piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[personal profile] piranha
today i've started fighting the depression with herbal power. not st. john's wort, that makes me very tired. but i've looked into this for quite some time now and made a list of all the herbs where there is some evidence that they might have some improving effect on mood and energy, and i'm gonna run a long test with them.

in this first batch we have:
damiana (turnera aphrodisiaca), flower & leaf extract
rhodiola (rhodiola rosea), root extract
linden (tilia vulgaris), blossoms
valerian (aleriana officinalis), root
vervain (verbena officinalis), leaves, tops
skullcap (scutellaria laterifolia), aerials
borage (borago officinalis), leaves & oil
balm (melissa officinalis), leaves
ginkgo (ginkgo biloba), powdered leaf extract

lavender (lavandula angustifolia), essential oil
rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis), essential oil
bergamot (citrus bergamia), essential oil

raw materials infused for 15 min in 2 cups of boiling water, extracts added afterwards, with a little fish oil (omega 3, don'cha know) as flavouring. well, actually honey as flavouring. essential oils sprinkled on the sacrificial goat, so as to perfume the room with aromatherapeutic goodness.

much to my surprise, the concoction actually tastes pretty good.

i am planning to drink this mix 3 times a day. if it makes me tired, i am gonna take out the plants also known as sedatives, one by one. if it does something good, i'm thinking of taking out one ingredient at a time to see whether that changes things. if it does nothing, i have a second batch to process.

right now i am feeling quite invigorated. i am ascribing that to the pleasant surprise of this not tasting like total crap. :)

on 2005-08-10 20:45 (UTC)
ext_28681: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] akirlu.livejournal.com
Sounds like an interesting and worthy experiment. If you aren't already supplementing with B-vitamins, that might be worth adding to the mix.

B-vitamins

on 2005-08-10 22:30 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
*nod*. i tried the B-vitamin experiment a couple of years ago, solo, and it did alas nothing i could note as especially helpful (other than turning my pee a lovely colour). i'm now taking the B complex as part of a multi-vitamin pill.

on 2005-08-10 20:52 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] oakenking.livejournal.com
Another thought - you might try a morning/daytime mix and an evening mix - I find that sometimes the mood-helping properties of some of the more sedative herbs can relate to me having good, dreamy, restful sleep.

I look forward to hearing your results!

day and evening mixes

on 2005-08-10 22:28 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
thanks -- that's a really good idea; instead of just taking the sedative herbs out, using them in my last drink of the day. and my sleep could use the help.

Self-medicating depression

on 2005-08-10 20:57 (UTC)
ailbhe: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] ailbhe
I'm using sugar and chocolate at the moment, because, you know, I'm a breastfeeding mother and all I know about is St John's Wort (the jury's out on it). I'll be interested to hear your results.

Re: Self-medicating depression

on 2005-08-10 22:33 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
*little grin*. i no longer do much sugar because refined carbs are not so good for me as i found out; the crash is much worse than the lift is good. but chocolate ... mmh. sugar in chocolate doesn't bother me one bit. :) i am not even kidding; chocolate really does work on me as a mood lifter.

yeah, any experiments with herbs are probably not such a good idea when one is breastfeeding. there are warnings all over my herbal books about that.

on 2005-08-10 20:59 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] meirion.livejournal.com
one minor caveat: valerian seems to work on most people as a sedative, but can work on people (unfortunately including me) as a stimulant.

-m-

valerian

on 2005-08-10 22:20 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
i am hoping it'll work on me as a stimulant; i recalled somesuch effect on me from years ago, but am not sure. i don't need any sedatives, my depression isn't anxiety-inducing; it's energy-sapping.

Mmmm .. . .rosemary

on 2005-08-10 21:23 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] suzimoses.livejournal.com
I'll eat/drink/consume almost anything with rosemary in it. *Purrs* Or peppermint!

Actually, in the midst of my breakdown last night the cookie dough helped quite a bit .....

suzi

Re: Mmmm .. . .rosemary

on 2005-08-11 00:15 (UTC)
brooksmoses: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] brooksmoses
However, the cookie dough did not have either peppermint or rosemary in it.

I suppose it is not unreasonable to look at both of those omissions as problems that should be rectified, though. (I personally don't think I'd like the mint, but the rosemary could certainly be interesting.)

Re: Mmmm .. . .rosemary

on 2005-08-11 11:59 (UTC)
ext_6381: (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] aquaeri.livejournal.com
Rosemary chocolate cookies sound rather like an experiment worth trying.

on 2005-08-10 21:27 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rahaeli.livejournal.com
One caveat -- damiana can act as a, shall we say, libido enhancer for many people, specifically women, as the scientific name suggests ;)

Also: oh my god, isn't valerian the nastiest stuff in the world? It works like whoa, but nasty. Mostly the leaves, but the roots too. Smells like old sweatsocks. I used to work in an apothecary at a Renfaire, and the people five booths down could tell when we opened that jar. *shudder*

libido enhancer

on 2005-08-10 22:26 (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] pir-anha.livejournal.com
being as i have no sex drive at all anymore, i'd probably laugh if anything enhanced my libido, *grin*.

it smells strong and unfamiliar to me (i have just the root), but not exactly bad... or, i dunno. that sort of smell where i'm half attracted, half put off, and have to come back to smell some more. in combination with the other stuff, it smelled very aromatic in an unusual way. again, not good, but not bad either. definitely not like old sweatsocks.

oh, what a cool job that must have been! i am on and off interested in becoming a full-fledged herbalist instead of just an amateur dabbler.

Re: libido enhancer

on 2005-08-10 22:32 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rahaeli.livejournal.com
It was a very cool job; I still remember some of the stuff from it. I keep meaning to comment on your posts and let you know.

If you ever get the chance to sniff freshly dried valerian leaves, pass it up. Just trust me on this one. (Although it does kind of smell good when combined with a few other things, including apple blossom essential oil, and burned as incense, it has to be used *very very sparingly*.)

on 2005-08-11 05:28 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] eub.livejournal.com
From a book on perfumery I noted down (http://www.livejournal.com/users/eub/180277.html)
[...] the change in response to the smell of valerian which, to the modern nose, has a penetrating `goaty' or sweaty smell. During the sixteenth century valerian was considered to be a pleasant perfume and was placed among clothes and used extensively as medicine. At this period body smells would have been strong [...] Perhaps the smell of valerian served to attenuate or round-off the sharpness of body odour?


I found this odd, because yes, socks.

on 2005-08-11 05:32 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rahaeli.livejournal.com
Really gross socks. Although sometimes you get a whiff and it's almost pleasant for a minute, and then it's really not again.

on 2005-08-11 19:45 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] 1ginko.livejournal.com
I thought something similar about the gingko, until I read it again and saw the word leaves. I was thinking seed, and its stinky diaper smell.

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