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Natural Mood Stabilizers For Depression, Anxiety, Anger and More [Top 14 List]

Are you or a family member or friend struggling to stabilize your mood because of bipolar, depression, anxiety, anger and other mental and emotional disorders and finding it very difficult?

Would you love to find healthy, natural holistic alternatives to prescription anti-depressants and other over-the-counter medications to better stabilize your mood because of social anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder?

Then I hope my research on natural mood stabilizers presented on this page will be of great benefit to you!

We’re going to answer some basic questions, check some facts and if you’re a more visual person, I have an informative infographic and great video posted a little later that you’ll no doubt enjoy and benefit from.

At the very end, I’m going to ask a quick favor from you! (But before I do, I’m going to give you insider information on one simple homeopathic supplement that’s been a real miracle in my life).

But, first things first…


There’s natural hope!

If you or a loved one is suffering from manic episodes (going crazy temporarily), depression and/or bipolar it is good to know that you have options other than psychiatrists and doctors.

In this article, we will talk about some of the best OTC natural mood stabilizers for preventative and chronic anxiety bipolar and depression.

But before we continue, I have something very important to say.

If you or someone you know is suffering from serious anxiety, anger, depression or bipolar disorder, please do not self-diagnose based on the information I share with you here!

Although there are serious risks and side effects to pharmaceutical medications, they are undeniably more potent and do have their place. I recommend that you educate yourself on their benefits as well as short- and long-term side effects.

That being said, there are a lot of healthy over-the-counter herbal alternatives out there those of you who are looking to naturally stabilize their mood and promote an overall sense of health and well-being for the long term.

How Do Mood Stabilizers Work?

Natural Mood Stabilizers - NeurotransmitterYour brain balance and stability are affected primarily by the neurotransmitters: epinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals affect the way your brain tells you to react to your environment, and if they are out of balance they can tell you things that are not conducive to quality of life and good relationships.

ALSO READ: Everything you need to know about episodic mood disorder NOS

All these chemicals are affected by each other and the hormones in your body signaling you how to feel about what is happening. Here are some examples to give you an idea of how they affect your mood and mental state:

Low serotonin: Life is NOT good.

High serotonin: Life is good.

Low epinephrine: Don’t do anything

High epinephrin: Do something now.

Low serotonin and high epinephrine:  Something is wrong and you need to act now (mania).

Low serotonin and low epinephrine: Life sucks and I can’t do anything about it (depression).

Natural Mood Stabilizers - DopamineDopamine, on the other hand, gives you motivation and focus. Low or high dopamine levels can prevent your ability to see clearly what is effecting you. It is less important to stabilize your mood than it is to know if you are in a stable mood or not.

I give recommendations at the end of the article for daily tonic herbs that can promote mental balance and clarity. Myself and countless other health enthusiasts have found fabulous benefits from these herbal remedies as mood stabilizers.

Why many people choose natural over-the-counter herbal supplements over prescriptions:

  1. If they work for you, you get the benefits of a natural mood stabilizer without adverse side effects.
  2. They do not aggravate depressive symptoms, something that is common in prescription medication.
  3. Promote balance and homeostasis naturally. Prescription medication can suppress manic phases and induce depression or treat depression but trigger mania.
  4. No major side effects or complicated states such as mixed episodes of mania, anger, and depression, mixed multiple mental diseases, and rapid mood cycling and shifting.
  5. The homeopathic supplement itself will never increase the risk of suicide or psychosis.
Natural Mood Stabilizers Infographic
I give individual details about the herbal mood stabilizers listed on this infographic further down in the article.

Statistically, women fall victim to mood swings more frequently than men because of hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, menstruation, or aging. Other causes have been traced to the over-consumption of alcohol, sugar, and an inability to cope with negative feelings and stress.

If you’re interested in using homeopathy and over-the-counter herbs to reduce anxiety and stabilize your mood, this article is an absolute must-read!

Natural Remedies For Bipolar Disorder

After doing a lot of research on natural mood stabilizers, I only recommend that you get your Ashwagandha from Lost Empire Herbs. Click to find out why their sourcing and extraction processes are second-to-none! The Only American-Grown Fresh-Root, Biodynamically-Farmed, Spagyrically-Prepared Ashwagandha Tincture in the  World! No One Else Offers this Level of Quality!

Treatment for mood swings might require changes in lifestyle and attitudes for those already active in a healthy balanced diet, sleep, relaxation, and exercise.

Many professionals have begun suggesting the use of natural herbal supplements over synthetic medication due to their lack of side effects.

I personally helped my sister rid herself of the horrible side-effects from taking Lamotrigine (Lamictal) for bipolar disorder and BPD and later Wellbutrin.

I started looking into Lamictal and Wellbutrin alternatives and was very intrigued by the solutions I found among practitioners of homeopathic medicine.

Many of these herbs are taken from the vast centuries-old knowledge storehouses of Oriental medicines from China, India, and Korea where they have been practicing natural medicine for centuries.

Stabilization of one’s mood through the use of herbs, tonics, and other natural over-the-counter products is common in alternative Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Korean medicinal cultures that might include Moxibustion, Acupuncture, medicinal mushrooms, roots, herbalism, Bach flower therapy, Craniosacral therapy, emotional release therapy, Amanae and others.

Some of these alternative homeopathic treatments and therapies might have wonderful benefits for you as well!

And the discussion of nootropics as mood stabilizers is a whole other subject entirely.

(Below I present a concise overview, but if you want an in-depth look at my research, please see this page on all-natural mood-stabilizers.)

List of Common Natural Mood Stabilizing Homeopathic Herbs

Mucuna Pruriens

Natural Mood Stabilizers - Mucuna PruriensPopular because of its active compound L-dopa that is assimilated as dopamine by the body and able to pass the blood-brain barrier, Mucuna is one herb that has been used effectively for depression in cases of low dopamine.

However, I would never recommend mucuna pruriens without first knowing you do in fact have low dopamine, as high dopamine is just as bad for you as low.


Shilajit is a powerful adaptogenic tonic with ayurvedic roots. It has clinical trials that show it is able to balance dopamine, and boost serotonin. It has been compared Xanax in its effects, boosting overall mood and outlook on life.


