In today’s insane world, it’s far too easy to not only feel the blues but also feel beat up and zapped of energy. From crazy politics to never-ending work weeks to all the other stressors of everyday life, an all-natural pick-me-up could be all you need. Energy drinks may provide a momentary boost, but the crash and the chemicals aren’t worth it. If you’re interested in mood enhancers in a more natural and herbal way, you’ve come to the right place.
5 Mood Enhancing Herbs: What They Are and What They Do
Rather than go the pharmaceutical route to mask what ails us emotionally and psychologically, those in the know are turning to more natural means of mood-enhancing substances. Our planet is ripe with so many plants and herbs that have fantastic mood-boosting qualities when used properly and don’t have the nasty side effects that pharmaceuticals do. Here’s a look at the 5 best ones.
St. John’s Wort
Although not backed by extensive scientific research, St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is highly recommended by experts in holistic health as a mood booster. This herb suppresses serotonin breakdown and is widely recommended as a natural remedy for depression. It has also been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety as a healthier alternative to benzodiazepines.
St. John’s Wort, although all-natural, should be avoided if taking pharmaceutical antidepressants. It can also interfere with HIV medications and some heart medications.
Although the tropical tree that kratom comes from, Mitragyna speciosa, has been around for eons, its use as an all-natural mood enhancer is more of a newcomer. Despite not being as well known as other natural substances, it’s making a name for itself as a powerful mood enhancer.
Lower doses of kratom can provide the boost that a cup or two of coffee would produce, combined with a very mild and pleasant euphoria. Larger doses can induce relaxation and a sense of calm. You can buy kratom capsules and see if their effects are what you’re looking for.
This traditional Ayurvedic plant (Withania somnifera) has been used in holistic circles for quite some time to boost moods and support the nervous system. Many athletes use it to increase stamina and to help keep their energy levels high. This mood-enhancing herb helps to modify our body’s neurotransmitters, mostly serotonin, for mood regulation and GABA, which has a calming effect. It’s also known to help reduce anxiety.
In high doses, ashwagandha can cause stomach distress. Another concern for those interested in trying ashwagandha is its effect on the thyroid gland. In some, ashwagandha can cause an unnatural increase in thyroid hormone levels.
Most people are familiar with saffron when used in cooking, but it also has fantastic mood-enhancing properties. Studies have suggested that the stigmas harvested by hand from the Crocus sativus (referred to as saffron) are highly effective at enhancing moods. Some who suffer from depression can find their mood elevated by ingesting a prescribed amount of saffron, as it has properties that can boost both serotonin and dopamine.
Unfortunately, saffron can be incredibly expensive. Despite its mood-enhancing properties, it could be out of reach of the average person due to its high cost.
This cool climate herb is known worldwide as being used in Chinese traditional medicine. It’s been lauded as a remedy for everything from sexual dysfunction to improving cognitive function and everything between the two. Ginseng is, in fact, good for many of the body’s functions, but it’s also a very effective mood enhancer. It can help the body normalize the levels of certain neurotransmitters, namely serotonin, and dopamine, making it a fantastic mood booster.
The side effects of ginseng are usually mild but can include diarrhea, sleep disorders, and headaches.
Try These Mood Enhancing Herbs and See Which One Is Right for You
Modern-day pharmaceuticals that boast the proper way to regulate and enhance moods aren’t for everyone. Many come with a laundry list of unpleasant side effects. Why bother with these pills when there’s an entire planet packed with natural plants and herbs that can do the same thing without unpleasantries?
There’s everything from well-known ginseng to St. John’s Wort that could do the trick for you. Kratom may be the new kid on the block, but that doesn’t diminish its mood-enhancing effects. Depending on the desired effect you want, a change in dosage is all you’ll need to do. Instead of visiting your primary care physician and asking for medication, try these suggestions.