There are a variety of ways for improving mood with tinctures. Here is a list of herbs that can be tinctured for their antidepressant effect.
Adaptogenic antidepressants: Aralia, ashwaghanda, eleuthero, ginseng, holy basil, nettle seeds, milky oats, reishi, rhodiola, zizyphus
Aromatic antidepressants: Clary sage, hawthorn, holy basil, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, linden, mint, oregano, rose, sage
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Targeting neuroreceptors/pleasure receptors: California poppy, cannabis, St. John’s Wort, mimosa (albizzia)
Stimulant antidepressants: Kanna, kola nut, mate
Relaxant antidepressants: Black cohosh, blue lotus, kava, passionflower, wild dagga
From these an herbalist may also take into account if there is a need to address a specific issue such as poor digestion, a sluggish liver, cognitive fogging and whether to work with more gentle herbs or if the person is needing stronger symptomatic effect. Tinctures can be made in blends by purchasing or making individual tinctures and blending them together. Here are some ideas:
Strengthen and Uplift: A warming and stimulating formula for those who are stuck, stagnant and tend to be cold and tight.
1 part Rhodiola
1 part Eleuthero
1 part Nettle Seeds
1/2 part Licorice
1/2 part Ginger
Calm Strong Heart: A healing formula for those who tend to be anxious, upset with nervous exhaustion- for those with grief and trauma.
1 part Reishi
1 part Zizyphus
1 part Hawthorn
1 part St. John’s Wort
1/2 part Rose
Gentle Lift: A gentle lifting formula that can be useful for those with fragile constitutions, the elderly and infirm. These are all gentle herbs that are slightly relaxing while lifting the mood.
1 part Albizzia
1 part Rose
1 part Milky oats
1 part Lemon Balm
Out of the Blues: This is a strong formula for those with deeper stuck depression with a component of nervous irritability and anxiety.
1 part Black Cohosh
1 part Passionflower
1 part Ashwaghanda
1 part Lemon Balm
1 part Bacopa
Move the qi: For those who feel stagnant and tight. There may be some frustration, poor digestion, irritability and difficulty getting going.
1 part Holy Basil
1 part Sage
1 part Gotu kola
1 part Rosemary
1/2 part Ginger