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Binge eating disorder (BED) sufferers experience regular binge eating without major compensatory behaviors like self-initiated vomiting and too much exercise. Home treatments and therapies are also effective when added to professional treatments of BED.

Researchers and clinicians are beginning to find out that there are two different groups of binge eating disorder patients:

  • Individuals with binge eating features and obesity but who have no significant psychological issues
  • People with similar eating abnormalities but more severe and prolonged emotional distress [1]

While therapy forms the backbone of binge eating disorders and pharmacological treatment is sometimes used as well, herbs and natural treatments can also play a role in helping you overcome your binge eating disorder. A good number of home remedies and herbal therapies emerged for the binge eating disorder treatment as a result of safety concerns and side effects associated with the use of pharmaceutical antidepressant medications. [2]

BED-Related Depression And Saffron Extract Treatment

Saffron extract may reduce serotonin reuptake in the synapses. This synaptic serotonin reuptake inhibition retains the mood-elevating neurotransmitter in the brain for a longer duration, boosting its impact and reducing depression. [2] Saffron extract has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which hold therapeutic potential for a lot of nervous system disorders. [3]

An animal study additionally showed that many parts of the saffron plant contain antidepressant properties. Saffron extract helps to combat mild to moderate depression and anxiety, which trigger binge eating. [5] Saffron is an effective therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate depression [6] and it may be as effective as fluoxetine [7].

St John’s Wort

There are many scientific pieces of evidence that St John's wort may reduce symptoms in people with mild-to-moderate, but not severe depression. Thus, it can be useful in the treatment of binge eating disorder-related depression. Some studies found that it has a similar function as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a well-accepted form of antidepressant frequently prescribed for the treatment of depression. [8]

Thus the herb St John’s Wort presents another natural and herbal treatment to treat binge eating disorder and a way to raise serotonin levels. It is a natural serotonin booster that helps to lessen anxiety and depression.

Serotonin is a chemical in the brain responsible for feeling good and connected with mood, appetite, sleep, learning and memory. If your serotonin levels are too low, you are likely to be anxious and perceive the world as unfriendly. [9].

Before using John’s wort, you must be aware that there are potential risks of interactions of John’s worth with other related prescribed medications and drugs that treat binge eating disorder. [10] Talk to your healthcare provider before using St John's wort if you are also using other medications. [11]

5-HTP

5-HTP is another natural supplement that boosts serotonin and reduces anxiety and depression. [12] Consult your doctor if you are taking any other antidepressant medication or serotonin booster before taking this supplement.

L-Tryptophan For Anxiety

Although l-tryptophan can be obtained from your diet, and especially a therapeutic eating plan for binge eating disorder recovery, a number of people choose to take a more direct approach to obtain additional tryptophan and boost serotonin levels. L-Tryptophan is available as a supplement and helps to treat depression, though it does require a doctor’s prescription.

Vitamin Supplements

The daily intake of vitamin supplements that are made up of vitamins A, B, C and E and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium are essential in activating brain function and stabilizing the appetite. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids boost the relaxation of muscles and help to minimize stress.

A multivitamin supplies the body with its necessary nutrition and sustains a chemical balance. Together with therapy for binge eating disorder, it can help you control your urge to binge eat. [13]

Supplements That Boost Dopamine Levels

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for motivation. It is usually injected intravenously and easily reaches the brain this way. There are a number of herbs, amino acids, and natural compounds that naturally boost the levels of dopamine in the brain.

Some of these supplements are used for specific psychological issues like ADHD, depression, or anxiety, and we'll discuss some of those now.

L-Tyrosine

The top recommended dopamine supplement is l-tyrosine. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that acts as a precursor to dopamine. Tyrosine is naturally present in protein-rich foods like animal products and legumes. If your diet is deficient in l-tyrosine, you will have insufficient dopamine. There are many forms of tyrosine supplements but the best of them all is the highly absorbable form of l-tyrosine that acts as a filter that keeps foreign substances out of the brain. [14]

Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume that is also referred to as velvet bean or cowhage. The beans and pods are made up of l-dopa, a dopamine precursor. Mucuna pruriens supplements help to boost mood, memory, and general brain health. Research shows that Mucuna pruriens is more functional than levodopa medications. [15]

Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a popular natural brain supplement that boosts dopamine levels and helps to improve memory, concentration, and symptoms of ADHD. [1617] It also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. [18] Phosphatidylserine can be obtained in food like cow brains and chicken hearts.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is another popular herbal remedy for brain-related disorders like depression and anxiety. [19]

L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid that is present in green tea. L-Theanine increases dopamine and boosts mood. [2021]

SAM-e

SAM-e (s-adenosyl methionine) is a natural remedy for depression. It boosts the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters that are responsible for good mood. [22]

Essential Body Awareness Therapy

A study [23] found that essential body awareness therapy can help to manage binge eating disorder. Body awareness therapy centers on awareness of some valuable movements. This treatment helped individuals with binge eating disorder to increase self-awareness.

Yoga Therapy

Yoga helps your binge eating by minimizing your stress levels. A study showed that women who practice yoga improved their positive feelings and sense of worth significantly. They also showed improved body image, reduced self-objection and better eating habits. [24]

Another study found that home-yoga, when practiced together with regular formal weekly sessions, helps in the treatment of binge eating disorder. [25]

Acupuncture Therapy

Acupuncture, used together with regular treatments of binge eating disorder, can be effective in minimizing symptoms of depression, gives individuals a better sense of control, and improves their mental and physical health.  [26]

Relaxation Therapy 

Massage and relaxation therapy helps to improve patients’ personal attitude to life which makes it easier for them to recover. Massage therapy boosts the levels of serotonin and dopamine and lessens levels of depression, anxiety, and stress that trigger binge eating episodes. [27]

Relaxation therapies like aromatherapy and meditation help to minimize emotional binge eating, boost self-acceptance, and help the individual to discover binge eating triggers. Research shows that these therapies also curb anxiety, food addiction and help the patient's ability to manage pain. [28]

Biofeedback

A pilot study discovered that individuals with varying types of eating disorders found heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback very helpful at combating their eating disorders. [29]

Building Individual Support Through Media Education

A study discovered that women who posted images of physically fit bodies with information on determination and perseverance improved their body weight, compulsive exercise and their risk ofclinical eating disorders. Another study found that information technology based CBT and other psycho-educational therapies were not very effective for boosting body image issues and eating disorders in college students. [30]

Appetite Awareness Training

Appetite awareness training treats binge eating by enhancing identification of and reaction to interior food symptoms instead of exterior food cues and helps to reduce binge eating than controlling with a wait-list therapy. [31].

Mindfulness Therapy

Mindfulness therapy is another great supplementary binge eating disorder treatment. It aims to boost awareness of what triggers binge eating episodes and help the individual to gain better self-control over food and be able to develop better self acceptance. [32].

Exercise And Virtual Reality Therapy

Incorporating exercise and virtual reality into your binge eating treatment can encourage weight loss and improve your body image. [33, 34

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