Known as Wu Wei Zi in Chinese medicine, Schizandra has been shown to limit the overproduction of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can cause a decrease in natural serotonin production over time. It also has great effects on physical and mental working capacity on subjects in stressful environments.

Natural Mood Stabilizers - Maca rootMaca Root

Largely anecdotal, Maca root (sometimes called Peruvian ginseng) has been reported to enhance overall mood by many, although there are little to no clinical trials to support this claim. Like Panax Ginseng, Maca root is purported to have major sexual wellness benefits with sustained use.


There was a 2005 study of Catuaba that showed very promising evidence supporting its application as an antidepressant. More research is needed to confirm, but at the moment Catuaba is looking like it has the potential to be one of the best natural antidepressant herbs.

Panax Ginseng

Natural Health Stabilizers - Panax ginsengI have to put ginseng on the list because otherwise, people will ask why it is not here. My opinion: I like ginseng for its health benefits but it is very low on my list of best herbs for stabilizing your mood naturally. It’s more a stimulant than a stabilizer.

It is contraindicated for people who suffer from bi-polar due to the fact that it may cause mania (especially the young ginseng that is easily available). There are many forms of ginseng including American, Korean, South China and Vietnamese. What they all have in common is the presence of ginsenosides and gintonin.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola is a classic adaptogen herb that is excellent for non-specific resistance in the body. Rhodiola Rosea has a lot of popularity in the west as a way to naturally prevent stress. It is contraindicated for people who suffer from bi-polar because, like ginseng, it may cause mania.


Yohimbine contains an alkaloid that produces adrenaline. There were trials done which showed the increase in heart rate and metabolism from yohimbine had a positive effect on trial patients who were placed under acute stress.

Natural Mood Stabilizers - Gingko bilobaGinkgo biloba

More often used as a cognitive enhancer, ginkgo has also been used in tandem with other herbs in cases where stress is stimulated by strenuous mental work. I prefer Schizandra, but Ginkgo biloba does have its place.

Tribulus terrestris

Other herbs do it better, but Tribulus terrestris does have a mood-enhancing effect. If you’re into the gym, it is incredible for its anabolic effect.

It makes the list as an option for those with active lifestyles, and there are scientific studies that reveal sexual benefits for both women and men suffering from low libido, erectile dysfunction and more. It’s sold over-the-counter in any well-stocked health supplement store.


Natural Mood Stabilizers - AshwagandhaAshwagandha is Ayurveda’s primary anti-depressant/anti-anxiety herb. I had struggled to find a quality supplier for it until I saw test results on Lost Empire Herb’s product, and I’ve been sold on them ever since. Their stuff isn’t cheap but they sell out all the time because they’re so picky about which supplier they use. When it’s in stock, I buy it. A bunch of it.

Ashwagandha can balance epinephrine in your brain, making it an incredible option as a natural mood stabilizer. As with other natural mood stabilizers, I highly recommend sourcing a very high-quality product before using it as treatment.


Great at providing energy while under stress, Eleuthero, also called Siberian Ginseng, is a great choice as an herb for those times when you’re feeling run down and overworked.

Kava Kava

Natural Mood Stabilizers - Kava KavaA classic sedative tea (for those who respond to it), Kava Kava tea can reduce anxiety in just minutes and can greatly reduce symptoms of sleeplessness and insomnia.

Unfortunately for anyone of European descent, we do not have the necessary enzymes in our digestive system to metabolize a chemical in it, and it has been linked to severe liver problems and even a few cases of liver failure.

Those cautions aside, many swear by its mood-stabilizing effects and it might be a great candidate for you!

Mulberry Bark

Another sedative with sedative effects (not in my opinion as effective as some of the others I have mentioned). If you happen to have a Mulberry tree, then you should know that a bit of Mulberry bark tea can do just the ticket. It can promote relaxation whenever your life is overstimulated and driving you crazy.

St. John’s Wort

St Johns Wort(Hypericum perforatum) is an herb that bears yellow flowers and can grow around 1 meter high. It has small transparent dots that make the leaves look perforated.

The ancient Greeks have been using this herb as documented in the writings of Pliny the Elder. In some countries, farmers and ranchers consider St. John’s Wort as an invasive weed that invades prime pastures.

Alternative namesGoat weed, Klamath weed, Rosin Rose, John’s Wort

Who would benefit from it?

St. John’s Wort works as an effective mood regulator for people with moderate depression. It also helps those who are currently undergoing smoking cessation therapies.

Although it usually takes a few weeks to obtain maximum relief from taking the herb, the chemicals found in this herbal medicine do not cause drug dependence.

However, you should avoid taking it with alcohol because it is an MAO inhibitor. Children below 6 years old and women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should avoid this herb.

  • St. John’s Wort can supposedly curb anxiety disorders and mild to moderate types of depression, and it’s readily available over-the-counter.

  • Aside from depression, it also treats obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), mood swings and premenstrual syndrome.

  • It lessens nicotine and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

  • It has recently been discovered that the active substances found in St. John’s Wort have antiviral properties.

  • Applied topically as oil packaged in amber bottles (the active substances are destroyed by light), it helps with bruises, wounds, scabies, psoriasis, hemorrhoids, sore muscles, and burns. It also makes scars less noticeable.

  • It helps in achieving overall relaxation by soothing muscle and nerve pain, migraine and headaches.

Detailed Information on its Benefits

Natural Mood Stabilizers - St. John’s Wort teaMedical professionals in Germany consider St. John’s Wort as the best over-the-counter treatment for mood-stabilizing for mild to-moderate-depression due to the plant’s chemical makeup.

Hypericin, pseudohypericin, and hyperforin delay the reabsorption of ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Once these neurotransmitters are reabsorbed, they become inactive.

As long as these neurotransmitters are not reabsorbed, they will continue to exhibit their effects. As for the antiviral properties, the aforementioned substances stick to the surfaces of viruses to prevent them from binding to cells.

Sadly, because it reacts with numerous drug medications, this herb is banned in France. Canada, Japan, and the UK are planning to follow suit.

Should you Consider Taking It?

Consider herbal medicines as Nature’s gift to humanity. This herb has very potent active substances, so make sure to take it with caution. Nevertheless, it is an excellent substitute for antidepressant drugs and is an excellent all-natural alternative health herb to act as a very powerful OTC mood stabilizer.

