Cabin Fever. Climbing the Walls. Temporary Insanity. Common terms that imply agitation, anxiety, restlessness, and a general sense of unsettledness. These symptoms are often experienced in the spring by people who tend to run towards yin deficiency from a Chinese Medicine perspective. Much to my surprise Spring Fever means the opposite of these symptoms and is instead associated with lassitude, apathy, and half heartedness, something I will cover in another article.
The following three formulas all have a sedating affect on the central nervous system but through different mechanisms.
A quick note: with any supplement always consult with a qualified practitioner before taking as undesirable side effects may occur when taken by someone who does not need it.
Lavender – Integrative Therapeutics Lavela WS 1265
Lavender has been cultivated and used for thousands of years as a calming and cleansing herb. Experiential evidence has shown that the fragrance of the flowers soothes the mind and extracts of the flowers and plants can be used to effective clean and purify surfaces and living spaces. A simple search of the web will reveal the myriad of uses that lavender has been put to throughout time, anything from placing satchels of flowers in clothing drawers to deter moths and other insects to placing it in pillows to help calm a person to sleep.
Modern science in seeking to understand why lavender has endured in usage through the ages have studied its actions in the brain and its effect on our body. Study results have shown that in the brain, lavender has effects similar to Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) and Gabapentin, both of which help to regulate the nervous system and provide a sense of calm. When ingested in proper dosages, lavender rapidly transfers into the blood stream and brings about a sense of calm. Integrative Therapeutics Lavela WS 1265 supplement is a tiny 80mg dose of lavender oil in a carrier of canola and glycerin that in studies has been shown to have effects similar to Valium.
Calm Spirit – by Health Concerns
Calm Spirit is a wonderful herbal formula that does just what the name implies. It combines a small amount of taurine and magnesium with broad spectrum digestive enzymes and herbs to build blood, gently move the liver, and calm the heart. This formula can help address one of the most fundamental causes of neurotransmitter imbalances, the inability to create the precursors of the neurotransmitters from the food we eat and having sufficient blood to transport those to the brain.
The taurine acts as a neuro-regulator and that role helps regulate the heart. The heart in Chinese Medicine also houses the mind and when the heart beat becomes too rapid or irregular can disturb the mind and bring about anxiety and other feelings of not being at ease. The magnesium helps to increase solubility of the formula and relaxes smooth muscle, which include the heart and intestines. The digestive enzymes helps us to break down the food we ingest and process it into the vital micro-nutrients that become the precursors for all body functions, especially the production of neurotransmitters. Last but certainly not least, the herbs encourage the body to produce more blood and move that blood deeply into the heart, allowing the mind to nourished and come to a state of rest.
Osteo Complex – by Professional Formulas
It may seem unusual to list a supplement with osteo (bone) in it’s title as a way to calm the mind and body, but in Chinese medicine, minerals, especially electrolytic ones like calcium and phosphorus, have a downward moving effect on the energy of the body. When we feel agitated or anxious Chinese Medicine views that as energies in the body moving counter their normal direction, in this instance upwards instead of downward. Osteo Complex combines many of the electrolytic minerals with their co-factors into a supplement that does not just nourish bone, though it is an amazing formula for keeping bones healthy, but also helps to bring about a sense of calm and relaxation.
Calcium, the main mineral in the formula, is necessary for all nerve functions in the body and is also a key player in the regulation of blood pressure. Phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium all serve a function in helping the body to be able to maintain proper levels of blood calcium as well as playing roles in nerve signaling and cellular energy production. This formula does not contain any vitamin B other than B6, so it can safely be taken before bed to help with sleep.