The "Happiness" Herbal Mix
It is critical that your body has what it takes to make the three key "happiness" neurotransmitters that your body needs. These are called serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Serotonin is made from 5 Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). Dopamine and norepinephrine are made from tyrosine. Numerous double-blind (i.e., "gold standard") studies have shown 5-HTP to be as effective as prescription antidepressants but much better tolerated. Another placebo-controlled study has shown tyrosine to also be as effective as antidepressants without side effects. In addition, if 5-HTP is given without tyrosine, it often stops working after a few months. Giving tyrosine along with the 5-HTP results in long-lasting improvement.
Caution: If taken with serotonin-raising antidepressants and medications, 5-HTP and St John's Wort can raise serotonin too high. This would reflect as a high pulse and sometimes anxiety. If you have a rapid pulse for no reason, ask your holistic practitioner to lower the dose of serotonin and epinephrine-raising medications (even if not on the herbal) and stop the herbal and see if it resolves. This side effect is much more commonly caused by combining medications than by the herbals — another good reason that your holistic practitioner opts for these natural therapies!
St. John's Wort
25 double-blind studies with a total of over 1,500 patients have shown St. John's Wort to be as effective as prescription antidepressants — without the side effects. In addition to being effective in eliminating depression, it also helps sleep, anxiety and low self-esteem.
Magnolia bark has a long history of use in traditional Chinese formulas that relieve anxiety and depression without leaving you feeling like you've been drugged.
B vitamins and magnesium
High dose B vitamins as well as magnesium can also be helpful.