Chasing the Winter Blues

Chasing the Winter Blues

Deep in the heart of winter as we are, it can be more of a challenge to take care of our bodies and souls, which seems more effortless when the sun is shining and flowers are blooming. We are fortunate, then, to have the gifts of herbs that flourished last season to help us get through until spring, and support us in staying healthy and feeling positive.

For mood support, I formulated Emotional Relief™, which contains extracts of St. John’s wort flowering tops (Hypericum perforatum), fresh Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Mimosa bark (Albizia julibrissin), fresh Black Cohosh root (Actaea racemosa), fresh Night Blooming Cereus stem (Selenicereus pteranthus), fresh Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), and Lavender flowers (Lavendula angustifolia).

St. John’s wort used with Lemon Balm it can be effective for lifting the spirts during the long dark days. Mimosa bark is one of the most effective mood elevators I have ever utilized, helping to relieve mild grief, emotional pain, and sadness. Black Cohosh and Night Blooming Cereus are indicated for “gloom and doom” and for menopausal blues. Night Blooming Cereus is useful for low mood associated with aging. Holy Basil acts as a mood elevator, mild adaptogen, and it enhances mental clarity. Lavender enhances sleep quality and improves focus and concentration.

Another useful winter formula is Grief Relief™, which supports emotional balance with Hawthorn berries, flowers & leaf, Rose petals, and uplifting Mimosa bark. This is a formula that I have used in my clinical practice for many years to help to support the healing process for people who are grieving. I have found it is especially useful for people suffering from broken hearts and unresolved grief.

In addition to herbs, there are many things we can do to lift our spirits:  Sing, dance, take long walks, eat a healthy diet, pray, meditate, practice yoga or tai qi, get adequate and good quality sleep, go for a walk but take ginger before you go. It can be tempting to isolate when the weather is bad, but you’ll feel better if you go out and see people.

Winter is also a time to make sure your immune system function is supported and nourished. Appreciation for the phenomenal immune-enhancing benefits mushrooms can offer is growing among consumers, so we’re seeing increased interest in Seven Precious Mushrooms. This formula blends Black Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma sinensis), Red Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus), Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes), Reishi mycelium (Ganoderma lucidum), Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), and Cordyceps mycelium (Cordyceps sp.) which help promote immune function and competence, a tolerogenic state, as well as providing endocrine support (Reishi, Cordyceps).

Another popular formula is Immune Adapt, which supports healthy immune system function. Based on traditional Chinese Fu Zheng Pei Ben therapy, Immune Adapt™ restores vital energy and balance to the body so that it is better equipped to deal with stress and challenges to the immune system. It is a blend including Schisandra, Eleuthero, Red and Black Reishi mushrooms, Reishi mycelium, Licorice, Astragalus and the restorative tonic Codonopsis. Adding the tonic herb Bai-Zhu Atractylodes supports stomach and spleen qi, relieve dampness, and promote healthy immune system activity. 

Another reason to focus on balancing the immune system in the winter is to help it prepare of the immune response challenges that come with spring. And remember, each day the light stays with us a little longer than the day before.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

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This blog is intended as an informational guide. The remedies, approaches and techniques described herein are meant to supplement, not be a substitute for, professional medical care or treatment. They should not be used to treat a serious ailment without prior consultation with a qualified health care professional.

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