Your mood is influenced by internal and external factors alike. The world around you can certainly influence how you feel from day to day, but the emotions you feel in response to these stimuli are largely the result of chemicals known as "neurotransmitters." While these are powerful chemicals, it is possible to influence your brain chemistry by changing internal and external factors, including adding natural mood boosters to your diet. What are these natural mood boosters, and how can they play a part in maintaining a regular, balanced mood? Let’s break it down.
The four key neurotransmitters
Emotions, along with a wide range of nervous system processes, are largely governed by chemicals called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are serotonin, dopamine, GABA and norepinephrine.
These neurotransmitters each fall into two categories: inhibitory and excitatory. Inhibitory neurotransmitters decrease the likelihood of a neuron firing, while excitatory neurotransmitters increase the likelihood of a neuron firing.
What are some effective natural mood boosters?
Imbalances in the neurotransmitters may be responsible if you’re not feeling your best. That’s why maintaining these neurotransmitters in equilibrium is key to a balanced mood. Natural mood boosters may play a role in keeping this balance in check. Some popular natural mood boosters include:
- 1. Cannabidiol: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants known as a cannabinoid. Researchers have identified many cannabinoids in various cultivars of cannabis and hemp plants, with CBD being among the most researched. CBD can help regulate your body’s stress response, which in turn impacts your mood*.
- 2. Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is responsible for the production of several neurotransmitters, including GABA, serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
- 3. Gotu Kola Leaf: Along with its root, the Gotu Kola Leaf is thought to help maintain healthy neurotransmitter function and the result is generally a calming effect that can reduce stress.
- 4. Kava Kava: Kava Kava is an intoxicating herb that contains substances known as kavapyrones. It’s been utilized as an herbal remedy for promoting restful sleep and reducing stress.
- 5. Asian Ginseng: The herb has been utilized as a mood adjuster in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries. ginseng has also been studied for the role it plays influencing transmitters in ways that improve memory, mood, and sleep.
- 6. Oat Bran (Avena Sativa): Avena sativa, a type of wild green oat extract, is thought to play a role in the metabolization of Dopamine. Avena sativa could be useful, which would lead to increased focus and energy.
- 7. St. John's Wort: This herb is a long-studied natural mood booster.
- 8. Chamomile: Chamomile has a long history as a natural sleep aid (think chamomile tea).
Natural boosters can support a stable mood
Research into the effects of natural mood boosters remains ongoing, and researchers are learning more about how these natural herbal remedies – some of which have been with human civilization for millennia – work on a chemical level. If you’re searching for ways to bring balance back to your everyday moods, incorporating a natural mood booster into your regimen could be helpful.* Whether you start by adding CBD to your favorite beverages or you add a St. John's Wort capsule to your daily routine, natural mood boosters might just do the trick.* Be sure to consult with a doctor or psychiatrist before adding any natural mood boosters to your routine.