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Rhodiola Rosea Vs. St. Johns Wort For Depression


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#1 j03

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:04 AM


Anyone have any experiences with these? Which one is better?

I'm currently taking SJW to treat a persistent case of depression, and i am feeling a little better, but not great either. I read that Rhodiola effects both Serotonin, and Dopamine, whereas SJW only effects Serotonin, so that would seem like a good one to take instead..

...


A little background: I eat a healthy diet, and take supplements: Multi, Omega 3, lots of protein, etc.,

I also take L Theanine, which effects the GABA receptors, and helped my anxiety.

At night I take Melatonin.

On a friends suggestion I have started occasionally smoking marijuana, and have no plans to stop at this point. So keeping that in mind, I don't want to play around with too many things that effect Serotonin levels.

Anyone have any knowledgeable advice? Experiences?

#2 suspire

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 01:13 AM

Anyone have any experiences with these? Which one is better?

I'm currently taking SJW to treat a persistent case of depression, and i am feeling a little better, but not great either. I read that Rhodiola effects both Serotonin, and Dopamine, whereas SJW only effects Serotonin, so that would seem like a good one to take instead..


Does anyone know if it is safe to take both together? I know you're disinclined to do so, but if there are no health risks in trying both, you may want to see if they will work well in combination.

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#3 OneScrewLoose

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 07:54 AM

Anyone have any experiences with these? Which one is better?

I'm currently taking SJW to treat a persistent case of depression, and i am feeling a little better, but not great either. I read that Rhodiola effects both Serotonin, and Dopamine, whereas SJW only effects Serotonin, so that would seem like a good one to take instead..


Does anyone know if it is safe to take both together? I know you're disinclined to do so, but if there are no health risks in trying both, you may want to see if they will work well in combination.


I don't think the combination's a problem. However, Rhodiola is known to lose it's effect after a few weeks to a few months, so most people recommend only occasional use. You can try SAM-E as well, which as worked for me. But if you really feel you have depression, you should probably see a doctor as well.

#4 NDM

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 08:09 AM

3 warnings about SJW + other stuff:

1. it seems to have a very peculiar action in the body, such that it messes up with the absorbtion of most other things; it is one of those supplements best taken alone and apart from anything else;

2. I blame SJW for damaging my sight. If you browse the web, they'll tell you that it increases photosensitivity, but in my case i think it caused a blurry - foggy distance sight;

3. It seems to work only on mild depression / low mood; if your case is of clinical depression, you'd better see an MD;

4. for high energy levels, I found that the best deal (somewhat expensive though) is 400 mg SAMe taken together with 1 g TMG. One portion of these can get me over an afternoon without my usual need for an afternoon nap; and that's a huge achievement ( I get almost narcoleptic after my heavy lunch);

#5 spacey

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 09:15 AM

Would say Rhodiola takes SJW anytime of the day, it gives a nice mood-life and it also gives me more motivation and focus. I'll admit I haven't tried SJW much but alas it doesn't do much for me.

#6 j03

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 09:44 PM

Onescrewloose: What's SAM-E's mechanism of action? Is it a Serotonin booster? Dopamine? GABA?

NDM: What's "TMG"?

spacey: How long have you been on it? Have you noticed any decrease in effectiveness?

#7 Zoroaster

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 11:08 PM

3 warnings about SJW + other stuff:

1. it seems to have a very peculiar action in the body, such that it messes up with the absorbtion of most other things; it is one of those supplements best taken alone and apart from anything else;

2. I blame SJW for damaging my sight. If you browse the web, they'll tell you that it increases photosensitivity, but in my case i think it caused a blurry - foggy distance sight;

3. It seems to work only on mild depression / low mood; if your case is of clinical depression, you'd better see an MD;


QFT

Saint John's Wart is actually one of the more dangerous supps out there because it can drastically alter the absorption pattern of lots of other drugs. You definitely should not take it while taking prescription medications because it can greatly extend or shorten the halflife of other substances in the body. Plus I've tried it and it doesn't seem to help anything much. I think Rhodiola is better for mood and general feeling of wellbeing. But honestly its effects are rather subtle as well compared to a prescription drug. Another supplement to consider is Phenibut, which works pretty well for me. When I take that with a mild stimulant I feel pretty awesome.

Also, I would seriously reconsider your decision to self-medicate with marijuana. I know there's a controversy about whether marijuana causes depression or is just so often associated with it because of self-medication but there really is some decent evidence that it is a causitive factor:

http://ajp.psychiatr...act/158/12/2033
http://www3.intersci...891053/abstract
http://health.usnews...nment-says.html

I don't think the question is settled by any means. But why risk plunging yourself deeper down into the depths when there are other proven ways to treat depression? Specifically I'd recommend some counseling therapy if its covered by your insurance. I had extremely severe depression for years and while I tried lots of different drugs and supps it was counseling that eventually got me out of it.

