St John's Wort:
St John's Wort contains the active chemical hypericin. Hypericin may be what gives the herb most of its efficacy. Hypericin may inhibit the action of the enzyme dopamine hydroxylase, leading to increased dopamine levels, although thus possibly decreasing norepinephrine and epinephrine. Other compounds such as hyperforin and flavonoids may play a role as well. Researchers suspect that ingredients in the herb (hypericin and hyperforin) may change levels of certain brain chemicals, like serotonin and dopamine. Both serotonin and dopamine are chemicals produced by the human body to control moods and inner feelings.
It's Ayurvedic name is Tagar and it's Chinese name is Xie Cao. Valerian contains a substance known as valerenic acid that is believed to affect gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. It is believed that one of the purposes of GABA is to control fear or anxiety experienced when nerve cells are overexcited. This mechanism of action is thought to be the basis of Valerian's efficacy.
Valerian is another active group of components that may contribute to its effectiveness. They are the iridoids, which include the valepotriates. Valepotriates and their derivatives may promote calm feelings.
B Vitamins are an essential nutrient for health. Vitamin B complex is composed of eight B vitamins: B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin), B-5 (pantothenic acid), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-7 (biotin), B-9 (folic acid), and B-12 (cobalamin). The B vitamins help enzymes in our bodies do their jobs and are important for a wide range of cellular functions, like breaking down carbohydrates and transporting nutrients throughout the body. The B vitamins play an inter-related role in keeping our brains running properly. Adequate amounts of B vitamins in the body are essential for optimal physiological and neurological functioning. B vitamins may benefit mood and reduce the physiological response to stress. B vitamins support just about every aspect of healthy brain function.
Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body, including the metabolism of food, synthesis of fatty acids and proteins, and the transmission of nerve impulses.
Findings in current studies offer modest support that Magnesium (Mg) intake may benefit individuals who deal with stressful or anxious circumstances.Magnesium may interact with and support the hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal glands. These glands are responsible for the release of hormones in stressful situations.
GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid):
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a neurotransmitter that helps send messages between the brain and the nervous system. It is produced in the brain from glutamate. This process is catalyzed by the active form of vitamin B6 and the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase. The significance of this key neurotransmitter has just recently been recognized, but it is now thought that it plays a role in a multitude of health conditions. Reaction to stress is one of the many studies currently under way.
5-HTP is an amino acid. It is essential for the manufacturing of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the human body. It is believed to help regulate mood and social behavior. Supplementing with 5-HTP may promote calming feelings. The calming feeling may help with reactions to everyday stress and even calmness during sleep.