It can be challenging to navigate life when moods are unstable. Some find themselves uninterested in engaging life the way they once did. Others find themselves struggling to calmly interact with loved ones while trying to handle a flood of emotions. When searching for a way to stabilize moods, prescription medication might first come to mind. But prescribed medications aren't always a viable option for everyone. And not every individual with fluctuating moods has or has been diagnosed with a mood disorder. If you're looking for an alternative approach or natural medication supplement to help with unstable moods, there are natural herbs that you can use as a mood stabilizer. Let's look at three.
Saffron's dried stigmas have been used as a spice and dye for centuries. And this historically medicinal herb has been found to lift depressed moods (see ref 1). In a clinical trial review published in 2013 in the journal, "Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment," saffron petal extract and stigma extract were both found to be at least as effective as, and sometimes more effective than, traditional medications used to treat depression. It has also been shown to work well along with antidepressant medications (see ref 4). Saffron is effective because it helps increase serotonin and dopamine levels - two neurotransmitters that effect mood (see ref 1).
This is not an exhaustive list, additional common mood stabilizing herbs include: Kava Kava, SAM-e, Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha Root), Lemon Balm, St. John's Wart, and Ginseng. Although herbs have been found to assist in mood stabilization, researchers suggest that a healthy diet is an important factor as well (see ref 1).
Proceed with Caution
As always, you want to consult your physician before beginning any new treatment, especially if you're currently taking prescribed medications. Some alternative medicines can reduce the effectiveness of prescription medication. Speak with your doctor to coordinate a safe mood stabilizing treatment plan.