Herbs and spices are often overlooked as the nutritional powerhouses that they are. The underdogs of the kitchen cabinet, wars have been fought over them (literally), and they have been recognised for their powerful medicinal properties for 5000 years.
Adding herbs and spices to your cooking will not only elevate the most mundane of meals, but it can also enhance your health and wellbeing in powerful ways, mood included.
We’ve rounded up our pick of the best mood-boosting herbs, spices and adaptogens that you can add to your daily routine to improve your mental wellbeing, make you feel happier and enhance your cognitive function .
Read on to find out you can boost your mood and unlock your full potential by upping your intake of certain herbs and spices:
1. Ginger benefits
Ginger acts as both a mood-booster and an energy-booster. It improves your circulation and metabolism, and contains a potent antioxidant known as ‘gingerol’. Gingerol helps the body to detoxify and, specifically, to rid the body of excess stress-hormone, cortisol. As excess cortisol is flushed from the body, your mood will naturally lift.
You can try adding a thumb-sized piece of ginger to hot water with a slice of lemon, or whizzing into your morning smoothie, to feel its uplifting benefits.
Ginger is also used in aromatherapy, where its scent is well-documented to increase relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance mood.
2. Turmeric benefits
What isn’t turmeric good for? This ultimate super-spice contains an abundance of curcumin; a compound famed for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, curcumin can reduce stress by curbing inflammation in the parts of the brain responsible for administering natural stress-response. Curcumin also protects the body - including the mind - against damage from free radicals. Coupled with its anti-inflammatory qualities, curcumin’s sky high antioxidant levels mean turmeric is a mood-boosting powerhouse.
In studies, curcumin has not only been shown to have a powerful effect on mood, but it seems it can help to boost memory, too. One particular study concluded that memory can be improved by up to 28% by supplementing with curcumin.
HydroCurc® as formulated at a daily dose of 250mg in LYMA contains the most bioavailable and effective form of curcumin on the market. Curcumin may be powerful but, when ingested dietarily, it can be challenging for the body to absorb. You are much better off supplementing with HydroCurc® .
3. Garlic benefits
Garlic is full of vitamin B6 which is associated with busting insomnia, fighting fatigue and lifting mood. Furthermore, B6 has been shown to help stave off anxiety in patients suffering from anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
The chromium in garlic is believed to behave in a similar way to antidepressants in that it can encourage the production of serotonin in the brain. The effect is most potent when garlic is consumed raw. Eating garlic is also a really good way to boost your immune system.
Fun fact: Garlic has been used since ancient Egyptian times to fight illness and malaise, and ancient Greek and Roman athletes, soldiers and warriors chugged it down before performing or heading into battle.
4. Saffron benefits
Derived from the flower of the Crocus Sativus, saffron might be as effective as Prozac when it comes to busting mood disorders.
Mounting evidence suggests that consuming saffron can help to alleviate mood disorders and depression. It has been shown to behave in a similar way to the SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) commonly found in antidepressant medication, and to increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, providing a double whammy of mood-boosting benefits.
Dopamine is responsible for our ability to experience pleasure, and depleted levels can leave us feeling numb and unresponsive to positive stimuli such as food, sex and exercise. If levels remain low for a sustained period this can lead to mood disorders and even depression. Reduced dopamine levels can also result in addiction as we require greater levels of stimulation to get our dopamine flowing.
Saffron is a particularly great choice for people experiencing low mood as a result of PMS.
5. Ashwagandha benefits
Full spectrum, root extract KSM-66® Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic supplement which has been used and studied for centuries for its role in reducing inflammation in the body . Inflammation, if left to fester, can be one of the leading causes of low mood.
Formulated at a daily dose of 600mg in LYMA, this particular strain of ashwagandha has been shown time and again to be the most powerful adaptogen for fighting stress, anxiety and inflammation in the body and brain.
Herbs and spices can work wonders for your mood and your health in general, and supplementing - if you’re doing it right - can too. LYMA’s evidence-based formula will always meet the highest standards, and after years spent researching and sourcing the perfect formula, balancing science and nature, we are confident in saying that LYMA is the ultimate supplement. Whether you want to banish stress, boost your immune system, improve your skin, hair and nails, or increase your productivity, LYMA is the advantage you’ve been waiting for.
Originally published Aug 24, 2020.