We are nearing the end of February and I don’t know about you, but winter seems to be just dragging on! I find myself reminiscing about sunshine and greenery. I can’t wait for flowers to bloom and to start gardening again! Winter can be a beautiful time, but for many it can be a very difficult time. If you’re feeling the “Winter Blues” or love someone who is, this is for you.
My Struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D)
I, like many other humans in this day and age, have struggled with mental health on and off over the course of my lifetime. I specifically suffered particularly in my youth with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D), in which my body and brain were greatly affected by the change of season and I would become very depressed during the winter months. When I was young, my grades would start to slip and my nervous habits would become amplified. The deeper into winter we would go, the deeper into depression I would slip. Then come springtime my mental health did a complete 180 and by summer I was always at my healthiest. This is very common for those who live in areas with little sunlight, as sunlight is essential for our body’s production of Vitamin D, a hormone which when we become deficient in, can lead to depression among other issues. Other vitamin deficiencies are also common during the winter months for various reasons including diet changes.
Throughout my experience with mental illness and research into natural wellbeing, I have discovered so many ways in which we can keep ourselves well both mentally and physically, and I can’t say it enough, what we put into our bodies MATTERS! On top of physical activity, meditation practice and exercise which is so vitally important for proper brain function, there are abounding numbers of plants our earth has provided for us that can have amazing positive, regenerative, restorative, and healing effects on our bodies and minds.
Wellness is a journey and I am always learning. I am not a doctor. I do not diagnose, treat or prescribe. I am an esthetician. I am an herbalist. I am an organic skincare formulator. I am a wellness consultant. I am a mother. I am a human being who cares about people. All of these things combine to form what I do for a living, building my apothecary, and providing and supplying solutions, supplements, healthy products to nourish our bodies from the inside out.
Without a healthy mind, what can we really do? How could we go through life? What could we accomplish? Without a healthy mind, what would be the quality of our life? Our bodies respond to our minds. And our bodies are our tools to make the world a better place. So I want to share with you, some powerful plants that you can find in my apothecary, that just might help you get through this season, or any season of your life that you may find particularly difficult on your mind. Let’s take good care of ourselves, so we can be good to each other and our world!
Blue Tea (Butterfly Pea Flower)
- Increases Blood Circulation in the Head – strengthening hair follicles
- Mood Enhancer, decreases anxiety, improve mental clarity, improve energy
- Helps remove undigested food particles from gut, detoxes liver and kidneys,
- Drink 1-2 cups at least 2x a week on empty stomach, supports weight loss.
- Contains EGCG, a polyphenol also present in green tea, works like an antioxidant, decreases inflammation and boosts energy, reduces oxidation and cell death of brain cells. May reduce aging body’s production of certain proteins that contribute to the production of plaques and tangles present in Alzheimer’s.
- Skin health – Flavanoids that help stimulate collagen and elastin, detoxes body systems which leads to clear, bright skin.
- Caffeine Free
- Potent Antioxidant
- Prevents hardening of the arteries, increases nitric oxide in blood, improving circulation and helps maintain healthy blood pressure/lower bp, reduces brain fog, clears mind, reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, improved mental clarity
- Improved circulation to brain, supports healthy brain tissue, used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Depression
- Increases absorption of oxygen and glucose (the basic fuels for the brain) in the brain
- Caffeine free
- Nootropic effect on brain
- Used to soothe anxiety, calm nervous system, upset stomachs, and insomnia
- Can increase cognition, focus and memory
- Can help with neurodegenerative conditions
- Very pleasant aroma and flavor (also has powerful antiviral properties)