Top Two Mood-Stabilizing Herbs (The Very Best!)

Basically, when it comes to natural mood stabilizers, in almost all cases I’m going to go to the same two herbs.


Because they work and because I know quality sources that are going to deliver the same benefits as in trials.

Based on current scientific research, these two substances outperform existing products both in terms of effectiveness and safety for mood regulation. Both are very hard to overdose on and have great overall benefits for outlook, health, and stability.

So, what are they?

1. Schizandra

After a lot of research, I only recommend Organic Schisandra 5:1 Concentrate Powder from Lost Empire Herbs. Click on the link to find out why their US-grown product is second-to-none, get 15% off your first order and learn about the 100 Day Schisandra Challenge!

Schizandra, sometimes spelled schisandra, is a popular adaptogenic herb that manages and modulates the effects of stress that lies at the root of mood changes.

It does this by stabilizing your body’s natural production of cortisol (the stress hormone) and allowing your serotonin to come back to a happy level.

This berry has been used in China for centuries. It is the epitome of a balancing herb in that tradition, representing all five of the classical tastes: bitter, sweet, spicy, sour, and salty.

The five tastes correlate directly with the five elements of the Chinese Zodiac: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

Research has shown that Schizandra clinically addresses free radicals that damage body cells, performs antioxidant activities, and, most importantly, minimizes and reverses the damage of the central nervous system.

2. Shilajit

I personally take this Shilajit from Lost Empire Herbs and recommend it based on its superior quality and value. Click the link or image to see how their extraction process is second-to-none and get 15% off your first order. They have the best pitch, powder or resin available!

Shilajit, also a natural product, is derived from rocks and mountains in Southern Russia and the Himalayas where decomposed plants have embedded their tar-like residue in rock formations for centuries.

This substance in its purified form is used to manage systemic stress, restore calm, and enhance performance.

Shilajit is an excellent enhancer to Schizandra to stabilize your mood naturally. It has been clinically proven to balance dopamine and increase serotonin levels (the happy chemical).

Alongside Schizandra’s cortisol-stabilizing effect, an increase of serotonin can help turn an unstable mood into a positive attitude and a general feeling of well-being.

I am someone who suffered from anxiety and mood swings and often found myself changing from a good mood to a bad mood.

I felt powerless to stop it!

When I found these two herbs it was a turning point for me, and they have played a key role in my transformation into the happy and stable person I am today.

In this video, I try to offer a little more encouraging insight into how you can stabilize your mood with herbs and healthy all-natural homeopathic solutions.

Remember I promised to tell you about something that’s been a miracle supplement for me? It’s Phenibut. Phenibut is a natural, non-prescription  GABA analogue with sedative effects.

It’s had a fantastic effect on my ability to be more personable, positive and naturally social even in situations that would usually cause me extreme social anxiety. The caveat is that it’s synthetic and easy to develop tolerance and dependence. I’ve completely avoided this by only using it once a week or less.

Natural Mood Stabilizers - Happy young womanI highly recommend you look into this nootropic supplement. Some describe its effects as similar to gabapentinoids like gabapentin and pregabalin, but used responsibly, phenibut avoids potentially serious side effects, not to mention the high cost of these prescription drugs.

Many have found it beneficial to stack this nootropic supplement with the essential amino acid L-Tryptophan or others like choline or theanine.

Finally, if you’ve benefited from any of these tips, and if you have questions or any helpful information to share, please do so in the comments below. Our readers would love to hear from you!

Lastly, I want you to know that I personally get almost all of my herbs from Lost Empire Herbs. Their sourcing is the best in the business and many of their herbs are grown in the USA. Click here to learn about their patented Full-Spectrum Extraction process and get 15% off your first order! Tip: Be sure to sign up for their newsletter at the top.

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112 thoughts on “Natural Mood Stabilizers For Depression, Anxiety, Anger and More [Top 14 List]”

  1. Just wanted to know if you take this two herbs everyday for life or just while a bipolar episode is going on?

    • They are tonic herbs so you would take them daily. After 3 months or so of daily use I am sure you don’t need to be so religious about it but with these kinds of natural treatments consistency is essential. Your body needs an extended time to adapt and absorb the herbs and their effects.

  2. I suffer from bipolar manic depression. And so do people around me. Im scared of medicines.. would you say this is a very safe homeopathic alternative?

    • You are not alone Randy both in the manic depression and fear of the medication that is being used currently. The herbs I talk about in this article will improve mood naturally but that do it by supporting your bodies natural production and are no where near as potent as prescription medication.

    • Not being a doctor I can’t and won’t say you should. I do take them together in the morning though and have enjoyed the change in my mood.

      • Did you stop taking any other meds and are
        only on your natural suplements? I have been taking the schizandra for a week now…I like the normalcy feeling it gives me.

        • I was never someone who took traditional medications (strange family upbringing) so I can’t give you any personal perspective on this. I would suggest talking to your health professional.

  3. I suffer from severe mood swings directly before and during my period. I know that wouldn’t apply to you, but in your opinion, do you think that I will find relief? Also, how quickly did you feel a difference?

    • I would try a good blood builder like Dong Quai along with an adaptogen like Schizandra. The amount of time to feel a difference depends on the person some people feel different first day others never. From a purely objective standpoint most tonic herbs reach there effective level after a month of daily intake.

    • I have this problem too. With mood swings and depression during my period. Also check out Femenessence Maca by natural health international. I have tried everything for hormones at the health food store and this is the only thing that really works, but everybody’s different so it’s trial and error until you find something that works. Good luck!

  4. I also have depression and its always been hard to control. My mood swings are out of control. I take wellbutrin and my Dr recommended a mood stabilizer, but she said weight gain could be 20-40 added. So I’m looking at your mood stabilizers. Can I mix this with wellbutrin? My Dr said she isn’t familiar with herbal medicine and couldn’t help. What would be your thoughts?

    • I would typically say consult your doctor but since you have done that I would go see a naturopathic or integrative medicine doctor. I would not dare to pretend that I know how natural medicine interacts with your prescription.

  5. My depression has gotten quite severe lately. Some days I can’t get out of bed. On others, I’m so anxious I can’t leave the house. Other days I’m fine and love my life. What natural
    Supplements do you suggest?

