Herbs for Mood Control and Mental Clarity

November 15, 2021 by Susan Horning

Herbs for Mood Control and Mental Clarity

Simple herbal remedies can give your mind and mood a boost. One method is to start using one herb at a time (called a ‘simple’ extract), to help foster a relationship and a connection with the plant and it’s medicine. When you find a plant that is synergistic with you, you’ll know it! If there’s no effect, it might not be the plant you need, or the effect may be subtle.

Every plant has unique gifts, and some plants work better for some people.

Living in harmony with our environment is easier than you might think. Just like whole foods, whole plants integrate in our bodies much more easily than most pharmaceuticals, which are often derived to have a hard hitting effect, plants are much more gentle and need to be used more often. Usually two or three doses of a plant per day is required to feel the effects, and some plants may take weeks before their gifts are delivered fully.

Herbs bring health balance gently, guiding us toward homeostasis, and happiness!

Professional practitioners can use plants separately or together in a formula to achieve powerful results. Synergistic combinations make medicines stronger, and some formulas (such as tonics) can be created to support specific bodily functions and systems.

Combinations of plants are best recommended by a professional, who is trained in their formulation.

Herbal Actions Indications Cautions / Contraindications

Lemonbalm (Melissa officionalis)

NS Relaxant, Anti-depressant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, carminative, sedative antispasmodic.

SADS, tonic for the heart and circulatory system, to lift spirits and help with shock, panic, anxiety, ADHD, nervous sleeping disorders, migraines

May interfere with thyroid hormone activity (may not be appropriate with thyroid medications). Not with CNS depressants

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Hypnotic, soporific, hypotensive, anti-anxiety, analgesic, antispasmodic, cardio-tonic.

Nervous cardiac symptoms (palpitations), restlessness, ADHD, anxiety, tension, headaches, overactive brain.

Best to combine with other herbs. No with MAOI, barbiturates. Not with CNS depressants.
2 weeks on, 2 days off.


Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Circulatory stimulant, peripheral vasodilator, anti- platelet, antioxidant, cognitive enhancing, neuroprotective, energy enhancer

Improves brain metabolism of glucose and ACh. For poor concentration, anxiety, depression, dizziness, headaches, hangover, circulation to the head.

Thins the blood. Not with thrombosis or hemophiliac. May take six weeks for effects. Not with MAOI’s, blood thinners,


Schizandra Berry (Schizandra sinesis)

NS tonic, adaptogen, anti- depressant, anti-stress, anti- tussive, adrenal tonic, anti- cholesterol

To strengthen and tone organs, for memory, cognitive function, depression, stress, to increase vitality and endurance.

High dose may cause digestive upset, may interfere with metabolism of pharmaceuticals as it acts of the liver pathways.

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

NS tonic, NS relaxant, sedative, anti-depressant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, astringent, alterative.

For mild to moderate depression, anxiety, tension, stress, SAD, insomnia, migraines, irritability, fibromyalgia, sciatica.

Not with any drugs that use liver pathway cytochrome P450 (MAOI, SSRI, narcotics, anti- convulsant, anti-psychotic, blood thinners, calcium channel blockers, anti-histamines, etc.)

Damiana (Turnera diffusa)

NS tonic, anti-depressant, digestive, aphrodesiac.

For nervous exhaustion, anxiety, depression, menstrual headaches, physical weakness, infertility, low libido, sterility.

Long term dosing may lead to insomnia, may take weeks to see effects, caution with hypoglycemic meds (tannins).

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticossus)

Adrenal tonic, adaptogen, antitoxic, immuno-modulator and stimulant, hypoglycemic, anticoagulant, bitter, aphrodesiac.

Increases mental alertness, memory, concentration, endurance and resistance to stress to promote well being and longevity. Mild depression.

Caution with meds: barbiturates, anti-psychotic, cardiac, blood pressure, diabetes, estrogen, antibiotics. Avoid use of other stimulants concurrently.

Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera)

General rejuvenating tonic, NS tonic, sedative, adaptogen, immuno-modulator anti- inflammatory, anti-tumour.

Promote learning, memory and mental clarity. For mental exhaustion, insomnia, neuralgias, for the elderly and convalescence.

May have abortifacient properties, may take one month to see effects, avoid in acute sexual anxiety, do not eat the berries.

Thank you for exploring the magical world of plant healing!

Please reach out to me if you need help determining which herbs are best for you.

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