Do you find yourself more irritable than usual?
Are you looking for a way to get back to your normal happy self without putting yourself at risk of harmful side effects.
Herbal mood stabilizers may be just what you need.
In many cases, they can support a healthy, happy mood without unnecessary side effects.
Let’s learn how.
How Do Mood Stabilizers Work?
The human brain has proven to be a mystery.
Though it forms the greater portion of the central nervous system and has been extensively studied, it is one of the least understood organs in the human body.
To understand how mood stabilizers work, it helps to first understand how mood destabilization occurs – a fancy way of referring to when things go from normal to abnormal.
In the human brain, biological activities are controlled by molecules called neurotransmitters.
These neurotransmitters are maintained in fixed proportions in people with normal brain activity.
Sometimes, however, there is a derangement in the level of these molecules such as in overproduction or underproduction, which can lead to mood destabilization.
There are three major hypotheses on the pathophysiology of mood destabilization:
- The monoamine hypothesis posits that mood alteration is related to deficiency in the amount of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.
- Neurotrophic hypothesis relates loss of neurotrophic support, such as in the deficiency of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, to mood destabilization.
- The third hypothesis relates mood destabilization to abnormalities in the neuroendocrine system.
Although these statements sound like a bunch of medical jargon, they all simply point to a problem within neurotransmitter levels of which serotonin is key.
For instance, when serotonin levels are low, you have the feeling that life isn’t good. On the contrary, life becomes awesome when you have high levels of serotonin.
Meanwhile, low levels of norepinephrine make you less active while high levels of norepinephrine prompt you to do something now and fast.
In the case of mania (bipolar), serotonin is low and norepinephrine is high - hence the feeling that something is wrong and you need to act asap.
It’s different from depression where both serotonin and norepinephrine are low, and you just have a feeling that everything about life stinks, and there’s nothing you can do to make it better.
With this background information, it’s easy to understand how mood stabilizers work:
They correct deranged levels of neurotransmitters in the brain and normalize your mood.
Simply put, they help mediate mental balance and clarity.
Benefits of Boosting Mood Naturally with Herbs
The biggest benefit of regulating your mood with herbs is that natural remedies tend to work without the side effects associated with prescription medicine.
For instance, one of the most common prescription drugs for mood are antidepressants. The strange thing about some antidepressants is that they can actually aggravate symptoms of depression.
And let’s talk about the first line of defense for mood alterations, which is lithium.
When lithium doesn’t yield the anticipated results, anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine, valproate, gabapentin and lamotrigine are often used.
Although lithium is effective, its levels in the blood must be constantly monitored because concentrations higher than 2mEq/L can cause serious side effects (some that can even be fatal).
It should also not be used in pregnancy.
In addition, lithium can cause acne, loose stools, weight gain, nausea, arrhythmias, seizures, abdominal pain and tremors.
Another popular drug is Valproate.
Its side effects include sedation, lethargy, hair loss and metabolic changes in the liver.
Sounds counterintuitive, right?
Of course, they’re necessary in some situations, and we’re thankful for them when they are needed.
But for many people, natural support with herbs is effective without having to worry about side effects.
Top 5 Herbal Mood Stabilizers to Improve Mood Naturally
Ashwagandha is an incredible natural antidepressant. The reason why ashwagandha works so well as a natural mood stabilizer is because it effectively balances levels of norepinephrine in the brain.
In fact, studies have shown that ashwagandha can yield impressive results when used to treat anxiety and depression.
Besides depression and anxiety, ashwagandha is also a sleep enhancer that can be used to treat insomnia and minimize fatigue.
Plus, its antioxidant properties make it useful in promoting mental clarity and enhancing memory because they protect brain cells from damage caused by oxidative stress.
For centuries, chamomile has been a trusted natural remedy for managing disorders of the central nervous system such as insomnia and mood changes.
There are numerous studies that report chamomile as an effective antidepressant in people suffering from anxiety and depressive states.
So how does it work?
Chamomile regulates brain levels of both serotonin and dopamine, making it a preferred choice in natural mood enhancement.
3. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is an herb that predominantly originated from ancient Greece. It is an effective mood regulator and works best for people with moderate depression.
According to an article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), St. John’s Wort is reported to contain hypericin and hyperforin, which act as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI).
These active ingredients mediate the pharmacological activity of St. John’s Wort on the central nervous system.
Studies have shown that ginseng has neuroprotective effects that are helpful in the prevention of depressive disorders.
Ginseng also effectively manages stress.
Since stress is closely associated with psychological disorders, it is hypothesized that ginseng can be used to ease stress and therefore help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Another benefit of ginseng is that it is fast acting. In fact, you can feel its effects as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after consumption.
As with all herbs, ginseng should be taken under the care of a physician.
If you’re uncomfortable with the side effects of mainstream mood stabilization, talk to your doctor about natural remedies, including the herbs mentioned above.If you’re simply looking for a way to support a better, healthier mood, try our Happy Organic Mood Blend today!