WELL­NESS

Herbs to sup­port your mood

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine - - Contents - By SARAH PEN­NEy, ND – HAMIL­TON, ON

Aware­ness of anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion is in­creas­ing, and so there are more peo­ple search­ing for treat­ment op­tions. One re­cent study re­ported that 3.5 mil­lion Cana­di­ans ac­cessed pub­lic health ser­vices for anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion symp­toms be­tween 2009-2010. Preva­lence of th­ese symp­toms is higher among fe­males, ado­les­cents, and in­di­vid­u­als with chronic health con­di­tions. Many suf­fer­ers are also search­ing for al­ter­na­tive treat­ments from her­bal medicine, which may of­fer re­lief for some. Here are some of the most com­mon her­bal reme­dies used for mood sup­port.

ST.JOHN’S WORT

This herb has been well stud­ied as treat­ment for mild to mod­er­ate de­pres­sion, and may even be avail­able as a pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion in some sit­u­a­tions. It is im­por­tant to choose a prod­uct that has the right con­cen­tra­tion of ac­tive in­gre­di­ents to see re­sults. St. John’s Wort in­ter­acts with many pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions, so talk to your health­care provider be­fore start­ing this treat­ment.

LAVEN­DER

Laven­der has a long his­tory as a treat­ment for anx­i­ety and re­search shows that it may be ef­fec­tive. It can be taken orally, top­i­cally, or through aro­mather­apy, al­though, it may lower blood pres­sure and in­crease the seda­tive ef­fects of med­i­ca­tions. Con­sump­tion of large amounts of laven­der oil can be toxic, so al­ways talk to a health­care pro­fes­sional about the right dosage for you.

RHODIOLA

Rhodiola is a lesser-known herb that has been stud­ied as a treat­ment for mild to mod­er­ate de­pres­sion with some pos­i­tive re­sults. Used in cap­sule and tea form, rhodiola may in­crease en­ergy and help the body re­cover from stress by low­er­ing our stress hor­mone, cor­ti­sol. Some may ex­pe­ri­ence mild side ef­fects from this herb in­clud­ing dizzi­ness, and it may in­ter­act with med­i­ca­tions such as an­tide­pres­sants and birth con­trol. Th­ese herbs are widely avail­able and are help­ful for many peo­ple. How­ever, it is al­ways im­por­tant to talk to a doc­tor about your men­tal health con­cerns and tell them be­fore you be­gin tak­ing her­bal medicine. Herbs should not be used to treat ma­jor de­pres­sion or to deal with thoughts of self-harm.

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