Whether it is due to the stress of the holiday season or life itself, if you are struggling with anxiety, feeling low or overwhelmed, the information in this guest blog post could potentially really help you. Written by a dear friend of mine, Cherie Fromson, the article also includes a Q & A with Dr Shawn Talbott. With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, Dr. Talbott’s work to educate people about nutrition and health has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, the TED stage, and the White House. Thanks to Cherie, I was able to speak to Dr. Talbott about his research on a conference call last week and all I can say is that I was extremely impressed. A good portion of the content in this blog post is brand new information for me, but from the research I have done I do believe the natural plant-based ingredients discussed below offer tremendous hope for people suffering from a wide range of mood issues. —Ivy
Are you feeling low? Do you feel as though you are lacking vigor and enthusiasm? Or maybe you feel too overwhelmed and anxious to enjoy life to the fullest?
You are not alone. And it doesn’t take a diagnosis of clinical depression to know that your mood is not exactly where it should be.
Did you know that 40 million people ages 18 and older suffer from an anxiety disorder? I am one of those people. And you probably can’t tell just by looking either…
Is Someone You Love Feeling Low or Anxious?
You Can’t Always Tell Just By Looking…
I’m a 41 year old working mom with two beautiful daughters. On the outside, I would say most people would think I appear healthy and “put together.” At least I hope I don’t appear on the outside like I have been feeling on the inside, which is like a frazzled mess! But for the past 10 months, I have been feeling low and under a lot of stress. In addition to feeling as though I just didn’t have the same vigor and enthusiasm as I once did, I have been suffering from ongoing bouts of anxiety and mini panic attacks. My heart would start to race so fast and I was having a hard time breathing. It was so scary.
The anxiety and panic attacks became so bad that I ended up making an appointment with a cardiologist because at one point I actually thought I was going to have a heart attack.
My cardiologist ran a number of tests, which included wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours. After all of the results came back, my doctor concluded that my heart was healthy and that my symptoms were due to stress-related anxiety. Of course my doctor could not spend much time telling me what to do to fix the problem other than suggest I could consider an anti-depressant such as Lexepro or Zoloft. If I didn’t want to take medication, he said I could consider an adaptagen supplement such as Ashwagandha, which I had never heard of. He also suggested I start a regular exercise program and even look into meditation.
Non-Pharmaceutical Treatments to Improve Mood
Shorty after my cardiologist visit, Ivy asked me to go with her to an introduction to a transcendental meditation class. It was very interesting and I have decided to take the course in a few months at the beginning of the new year. After listening to the science behind how meditation works, I am convinced it will help me. The problem is, I need to commit a certain amount of time to learning how to meditate correctly and part of the reason I have such anxiety is because I don’t have any free time! It’s a viscous cycle, I know.
Of the recommendations my doctor made, the Ashwaganhda seemed most appealing at this particular stage. Meditation in a bottle is what I needed. And I especially liked that Ashwagandha was a natural plant-based substance rather than a pharmaceutical. After Ivy said she took it herself (she alternates between Ashwaganhda and rhodioloa, another adaptagen), I started to research it a bit more.
I do not have an unlimited income to spend on supplements (especially if they don’t work!) so I really wanted to make sure that this stuff had real benefits before I bought it. Two of the experts I admire most in the area of women’s health and mental well-being, Sara Gottfried,M.D. and Kelly Brogan, M.D. both praise Ashwagandha, which made me even more enthused. Not only did the supplement have significant research behind it for treating stress and anxiety, it also seemed to improve mood in people who said they were feeling low or even depressed.
Which Ashwagandha Supplement to Take?
Ivy said she took Gaia brand Ashwagahnda and that she thought it was a good, solid brand. Around this time, a good friend of mine said she had recently learned about a new mental wellness company, Amare and that although she was only taking the Mood+ supplement for a short time she thought they were really helping her feel better. Like me, she was not clinically depressed, but she had been feeling low, stressed and anxious for months and she said she noticed very quickly that the Amare Mood+ supplement definitely helped.
Amare Mood+ Supplement Ingredients
I went online to look up what the ingredients were in the Amare Mood+ supplement and sure enough, Ashwagahnda was one of four key ingredients. As I mentioned above, I had never heard of Ashwagahnda before and I certainly had not heard of the other three either. Even Ivy said she had never heard of them!
4 Key Mood-Boosting & Stress Relieving Ingredients
The following four key plant-based ingredients are all found in the Amare Mood+ supplement . Of course, just like the Ashwaghanda, each ingredient can also be purchased separately.
An adaptogenic, Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It promotes stress relief, health and longevity by potentiating the immune system and increasing resistance to environmental stress factors.
- Promotes healthy mental cognition
- Supports healthy energy levels
- Improves stress management
- Enhances mood and focus
Kanna is an herb traditionally used by the San and Khoi people of Southern Africa as an analgesic, tonic and mood elevator. Many of the active alkaloids in kanna function as a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SRI). In addition to helping to overcome feeling low and boosting mood, kanna also lowers stress hormone levels and increases motivation and energy.
- Elevates mood and mental clarity
- Lowers stress hormones
- Decreases everyday feelings of anxiousness
Apocynum venetum, commonly known as Rafuma, has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It has been found to reduce blood pressure and increase serotonin levels, thereby increasing mood.
- Increases serotonin levels
- Boosts mood
- Reduces stress markers in the body
#4 Magnolia Bark-
Magnolia bark has played an important role in Traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has been traditionally used to promote healthy reactions to stress. Magnolia bark binds to neurochemical receptors involved with regulating mood and anxiety level. The plant has also been used to promote calmness without causing drowsiness.
