Every Tuesday, Dr. Mark Carney formulates a special tincture at a reduced rate for our Thriveology Community!
This week, Dr. Carney has created a powerful tincture to tackle the occasional blues. “Feelings of unhappiness can come from many different sources: stress, dissatisfaction with relationships, lack of sleep, side effects of prescriptions, and even poor dietary choices. This tincture works by encouraging the body to make more happiness-producing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, and more. Neurotransmitters are vital to the body’s health and affect everything from sleep, to metabolism, to mood and behavior. Conventional pharmaceutical anti-depressants work by not allowing these neurotransmitters to be broken down, (instead recycling the small amounts produced by the body). These prescriptions often yield side effects, including low libido and weight gain. HAPPY tincture works by encouraging the body to produce neurotransmitters naturally, without interfering with any of the body’s natural processes.”
– Dr. Mark Carney, RND LAc
What’s Inside: Theobroma cacao (Cacao) – Cacao has been used by the Mayan Civilization since ancient times and was believe to be sent from the Gods; “Theobroma” means “Food of the Gods” in Latin. Cacao contains over 300 important nutrients and is a wonderful natural antidepressant; containing dopamine, PEA, and serotonin.
Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) – Hawthorn is a flowering shrub that is part of the rose family, and the berries have been used in traditional medicine since the first century. Hawthorn improves oxygenation, energy levels and blood flow. This herb is used energetically to open the heart to joy.
Curcuma longa (Turmeric) – Turmeric, the yellow spice used in curry, has been used as a healing herb for over 4,000 years. Turmeric has been found to enhance nerve growth in the frontal cortex and hippocampal areas of the brain. Turmeric has been shown to reduce stress-related depressive symptoms and to increase serotonin production. Studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric may assist with the regulation of brain neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. Furthermore, curcumin inhibits the monoamine oxidase enzyme which plays a role in breaking down these neurotransmitters.
Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort) – St. John’s Wort is extremely popular as a natural antidepressant; it is the number one treatment in Germany. The herb contains several chemicals including hypericin, hyperforin, and pseudohypericin, which are thought to be major sources of antidepressant activity. In several studies, phytochemicals in St. John’s Wort appear to delay or decrease re-absorption of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin by nerve cells. St. John’s Wort is currently being studied for antiviral effects.
Piper methysticum (Kava Kava) – Kava is a Pacific Island plant that has been consumed by island cultures as a social beverage and a ceremonial libation for an estimated three thousand years. Kava contains a group of compounds known as kavalactones that are responsible for its relaxing effects. Kava raises serotonin levels and is used to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
Rhodiola rosea (Siberian Rose) – Not yet well-known in the U.S., Siberian Rose is used worldwide to treat stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Studies document it’s efficacy as an adaptogen, an agent that allows a person to adapt to both physical and mental stress, while improving energy, endurance, and stamina.
Armoracia rusticana (Horseradish) – Most well known for its pungent taste, Horseradish is a perennial plant that belongs to the same family of plants as mustard and cabbage. Horseradish is high in potassium which regulates the tension of blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and promoting heart health. One of my favorite mentors used Horseradish as the top herb to increase feelings of joyfulness.
What You Can Expect: This tincture can take approximately one hour to kick in and can create a temporary elevation in mood that results in a greater sense of joy and happiness and mild euphoria. Effects may last up to 6 or more hours.
Contraindications: If you are taking medications, check for potential interactions with these herbs. In general, anybody with a medical condition should check with their health care provider before taking herbs. Specifically, do not use if you are taking Coumadin, are lactating or are pregnant. Tinctures do contain small amounts of alcohol so do not use if you are avoiding alcohol. Also, do not take this tincture if you are on any anti-depressant medications.
Dosage: The effect of tinctures vary, because each of us are unique. The average recommendation is one dropperful, 1-2 times per day. Shake well before dispensing each dose. The liquid can be taken straight, or mixed into water or another beverage. For fastest absorption, take directly under the tongue. Hold the liquid under your tongue for ten seconds, then swallow.