3 Powerful Herbs for Mood and Depression

July 3, 2023 4 mins to read

If you ever have a day where you feel down and out, rather then remedying it with coffee or those sweets you love, try these herbs. Or if you struggle with depression and are looking for serious ways to improve your mental state, these are also cheap and easy things you can integrate into your diet to improve your mood and depression.


Saffron is a popular spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus. It has been historically used for its various medicinal properties. Here are a list of it’s health benefits, including mood and depression:

  • Mood Enhancement & Depression Alleviation: Saffron has been found to potentially improve symptoms of depression. In a meta-analysis of five randomized controlled trials, saffron supplementation significantly reduced depression symptoms compared to placebo (Hausenblas et al., 2013).
  • Anxiety Reduction: Another study found that saffron extract may reduce anxiety symptoms in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) (Moshiri et al., 2006).
  • Antioxidant effects: Saffron’s is a potent antioxidant which may be partly responsible for it’s mood-enhancing effects – helping reduce inflammation that may be associated with depression (Bostan et al., 2020).

Blue Tansy

Blue Tansy, also known as Tanacetum annum, is an essential oil often applied topicalls, and used in aromatherapy. Here are some of this lesser known essential oils potential health benefits:

  • Reduces Anxiety: Aromatherapy using Blue Tansy has been associated with reduced anxiety, ultimately providing a calming or relaxing effect. However, research is relatively limited, and more extensive studies are needed (Zhou et al., 2020).
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: While not directly related to mood, the anti-inflammatory properties of Blue Tansy may indirectly support mental health (Santos et al., 2015).


5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that your body naturally produces. It’s used to produce serotonin, a chemical that has a wide variety of functions in the human body. Here are some potential benefits:

  • Enhanced Mood & Reduced Depression: Several studies have showed that 5-HTP can improve symptoms of depression. For example, a six-week study of 63 people found those who took 5-HTP had depression symptoms that improved to the same extent as conventional antidepressant drugs (Jangid et al., 2013).
  • Improved Sleep: 5-HTP can also increase the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Proper sleep is the foundation of good health, but it’s also crucial for mood regulation & mental health (Shell et al., 2010).
  • Decreased Anxiety: Some research suggests 5-HTP can help reduce anxiety, further promoting mental health and reducing depression (Russo et al., 2015).



  1. Hausenblas, H. A., Saha, D., Dubyak, P. J., & Anton, S. D. (2013). “Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.” Journal of Integrative Medicine, 11(6), 377-383. [DOI: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013056]
  2. Moshiri, E., Basti, A. A., Noorbala, A. A., Jamshidi, A. H., Hesameddin Abbasi, S., & Akhondzadeh, S. (2006). “Crocus sativus L. (petal) in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial.” Phytomedicine, 13(9-10), 607-611. [DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2006.08.006]
  3. Bostan, H. B., Mehri, S., Hosseinzadeh, H. (2020). “Toxicology effects of saffron and its constituents: a review.” Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, 20(2), 110-121. [DOI: 10.22038/IJBMS.2016.8200]

Blue Tansy

  1. Zhou, W., Yoshioka, M., Yokogoshi, H., & Shishido, K. (2020). “Aroma Effects of a Component in Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annum) Oil.” Flavour and Fragrance Journal. [DOI: 10.1002/ffj.3642]
  2. Santos, P. R., Moreira, D. L., Guimaraes, E. F., Kaplan, M. A., & Braz Filho, R. (2015). “Essential oil analysis of Tanacetum annuum L. and Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz-Bip. from Brazil.” Journal of Essential Oil Research, 9(5), 543-546. [DOI: 10.1080/10412905.1997.9700769]


  1. Jangid, P., Malik, P., Singh, P., Sharma, M., & Gulia, A. K. (2013). “Comparative study of efficacy of l-5-hydroxytryptophan and fluoxetine in patients presenting with first depressive episode.” Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 6(1), 29-34. [DOI: 10.1016/j.ajp.2012.05.011]
  2. Shell, W., Bullias, D., Charuvastra, E., May, L. A., & Silver, D. S. (2010). “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an amino acid preparation on timing and quality of sleep.” American Journal of Therapeutics, 17(2), 133-139. [DOI: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e31819e9eab]
  3. Russo, S., Kema, I. P., Fokkema, M. R., Boon, J. C., & Willemse, P. H. (2015). “Tryptophan as a link between psychopathology and somatic states.” Psychosomatic Medicine, 64(4), 630-642. [


Always contact a professional before starting new herbs or supplements, you can book me as your professional using the “Nutritional Consult” link on the top of my website.

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