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Calming Herbs, Teas, Vitamins...

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My DD's going to be the death of me. She turned 14 a week ago and has me on edge pretty much all the time lately. I'm really feeling stressed as in headaches, tight shoulders, irritability, etc... When I get stressed I don't handle things like I should so it adds negatively to the dynamics of the situation.


I'm all about quick fixes. I need something that will calm me so I can handle her better.

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:grouphug: Rhodiola Rosea helps me to feel calmer. It was recommended to me by my midwife when I felt I could be getting a PPD. I still take it occasionally. (Just started a new bottle two days ago. Either it is the placebo effect, or it is really working, but I'm feeling much more grounded today.)

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Agreeing with all the suggestions so far.


I always believe in a healthy diet first and foremost. Supplements come after. I've tried and taken most of these. Not all. I don't take supplements every single day. I usually like to give myself a break 1-2 days a week. I also take a break from certain supplements for a month or so at a time. The body, otherwise, becomes overly efficient and the supplement, I find, is not as effective, as when I take a break from it.


Vitamin D3 – Mood swings, depression, and bipolar disorders are all linked to a Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D helps normalize brain function. Take 2000-5000 IU daily.

If you're under 50, take at least 2,000 IU per day.

If you're 50 or over, take at least 5,000 IU per day of vitamin D3.

Always take your vitamin D with a fat-containing meal to ensure absorption.

Your need for vitamin D3 is affected by age, skin color, and the severity of any deficiency


St. John’s Wort – 300-1000 mg

To raise serotonin levels

Help relieve chronic insomnia

Help relieve mild depression – especially if you’re healthy and not taking other medications.

Because this herb can sensitize the skin to sunlight, take it in the evening after the sun has set.


Magnesium – depression and anxiety are symptoms of a magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is crucial for the synthesis of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Magnesium is usually lacking in those with depression. In fact, one study reported “rapid recovery from major depression†after treatment with magnesium, and found that magnesium helped relieve the anxiety and insomnia often associated with depression.

Many women have an undiagnosed magnesium deficiency ,which can contribute to anxiety.

Some say to take equal amounts of calcium and magnesium.

For most people on a healthy diet, 500 mg of each supplement should be enough.

If you have symptoms of magnesium deficiency (and most of us do!) – if you’re feeling edgy, have muscle cramps, suffer insomnia, crave chocolate, or notice increased urination, adjust your calcium-magnesium ratio, so that you’re taking at least as much magnesium or—ideally—twice as much magnesium as calcium.

400-1200 mg daily of Magnesium is helpful but use according to bowel tolerance. Your body knows how much magnesium you can tolerate from bowel tolerance – take as much magnesium as your bowels can tolerate

If you can, add 100 mg of magnesium to your nutritional supplements, and increase it by 100 mg every few days until your stools are soft, but not uncomfortably loose.

Take in divided doses and with meals to ensure optimal absorption – preferably more at night

Some say to not take magnesium with calcium - I think that that is preferable.

Calcium, magnesium, and many other minerals are best absorbed when they are bound to an acidic carrier such as citrate, aspartate, picolinate, or amino acid chelate. Minerals need an acidic base to break down and get used.

The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, or aspartate, although magnesium bound to Kreb cycle chelates (malate, succinate, fumarate) are also good.

Avoid magnesium carbonate, oxide, sulfate, and gluconate. They are poorly absorbed (and the cheapest and most common forms found in supplements).

Side effects from too much magnesium include diarrhea, which can be avoided if you switch to magnesium glycinate.

People with kidney disease or severe heart disease should take magnesium only under a doctor's supervision.


GABA CALM – take sublingually before bedtime or a few hours before sleeping

100-500 mg daily

Try to avoid eating or drinking anything for 20 minutes before and after taking this


• Frequently experience back pain or muscle tension

• Worry excessively

• Often feel nervous, jumpy, or anxious

• Sleep problems

• Stress-related physical symptoms: headaches, IBS, and muscle aches

• Elevated cortisol levels which can lead to belly fat

• Are an emotional eater


GABA is the brain’s natural calming agent.

• Helps de-stress

• Relaxes muscles

• Suppresses cravings and helps curb emotional eating.

• Anti-depressant

• Helpful for day-to-day anxiety



Helps with:

• Sleep problems – quality and duration

• Emotional eating and evening cravings – helps suppress appetite

• Anxiety and depression as it increases serotonin levels

• Melatonin production

• Serotonin production


Best if taken sublingually - opening the capsule and pouring the contents on your tongue.