#8 NDM

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 11:22 PM

TMG = Trimetylglycine
It recycles SAMe: SAMe is quite expensive; TMG quite cheap...Also, TMG seems to work on mood as well, as one of its metabolites is glycine.
An alternative to TMG is eating loads of red beets.
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#9 Kazbe

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 05:10 AM

Anyone have any experiences with these? Which one is better?

I'm currently taking SJW to treat a persistent case of depression, and i am feeling a little better, but not great either. I read that Rhodiola effects both Serotonin, and Dopamine, whereas SJW only effects Serotonin, so that would seem like a good one to take instead..


I too eat healthily, exercise moderately, and meditate. I went through a series of major and very stressful events which lasted four years and ended two years ago. I've alway suffered from mild depression and have just found it difficult to bounce back from the events of those four years. I'm constantly exhausted and I seem to spend more energy catching myself thinking negatively and turning those thoughts into positive thoughts than I do anything else. I was put on Rhodiola by a qualified, registered naturopath. It was mixed in a tincture with other herbs - such as Squaw herb - to rebalance my hormonal systems (at 53, I've also just started to miss periods every few months), alleviate my moderate depression and boost my flagging metabolism to help me lose weight (10kgs). This treatment also included exercise and diet - although the diet barely differed from what I was already eating and the requirement of an hour's cardio and weights every day was really difficult (and stressful!) to meet. After four months, I can tell you that it hasn't been a great success. Yes, I lost 1.5 kgs, but have plateaued over the last 3 months, and yes, I've had more energy but it has been of a jittery kind, more akin to ingesting too much caffeine, and it made my already disturbed sleep patterns even worse.

The naturopath told me that Rhodiola was the only herb she had put in the mixture which would actively boost my energy levels so I can only assume it was this which cause the jittery energy. She adjusted it many times but the jitteriness never went and I could never take the tincture later than midday otherwise I could not sleep. In the end, I had two tinctures - one for morning and one for night. The depression never lifted either - in fact, I think it is worse, if only because I feel I'm going nowhere despite my effort to turn things around.

I prefer to avoid doctors unless absolutely necessary - I refuse to take Prozac or other anti-depressants as I think they are only for severe depression which I don't believe I have, and I've had it with CBT. I was managing OK before those four years! I have tried St John's Wort before and recall that it did work (better than SAMe which I have also tried), although it does take a few weeks for any real effect to kick in and you do need a clinically recommended does (which is 1.8g standardised to 900 ug hypericin) - you can double check that on the internet as it hs been reported from clinical trials). I've stopped going to the naturopath as I just can't afford it anymore but I have some tincture left and I'm wondering if I should finish it off while the St John's Wort is ramping up. If I do, I'll let you know what happens.

Never give up, never surrender! :)

#10 tintinet

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 03:26 PM

If you take SJW, make sure you're taking a high hyperforin extract.

Add a gram of EPA/day also?

Edited by tintinet, 17 February 2010 - 03:27 PM.


#11 kurt

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 10:02 AM

High hyperforin SJW works indeed, at least for me. It has not been proven to work for major depression, however.

TMG works like a mild stimulant on me. It's worth a try.

#12 nito

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 02:41 AM

in terms of sjw i tried perika and kira which didn't do much. I have heard new chapter sc27 works better, is that cus it has got higher hyperforin? Regarding rhodiola i tried the NOW brand which i built a tolerance to i think. Again i have heard new chapter rhodiola works better. Seems the "New Chapter" brand is the way to go!

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#13 zm3thod

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 02:25 AM

in terms of sjw i tried perika and kira which didn't do much. I have heard new chapter sc27 works better, is that cus it has got higher hyperforin? Regarding rhodiola i tried the NOW brand which i built a tolerance to i think. Again i have heard new chapter rhodiola works better. Seems the "New Chapter" brand is the way to go!


I've posted several times about the sc27 working better than regular SJW for me. I now have the Perika as well but haven't experimented by taking it by itself (the only times I've had Perika it was sc27 upon waking and the Perika 12 hours later).

The reason I've been enthusiastic about the sc27 is because it was an obvious difference for me when I first started taking it. Since then I try to take it ever day, which makes it somewhat expensive even at one gelcap. I think it still has full effectiveness. There were a few times the last couple weeks when my schedule was crazy and I started getting snappy / easily frustrated / upset, and each time I had forgotten to take my sc27




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