Whether we're dealing with a case of the winter blues, going through heartbreak or grief, or just feeling a bit low, plants can offer gentle support to buoy our hearts and ease our experience of life’s undulations. Some of the best herbs for mood support are also used for stress relief, associated with the heart, or help clear brain fog. Here are a few of our favorite herbal mood enhancers.
Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
Mimosa is often used for grief, mood elevation, and regulation of the HPA axis (our stress response). Called "the happiness tree" in China, this herb is described as uplifting, or even euphoric. We love this mood elevator for winter blues, for emotional support, or when life just needs a little extra sparkle.
We use mimosa blossoms in our delicious formula Big Hug.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon balm is known as the “gladdening herb”, is both soothing and uplifting, and has a really bright, easygoing effect. Lemon balm is gentle enough for babies but potent enough for adults. Like many citrus-scented herbs, it’s feel is sunny! It’s great sharpening the mind. Lemon balm tincture is generally our favorite way to use this herb - or to make lemon balm tea from the fresh plant. It can be challenging to find high quality dried lemon balm and often avoid it altogether - drying lemon balm is tricky and the leaves can turn brown, lose flavor and become less beneficial. This herb really sings when it’s tinctured fresh.
We use lemon balm extract, tinctured fresh, in Brain Wave - our supplement for focus and concentration.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha gets its name from Sanskrit words that can be translated as “essence of a horse”, which we think is a beautiful summary of the root's energy. It is strong but joyous, spirited but stable. A calming adaptogen that is considered to promote a youthful state both physically and mentally, ashwagandha benefits many systems in the body and is a beautiful tonic for health.
Hawthorn (Cretaegus spp.)
Hawthorn, sometimes spelled Hawthorne, is a small tree in the rose family. Like rose, hawthorn has beautiful cheery flowers and sharp thorns. Much of the hawthorn mythology and energetic understanding of the plant, like rose, involves its paradox of sweetness and fierce protection. Hawthorn flowers, leaves and berries have been traditionally used to nourish and strengthen the physical and emotional heart and helps us care for ourselves when we are grieving or feel vulnerable.
We use hawthorn berry extract in Resilience Formula to soften the heart while encouraging healthy boundaries through stressful times in life.
Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum, O. africanum, O. gratissimum)
Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi, is one of the most cherished plants in India, revered as sacred and known for its powerful healing properties, its adaptogenic ability to balance, and its energetic protection. Tulsi helps protect the body against chronic stress and is both calming and energizing. Holy basil is is nourishing for the mind, relaxes the body, and invokes a very gentle clarity.
We use tulsi in our Tulsi Trinity Tea, as well as many of our tinctures.