The use of herbal supplements for mental health has been trending for some time now – especially among those suffering from milder forms of depression and anxiety. While there is no all-encompassing herbal remedy to fix all of your mental health woes, the best supplements out there have been proven either scientifically or anecdotally to promote calmness and overall feelings of happiness and wellness.
So, which health supplements are the best for your mental health? Keep reading to learn more.
The Best Herbal Supplements For Mental Health
It’s important to keep in mind that the food we eat should be our primary source of vitamins and minerals, which includes the vitamins and minerals thought of as mental health supplements. If you have a diet that’s insufficient in essential vitamins and minerals, taking herbal supplements may make a noticeable difference.
However, treatment for mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc often requires more than just a pill.
With that in mind, here are some of the most well-known and revered herbal supplements for mental health:
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a yellow-flowered plant that has been used medicinally since ancient Greek times. Research has shown that as a supplement, St. John’s Wort can be effective for mild to moderate depression.
However, it’s known to interfere with a number of different medications, which means you’ll want to consult with your doctor before adding the supplement to your daily regimen if you take anything else.
Passionflower (Passiflora Extract)
Passionflower refers to a variety of exotic vine flowers with curly purple or blue petals. Specifically, the Passiflora incarnata variety is said to help treat anxiety, insomnia, and even pain.
There have been several clinical studies showing the flower’s anxiolytic (anxiety-calming) effects while others have proven its sedative effects. Conclusively, the supplement can have positive effects on those with anxiety, however, its efficiency varies from study to study.
Green tea has always been used as a restorative in traditional Chinese medicine, and its bioactive ingredient – L-theanine – is often extracted and used to treat anxiety symptoms throughout Asia.
The anti-anxiety effect of L-theanine works through enhanced alpha brain wave activity and an increased synthesis of GABA. Studies have shown that increased GABA promotes higher brain levels of dopamine and serotonin, resulting in general feelings of wellness and calmness.
There are plenty of other supplements out there that, unlike the above, can be found in food as well as supplement form, such as vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc. However, it is your personal circumstances – diet, health, lifestyle, psychiatric history, and many other factors – that will determine the severity of your mood disorder. Only a doctor or therapist can evaluate these things appropriately to recommend whether a supplement or prescription medication will work best for your unique situation.
Having said that, counseling is typically needed to get to the root of the problem that’s causing your mood disorder. It’s also necessary to consult with your doctor or therapist before taking up supplements on your own, especially if you’re already taking other medications to ensure the type and dosage will help and not harm you. If you have more questions regarding supplements for mental health, contact us to make an appointment!