Dee Woods: Herbs may put joy back into winter

By Dee Woods

Fall is a beautiful and colorful time of year, but for many people it's just a foreboding of the coming winter doldrums, or worse. Early darkness, cold weather and lack of sunshine can trigger emotional problems in many patients.

This column may prove helpful to people who have been switched from medication to medication without relief of their symptoms. More Americans than ever are on prescription drugs for emotional disorders, but I believe there are some better answers.

Within the last two weeks I came upon some information that may help people reduce depression and its accompanying anxiety. An article in my October 2012 issue of Health Sciences Institute contains information on a three-pronged natural approach to beating depression and anxiety quickly.

Author Michele Cagan writes about Dr. Greg Jantz, founder of "The Center, A Place of Hope" in Seattle. Jantz works with patients suffering many forms of depression and anxiety.

He began treating patients with a natural product known as InJoy, a combination of nutrients and herbs. According to Cagan, some patients responded almost immediately to the product while others took mere days to see improvement.

Jantz stated, "One of the reasons we use InJoy at our clinic is it works so quickly." He explained his patients would feel improvements in their mood and energy after only a few days (and some after one dose) of starting it.

"Two herbs in InJoy are known for nourishing the body and spirit, and well known for balancing stress response," Cagan writes. "They are 'adoptogenic herbs' Schisandra chinesis and ocimum sanctum. The balance of ingredients in the product are two essential amino acids 5-HTP and L-tyrosine, with two crucial B-vitamins B12 and folate."

5-HTP, according to Cagan, "plays a very important role in neurotransmitter production. And because of that, it can have a major impact on your emotions. When there's not enough 5-HTP, it can take a terrible toll on your mood, leading to a wide range of emotional disorders. But give your body the supplies it needs to make enough serotonin and melatonin, and everything can turn around, even major depression and anxiety."

Cagan points to 40 years of research on 5-HTP. It can ease anxiety, improve insomnia, calm panic disorders and promote quality sleep, she said. She points to the importance of B12 and folate, and how deficiencies of either can elevate the risk of severe depression. A deficiency of these nutrients can trigger anxiety as well, according to Cagan.

Jantz explained, "We have certainly had people respond to InJoy. Within about one week their depressive symptoms seem to lift, and they notice when they miss a dose, they don't feel as resilient and happy. I like that it works quickly and we can see results within the first week of treatment because we need to see results quickly or move onto another treatment."

In tougher cases, it may take an additional week or when it doesn't seem to be as effective as he would like, he uses InJoy as an adjuvant to conventional antidepressants. When some antidepressants seem to quit working, he says the InJoy may help the medication to begin working again. But he warns none of this can be done without the assistance of a doctor who treats mental disorders (if you are currently on medications). It is imperative, if you are being treated with any medication, to speak with your physician before taking InJoy.

Cagan explains that in many cases, while a physician is using both conventional treatments as well as InJoy, the conventional medication can be reduced and sometimes even eliminated. For those interested in more information on InJoy you can email me.

Next week, I will continue with exciting information from a well-known integrative psychiatrist whose has some wonderful news for those who suffer depression, anxiety or forms of compulsive behavior.

Dee Woods is available to give presentations about alternative health treatments and healthy living. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .