Herbal mood enhancers against depressed mood

Written by: Konstantin Neumann



Time to read 11 min

Mood at rock bottom - how can natural and herbal mood enhancers help?

We all know the feeling when our mood goes down the drain for no apparent reason. Maybe we didn't get enough sleep, or we're just stressed from work. Whatever the case may be, sometimes we need a little boost to get us back on track. Luckily, there are some natural & herbal mood boosters that can help.

Natural mood enhancers

1. Do sports

We all know that exercise is good for our physical health, but it can also do wonders for our mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which act like herbal mood elevators. So the next time you're feeling down, go for a jog or take a yoga class. You'll feel better in no time.

Cycling as a mood booster

2. Quality time as a mood enhancer

Spending time with loved ones is, above all, a great way to improve your mood. Laughter is one of the best medicines, so surround yourself with people who make you happy. Spending time outdoors can also be beneficial and act like herbal mood boosters. So plan a picnic or hike with friends or family.

If you're looking for natural and herbal mood boosters, incorporate some of these serotonin-promoting activities into your day.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in regulating mood. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

3. Nutrition acts as a herbal mood enhancer.

With the help of a healthy, balanced diet, i.e. an abundance of colorful foods with active ingredients of herbal mood enhancers, which have a positive effect on the psyche and relieve stress, diseases can be prevented.

Nutrition has a direct influence on how we fall asleep and also on the quality of sleep. The hormones contained in certain foods, such as melatonin, as well as vitamins and minerals, can promote good sleep and act like herbal mood enhancers. Eating too late and high in calories should be avoided, as it keeps the body too busy digesting and you may then have trouble falling asleep. Studies have found that Mediterranean cuisine is especially good for good quality sleep, eating lots of fish, fresh vegetables and olives.

Healthy food as a mood booster

Olives promote sleep because they contain a lot of melatonin (sleep hormone). Likewise, cherries, walnuts and dairy products contain melatonin. These are a few examples of plant-based mood enhancers. Furthermore, you should consume foods rich in B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, tryptophan, magnesium and potassium, as they promote the activity and availability of melatonin in the body. Dairy products, dates, bananas, nuts and almonds, avocados and oatmeal are good at this to cover these vitamins. Lavender or valerian tea before going to bed is also a remedy for insomnia, restlessness and stress. If you supply your body with an abundance of these herbal mood enhancers, you have provided it with the perfect nutrition. Only if this doesn't work either, you can try stronger herbal mood enhancers like our kanna extract.

Vegetables and food in general should be of high quality. The intake of vitamin C lifts the mood and is important for our brain and immune system, which is why you should consume a lot of vegetables and fruits that contain vitamin C.

Gastrointestinal disorders can also cause restlessness and a negative emotional state. In order to get rid of the accompanying stresses as quickly as possible, one should consume light foods such as rice or oatmeal, bananas, healthy soups and other easily digestible foods such as rusk, potatoes or carrots.

Medicinal plants & herbal mood enhancers

There are various herbs, spices and medicinal plants that can be used as herbal mood enhancers. These include valerian, hops, St. John's wort, lavender, lemon balm, passion flower and saffron.

In addition, there are 3 studies that have tested St. John's wort extracts (hypericum perforatum) and used them as very successful treatments for mild to moderate depression.

In both short-term treatment (6 weeks) and long-term treatment (24 weeks) of patients with moderate depression, St. John's wort extracts are equally effective as SSRIs (antidepressants) as well as significantly more effective than placebos.

In terms of safety, St. John's wort is significantly superior to SSRIs. (Source: Bachmann)


Another medicinal plant is lavender, which has an invigorating, restorative and refreshing effect on the body at the same time. These properties complement perfectly with its effect on the psyche. It can be said that overall it acts as a herbal mood enhancer. Stress is reduced and a depressed, lethargic state of mind can be positively affected.

It can also help establish a routine before going to sleep. So you can build in a reading time, with not too exciting, thoughtful content, that helps you slowly get tired.

Furthermore, blue light and sunlight should be avoided before bedtime, as it inhibits melatonin production.

Medicinal plants and herbal mood enhancers

Cashews and chocolate are plant-based mood boosters in snack form

Among other good ingredients, cashews contain the amino acid tryptophan. With the help of this essential amino acid, our body can produce the happiness hormone serotonin. Our organism cannot produce tryptophan itself, we have to take it in through food.

In chocolate, or better in cocoa, the happiness hormones serotonin and phenethylamine can also be found. However, the dose is very small, especially in milk chocolate, and not really sufficient to develop significant happiness effects. However, the high sugar content and the associated energy activate our reward system and thus make us feel good. Thus, chocolate is a super herbal mood enhancer.

