Depression, Anxiety & Mood Balance Formula
St. John’s Wort:
Many studies attest to the ability of St. John’s Wort to positively affect depression. St. John’s Wort has at least 10 active ingredients that help in relieving depression. As proven as those active ingredients are, never forget that the whole herb is going to be more powerful than its extracted ingredients. St. John’s Wort helps relieve depression by:
A number of studies have demonstrated the efficacy of St. John’s Wort in improving depression symptoms with approximately 80% of people using St. John’s Wort finding relief.
Black Cohosh is an analgesic nervine relaxant and helps correct low estrogen states in depression. Black Cohosh is especially indicated for deep dark depression that seems to descend out of nowhere. It helps when the mind is chaotic and wild with little ability to focus that result in acute or chronic anxiety.
New research indicates that Black Cohosh helps mood imbalances through directly effecting neurotransmitters and not just as phytoestrogen acting like estrogen. It appears that Black Cohosh works through the brain and hypothalamus. It does so by affecting the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine – which helps explain why it alleviates mood swings and irritability.
Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogen and helps the body reach a healthy homeostatic state and more easily manage and integrate the stress that can act as a trigger for depression. It raises mood and increases non- specific immunity, which makes it especially helpful when depression occurs in conjunction with chronic illness.
Siberian Ginseng acts as both a mild tranquilizer and neurostimulant and has both a calming and a stimulating effect useful in both manic or depressive phases and sedation and arousal depressive states. The stimulation achieved with Siberian Ginseng does not produce nervousness and over stimulation but rather a relaxed sense of well-being – calming and at the same time invigorating.
It can raise norepinephrine levels helping to induce movement and motivation for desired projects. Plus, it works as a nerve tonic to calm the agitation that can come with depression.
Siberian Ginseng is particularly supportive for stressed and overtaxed adrenals and because adrenal gland tissue is neuroendocrine tissue, Siberian Ginseng provides the adrenal support along with brain support. It stimulates the adrenals to help give more energy to the body and the cholinergic (calming) nervous system. Its effect on the adrenal glands is more tonic-like than stimulating and acts to normalize adrenal activity. The use of Siberian Ginseng switches adrenal function from a cortisol/catabolic focus to a DHEA/anabolic focus resulting in building and energizing and normalizing physiological functioning throughout the body.
Siberian Ginseng has a long respected ability to improve performance and withstand adverse conditions without experiencing adverse effects. It also increases mental alertness, improves concentration, and has been found to increase the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain.
In addition, Siberian Ginseng contains concentrated nourishment – especially for the brain and the nervous system. A well-nourished brain and nervous system are less likely to fall victim to mood imbalances.
Lavender, an herb beloved for its pleasing fragrance, is also proving to be an effective remedy for both anxiety and depression. Taken orally, lavender extract can be as effective as low-dose benzodiazepines for attenuating anxiety.
Lavender is a restorative for the nervous system and helps lift mood – especially when sadness and low mood linger on after improvements in life situations. Lavender clarifies and stimulates thought processes and eases and relaxes emotional tension. It stimulates the limbic system and causes relaxation in anxious, tense, or hysterical states. It is very soothing to the nervous system.
The passionflower is known to have a tranquilizing effect on the body. Many herbalists suggest using passionflower to ease depression, anxiety and stress as it has a calming effect without working as a sedative. It also has been known to help treat muscle spasms and migraines as it relaxes the blood vessels. Some scientists believe that the passionflower increases levels of Gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain, a chemical that lowers activity of the brain cells causing a state of relaxation.
Passion Flower helps to achieve stability of mood. It also helps restore deep synchronized sleep patterns in those who are tired but are awakened by pain or mental or emotional disruption during the night. It is specific for depression with deep exhaustion and insomnia due to worry, overwork, or disability.
Passion Flower is an excellent remedy for reducing and resolving rumination – the excessive and repetitive thinking so often accompanying depression and other mood disorders. Passion Flower is effective in managing generalized anxiety and nervous restlessness.
A large amount of published data has emerged on the benefits of lemon balm for alleviating anxiety and mood disorders in humans. In the past five years alone, the powerful relaxing effects of lemon balm extracts have been documented by scientists around the world. These studies confirm what herbal practitioners have long known—that lemon balm in combination with other herbal agents is effective in addressing conditions related to stress and anxiety.