    • If your not having mood swings there is some great research going on lately with Rhodiola Rosea, you can also try Mucuna if your have low dopamine it is an incredible supplement if not it doesn’t do much for mood. Best option is to see a naturopathic doctor and get specific advice based on your blood work.

  6. my boyfriend has mood swings all the time. he is either hi or low and rarely in the middle. he pissy, hateful, negative and sometimes angry and throws fits, I forgot to put bad attitude in there. rarely is he happy. I have talked to him about all this. I am a positive person and he says I am wearing off on him, but I’m not sure on that. is there anything natural that will help him?

    • The issues you are experiencing are far to complex for me to dare give any kind of guidance over a medium that is this impersonal.

    • For the Shilajit you can take anywhere from 0.25-1g so half a pea to a pea sized ball. For the Schizandra I take a rounded 1/4 tsp.

        • You can always get things other places but I cannot speak to the quality. What I do know is that there is a serious quality control issue with supplements in the USA they are regulated to be safe but no control on how effective they are, as a result the quality varies greatly. The quality and preparation of the herbs you take is as important as anything.

  7. Hi, my son has been diagnosed with bpd and is trying to come off pregabalin. He is worried about the weeks ahead especially high moods which result in manic episodes. Would the shilajit and purblack be suitable for him to ease aniexty and other symptoms? Thanks Jo

  8. I am looking at your posts and questions and I think my husband may be interested in trying your two most recommended products. Since they are such tiny amounts, do you put them in empty gel caps or just put the products straight in your mouth? They both look like they would taste awful! Do the measurements need to be precise?

    • Shilajit is really unique in it’s effect and has a close place in my heart. I have heard of people using rhodiola for depression (in cases with no bi-polar) and also Eleuthero for anxiety.

  9. Congratulations for your article! The majority of the natural remedies were unknown to be before reading it even though I am quite informed. 🙂 My very last discovery regarding natural mood stabilizer is “Holy Basil” that affects the same areas as a prescribed stabilizer which I decided to quite as the side effects were more than the benefits – if there was any. I am tempted to use Schizandra but I am wondering if it would “match” holy basil. I find chinese medicine more appealing to me. I don’t think russian medicine suites my organism as ginseng and eleutero enhance my fibrocystic breast. I would love to have an opinion of yours. Thank you! 🙂

    • Shilajit is probably the best medicinal herb I have ever tried. Very grounding and stabilizing force that doesn’t directly effect your endocrine system like so many do.

      • Thank you very much for your reply. In the meantime, I had forwarded 3 of the remedies of your list to my trusted pharmacist to source. For the past couple of days I have been using Ashwaghanda of great quality by a purely ayurvedic company and I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect but I feel kind of relieved. When holy basil (tulsi) is over, I have opted for another stresscare product of the same company based on the following ingredients: Chyavanaprasha, Winter Cherry (Ashvagandha) which I have been told works great with the plain Ashwaghanda. Your article opened a new world to me. Thank you again and keep on inspiring us!

  10. Hi. Thanks for your article. I am just beginning to research alternatives to modern medicine to assist with my anxiety, mood swings, and obsessive thoughts. I also find myself extremely sensitive and emotional. I was previously taking Prisiq which worked great; however, I have come off of this drug and looking into natural treatments.

    What is your thought on 5-HTP? Anything else you think may help that i can research?

    Thank you!

    • I have been looking into 5-HTP might work really well in some cases. I have heard it typically makes people sleepy though.

      • It does make you sleepy & can be taken for insomnia. If you decide to try 5-HTP, take it 30 min before bedtime.

    • I’m not going to specifically recommend them for an age range but typically adaptogens don’t have side effects, so you should be fine.

  11. Hi Nick,

    I am bipolar and I’m currently taking 100mg of Lamictal (morning and night) as a mood stabilizer and 200mg of Seroquel (at night) as an anti-psychotic as prescribed by my doctor. Other mood stabilizing/enhancing supplements I take are L-Tyrosine and Maca. I’ve been doing well with this mix for almost a year now. After reading this article, I’m interested in adding Schizandra and Shilajit. In your opinion, would adding Schizandra and Shilajit to the medication and supplements I’m taking be too much? Does it have to be one or the other (as far as Lamictal versus Schizandra & Shilajit)?

    • I don’t know about the way it would combine with medication and I would hesitate to advise. If I was in your position though I might add the shilajit but not the schizandra as it is more likely to interact with the other things you are taking.

      • What of the natural remedies you described would you suggest to help me get off of Lamictal and fluxamine? My doctor supports my decision to get off the medication.

        • I would definitely recommend the shilajit. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence with people even getting off abusive drugs without getting bad withdrawals.

          • OK Mr Nick,
            I will 24 Dec 18 2016 since I was 18 living in Oregon being born in Colorado I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 and also ptsd. Now of I get very anxious so I turn to cigarette smoking today 10-21-16 I 13 weeks 5 days pregnant with my 1st pregnancy I have proscribed 600mg seroquel xr wich is extended release I have been taking for almost 3 weeks because my belief as a Christian I would rather be taking something from the earth that God has created than a man made chemical. So, since I am pregnant and will be breastfeeding would the shilajit be the best option for me to take. I would really appreciate it if you can respond to what I have wrote. Just give it your best if you can’t recommend based on my comment of my situation of pregnancy then the breastfeeding I just want to know what would be the best option for not only me for my mood but what is the safest for my baby .
            Thanks in advance

    • Hey Nick,

      Question for you! Have you tried the Shilajit or Schizandra? How is it working out for your psychosis?

    • Because they were very specific in what was working and not working for her. I don’t think moving from holy basil that was working to Schizandra would be a good call. It might work it might not but I am not going to make a call like that based on the information she provided.

    • Sofia, BPD stands for borderline personality disorder. If she truly meant that, then the treatment is very different than it is for bipolar.

  12. Hi there, I’ve been taking Rhodiola Rosea for just over a week to try and help with anxiety, stress, low mood and negative thinking…. It seems to be working to some extent a although I know it takes a few weeks before its benefits are truly established. My question is whether either of your top two recommendations can be used in conjunction with Rhiodiola and if so, which would you recommend for my symptoms?