Try to avoid eating or drinking anything for 20 minutes before and after taking it.

No more than about 3 capsules a day – can safely take up to 400 mg per day – although most need less.

Loses its efficacy if taken every single day – best if you take breaks – sometimes alternating days – and sometimes take a break for an entire month or so

It may take 1-2 weeks to notice any effects and up to 6 weeks to notice the full benefits.

Be cautious about taking this if you’re on anti-depressants

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L-TRYPTOPHAN may help mitigate insomnia and depression by boosting serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain

May help cure night-time waking

500-1000 mg before bed


Vitamin B12 converts amino acids to those all-important brain transmitters, serotonin and norephinephrine. Vitamin B12 helps the body make SAM-e as well, a compound that’s involved in optimal neurotransmitter production and function. Low levels of SAM-e can lead to depression.

The sublingual or time-release form is the best absorbed

Doses of 500-1000 mcg are the usual recommendation

Oral vitamin B12 isn't well absorbed; you may need up to 1 or 2 mg daily.

Ask your doctor about B12 shots or doses you can take under the tongue.


Zinc is required by the brain in order to produce GABA, a compound that eases anxiety and irritability.

25-50 mg per day


Use zinc gluconate lozenges or OptiZinc for best absorption

According to a study, women who took a daily zinc supplement in addition to a multivitamin for 10 weeks experienced significantly less anger and depression than those who took only a multivitamin.


Valerian is used in Chinese medicine for insomnia. This herb promotes relaxation and curbs anxiety.

Take 400 to 800 mg in divided doses throughout the day.


The Bach Flower Remedies represent a form of psychotherapy in a bottle, a noninvasive modality to address negative emotional states like:

• Anxiety

• Depression

• Impatience

A Welsh homeopath, Dr. Edward Bach recognized in the 1920s that, if herbs have healing powers, so must flowers. Over many years, he experimented with numerous flowers and trees to create a total of 38 plant-based Bach Flower Remedies.

Bach Rescue Remedy is used in many emergency rooms to help alleviate trauma.

Centuary is useful for boundary issues, especially for people who give too much of themselves

Impatiens is good for irritability and short tempers.

Oak is for those determined types who struggle on (despite setbacks) through adversity or illness.

Rock water can ease tension for those who tend to be hard on themselves.


Rhodiola rosea is an excellent addition to any stress-reduction program – along with exercise, daily meditation, prayer, more rest, a healthy diet, and specific supplements

• Increases energy

• Alleviates depression

• Helps with weight loss

• Relieves mental and physical fatigue

• Stimulates brain chemical production – norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin – which all help you think and feel better

• Improves sleep

• Improves mental alertness

• Improves short-term memory

• Enhances weight loss

The amount of Rhodiola you need to take is not critical.

High or low amounts of this her both work.

Not all Rhodiola supplements are equally effective.

Any Rhodiola you buy should be standardized extract and say Rhodiola roesa on the label.

Nature’s Way

Planetary Formulas


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:grouphug: Two quick-fix calming teas that are delicious are *Bedtime* by Yogi and *Sleepytime Vanilla* by Celestial Seasonings. They won't put you to sleep lol, but they will help you balance your nerves.


:iagree: -- I was just going to suggest this. :)


I also take 5-HTP or L-Tryptophan occasionally.

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The combination of valerian and hops has been studied to be as effective as prescription sleep aids, without morning grogginess. I would have to look in my books to remember if there are any contraindications for either, other than allergy, but I don't think so. The Yogi bedtime tea has valerian, passion flower (helpful for mind racing), skullcap (muscle relaxing)... It also has St John's wort.


For stress, I like their kava calm tea.


I will drink either of them in the afternoon to help relax a bit, if I'm bunched up. They don't knock you down, just gently support the relaxation process.


But... You need to find other ways of managing / mitigating stress. Yoga, meditation, lifestyle changes all help. I am a traditionally trained herbalist; the "swap this tea for that pill" mindset is one we work against.

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Can you tell me more about the Bach Flower Remedies? Can one find these at a health food store?? (Never mind...I just "googled" and found them at Vitacost.)

Thanks in advance! :)

I haven't yet tried them. I hope to buy some next time we travel or someone else is visiting. I've heard nothing but great things about them. Glad you found what you were looking for. :)

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