We’ve all heard about Serotonin, and its use as an antidepressant in the form of Prozac, Paxil and others. But we seldom hear about GABA deficiency.
GABA is the other inhibitory neurotransmitter. It calms us, relaxes muscle tension, helps us sleep and digest, and plays a role in coughs, vomiting, and diarrhea of unknown origin.
Additionally, GABA plays a big role in pain management, anger, irritability, oversensitivity, and anxiety. GABA, as the great stabilizer in the human body, can regulate the bowels which may be either too loose or too constipated, or are alternating. GABA helps govern reflux, ringing in the ears, panic, mood swings and so much more. Good restful sleep requires normal GABA levels as well as good Melatonin (derived from Serotonin).
While I see many clients on some form of Serotonin, or a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor such as Paxil or Lexapro, I seldom see people on prescription or herbal forms of GABA. Many times, adding some support for GABA allows people to reduce their SSRI’s (and their side effects), and get much better results as well.
Others can just use some GABA to improve sleep, anxiety, mood swings and more.
Here are some of the forms of GABA that we use, or can recommend as a prescription if necessary:
1). Passion Flower: We sell this herbal extract in our online store! You can take it every few hours, or just at night, or anytime required. The dose written on our bottle allows anywhere from 10 to 240 drops a day – which basically says to take as much or as little as you want! It does come in capsule form at health stores, but I like being able to control the number of drops I want at any time. It is safe for all ages and will not conflict with other medications unless the patient is being sedated or is on prescription painkillers. Children require smaller doses of course… Here is the link to the product in glycerite. Find it here in alcohol.
2). Valerian, Skullcap, Avena Sativa: These three herbs are well known to provide calming and relaxing support. We carry them, and they are widely available everywhere. We recommend our N3 – Relaxa as a good combo product.
3). GABA: Buy Pharma-GABA, not regular GABA. The label should clearly state this name. It works for some, and not for others. It is best on an empty stomach, as all amino acids are. You can open a capsule and take 1/2 of one as needed, or a whole one or two before bed or during the night if waking. Pharma GABA is a special form that works better than the standard store variety. It is naturally fermented from food rather than being synthetically derived.
4). Prescription forms of GABA and meds that work with the GABA receptor include Clonazepam, Lyrica, Gabapentin, Topamax, Depakote and more. If you are currently taking these (and you don’t have seizures), try the above products instead, and see if they will replace the prescriptions and eliminate their side effects. For those of us with severe GABA deficiencies these meds at low doses can be life changing however. Try food and lifestyle changes and the herbs first.