    • I would recommend combining it with the Shilajit. It is a excellent harmonizer and amplifier for other herbs and should really improve the effects you are already experiencing.

  13. Thank you for the article. My husband suffers from depression, mood swings, self-diagnosed OCD and possibly ADHD. He is currently taking Xanax. His biggest complaint is that he doesn’t feel any emotion when he should ie. Inability to cry, lack of sex drive etc. Would any of your suggestions allow one to experience normal emotions without completely going over the edge? He continues to take Xanax for the betterment of the family. He would be willing to go the natural route if it doesn’t result in similar side effects and weight gain.

    • Exercise is the best natural thing he can do and shilajit. When you get to the extreme with the balance in your body it is better to make lifestyle improvements and then with close supervision reduce medication. Otherwise your body will react negatively from changing from a medication to natural medicine.

  14. Hello Nick,
    I was wondering what you felt about these remedies in tablet form please. Are they just as effective?

    • Typically the product that gets put in tablets and capsules is lower quality, there are exceptions to this like everything but I personally avoid them in general and take my medicine.

  15. Just wondering if any of these herbs would be beneficial to someone with
    anxiety/depression that has been self medicating with marijuana and want to stop.

  16. Since this is supposed to be a list of mood stabilizers, Ginseng (American/Panax) and Rhodiola should be removed or, if included to preempt questions about their omission, explicitly labeled as non-mood-stabilizers that carry risk of causing mania. Both are contra-indicated for bipolar.

    • Very good point, I put them on the list because they are popularly used but I should have noted the risk of mania. Thank you for pointing this out.

  17. I looked at your supplier for Schizandra. $79 for 4 ounces, how long will that last and do u have any suggestions for we not so affluent?

    • Lucidera Schizandra lasts about 2-3 months it comes in a 4oz jar so with a high-quality product that goes a long way. For an inexpensive alternative, I don’t recommend this because the quality just isn’t going to be the same but you can get whole sun dried by the pound berries and brew tea with with a few tablespoons of them.

  18. I have Bipolar 1 and have more mania than anything,i am also perimenopause too,so moods run crazy,i do not take pharmaceutical,i don’t trust them,i will be buying this two natural herbs you have mentioned.

  19. Hello Kurt Watson
    I am bipolar taking effexor 150g & my mood stabilizer Epilim or Valporate which is damaging my liver so I stopped take the later as I am due to see a specialist next monday 29th August after waiting 3 months for the appointment to change both Meds as I have been on them for over 15years & my system has become truly immune thus the need to take more.
    Do you recommend the two herbs Schizandra & Schilajit to take their place & where I could source a quality Supply if so Please. I have only found this site & have had low energy for months & every day is an effort to do the basics. I do my exercises in the morning & walk my pet for 3/4hr & and rest for the day doing what I can as resort to reading & favourite programs on TV. Im not obese just lethargic most of the time & have to fight it constantly.

  20. Hi i have schizoaffective bipolar disorder i have severe mood swings and i have severe depression and i hate pills and would like something natural to help me with stalblizing my mood swings and depression. i was hoping for advice on natural medicine because pills scare me. Im tired of feeling like one day i wont wake up do to doctors and medication they perscribe.
    any helpful advice will be appreciated please and thank you.

  21. Hi Nick, I have 6 boys and I am trying to help three of them with learning disabilities and mood disorders. I have been taking them to doctor for over a year and they are on different meds, but my 6 year old is having such a hard time! I have tried some natural stuff nothing worked. Do you have any recommendations for a 19 year old who works out everyday and weight lifts who has ADHA, Anxiety and depression ? A 12 year old who is autistic with ADHD anxiety? A 6 year old who has ADHD and runs out of class. MY 19 year old hates taking meds, he would love natural stuff that works. My six year old has me in tears everyday because is is so sweet and loving, but he is so impulsive that he get in trouble for acting or talking without thinking about the consequences then he is so sorry for saying something not nice. I also have and depression. I have AS and fibromyalgia and UC so I am in pain everyday. I would really appreciate you recommendations. I don’t want my son to be moved to another school. ???? Thank you so much

  22. I appreciate your insight so much. .
    Can you also add,ashwagandha, for anxiety?
    I am coming off meds.and wondering if it is to soon to take them? As I’ll probably will have some witdrawl.
    Also, there are vitamins that targets to stablize mood like truehope. Can you combine? Or take ir alone?
    Can I also take wirh my collagen and biotin?
    Thank you.

    • Shilajit is probably the safest to take while coming off meds. In Russia it was tested for and used successfully to get people off Xanax. It takes a few weeks to develop its effect but is the least stimulative one I know of. As far as dietary makes sure your not vitamin d deficient and you get adequate omega-3s.

      • NIck,
        –Have you ever tried OTC lithium or N-acetyl cysteine for bipolar?
        –In your opinion, how important is blood sugar in bipolar? My husband is bipolar, with lifelong ADHD and is now borderline diabetic. He has been a sugar addict all his life, and he is a functioning alcoholic (wine). The sugar in wine makes him manic. He will not change his diet or stop drinking.
        –Considering that, do you think schizandra and shilajit could help my husband? For years he has taken Adderall; an antidepressant (escatalipram); and lamotrigine (for mood), but I don’t think they are working any more.
        Thanks for your help.

  23. Dear Nick
    I found your article very interesting but would like to know if I may ask you 2 questions in a private email. I live in Cape Town, South Africa and would like to know if the natural medicine you recommend can also be purchased here. Kind Regards, Mia Liebetrai

  24. Hi there,
    Would the combo of Schizandra and Shilajit be suitable for a person whose main issue is an excess of mental/emotional energy that leads to frequent episodes of being unusually “high” ? My partner suffers this and can get so excitable – not to the point of bi-polar “mania”, but irritatingly “high” . He gets stressed very easily when like this and can be a nightmare to deal with. His “highs” then sometimes come with sudden “dips” . It can be quite disconcerting to witness his moods change so quickly and I never now what version of him is going to walk through the door. Sometimes he is completely level headed, other times really low and tired and grumpy, then a lot of the time just too bloody “high” and drives me potty. I don’t want him to use anything that is going to give him more energy !! Just need something to try and level him out and stabilize his unpredictable emotions and behaviour. Cheers

  25. I am taking Lamictal and want to switch a natural alternative . I was prescribed 300 mg Lamictal 150 mg in the morning and 150 mg at night . The night time dose did nothing for me as all of the other drugs I take .
    I also take 5 other meds for depression and anxiety . I have already eliminated Abilify . I am using Holy Basil instead along with ashwagandha and Bee pollen . I had to ween myself off the Abilify because it made me sick to go cold turkey .
    After more research I am going to try Shilajit and Schizandra one at a time and try to ween myself off of the Lamictal.

    thanks for reviewing the herbs here

  26. Would schizandra then actively increase serotonin production since it regulates cortisol? I have found in studies that shilajit actually decreases serotonin over time so how would this be compensated for?

