Are you or a family member or friend struggling to stabilize your mood and finding it very difficult?
Would you love to find healthy, natural alternatives to prescription anti-depressants and other 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 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 supplement that’s been a real miracle in my life).
But, first things first!
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 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, depression or bipolar disorder, please do not self-diagnose based on the information I share with you here! Although there are serious risk 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 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.
- 1 How Do Mood Stabilizers Work?
- 2 Natural Remedies For Bipolar Disorder
- 2.1 List of Common Natural Mood Stabilizing Herbs
- 2.1.1 Mucuna Pruriens
- 2.1.2 Shilajit
- 2.1.3 Schizandra
- 2.1.4 Maca Root
- 2.1.5 Catuaba
- 2.1.6 Panax Ginseng
- 2.1.7 Rhodiola Rosea
- 2.1.8 Yohimbine
- 2.1.9 Ginkgo biloba
- 2.1.10 Tribulus terrestris
- 2.1.11 Ashwagandha
- 2.1.12 Eleuthero
- 2.1.13 Kava Kava
- 2.1.14 Mulberry Bark
- 2.1.15 St. John’s Wort
- 2.1 List of Common Natural Mood Stabilizing Herbs
- 3 Top Two Mood-Stabilizing Herbs (The Very Best!)
How Do Mood Stabilizers Work?
Your brain balance and stability is affected primarily by the neurotransmitters: epinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals effect 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.
All these chemicals are effected 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 seratonin and high epinephrine: Something is wrong and you need to act now (mania).
Low seratonin and low epinephrine: Life sucks and I can’t do anything about it (depression).
Dopamine on the other hand gives you motivation and focus low or high dopamin 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, herbal supplements over prescriptions:
- If they work for you, you get the benefits of a natural mood stabilizer without adverse side effects.
- They do not aggravate depressive symptoms, something that is common in prescription medication.
- Promote balance and homeostasis naturally. Prescription medication can suppressing manic phases and inducing depression or treat depression but trigger mania.
- No major side effects or complicated states such as mixed episodes of mania and depression, mixed multiple mental diseases, and rapid mood cycling and shifting;
- The supplement itself will never increase risk of suicide or psychosis.
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 over-consumption of alcohol, sugar, and an inability to cope with negative feelings and stress.
Natural Remedies For Bipolar Disorder
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.
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 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 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 Herbs
Popular because if it’s 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 compaired Xanax in it’s 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. 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.
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 bast natural antidepressant herbs.
I 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 ginsenosides and gintonin.
Rhodiola is a classic adaptogen herb that is excellent for non-specific resistance in the body. Rhodiola Rosea 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.
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.
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 which reveal sexual benefits for both women and men suffering from low libido, erectile dysfunction and more.
Ashwagandha is Ayurveda’s primary anti-depressant/anti-anxiety herb. I have struggled to find a quality supplier for it but 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.
A 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 insomia. Unfortunately for anyone of European decent, 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!
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
(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 names: Goat weed, Klamath weed, Rosin Rose, John’s Wort
Who would benefit from it?
St. John’s Wort suits 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.
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
Medical professionals in Germany, consider St. John’s Wort as the best 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 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 precaution. Nevertheless, it is an excellent substitute for antidepressant drugs and is an excellent all-natural alternative health herb to act as a very powerful mood stabilizer.
Top Two Mood-Stabilizing Herbs (The Very Best!)
Basically when it comes to a 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. Both are very hard to overdose on and have great overall benefits for outlook, health, and stability.
So, what are they?
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 bodies 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 an 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.
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, restores 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 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.
If you want to know where I buy them I only go for premium herbs so I get my Schizandra from Lucidera and my Shilajit from Purblack.
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 solutions.
Remember I promised to tell you about something that’s been a miracle supplement for me? It’s Phenibut. Phenibut is a natural 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. I highly recommend you look into this nootropic supplement. Some describe it’s 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, 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!