Fall and winter can be a tough time for staying positive and motivated. Thankfully there are natural herbs that we can use for a natural shift in our mood for a more positive one. Below we share 5 herbs for mental health. These are natural remedies to ease your mind and help you rise up to realign.
What is mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we feel, act and our thoughts. Also determines how we handle stress, make choices and relationships with others. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.
Many factors contribute to mental health issues, including:
- Biological factors: genes or brain chemistry
- Life experiences: trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health issues
Warning signs you or someone you love may need help:
Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign that you or your loved one should seek some help:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from loved ones and usual activities
- Having no energy or lower than usual
- Feeling of numbness or like nothing matters
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual and inability to stop doing so
- Feeling confused, forgetful, anxious, angry, upset, worried, or afraid
- Feeling irritable with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships and with your job or school
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head and that cause anguish
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true or real
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of yourself, your children or getting to work or school
5 HERBS TO HELP YOU REALIGN YOUR MIND:
1. SKULLCAP, scutellaria lateriflora:
This potent flower has been used in western medicine as a tea or tincture form to reduce muscle spasms and tension, minimize anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. It can be use as a short or long term to help calm the nervous system and receive muscle tightness and inflammation.
2. PASSION FLOWER, passiflora incarnata:
Soothing and calming herb that is used as an anti-depressant and mild muscle relaxant. Gentle enough for children to use as well as elderly. Great for reducing mental anxiety and tension. Helps relieve restlessness.
3. ST. JOHN'S WORTH, hypericum perforatum:
This specific herb has one of the world's longest history of being used as a great nerve tonic and anti-depressant. It can be utilized as a tea, tincture or even a capsule. This herb should not be combined with any anti-depressant drugs as there is a chance to create excessive serotonin if combined with other meds for depression. You will need to use a good mineral SPF while using this herb as it increases sun sensitivity to the skin. We recommend using one of our tinted mineral SPFs while using this herb.
4. LAVENDER & ROSE, lavandula angustifolia and rosa species:
Lavender and rose essential oils have been used now for centuries to treat anxiety and depression. These oils bypass the thalamus switchboard of the brain and go straight into our memory and emotional centers of our brain, helping calming down and uplifting the spirit. How to use this oils? Use them in a diffuser through our your home or rub a couple of drops into your temples or wrists.
5. 5-HTP, 5-hydroxytryptophan:
Our serotonin is made directly from the amino acid 5-HTP (this isn't an herb but we feel it is important to incorporate this ingredient). This particular ingredient helps boost serotonin. This particular ingredient should not be used if you are already taking antidepressants as it can cause too much serotonin to be produced which can be unsafe. Helps with irritability, obsessive thoughts, negative mood and behavior.
Always consult with your doctor prior to starting any new herbs for your depression. Keep in mind that it may take more than one single herb or drug to relieve depression. Having some strong ties to your community, great friends and family to support you on your journey to feeling better is always preferred. Adding counseling might help with some of the feelings that come up with depression.
Making sure to rest well through the night, get proper daily exercise and a healthy diet can all help increase serotonin naturally and it is highly advised. Every person is unique in their chemistry so it is advisable to always consult with a mental health professional.
Please seek help if you feel unable to keep on going. Call SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline at 1-877-726-4727 to get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Remember you are not alone.