nervousness by making it cyclical. You may get nervous about getting nervous in public before the original problem even has a chance to surface.

There are tricks that public speakers can use to keep from getting nervous, like the old “picture everyone naked” joke. However, tricks like that are given with the assumption that you even make it in front of a crowd in the first place. Even if you don’t get crippling stage fright, the anticipation leading up to you being on stage can be the worst part. The truth is that you can overcome stage fright and social stress with the help of some supplements, and you can overcome it pretty easily and be the calm, smooth-talking person you want to be.
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The Top Five Benefits of Nootropic Supplements

nootropics as brain boostersNootropics are a class of supplements known to have brain boosting or cognitive-enhancing effects and abilities. Despite relatively similar methods of actions, each one has a specific set of benefits and effects. This makes it not only fun but exciting to learn about each different formulation and see whether or not it would be a good fit for your personal supplementation routine. However, before even getting to that point, it is helpful to step back a bit and take a look at some of the top Nootropic benefits in general. Continue reading “The Top Five Benefits of Nootropic Supplements”

Inositol and Choline Combo: A Winning Team

Both choline and inositol supplements can positively impact health. The body is capable of producing both of these nutrients. However, many people today are considered to be deficient in one or both of these ingredients. This deficiency is due to a high amount of stress, poor diet, or lack of exercise. Nevertheless, taking both of these ingredients especially in combination can lead to a number of very positive benefits.inositol and choline for a mood boost

What is Inositol?

Inositol is a form of niacin. This naturally-occurring substance aids in converting the food we eat into energy. It is also especially helpful in the metabolism of certain minerals including calcium (which is very important for brain function as well as other processes). Studies have also shown inositol to be vital in the efficient formation of cell membranes. This nutrient is found in a number of foods including nuts, beans, wheat, oranges, and cantaloupes.

What is Choline?

Choline is also a member of the B-vitamin family. Choline is also believed to be a precursor to the important neurotransmitter Acetylcholine which plays a key role in memory, learning, and other cognitive processes. Aside from this, choline also plays an important role in heart health and in the growth of strong and healthy hair cells.

The Choline-Inositol Combination:

When taken together, high quality inositol and choline supplements help to form lecithin. Lecithin is a lipid used in the formation of all living cell membranes. Interestingly enough as we age our cell membranes become more and more rigid and we produce less and less lecithin. Rigidness in cell membranes can lead to all types of harmful effects and conditions such as cognitive decline and heart issues.

This supplement combination helps aid the development of brain functions. The inositol helps to calm the central nervous system and may even help to boost mood. Choline helps to support memory and learning.