Food is fuel for our body, which is why we should be careful to feed it in the best possible way. Vitamins and minerals combined with healthy eating can often replace what psychiatric drugs are otherwise designed to artificially reproduce.

While there are drugs that can increase serotonin levels, there are also natural ways to improve this important neurotransmitter.

Some herbal mood enhancers can also help improve mood by increasing serotonin levels. St. John's wort, for example, is a popular herbal preparation that has been shown to be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. Other herbal supplements that have been studied for their mood-boosting effects include SAMe, omega-3 fatty acids, and lemon balm.

If you're considering taking herbal mood enhancers to improve your mood, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider first regarding side effects. Herbal mood enhancers may interact with other medications you may be taking and are not suitable for everyone. However, for some people, herbal mood enhancers can be a safe and effective way to improve their overall well-being.

Chocolate as a mood enhancer

Herbal mood boosters should contain these 6 happiness hormones

We have 6 different happiness hormones in our bodies, whose effects influence our psychological and physical well-being and act as quasi-antidepressants, which is why they are often referred to as the body's own drugs. As messengers in our body, they transmit nerve excitations to the brain via the synapses and are thus the basis of every emotion, every thought and every movement. Our body produces six different happiness hormones: serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, endorphins, phenethylamine and oxytocin.

1. Serotonin - the mood stabilizer

Serotonin participates in central nervous system processes and affects our pain perception, sleep and sexual behavior, and emotional state.

It is released when meditating, spending time in nature, catching sunlight, and exercising or playing sports.

In our opinion, serotonin is one of the most important substances of herbal mood enhancers.

2. Dopamine - the reward hormone

Dopamine is the crucial messenger for our feelings of happiness. Its job is to transmit feelings and sensations, control blood flow to the internal organs and pass on impulses to the muscles. In combination with fresh air and exercise, it joins serotonin and norepinephrine to create a lively feel-good mix.

It is released when completing a task, eating a good meal, celebrating a victory, or taking time out for yourself.

3. Norepinephrine - stress tamer

Norepinephrine is produced from dopamine in conjunction with an enzyme. It is located in the central nervous system and in the adrenal glands. Norepinephrine is released in situations of mental or physical stress. It controls our level of alertness and attention, increases motivation and promotes mental performance.

4. Endorphins - the painkiller

Endorphins function as the body's own painkiller and are released, for example, in the event of severe injuries. They then relieve the pain and put the body into a kind of state of intoxication. They also regulate the feeling of hunger, our mood and the production of sex hormones.

Not only that, but they are released during exercise and sporting activity, when watching a good movie, when laughing, or when volunteering and doing something good for others.

5. Phenethylamine - airplanes in the stomach

The hormone phenethylamine is responsible for our feelings of pleasure and happiness. Its release can have both physical and psychological causes. Long endurance training, for example, releases phenethylamine and leaves the athlete with an intoxicating feeling of happiness. But phenethylamine is also at work in the emotional roller coaster of "being in love". It promotes typical symptoms such as tingling in the stomach, palpitations and concentration problems.

6. Oxytocin - the love hormone

Oxytocin is primarily known for its effects on the mother-child relationship. It promotes the induction of labor during childbirth and the release of milk during breastfeeding. Other effects seen in both women and men include reducing anxiety and stress, promoting general well-being, and increasing cognitive empathy or social skills.

It is secreted when complimenting others or exchanging physical closeness.

Depression and herbal mood enhancers

Depression refers to a serious mental illness that can affect every aspect of a person's life. While there are many different treatment options, one of the most effective is the use of herbal mood enhancers. Herbal mood enhancers are substances that help to improve mood and relieve the symptoms of depression. The most common herbal mood enhancers include antidepressants, antianxiety medications, and mood stabilizers. Each type of medication works in different ways, but all are designed to improve mood and relieve symptoms of depression.

MODERNmind kanna extract acts as an excellent herbal mood enhancer and covers the effects described above.

Those who have tried both natural mood enhancers and herbal mood enhancers but did not get satisfactory results should consult a MODERNmind psychologist regarding further action.

Herbal mood enhancers: a remedy for depression?

Microdosing - an alternative to the conventional mood enhancer

In the search for alternative, holistic approaches to treating the psyche in mental illness, there aren’t many ways around psychedelics.

Why microdosing can be relevant for you

According to the WHO, more than 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In addition to the realities of the pandemic, there is constant pressure and striving for "more" in a meritocracy. At the same time, there is a growing awareness in society that mental health and inner well-being are the keys to a fulfilling life. The desire for alternative, holistic approaches to healing is present as never before. What has long been known and proven in America is now coming to Europe: the great potential of Microdosing.
Microdosing is a well-being trend from the USA, which involves the use of a small amount of a psychedelic substance. This can produce a variety of positive effects without inducing a state of intoxication.

