The main symptoms of dopamine deficiency are dementia and depression. Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease are also attributed to this deficiency. A commonly prescribed drug for dopamine deficiency is Levodopa or L-dopa. L-dopa was earlier considered a miracle drug for PD patients but is not so. There are two reasons for this: first of all, L-dopa loses effectiveness over time leading to fluctuating symptoms. Secondly, at higher doses, this drug can lead to excessive and uncontrolled involuntary movements like facial grimaces, head wagging and tremors etc. So today we will consider some home remedies and natural cures to increase dopamine naturally. Do note that these cures might not be effective in advanced stages of aforementioned diseases. However, one can start taking them early on to prevent the disease from progressing.
1. Treat underlying vitamin deficiencies
Many multivitamins and minerals are necessary for natural dopamine formation. Deficiency in iron, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins and vitamin C can all interfere with dopamine neurotransmission indirectly. So it is very important to take a multivitamin supplement on a daily basis. Magnesium therapy particularly helps. You must also take a lot of Vitamin C which is an antioxidant. Vitamin B complex especially B6 vitamins and folate play a key role in dopamine synthesis and neurotransmission. Patients with lower levels of these vitamins often show excess stress, fatigue, depression and a negative outlook towards life.
2. Fava beans
Fava beans are important foods that naturally increase dopamine levels. A group of researchers conducted tests on PD patients who were made to stop taking all drugs and fed a diet rich in fava beans (250 grams daily) and legumes. At the end of the trial, symptoms were much better and subjects showed improved motor skills. In healthy volunteers who ate fava beans, there was considerable increase in blood dopamine levels.
Gingko preserves neurons and also has the potential to boost neurotransmitters. It is considered equivalent to, if not better than, pharmaceutical drugs for treating Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other diseases that occur due to dopamine deficiency. Do not take Gingko if you take blood thinners.
4. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide prevents oxidation of dopamine and prevents cell damage. Take a few drops of food grade hydrogen peroxide daily in water or juice.
Acupuncture significantly increases dopamine levels as shown by a study.
6. Magnetic therapy
As per a study on repetitive magnetic stimulation, tests on rats showed increased dopamine levels.
7. Mucuna Pruriens
This is an Ayurvedic herbal remedy for increasing dopamine levels naturally. Many randomized trials have been conducted on the powder obtained from Mucuna Pruriens seeds which showed that they contain natural L-dopa to benefit Parkinson’s disease patients. One needs to take at least 60 grams of the powder daily to see results.
8. St. John’s Wort
This herbal remedy can treat depression. St. John’s Wort plays key role in mood and attitude and patients who took this herb for a period of 4-6 weeks showed improved outlook towards life. You can take St. John’s Wort with Inositol to enable proper transmission of nerve signals.
9. 5-HTP and L-tyrosine
5-HTP (hydroxyryptopan) is precursor to both serotonin and melatonin which are required for stress relief and better sleep respectively. It is effectively used today to treat many lifestyle diseases including obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, as well as fibromyalgia, Down’s syndrome and so on. Both 5-HTP and l-tyrosine calm the body and mind, boost dopamine levels and help patients sleep better.
Glutamine relieves anxiety and stress. It also relieves muscle spasms and tension and is a brain calming supplement that boosts GABA neurotransmitter.
Music especially chanting or meditative music can move us emotionally, calm the mind and soothe the senses. Good music can uplift the mood and get our brain chemicals moving.
Meditation is known to actually raise dopamine levels by 65%! It can help you connect with your inner self, prevent depressive thoughts and also reduce addictions that are a side effect of low dopamine levels.
Fun and laughter with friends can also release endorphins. You can also watch humorous movies and shows to get out of depression.
14. Get some sunshine
Low levels of Vitamin D3 can give rise to low mood and depression. So go ahead and soak in some sunshine to soothe away aches and pains and boost the mood.
15. Massage therapy
Massage is very beneficial as the skin on skin contact helps release endorphins and also aids sleep. If you can afford it, get regular professional massages. Otherwise, you can ask your partner to massage you. You can also learn self massage techniques.
Sex releases endorphins, helps you sleep better and reduces stress.
One of the best natural cures for boosting dopamine and serotonin, exercise reduces stress and relieves tension. It also helps you sleep better. Patients of dementia or early stage PD must exercise for as long as they can. Try lifting weights or doing coordinated exercises.
18. Food and diet
As mentioned above, fava beans are wonderful super foods for boosting dopamine levels naturally. Carbohydrate rich meals are beneficial for dementia and PD patients. These include whole grains, vegetables like sweet potatoes, peas and broccoli, pasta, and brown rice. Chocolate with more than 60% cocoa can also boost serotonin. Pineapples, bananas, nuts and seeds are good sources of serotonin and can induce feel good hormones. Hot and spicy foods like chili, peppers, and jalapenos can also produce dopamine and serotonin.
Try these 18 natural cures to boost dopamine levels and prevent depressive thoughts.