This is a gentle but powerful nervine, which affects the limbic-hippocampal area in the brain. By so doing, the plant helps to filter out excessive stimuli from the body and modulates internal and external nervous input protecting the brain from excessive stimulation, reducing symptoms of excitability, restlessness, headaches, and palpitations.
Lemon Balm is specific for nervous heart, nervous stomach, and for depression co-existing with difficulty going to sleep. As a carminative nervine, it strengthens the brain against restlessness, anxiety, and neuroses.
Lemon Balm is known as the “gladdening” herb and has mild anti-depressant qualities, being soothing, calming, and uplifting plus reducing restlessness and agitation.
Nettles is the premier herb for all your physical and subtle energy systems. She clears out debris in your entire energetic network and clearly but gently dismantles old, worn out energy patterns. Nettles is truly a liquid green gold that weaves her way through you to reconnect you to your own harmonious rhythms freeing up stale and stagnant energy enlivening you.
A common trigger for anxiety is lactate build up. Nettle leaf is an effective lactate remover. It is also an excellent adrenal support herb and a good source of B vitamins. So it can also help by preventing over release of epinephrine (adrenaline) and by helping to increase acetylcholine.
Nettles is a nutritional powerhouse having appropriately ample supplies of amino acids, calcium, magnesium, chromium, cobalt, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, sulfur, selenium, silicon, manganese, trace minerals, all the B vitamins , the carotenes, vitamin K, D, and C! And nettles is a wonderful restorative tonic for the kidneys and adrenals. Strong well-nourished kidneys and adrenals are needed for the production of ample clean energy and for replenishing your deep reserves of essential life energy. Nettles provides a sense of clarity, wellness, and well-being. Nettles will nourish an awakening in you of your true self – the self that your depression is attempting to hide from you.
Nutritional deficiencies are contributory to anxiety, depression and mood imbalances. Alfalfa means “father of all foods” and is a nutritional powerhouse and a common ingredient in mood enhancing formulas. Alfalfa is rich in chlorophyll and natural protein and has high concentrations of Vitamins A, B6, D, E, and K as well as many other nutrients and phytochemicals. Alfalfa’s roots reach deep into the soil (as deep as 100 feet on established plants), and bring up minerals stored there. It is a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus and contains eight of the essential amino acids. Alfalfa is a rich nutritional support for many systems of the body and as such it encourages, supports, and coaxes the production of fundamental clean energy in the body. For the brain, alfalfa is said to help improve mental vigor. This is likely due to alfalfa’s broad spectrum of nutrients, many of which are critical to proper nerve and brain functions.
California Poppy is a gentle sedative that calms and relaxes the nervous system which helps to decrease tension and anxiety, both mentally and physically. It improves the ability to fall asleep faster, as well as promotes a deeper, more restful sleep. California poppy helps normalize disturbed sleep patterns, which are a troublesome part of depression. There have been a few small clinical and pharmacological studies carried out on the Californian poppy which have confirmed that the plant is useful as a sleep aid and to treat anxiety. It has also been found to be useful for relieving nervous tension and muscle tics.
California poppy contains isoquinoline alkaloids (including californidine, sanguinarine, escholzine, protopine, crytpopine, chelidonine), flavone glycosides (including rutin, quercetin and isorhamnetin) carotenoids and essential oil. It acts as a nervine, sedative, analgesic, febrifuge, antispasmodic, anxiolytic, thymoleptic, antihistamine and uterine stimulant.
It is an excellent herb for the nervous system and can be thought of as a gentle balancer to the emotions and a calming remedy for times of stress; research has borne out its sedative and anxiolytic properties. It is suitable for calming both children and adults, helping to reduce anxiety and tension in the day and induce sleep at night without side effects of drowsiness or stupor. It can be used to ease depression, restlessness and agitation, and is especially good for people who find it hard to let go and relax and push themselves too hard, often to the point of exhaustion.
Wood Betony is a gentle, stimulating tonic for the brain especially in the presence of hysteria and persistent unwanted thoughts, and for nervous debility, anxiety, or neuroses.
Wood Betony is a tonic that nourishes the nerves and strengthens the central nervous system. Moreover, as an herbal nervine, the herb helps to calm and soothe frayed nerves, diminish hyperactivity, ease stress, reduce tension and anxiety and other nervous disorders, such as convulsions, hysteria, palpitations and panic/anxiety attacks. It is also mildly sedative, which helps to allay excitement, induce relaxation and is conducive to sleep. Wood Betony is thought to be an antispasmodic and has been used to relax muscles (including muscles of the face), control nerve twitching in the face, and palsy.
