Can Supplements Improve Our Mood?
oday, more than 20 million American adults suffer from a mood disorder and 40 million from an anxiety disorder. Stack on the number of people who would be classified as a worrier or the people who suffer from the sporadic battle with the blues, and it is easy to see how mood problems and how to deal with them are an increasing concern across the country.
It is no surprise that people are seeking out mood-enhancing supplements and alternatives to pharmaceutical grade medications.
As much as some people would argue otherwise, our moods are largely influenced by chemical interactions in our bodies. You cannot just decide to feel more positive or happier. Those feelings, or feelings of more depressed moods, are largely just a result of our chemical state. It is why medications and supplements can have such a profound impact on our mood.
For many that use antidepressant medication, they either stop working or present too many side effects.
Henry Emmons, MD, a psychiatrist and author of The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom, prescribes medications for his patients. In addition he highly recommends good nutrition and exercise combined with a few targeted mood supplements.
Can supplements really enhance our mood, and if so, which ones should we be looking for?
Research in the herbal supplement field has been sorely lacking for years. There has been more research on some supplements than others, but more clearly needs to be done. These are some of the ones highly recommended by many natural herbal experts as well as many medical professionals.
St. John’s wort
This is one of the most widely used herbs for mood enhancement you will find. It is a yellow-flowered plant containing many medical compounds that may have medicinal effects.
Although evidence is a bit mixed for many herbs, it is far better for St. John’s wort than other herbs.
It is generally accepted that St. John’s wort works as a mood enhancer for many people. What is largely in dispute or unproven at this time is how it works. It was originally believed to work as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. The more likely scenario is that it is working as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, similar to how Prozac works.
There have been a lot of studies abroad showing that it can improve mild to moderate depression.
Valerian is a herbal remedy created from dry roots. It is most commonly recommended as a sleep aid and for providing relief for occasional anxiety.
It can be taken as a tea, fluid extract, or a powdered extract. As a sleep aid, it is best when taken 30 minutes to 2 hours before bed.
It has been found to have fewer side effects than prescription sleep aids.
Obviously natural sleep patterns are a big contributor to our mood throughout the day.
It has been called “the key to calm”. Kava Kava appears to work in a similar manner to drugs like Valium by inhibiting the enzyme that is involved in producing anxiety or anxious states of mind.
It is often recommended for people who are experiencing restlessness, feelings of anxiousness, and can also have some benefits for promoting a restful sleep and pain management.
It’s calming effects and anti-anxiety benefits are why it is often looked at as a mood enhancer.
Long used in homeopathic medicine, Passionflower is well known for its calming abilities. It is often recommended to help alleviate insomnia and to curb feelings of anxiety.
It is believed that Passionflower raises GABA levels in the brain, resulting in feelings of calm and relaxation.
As an alternative to hunting down individual supplements, there are also products that contain a combination of these supplements along with others, to not only boost our moods, but also to provide relief for feelings of anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and promote an overall feeling of well-being. The leading product on the market like this right now is Elimidrol. You can find similar products like Happy Pills and Lumiday, but they do not contain the amount or quality of ingredients you will find in Elimidrol, so are less likely to produce the results you are looking for.
Again, our moods are largely influenced by chemical reactions in our bodies. Supplements have been found to have the ability to positively influence our moods.