February is widely regarded as the most depressing month of the year in the Northern hemisphere. The post-holiday glow has worn off, and the promise of Spring is still around the corner. So we thought we would deliver up some suggestions of natural mood-boosters this month.
Of course, the best medicine is always nature: wrapping up warm and getting outside as much as you can; staying grounded, by using grounding mats and sheets when it's too cold to go barefoot; using saunas and hydrotherapy to stop the system getting sluggish; avoiding too much blue-light or at least wearing blue-light blockers like Swanwick glasses. But maybe you're doing all that and it's still not cutting it. That's where the plants come in to give you that extra helping hand.
Two of the main happy chemicals in the brain are serotonin and dopamine, and there are many plant foods that support the body in increasing production of these chemicals. Here are some of our favourites:
Cacao contains a feast of happy chemicals for your brain, including precursors to serotonin, PEA (the molecule of joy), and anandamide (the bliss chemical). Always our first stop!
The blue-green algaes such as Spirulina and Chlorella are another great source of PEA, which also supports focus and concentration. The most concentrated source is Blue Majik from E3 Live.
Etherium Gold is a unique monatomic supplement, which is scientifically proven to promote Alpha brainwaves, the brainwaves we produce in a meditative state. Taking Etherium Gold is like instant meditation!
All the adaptogens, such as Reishi and Ashwagandha, calm the nervous system, which has a knock-on effect on our mood, making us feel more calm and relaxed, and less stressed by the little things.
St Johns Wort is one of the most established natural anti-depressants, encouraging the manafacture of serotonin in the brain. It's present in our PMTeea herbal tea, and in the Fushi product, Women's Plus Tincture.
You might know Turmeric for it's anti-inflammatory properties, but did you know that it's also proven in studies to be a more effective anti-depressant than Prozac? Try an afternoon Turmeric and Ashwagandha Latte for a lovely lift, or treat yourself to one of Anima Mundi Herbals Golden Milks..
He Shou Wu is the Chinese herb said to promote hair growth, as well as feelings of ecstatic bliss! As one of the premier Chinese tonic herbs, t's a powerful kidney strengthener, and a good one to give you that extra well-being boost.
While we are on the Chinese theme, the ancient Taoist texts say the only side-effect of eating too many Goji Berries is laughing too much :)
Nutritionally, getting an abundance of the essential fatty acids, vitamin D, and probiotic foods in the diet are all well-recognised ways of improving mood. Don't forget the gut is directly linked to the brain, so feed your tummy happy foods like sauerkraut and sprouts, so that it can send those feel-good signals along the vagus nerve up to your mind.
And we saved the best for last! Mucuna is the number one superstar in this category, containing precursors to serotonin, dopamine, and DMT. DMT is a chemical which is naturally created by the pineal gland in a healthy person. It is known as "the spirit molecule"; it helps us access the visionary state, connecting us with our highest ideas and dreams. All the chemicals in our environment, as well as blue light pollution, calcify the pineal gland and block our natural ability to produce DMT. As well as our own Raw Living mucuna, we stock Anima Mundi Herbals and Sun Potion as well.
Check them all out, and more, in our mood boosters section here. Try making your own raw chocolate with mucuna, Etherium Gold, and ashwagandha, and snacking on it throughout the day, whenever you need a pick-me-up. If enough of you request it, maybe we will share a recipe next month? 😀