Herbal Kanna Microdosing

Microdosing is a well-being trend from the USA, which involves the use of a small amount of a psychedelic substance. This can produce a variety of positive effects without inducing a state of intoxication.

The benefits of microdosing at a glance:

  • Improved concentration
  • Reduces stress and pressure
  • Improved mood and state of mind
  • Decrease in depressed mood
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased self-efficacy
  • Increased energy
  • Improved social skills
  • Decreased menstrual cramps
  • Fewer food cravings

One advantage of microdosing is that it causes almost no side effects or discomfort. On the other hand, microdosing can lead to improved moods, an increase in well-being, and to people meeting each other with more friendliness and openness. In addition, social skills increase and alertness increases, which is perceived as positive by others (Source 2: Holze et al.).

Furthermore, microdosing users have been found to be generally more alert, have more energy and improved focus. This can contribute to increased motivation and tackling things that are otherwise procrastinated with more ease. The drive and inner strength increases. A study from the prestigious King's College in London has shown that microdosing can improve mental health and reduce depressive moods and stress (Source 3: Polito and Stevenson).

Health behaviors can be improved and disease from addictions can be better controlled with microdosing. Dr. Fadiman also found that many women who suffer from menstrual cramps feel a tremendous improvement with microdosing (Source 4: Fadiman and Korb).

You can buy microdosing in our store.

Performance & self-optimization through herbal mood enhancers & microdosing.

In a world where we are under constant pressure to perform due to long working hours and fierce competition, it's all about delivering peak performance.Microdosing can help lower internal stress levels and improve concentration and focus. It can also increase receptivity and creativity, improve motivation and performance, and consequently raise work effectiveness to a new level (Source 5: Robert Koch Institute). This leads to goals and milestones being achieved more easily and quickly because one is in an optimized state of consciousness.

The top managers of Silicon Valley, such as Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, have already recognized the enormous potential of psychedelics and microdosing and make use of it to achieve top performance every day. A look at the brain under microdosing makes it clear why performance increases: brain areas communicate with each other that would otherwise work separately (source 3: Polito and Stevenson).

The brain in a sober state: Brain regions communicate primarily with themselves or with other tightly connected regions. Comparing this with the brain under the influence of LSD, the following is striking:

The brain in a sober state

The brain under the influence of LSD: All brain regions communicate with each other. This leads to the fact that many things are perceived in a new way and the environment is viewed from a new perspective.

The brain under the influence of LSD

LSD docks onto the 5-HT2A- serotonin receptors in the brain and thus acts as a mood enhancer. In particular, the increased brain activity is one reason why many people open up new perspectives and insights on themselves and their environment.

Compared to alcohol and tobacco, LSD is harmless and is neither psychologically nor physically addictive. LSD also counts as a herbal mood enhancer in the broadest sense, since it was originally extracted from the ergot of wheat. Nowadays, however, it is produced on a large scale in bioreactors.

Skala "Harm caused by drugs" von David Nutt


This article has covered both natural mood enhancers, herbal mood enhancers and alternative mood enhancers. What works best is up to each person to find out for themselves. The fact is, however, that the approach should be to try it without psychiatric drugs first by consciously making healthy life choices. With a lifestyle that combines sports, social contacts and a healthy diet, the basis for mental well-being is given. Microdosing can be enriching at any stage of life. Since the level of effectiveness is below the intoxicating threshold, it is perfect for all situations, even in everyday life. Improved communication between the separate areas of the brain and the docking of LSD to the serotonin receptors lead to a plethora of benefits. If you take advantage of this and combine it with other herbal mood enhancers such as St. John's wort or other medicinal plants, you may be able to avoid the use of psychotropic drugs and have good chances of recovery.


  1. Bachmann, C. Wirksamkeit eines hochdosierten Johanniskraut-Extraktes bei mittelschweren Depressionen: Studien bestätigen gleiche Wirksamkeit wie und bessere Sicherheit als Citalopram. Availlable at https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/481964, 2017.
  2. Holze, F. et al. (2020) Mood and cognition after administration of low LSD doses in healthy volunteers: A placebo controlled dose-effect finding study. In: European Neuropsychopharmacology (41) Pp. 81-91. https://www.beckleyfoundation.org/resource/holze-et-al-2020/
  3. Polito, V., Stevenson, R. J. (2019) A systematic study of microdosing psychedelics. In: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211023
  4. Fadiman, J., Korb, S. (2019), Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration. In: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 51/2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2019.1593561?journalCode=ujpd20
  5. Robert Koch Institut Psychische Gesundheit. Available at: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Gesundheitsmonitoring/Themen/Psychische_Gesundheit/Psychische_Gesundheit_node.html