Final sale - get 20% off storewide ! Shop Now!

Natural Remedy for Seasonal Affective Disorder

As we approach the Winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, it's difficult to stay upbeat. We rarely see the sun, and just to go outside requires excessive time in layering our garments to bear the cold. It's times like these we must turn to the amazing ability of plants and herbs to aide in providing nutrients and minerals we lack in the winter, often causing a drop in mood, energy level, and motivation. Give this easy at-home remedy a try to help with seasonal swings in temperament. It also helps to fortify our immune systems from seasonal colds, keeping us healthy and strong through the hard weather.

Here is everything you need to make this at home:
  • Alcohol: This is a tincture, so you must use alcohol as the solvent in pulling out all the goodness in your herbs. I use 40% vodka, but you can use glycerin if you don't prefer to use alcohol. 
  • Organic dried Hawthorne berries
  • Organic dried St. John's Wort flower and leave
  • Organic dried Lemon Balm leaf
  • Organic dried Violet leaf
  • Organic dried Eleuthero root
  • Mason jars and tops: I used two pint sized jars, but you can use whatever size you have!
  • Mesh straining bags: I used brewer's bags, but cheesecloth will work as well.
These herbs are quite common, they can be found dried in many herb shops, or online. Each ingredient offers a wealth of benefits in combating the difficulties faced during the dark winter months:

  • Hawthorne berries are very good for your heart, but they are also very effective in helping with digestive problems, as well as to reduce anxiety.
  • St. John's wort is widely known to be very effective in treating mild to severe depression.
  • Lemon Balm is used to ease stress and anxiety, and also aides with sleep problems like insomnia.
  • Violet leaf is a great herb in boosting the immune system, keeping us healthy through the flu and cold season. It helps clear infections, reduce fever and inflammation, and treats sinus infections, bronchitis, sore throats and coughs.
  • Eleuthero root is mostly used in traditional medicines as an adaptogen, a compound that helps the body better handle and adapt to stress. It also acts as a stimulant, increasing nervous system function.

Once you have all your ingredients, follow this recipe:

Two parts Hawthorne berries
One part St. John's Wort leaf and flower
One part Lemon Balm leaf,
One part Violet leaf
One part Eleuthero root

Layer the herbs in jars like this: 

Fill your jar or jars about 1/2 to 3/4 full, as the dried leaves and berries will expand after you add the alcohol.

Add your 40% vodka to the very top, and shake well to combine

Put the jar in a cool, dark place and shake well once in a while, for 4-6 weeks. Keep an eye on the expanding herbs in your jar. If they have expanded so much that the liquid no longer moves around the jar when you shake it, scoop out some plant matter, and refill the jar to the top with alcohol.

After 4-6 weeks, use a cheesecloth or brewer's bag to strain the alcohol from the herbs. Transfer to dark amber dropper bottles, taking care to label them with the name and date. 

I like to take 2-3 dropper-fulls of tincture 2-3 times daily for 5 days, then decrease use to 2 dropper-fulls daily for several weeks or even months, as needed. 

I hope you enjoy this Happy Tonic, and stay healthy this holiday season!