  27. My daughter has been having panic attacks every night for two weeks now. Trazone does not help. She also takes Zarelto which is a blood thinner. Are there any reactions with Mulberry Bark or Shilajit with Zarelto? I know that some herbs react with this blood thinner and she may not be able to take it.

  28. Hello I think I suffer from anxiety and depression because I have been masturbating frequently for two years alot and I have started to loose focus on everything I do and is always depresssed or just filled with aniexty plz help,

  29. Looking into purchasing Schizandra and Shilajit and wondering why and how you chose to purchase and endorse Schizandra from Lucidera and my Shilajit from Purblack. I don’t find much about them and am interested in how you found them and what you feel sets them apart from other suppliers. Thank you.

  30. Do you know interactions between psych meds? I have to be on meds, and this isn’t propaganda, I choose to be having been off and on them. However, I miss using herbs. They do something for me psych meds do not, and psych meds do something for me herbs do not. It is very difficult to find a doctor who is knowledgeable about both and it’s frustrating

  31. I went from being depressed (not getting dressed or doing anything) to being OK to being very irritable and irritated. Cannot take meds as they make me foggy and sick to my stomach. Don’t know what to do?

  32. Whenever I read “based on scientific research” or “research has shown” and there is no mention of the specific source of the “scientific findings”, I am immediately suspicious. These two herbs you are recommending are expensive! You want people to shell out that kind of cash I’d highly recommend you provide the source of the “research” you mention. Personally, I highly doubt there has been any credible and serious research done on most of these herbal supplements.

  33. I believe my new husband suffers with bipolar or mood swings. He always did say he was moody all his life, but he’s moody far too often and mental illness runs in his mother and son. Yet he denies mental illness. I will like to introduce an herb to stabilize his moods. Is it in a tea leaves form?

  34. There’s sooooo many herbs on here. I’m not sure where to start or where to begin. Borderline Personality Disorder & currently struggling.

  35. hi, I was diagnosed with bp when I was little but the 26 pills they had me on messed me up pretty bad and made me very unstable and had many side affects I cold turkeyed all of them 6 years ago and have managed it well through the years without anything but during my first pregnancy and now this pregnancy (my second) ive dealt with some anxiety and lots of unstable moods and emotions mostly lots of depression but Im scared of prescriptions due to the trouble I had as a child. I don’t get bp epesodes but I do have anxiety and depression sometimes deep depression and other times light depression and stress. im worried about the depression getting worst after birth it did my last pregnancy but I kept it to myself and managed it but this pregnancy the depression has been a little more intense then last time. what do you think would be best for this and safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding? thanks.

  36. Hi there, my insurance is ending my Aplenzin, which is a form a Wellbutrin. I would love to try the Shilajit and Schizandra. I’ve lost 40lbs from this drug. Will this help with not gaining my weight back or does it surpress the appetite. How about energy, does it help with that. Or is there anything to add for energy and not gaining 40lbs back.
    Thank you so much!

  37. Greetings Kurt,

    I hope you are still checking this thread… I just discovered it today. I attempted to order the Lucidera Schizandra, however, it appears that they are either temporarily out of stock or out of business (they’ve been out of stock for at least a month on Amazon). I left a voice mail with them earlier, but have heard no reply yet. Is there an alternative Schizandra that you might recommend? Also, with the Shilajit, what dosage would you recommend? 250mg or 500?

    Thanks so much for your thoughts and for writing the article!

  38. From what I can tell Lucidera has gone out of business or has serious supply problems, so I can understanding you recommending Lost Empire Shizandra. It seems to be the best out there and I’m taking it. Why are you no longer recommending Pur Black and now recommending Lost Empire? It appears to be a powder instead of a resin. Do you notice any different effects from it?

    • It’s all a matter of cost and convenience and cost for me. I fully believe in the PurBlack product but I can just order shilajit so easily along with the other stuff I get from Lost Empire. Nootropics Depot has some really high quality stuff and excellent customer service, too. I recently order Phenibut from them along with krill oil and a few other things and there was a problem with delivery that was not their fault in any way. They sent me a whole new order. All three companies have extraordinary sourcing, third-party testing and industry-standard extraction processes, in my opinion. Oh, and Lost Empire does have the resin, too. That’s what I have, not the powder.

  39. Too much to quote, but you have a good point about the antiholistic view of

    medicine treating illness simply by prescribing drugs, and herbalism falling

    into the same line of thinking. Depressed? Take St. John’s wort. Have asthma,

    take mahuang, or perhaps lobelia, only it’s not so simple. Diet and nutrition,

    exercise, and environment, including social environment, are also crucial. I

    see double-blind placebo-controlled tests as assembly-line medicine, perhaps

    appropriate for pharmaceutical treatments but not for herbal medicine or other

    modalities such as chiropractic and acupuncture.

    Predominant attitude in newsgroup alt.support.asthma seems to be

    straight-and-narrow conventional western medicine, viewing double-blind

    placebo-controlled experiments as the gold standard. Other factors besides

    pharmaceutical treatments are relegated to a secondary role, though airborne

    allergens and pollutants are taken seriously.

  40. the single largest threat I see to the craft (not science but craft, as in “art”) of herbalism is the emphasis on scientific “proof”.

    Lets remember, double blind studies were what indicated the “safety” of hormone replacement therapy, and the scientific model is what is used to approve all of the pharmaceutical & otc meds that are sitting on the shelves at Rite Aid… not indicators of great reliability.

    The double blind study is simply counter to the way holistic medicine works. Using it is like trying to determine the mating habits of lemurs by looking at what color they turn to in the fall.