- Traditionally used to promote healthy reactions to stress
- Supports normal adrenal function
- Promotes calmness without causing drowsiness
Multi-Faceted Approach to Plant-Based Mood+ Booster
Lycopene (found in tomatoes) is a great example of a powerful plant based phytonutrient that has many health promoting properties, including protecting the heart from a large number of common conditions. But, if you want a healthy heart, you don’t want to just eat lycopene-rich tomatoes. There are so many other heart-healthy phytonutrients to include in your diet such as alpha-carotene from pumpkins, beta-carotene from carrots, lutein from spinach, etc.
Research Supports Multi-Faceted Approach
The benefits of a multi-faceted approach are not just theoretical. There is impressive clinical research to back it up. Amare’s Mood+ contains multiple patented ingredients with over 20 scientific studies. Amongst these studies, each key ingredient has been shown to enhance or improve mood and cognitive functions.
Amare Mood+ Clinical Trial Results
***50 to 60 percent reduction in depression and anxiety***
***30 percent increase in stress resistance and cognitive flexibility***
Read more about the clinical research HERE.
Additional Plant Based Ingredients that Support a Healthy Mood and Stress Response:
In addition to the four key ingredients mentioned above (Ashwagandha, Kanna, Rafuma, and Magnolia Bark), Amare Mood+ supplements also include the following additional plant-based ingredients. And again, you can always find each of these ingredients individually as a separate supplement.
- Rosemary – common medicinal uses for rosemary has involved improving memory, where this common culinary herb also has a very stimulating effect on the mind. In addition, rosemary helps to nourish the “2nd brain” in the gut where it helps control the growth of many pathogenic bacteria without killing the good microflora (beneficial bacteria and yeast) in your body.
- Tulsi Leaf – (Holy Basil) – is known as an adaptogenic herb. It helps the body to better adapt to stress by modulating the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
- Oregano – has extremely high levels of free-radical-fighting antioxidants , agents that protect the body. Good for bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. Aids in digestion. Helps reduce pain and inflammation.
- Clove – according to traditional herbalists, the health benefits of clove oil can be attributed to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac and stimulating properties. Boosts immunity, has a stimulating effect on the mind and removes mental exhaustion and fatigue.
- Sage – improves brain function, and reduces inflammation throughout the body – with a unique ability among culinary herbs to stimulate brain function to improve memory and concentration.
My Results with Amare Mood+
If you are wondering whether I decided to try Mood+ rather than the Ashwagahnda by itself, the answer is yes. The multi-faceted approach and the research behind Mood+ (and the Amare company!) just made sense to me.
I was so excited for my Mood+ to arrive and the moment it did I promptly took 2 capsules per dosage recommendation on the back label. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I seriously started to feel less tense and in a better mood within the first hour. I immediately called Ivy to report my amazing results and the first thing she said was that it was all placebo. She immediately emailed me this article from Dr. Kelly Brogan on The Placebo Effect.
Maybe Ivy was right? Maybe the good mood was all in my head. I kept on taking my Mood+ for the next few days and I kept on feeling better. Not 100%, but definitely better.
And then my older daughter, Mia, commented that I was acting much nicer and not so frazzled at home. I was making dinner at the time Mia made that comment so I immediately called Ivy once again to report. She too was making dinner and she wasn’t totally listening to me. But she asked me to read off the Mood+ ingredients once again.
Other than the Ashwaganda, Ivy reiterated that she had no idea what the other three key ingredients even were. But she said she doubted they could work that fast. Keep in mind, Amare is a brand new company…it’s only 2 months old. There is not a lot of information about it online other than on the company website. However, Ivy said if I could arrange a conference call with the scientific developer of the products she would love to learn more about the three key ingredients she had never heard of (Kanna, Rafuma and Magnolia Bark) and whether or not they really could work that fast.
Can Amare Mood+ Really Work In as Little as 30 Minutes?
I was so excited about the product that I moved forward with Ivy’s suggestion and reached out to Dr. Shawn Talbott, Chief Science Officer, Founding Partner of Amare. Dr. Shawn was so gracious and took the time to speak with me and Ivy for almost an hour. What we learned about the company and the research behind the products is too extensive to discuss in this blog post, but here is what Dr. Talbott had to say about why Mood+ works so well…
Q & A with Dr. Shawn Talbott
Question: Can you you take the Mood+ supplement if you are already taking an antidepressant?
Dr. Shawn Talbott: Amare recommends that anyone taking any prescription medication to work with their personal healthcare provider when combining medications and supplements. In the case of Mood+ this is important because to herbs in Mood+ have been shown in numerous scientific studies to improve indices of depression, anxiety, and stress as effectively and more comprehensively than many prescription medications. For some people, this may mean that they can work with their doctor to reduce or eliminate certain medications.
Question: Is it possible to feel improvement in your mood within 30 minutes of taking the supplement?
Dr. Shawn Talbott: Yes – Mood+ is one of several Amare Global products that is formulated to deliver “phased benefits” – meaning certain benefits are noticeable “early” within hours or days, other benefits are noticeable “mid-term” within days and weeks, and still other benefits emerge over several weeks with continued use (“later”). In the case of Mood+ some of the anti-stress and anti-anxiety benefits can be felt within the same day of taking it – while the cognitive benefits may take a few days and the mood/depression benefits make take a few weeks.
Question: Why are these Mood+ supplements better than any other supplement?
Dr. Shawn Talbott: Mood+ is without a doubt, the most comprehensive natural solution for improving the broadest array of mood state parameters, including stress, depression, anxiety, and overall psychological vigor (the opposite of burnout). No other product combines the anti-depressant benefits of Venetron (Rafuma) and Zembrin (Kanna) with the anti-anxiety and anti-stress benefits of Sensoril (Ashwaganda) and Relora (Magnolia/Phellodendron) to deliver the widest range mental wellness benefits.