Body Oils Freeport IL
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Crystal Lake, IL
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Lake in the Hills, IL
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By Jack Challem
You notice “the moods” while commuting, waiting in line at the store, or gazing at yourself in the mirror: You’re on edge, irritable, impatient, anxious, and jumpy. It’s more than just life in the post-9/11 world; research shows that people’s moods have actually deteriorated over the past 20 to 30 years.
You can combat negative moods by boosting your neurotransmitters—the brain chemicals that help shape how you feel emotionally and determine your reaction to stress. Problems occur when you don’t get enough sleep, skip meals, or succumb to fast foods and thus shortchange yourself of the basic building blocks your body needs to make those neurotransmitters. How do you build a solid foundation for emotional stability? In addition to a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle, these supplements stand out for their ability to improve moods and increase your resiliency to stress.
II B-complex vitamins
Long considered anti-stress vitamins, the Bs help smooth out bumpy moods. For example, your brain needs vitamin B6 to make both serotonin and GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), the two principal calming neurotransmitters. “Don’t skimp on the B vitamins,” advises Los Angeles-based Hyla Cass, MD, author of Eight Weeks to Vibrant Health (McGraw-Hill, 2005). “Take a high-potency B-complex supplement that provides at least 25 mg daily each of vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6.”
An active component in green tea, this amino acid increases the brain’s alpha waves—a state often achieved by meditation—so you become deeply relaxed but mentally alert. You can generally feel its effects within 30 minutes; it can last 8 to 12 hours. It doesn’t cause drowsiness but does improve the quality of your sleep. Try 200 to 500 mg daily.
Part of the B vitamin complex, inositol helps reduce symptoms of anxiety, panic, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Cass recommends 1,500 mg daily, on top of a B-complex supplement (above), since the other B vitamins enhance inositol’s mellowing effects.
This essential dietary mineral reduces all kinds of muscle spasms or twitches, but especially those related to anxiety. Cass suggests 200 mg once or twice daily.
II Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Herbalist Laurel Vukovic, of Ashland, Oregon, recommends passionflower for easing anxiety and a “busy mind,” especially when people can’t settle down to sleep. Vukovic, author of Overcoming Sleep Disorders Naturally (Basic Health Publications, 2005), suggests using 60 drops of passionflower tincture mixed in a small amount of water.
II Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia)
In a recent study, British researchers tested an essential oil extract of Spanish sage on a group of 24 college students. After a few drops of the herb, the students reported feeling more alert, calm, and content. The study also reported modest improvements in memory and reaction times.
When you try these calming supplements for the first time, do so at ho...
Author: Jack Challem
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