Herbs for Happiness

If you’re looking to reduce stress and anxiety and boost your overall mood, you may want to consider integrating herbal remedies and superfoods into your lifestyle. When taken regularly, herbs can benefit our health, mood, and happiness. Talk to your doctor about the right ones for your health goals.

Herbs With Benefits

1. Adaptogens

Adaptogens are plants and herbs uniquely designed to help the body handle physical, emotional, and environmental stress. Two of the most popular adaptogens are Ashwagandha and Rhodiola.

  • Ashwagandha is native to India, Africa, and parts of the Middle East. It may help reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and when it is circulating in high, chronic amounts is linked to inflammation and anxiety symptoms.
  • Rhodiola grows in Europe and the colder regions of Asia and has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, fatigue, and depression. It helps to boost energy and reduce irritability.

2. St. John’s Wort

St John’s Wort is known for having benefits in treating depression and associated conditions, such as anxiety, sleep problems, and seasonal affective disorder. The herb works by increasing serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline levels in the brain – these chemical messengers can help lift and regulate our mood. While many believe in St. John’s Wort for treating depression, it is important to know that this herb can have harmful interactions with other medications, including antidepressants – do not mix them unless you’ve spoken to your doctor first.

3. Mucuna Pruriens

Mucuna pruriens is an herbal remedy known as the “dopamine bean.” It is a natural source of levodopa, an essential precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine, aka the “feel good” hormone. Add it to your tea to elevate mood, enhance brain function, and support your nervous system.

4. Licorice Root

Licorice root effectively stimulates the adrenal gland, which must adequately function to regulate cortisol in the body. Licorice also contains compounds inhibiting monoamine oxidase, the enzyme that breaks down serotonin, a critical hormone for happiness and optimism.

5. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm may reduce stress symptoms, help you relax, and boost your mood. It is classified as a nootropic and nervine herb – nootropics are used to support cognitive functions like focus, memory, and motivation, while nervines are known for their calming benefits. As an herbal tincture like this one from Mary Ruth’s Organics, you can deliver the concentrate right when you need it most.

Shop Smart

Dietary supplements are not regulated in the United States, meaning the Food and Drug Administration does not approve them for safety and effectiveness before you find them on the shelf. Instead, try to choose supplements that a trusted third party, such as USP, ConsumerLabs, or NSF, has tested.

There is no denying the potential healing powers of herbs. However, it’s important to note they do not replace psychiatric care. Furthermore, reviewing herbal supplementation with your doctor if you’re taking Rx medications is vital to avoid contraindications.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, nor is the information in this article intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases. We recommend consulting your doctor before starting or changing any dietary, supplement, or health-related programs.

About the Author

Brooks Betts
Brooks Betts is a Connecticut-based lifestyle writer and mom to three children. Brooks spent 10 plus years creating content at leading magazine brands, including Real Simple, Food & Wine, and Travel and Leisure, as well as for women’s lifestyle brands Jane Iredale, PAIGE Denim, and Moroccanoil. Brooks writes for companies and personalities across various topics, including wellness, spirituality, beauty, and skincare. Brooks is also a certified Reiki practitioner, breathwork and meditation guide, and energy work enthusiast. When she’s not working, you can likely find Brooks enjoying the beach, meditating, playing tennis, or daydreaming at her favorite coffee shop.

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