The Story Behind the Formula: Mood Juice
- Published on: 07 September, 2018
- Last update: 16 September, 2018
When I sat down to create my new line of formulas this past year, I thought of everyone in my life that I love. I tried to come up with a list of herbal tools that would truly increase their quality of life by providing relief and support for some of their most common complaints.
I thought of the struggles I myself have in common with them — obstacles that we’ve shared during late night heart to hearts and vented about together.
The one that came up over and over again and has affected the greatest number of people I care for is depression and low mood.
Because of this, I knew I had to include a formula that would support brain and neurotransmitter health in a way that helps your outlook seem a little brighter, and helps stressful times feel a bit more manageable.
THE STORY BEHIND THE FORMULA
Depression is an extremely complex topic that often requires professional medical attention such as counseling or medication, and should be tackled from all angles including stress reduction techniques, talk therapy, diet, and exercise. There is no one quick fix or cure all, and the formula I created is not designed to be a magic pill.
Rather, I knew based on my herbalism training how the power of plant medicine can help real people in real life situations by lowering brain inflammation, providing nervous system support, relaxing the mind, and enhancing your sense of stability. That’s the whole goal of my new line: to help people see herbal medicine as gentle, life-enhancing tools we can bring into our routine we need them to assist us through real, raw human struggles.
At my lowest, something that I found was missing in my life was connection — especially in our modern age where we’re attached to our phones (myself included). I could be in a room full of people and want so badly to connect, yet still feel alone. When I went through the toughest cycles of depression (especially in the winter), I lost that desire to be around people altogether as I felt that no one understood. The incredible thing about working with plants is that they don’t judge you, and they’re always there when you need them. You don’t know how many times an herb has saved me from a night of anxiety or helped me change my state of mind when nothing else worked.
There’s nothing more comforting than knowing you have a tool for the difficult days in your arsenal, which is why I created mood juice. I want you to have something you can always turn to when you’re feeling blue in your ‘herbal first aid kit.’
Again, rather than being a “magic bullet,” this formula is designed to calm, strengthen, and restore the entire nervous system, relieving anxiety and gently boosting mood over time. My goal was to soothe your nerves, help you think clearly and positively, and help you feel happier naturally.
THE HERBS + BENEFITS
Each herb in this blend has been traditionally used as a natural anti-depressant or anxiolytic (anti-anxiety agent). Some are mood boosting, some are extremely calming and soothing, and others tonify and strengthen the nervous system to promote neurotransmitter health.
1. St. John’s Wort*
St. John’s Wort is considered an adaptogen and trophorestorative to the entire nervous system (meaning it helps to restore and rebuild the nerves over time). On it’s own, it is used to help address anxiety and nervous depression, as well as post natal depression. However, it is even more powerful when combined with other nervines in this blend such as lemon balm and skullcap. Herbalist Michael Moore considers St. John’s Wort wonderful “for people whose life has fallen apart and are having difficulty dealing with it. Depression from such a major shift is common and the herb can help until innate resources come back online.” Herbalist William LeSassier used St. John’s Wort together with lemon balm for mild depression with a digestive component, and taught that adding a companion herb such as this makes SJW more effective as an antidepressant. Herbalist David Winston recommends combining it with ginkgo leaf to increase brain energy and vitality, so if you also feel that you have low mental clarity or brain fog, you can combine this formula with our Brain Juice tincture.
2. Holy Basil
Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi, is traditionally used in Ayurveda for low spirits, brain fog, anxiety, and mild depression. It is an adaptogen and nootropic that helps the body adapt to stress, increases oxygen intake, and promotes energy and endurance. Although it contains no caffeine or other stimulants, it is thought of as containing gentle stimulant properties that can help with motivation and drive. As adrenal fatigue can also contribute to depression, I added this herb to the blend to boost mood by way of supporting the adrenal glands and hormone production.
3. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is used to reduce anxiety, mild depression, nervousness and panic attacks. It also addresses “sympathetic excess” of the nervous system, where the adrenals are in overdrive. It is one of those nerve tonics that actually work to rebuild the nerves over time, which is extremely important in cases of long-standing depression or burnout. By increasing GABA levels, lemon balm was shown to reduce anxiety, increase calmness, and improve mood in rats via this study.
Skullcap is an extremely safe and reliable mild nervine that not only helps with anxiety, but insomnia as well. While herbs are usually studied on rats like the paper I linked above, there’s actually been a double blind study on humans where 15 women and 4 men took one of three types of skullcap preparations. They proceeded to rate energy, cognition and anxiety at intervals for two hours thereafter, and the researchers found that it “demonstrated noteworthy anxiolytic [anti-anxiety] effects.” It is particularly useful for depression brought on by prolonged stress, illness or overwork.
5. Kava Root
Kava has been shown in more than a dozen placebo-controlled studies to be effective with good tolerability for treatment of generalized anxiety, with some evidence for stress, depression and insomnia. It is extremely calming and comforting and one of my favorite stress-relievers.
As the name suggests, motherwort has a calming energy like a big hug from mom. It is classified as a nervine herb, and is incredibly helpful for the type of anxiety where thoughts are racing and worries feel “pent up” in the body. Also in line with its famous name, motherwort is helpful for postpartum anxiety and melancholy felt by new mothers. It helps to ground you emotionally and improve clarity when you’re feeling lost.
HOW TO USE MOOD JUICE
Mood juice usually provides immediate soothing, anti-anxiety effects, however some may take up to 2 weeks to feel the deeper anti-depressant benefits as that aspect works slowly over time. To use mood juice, take 1 full squeeze of the dropper bulb 2-3x per day as needed in water, juice, or hot water to make a tea.
Do not use mood juice if you’re on antidepressants and always talk to your doctor before taking it with any other pharmaceutical drugs. St. John’s Wort can make you more sensitive to the sun, so be mindful of excessive UV exposure while taking. Also, because this blend contains kava root, always ask your practitioner before use if you have a history of liver problems or are taking medication.
I hope this blend gets you through difficult days and brings a sense of stability into your life!
If you’re interested in buying Mood Juice, check it out here!
*Please note: You may see precipitation or an accumulation on the dropper or in the liquid of certain herbs, especially St. John’s Wort. This precipitation is a natural occurrence as it indicates the concentration of medicinally active compounds within the liquid that is potent, filtered and free of particulate. This is a natural event and a sign of a desired and potent liquid.