    Here’s what I mean:

    Lets say we’re looking at treating depression with St. John’s Wort. A double blind study would gather two groups of people, give one group St. John’s Wort extract and another group a “Placebo”. In order to be scientific, -all other variables are to remain the same- (which means the group being treated “holistically” can’t add other herbs, exercise, breathwork, or any of the other options that any good herbalist would recommend be used in conjuction with St. John’s Wort). After a given time, we see whose doing better and make a conclusion, and then repeat.

    There is absolutely nothing holistic about this. Any herbalist who would suggest simply taking St. John’s Wort will treat depression shouldn’t be offering recommendations to people (so much for the “certified holistic practioner”, eh?)

    “Holistic” means we are treating the -whole- person. If somebody’s depressed, that means first seeking out what behaviors are causing the depression and addressing them. I mentioned in a recent post that someone came to me for St John’s Wort who I know is in a loveless unhappy marriage, and as long as she’s living in that, the St. John’s is not going to address anything. The person has to exercise. The person has to make sure they’re breathing well. The person has to be communicating their feelings in someway, either in a discussion group, therapy, or ceremony… whatever.

    All of these complimentary practises would “invalidate” a double blind study, since you wouldn’t be able to prove that it was the St. John’s Wort that was creating an improvement. This is why double blinds CANNOT be used as a measure of holistic therapy.

    Not to mention the old he-who-pays-for-the-study-gets-the-results-they-want. This is a phenomenon clearly evident. Take a look at Herbalgram, and you’ll see a repeated pattern: German herb company releases study saying herb is good for this. American drug compnay does study either invalidating first one, indicating dangers of herb or drug interactions, or claiming herb doesn’t really work. Herb Product Companies offer reasons drug companies study was invalid or do another study proving the herb works after all.

    Repeat ad infinitum.

    The one thing that is clear about studies is that the more a particular herb gets studied, the less the herb seems able to do. As an example, read about Black Cohosh in the old eclectic materials and you’ll find it serves an amazingly wide array of purposes, delineated by numerous specific indications. Read contemporary information based on studies, and its “good for menopause”, and as a result, is included in probably EVERY herbal formula sitting on the shelf with the word “Meno-” in it. So much for specific indications.

    Eclectic herbal medicine was based on Practice & Experience, and was an incredible system of treatment with immense depth and an elaborate system of treatment. The new modern, scientific approach as practised in Germany & spreading throughout Europe and the US is reductionist & limiting, to both the herbalist and the people who come to see him/her.

  41. I was always told the active medicinal ingredients in St. Johns Wort is destroyed by prolonged heat and never should be boiled or exposed to prolonged heating just like Comfrey. That is why a cold infused oil makes the reddest oils. The red is the medicine.I make my own St. Johns Wort oil infusion. In fact I just finished a big old mason jar full. I usually put in a little Tea Tree or Lavender Essential Oil to help chase any mold away. I also use oils that are very slow to go rancid like Almond or Olive. I have never had the experience of mold growing in my oils. At least not yet, there is always a first time for everything.

  42. Other herbalists often ask me how to make St. John’s Wort tincture and whether to use the roots, stalks or flowers. What you want to go after is hypericin content. Because the flowering tops have been found to contain the greatest amount of hypericin, which is believed to be one of the main active components. I have a book on SJW that states that the hypericin content is lowest at the stem (0.0004%) and highest in the flowers (2.15%). In addition, hyperforin, another component, is found almost exclusively in the flowers, capsules and seeds, and is highest after flowering.

  43. Hypericin and Hyperforin are not the only components and maybe not the most active components in St. John’s Wort that assist in relieving depression in spite of marketing otherwise. As Henriette suggests, all the flowering tops are a good bet for use. If you swallow (sorry, can’t resist) the one or two constituent theory, then much will be missed in effect by seeking only those constituents.

    Check out Jim Duke’s database if you want to see the bunch of chemistry.

    Michael Moore has them on his site too as well as several research abstracts. Roots tend to have a significantly different function for plants and significantly different chemistry. In my experience the arial parts, especially flowering tops, are the best. I cut the stems a little long (or, sigh, used to before moving to Montana) and use the extra length to hang the stems upside down to dry. They keep well in a shaded or paper bagged spot.

  44. When we had a sheep farm, almost all our income went to livestock feed so

    healthcare was not an option for the family unless we were at death’s door.

    SJW, Yarrow, Boneset, Burdock Root, Willow bark, Marshmallow root, Thyme,

    Basil, Sage, Cinnamon, Ginger, Black pepper, sugar, salt, Bouncing Bet (hair

    and scalp rinse), Catnip, honey, lemon balm, dried chilis, okra (picked

    young, blanched and frozen), turmeric, poplar, and hops all were in our

    family treatment collection. Cobwebs are great for emergency bandaids. By

    the way, a couple handsful of hops with cut up carrots and a little molasses

    is a great antispasmodic for colicky horses.

  45. From personal experience with moderate clinical depression, I would agree with Henriette that St. John’s Wort takes a few weeks to work when taken for depression.

    I’d been prone to bouts of mild clinical depression since the age of 12 or 13 (now late 30’s). After a more severe bout of depression 5 years ago I started taking SSRI’s and tried Seroxat (Paxil), Prozac and Cipramil. None of these pharmaceuticals work quickly as far as depression is concerned. For me, it took around 3 to 4 weeks to notice any improvement. I gave up taking Seroxat and Prozac because the side effects outweighed the benefits. I found Cipramil to be the best of the bunch although it did seem to make me more prone to headaches than usual.

    I now take St. John’s Wort, which for me seems to be as effective as Cipramil and I’m no longer prone to frequent headaches. I’ve found St. John’s Wort to be useful when ‘withdrawing’ from SSRI’s. A very common side effect when coming off SSRI’s seems to be ‘headshocks’ – a sort of electrical zapping sensation in the head and also the body. For me, taking St. John’s Wort when coming off SSRI’s drastically reduced this withdrawal phenomenon.

    > For still faster, there’s high quality kava kava root, which makes you smile right away.<

    Yes. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand and I found Kava to be very effective as a muscle relaxant and to reduce anxiety/panic. When I experienced my more severe bout of depression I was getting out-and-out panic attacks and found Kava very beneficial. Kava does seem to work very quickly.

