Supplements & Botanicals to Improve Mental Health

There seems to be a disconnect in the way many societies, especially the United States, view mental health and physical health as if they are two different entities. We are finally reaching a tipping point where more people are unabashedly discussing their mental health issues, despite the stigma that is ignorantly attached to this relevant topic. This is amazing progress and hopefully, this forward momentum will continue, encouraging others to speak out and seek help.
The pandemic has had a great effect on the mental health of our society as a whole, especially for those who were already struggling with these issues pre-pandemic. In order to comply with safety regulations, we became more isolated, lost our daily routine and a much-needed support system leading to an increase in mental health issues. Some are referring to this dramatic increase in mental health struggles as a “secondary pandemic.”1

 

Supplements to Aid Mental Health

It has been widely recognized that specific supplements and botanicals can have a positive impact on those struggling with mental health issues. For example, B vitamins are a wonderful way to boost cognitive performance, relieve stress, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. B12 and B6 in particular are supplements that stabilize and increase brain health.

Norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine are three “happy” chemicals in our brain which have been studied for decades in relation to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. They can be activated or increased in many ways either from exercise (known as a “runner’s high”,) diet and supplements as well as through the use of psychiatric medications.2

B12 and B9 (folate) also aid in the production of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. I will not even try to fully explain exactly how these chemicals work within our brains because I want you to keep reading and remain awake. On to vitamin D!

Vitamin D also plays a valuable role in mood regulation along with brain and nerve health. Although vitamin D supplements are available, vitamin D can also be absorbed into the body through sun exposure. Beach-bum’s and tanning-lover’s usually shout the praises of vitamin D as their excuse for tanning their bodies into a material that could be used to produce leather goods. However, it is suggested that you only get 10-30 minutes of midday sun exposure several times a week (not several times a day) to gain the adequate amount of vitamin D.

Vitamin D also plays a strong role in supporting the immune system as well as your mental health, which in today’s climate is a wonderful advantage. For vegans and vegetarians, since vitamin D is mostly found in animal food products, adding a supplement may be recommended as part of their mental health regiment.3

Botanicals That May Help Support Mental Health

Naturopathic medicine has been around for over 100 years. Originally born out of tradition, science has continuously discovered the legitimacy behind the use of botanicals in supporting mental health.

Two botanicals that help the cognitive function of our brain are Ginkgo and Brahmi. These botanicals are considered “cognitive enhancers.” Do you find yourself walking into a room and forgetting why you came there, where you have left your car keys or what you were talking about midway through a sentence…? Ok, that’s just being a human attempting to multi-task! Ginkgo and Brahmi are two amazing botanicals that have shown to help with memory, concentration and blood flow to the brain.4

Another botanical that you probably have heard of through the grape vine (pun intended,) which can aid in mental health, is St. John’s Wart. A botanical containing hypericin and hyperforin which are constituents that have an impact on neurotransmitters in your brain and regulate norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Remember, those were the chemicals that help you get to your “happy place.” How they were able to know this 100 years ago, lacking the technological advancements that we possess today, is unimaginable.4

Lavender can now be found in a wide assortment of products such as candles, oil diffusers, body lotions and perfumes. They really use it in almost anything now-a-days, from laundry detergent, air fresheners to garbage bags. (your garbage collectors thank you). Lavender has a sedating effect to the nervous system, and is able to reduce abdominal cramping, bloating and indigestion along with anxiety. Lavender, with its lovely scent, has a calming effect which can relieve headaches and help with insomnia.4

As a society, if we can set aside our prejudices about mental health issues, erasing the stigma attached to it, the quicker we can gain help for those who are struggling in silence. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) Nami.org, which is the largest grassroots organization dedicated to helping people struggling with mental health issues, is a wonderful organization for anyone seeking help, information and resources.

 

Interested in what your options may be for Vitajoy’s vitamins B, D or our range of botanicals? Contact your sales rep. or email us at sales@vitajoyusa.com to take advantage of special pricing.

**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

 

References

  1. The State Of Mental Health In America, https://www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america.
  2. B Vitamins and Mental Health, https://behavioralnutrition.org/b-vitamins-and-mental-health/.
  3. Vitamin D Benefits, https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-vitamin-d.
  4. Botanical Medicine for Mental Health, https://www.tandemclinic.com/blog/botanical-medicine-mental-health.
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