A lack of serotonin leads to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep, eating and memory disorders. Synthetic antidepressants have a long list of side effects, which is why in this article we present some plants and herbs that are popularly used as natural antidepressants. Afterwards, our pharmacists recommend natural food supplements that also have an effect on mood. We will conclude with an excursion into aromatherapy. Because we can also have a direct influence on our mood with essential oils.
Griffonia bean for depression - the effect of 5-HTP
Griffonia has a mood-lifting and antidepressant effect. It increases concentration, promotes mental resilience and at the same time has an analgesic and mood-lifting effect. The seeds of the African bean contain plenty of L-5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). This valuable amino acid is converted in the human body into the messenger substance serotonin and provides more mental well-being in cases of listlessness, fatigue, mood swings or depressive moods. There are only a few foods that contain 5-HTP, the African black bean is one of them.
The positive effect of herbal remedies with 5-HTP has already been proven by clinical studies. An Austrian study also proves the positive effect of Griffonia on depression, anxiety disorders and stress. You can find out more about the effect and correct use here.
Silver lime - calming effect for sleep disorders
Silver lime has a calming effect especially on all sleep disorders. It shortens the time it takes to fall asleep and thus the time it takes to sleep through the night. By ensuring relaxation in the entire organism, the silver lime prevents depressive moods. It can also calm the heartbeat, which is accelerated by tension. Its most important constituents are essential oils (including farnesol), flavone glycosides (including hesperidin and quercitrin), saponins, tannins and mucilage.
St. John's wort - effect as a herbal antidepressant
St. John's wort is one of the best-studied medicinal plants in Europe. It is the only native plant whose mood-lifting effect has been proven in many studies. St. John's wort preparations are used for inner restlessness, depressive moods, hormonal or seasonal mood lows.
The neurotransmitter serotonin in particular is positively influenced by the ingredients of St. John's wort, at least in the short term. When taking St. John's wort, it is important to bear in mind that it can interact with other medicines. For this reason, it is not recommended to take it at the same time as important medicines, the best-known example being hormonal contraceptives such as the pill. St. John's wort should also not be combined with other antidepressants. You can find more information about its effects and use here.
Food supplements with mood-lifting effects
If you live above the 42nd parallel (north of Rome), you cannot produce vitamin D even with direct sunlight in winter, because the sun is too low between October and March and therefore does not have the right radiation spectrum to let through enough UVB rays. In addition, smog in cities contributes to the UV rays not getting through. Vitamin D depots, which are replenished in the summer months, are usually half depleted in about 2 months, so many people experience low moods around the turn of the year and are more susceptible to colds. Our pharmacists recommend having your vitamin D status checked regularly and taking a vitamin D and vitamin K2 combination supplement if you are deficient. You can find out more about vitamin D here.
The additional intake of B vitamins can also be useful, as vitamin B6 in particular is an important factor in the formation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is responsible for our mood. B vitamins play a major role in the body's own energy production as well as in the regeneration of cells. They are therefore essential to keep our body working at full speed.