    For anxiety/depression I also drank Chamomile tea 3 or 4 times a day and used Valerian tincture at night to promote sleep. I also took Ginkgo biloba which seemed to help the mental 'retardation' that I experienced during depression. SSRI's do seem to affect sleep patterns and can cause vivid/bizarre dreams. I found that sleep quality was much better when taking St. John's Wort than when taking SSRI's.

    • this goes against my own experience. and it makes no biochemical sense if anything, the opposite will apply, after a few weeks the brain will re-adjust to the higher levels of serotonin by down-regulating the number of receptors.

      So I will argue that St. John’s Wort will work *immediately,* within 2-3 hours. but you need enough to work. and too much will cause more anxiety and hypoglycemia.

  46. I can see that the diuretic properties of Chamomile are undesirable in this case, particularly drinking cupfuls at a time as I did. Having taken SJW myself long-term I would consider this also somewhat diuretic.

    I’ve used standardized capsules (300mg/0.3% Hypericin) starting at a dose rate of 300mg q.i.d and reducing to 300mg t.i.d.after four to six weeks.

    However, I do prefer to use a liquid extract or tincture, again starting q.i.d and reducing to t.i.d. (I start q.i.d on the premise that I’m prone to moderately severe clinical depression and am of large physical build).

    I would say that the anxiolytic effects of SJW act fairly quickly but that its anti-depressive effects take a few weeks to become apparent. I particularly prefer SJW over SSRI’s because of it’s anxiolytic effect. Even though SSRI’s are also anxiolytic, I’ve found that some have a tendency to make anxiety worse in the early stages. I also prefer SJW because it seems to promote better quality sleep and helps to balance out diurnal mood changes. I’ve been taking SJW for the past six months and intend to carry on doing so for at least another six months.

    Perhaps in your friends case, some cognitive therapy may be useful in helping her to deal with the situation in addition to phytotherapy.

  47. Thank you for writing this article. I am 35 year old woman that has just been prescribed Lamictal for my moon swings & intense anger stemming from childhood trauma and neglect (I have PTSD and DID), as well as intrusive thoughts. I have never taken medication before and am trying to understand if there exist a natural version of Lamictal, or Lamictal in it’s organic form before I take the plunge. You have quite list above and I won’t be able to take everything. With just Lamictal in mind, what herb would you take for yourself?

  48. Hello,

    I wonder what do you think of Bacopa as an alternative to neuroleptics ?
    I’ve heard it could help or have similar effects, as in promoting a healthy distribution of dopamine between the differents parts of the brain.

  49. I suffer from anxiety and some PTSD. I am currently taking Lamictal and it works for me, however, I would like to find an herb that is as close to how Lamictal works. I’m not going to jump off my meds but, finding something that I can turn to if insurance goes belly up would be great. I can’t take SSRIs because they cause more anxiety, like, a lot more. So I don’t want to stimulate more seratonin. Saint John’s wort, for instance, would give me more anxiety. Also, any type of stimulant worsens my anxiety. Quitting coffee has made a noticeable difference. Any sudjestions? Any books even?

  50. Yes, the strain does make a difference with Cannabis. What is typically
    labeled as Indica is better at relaxing and those labeled as Sativa will
    put me in a heightened state towards panic.

    On St. John’s wort, I started taking it for nerve pain in my leg and didn’t
    realize it was doing anything for my mental state until I ran out. Two days
    later, I went to the store and purchased more.

    When I was dealing with intense anxiety and panic attacks, I had to switch
    up herbs. At the height of my anxiety, I used a combination of herbal teas,
    infusions, and tinctures. I also found acupuncture and bodywork to be

    I still include chamomile and some days lemon balm in my daily tea. I take
    3-5 drops each of vervain, peach leaf (or rose depending on how dry/moist
    I’m feeling), and motherwort before bed. And, I take 1/2 dropper of St.
    John’s wort daily. Note, I am sensitive to most herbs and take them in
    small quantities.

    The biggest challenge is finding what works best for you. Some of the herbs
    I tried:
    California poppy, skullcap, passionflower, chamomile, vervain (Verbena
    officinalis), wood betony (Stachys officinalis), lemon balm, rose, peach
    leaf, lavender, pedicularis, kava kava, motherwort, milky oats, St. John’s

    For moderate anxiety, I now take pedicularis

    When dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, you can also look at resources
    for trauma. There’s a lot of good information out there. Two things I
    learned more recently from a somatic therapist that have been helpful:

    – Find a place where you can shake, your whole body. Put some noise with
    it. Shake hard. In the wild, animals will shake after a stressful event to
    clear it from their bodies. It can be helpful for humans as well.
    – Another possibly easier thing, look around you. Pick an item. Name it
    (lamp). Describe it (tall with paper shade, soft light) How does it make
    you feel (I like the light, it’s soft and comforting. Makes me feel cozy).
    Name something else and do again until you are back in the moment. It is
    amazing how calming this can be. It takes the nervous system back into the
    present – a place we have more choice in.

    Some resources on discovery:

    – Kiva has a great article I used when trying to sort through options:
    – A few years ago I took a first aid class from 7Song. He talked about
    Pulsatilla (Anemone spp.) for panic attacks as his go to. Here is a
    hand-out from his website. It includes a LOT more than anxiety but gives
    how to take the herb. I’ve not used it myself. I don’t have it.

  51. I have been using Paxil for almost 40 years. The dosage has differed over the years but now I am at 50mg per day and the Depression, and the Mood Swings are terrible. I am over the age of 70 and have been diagnosed with Bipolar II with Depression. The Paxil is not working as well as in the past and now I am looking for a Mood Stabilizer. The more I read about the prescription drugs the more I want to try something else. I must stay on the Paxil, but I also must add something to it to stabilize my moods. What I have come to understand is that Depression and Mood Swings, etc… get much worse as one gets older. I am going to try Holy Basil, and if no change, I am going to consult a Hypnotist in Port Stanley that I met last summer to see if being Hypnotized just might be the answer. I am seriously tired of taking Paxil and I want to get off of this prescription. I have also bought Dr. Amen’s last 2 books he has written to see if there might be an answer to solving the problems with my Brain in his books.

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