Gotu Kola is a powerful rejuvenative nervine that enhances oxygenation and the metabolic efficiency of the brain. Gotu Kola helps with stress and the regeneration of the adrenal glands and also boosts your memory capacity, focus, concentration, and some say intelligence too... plus it helps with depression and mood enhancement.
Gotu Kola works wonders for nervousness, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks and the effects of old age, and it also improves digestion, and allows you to feel full of energy. In studies with older people given gotu kola they had less stress and depression in general.
The leaves of gotu kola have high concentration of neurotransmitter precursors (free tyrosine and phenylalanine). The herb increases GABA, an amino acid in the brain that naturally relaxes the muscles in the body and calms emotions. Low levels of GABA can result in feelings of anxiety leading to stress or depression. The herb is a CNS depressant possessing mild tranquilizing, anti-stress and anti-anxiety ability. The high concentration of vitamin B1, B2 and B6 help to convert carbohydrates into glucose as well as normal nervous system functioning.
Damiana has anti-depressant properties and helps to boost the overall mood and bring about a general feeling of well-being. It helps level hormonal responses and has been used as a central nervous system depressant to help with CNS disorders and modify and control the nervous response. It has been shown to help boost energy and reduce the effects of exhaustion.
Damiana is a nerve tonic which also has a restorative (adaptogenic) property. It has a calming effect in cases of mild depression and anxiety, and is also reputed to be an aphrodisiac. Damiana contains flavonoids that act on benzodiazepine and GABA receptors. It exhibits anxiolytic activity, muscle relaxation and sedation.
Studies conducted on the effects of kava kava have largely been positive and have encouraged further and larger research into this area. The Kava Anxiety Depression Spectrum Study, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial using an aqueous extract of kava, published in the journal of "Psychopharmacology" in 2009, found that the use of kava kava in 41 subjects with anxiety and depression significantly improved symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
A number of clinical studies have found kava kava to be effective in treating symptoms associated with anxiety. In a review of seven scientific studies, researchers concluded that a standardized kava extract was significantly more effective than placebo in treating anxiety. Another study found that kava substantially improved symptoms after only 1 week of treatment. Another study found that kava may be as effective as some prescription anti-anxiety medications. In fact, according to one study, kava and diazepam (Valium) cause similar changes in brain wave activity, suggesting that they may work in the same ways to calm the mind.
In medicine, kava kava is used as a treatment for:
Rhodiola Rosea is considered an adaptogen. This means it has an overall stabilizing effect on the body without disrupting other functions. Its ability to normalize hormones may be effective for treating depression and anxiety.
Studies of Rhodiola Rosea show that it stimulates neurotransmitters and enhances their effects on the brain. This includes the ability for the brain to process serotonin which helps the body to adapt to stress.
Since adaptogens improve the body's overall ability to handle stress, it has been studied to identify its effects on biological, chemical and physical stress.
A study was performed to test the effects of Rhodiola Rosea when stress is caused by intense mental work (such as final exams). Such tests concluded that using Rhodiola Rosea improved the amount and quality of work, increasing mental clarity and reducing the effects of fatigue.
The effects of Rhodiola Rosea have also been tested on stress and anxiety from both physical and emotional sources. A report by the American Botanical Council states that "Most users find that it improves their mood, energy level, and mental clarity." They also report on a study that indicated Rhodiola Rosea could increase stress tolerance while at the same time protecting the brain and heart from the physical effects of stress.
A recent Bulgarian study concluded that rhodiola rosea's effects can be partially attributed to its ability to stimulate the production of the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, which contribute to feelings of overall happiness and well-being. Rhodiola also appears to both lower and regulate the body's production of cortisol, a critical "stress hormone," which while in lower doses is crucial to the body's effective response to infection, trauma, and anxiety, can at higher doses depress the immune response. By lowering cortisol production, therefore, rhodiola rosea can have a balancing effect and keep stress to a minimum.
If you are taking anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressant medications, any other medications, have a diagnosed condition or illness, are pregnant, breastfeeding, elderly or very young it is important to work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner before using these or any herbs. Uses described are based on traditional use and personal experience.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. No claims are made that these herbal products are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.