How Do I Increase My Brain’s Serotonin Naturally?

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Is it possible to increase the brain’s serotonin level naturally, without drugs? The answer is simple: yes. There are several natural ways to increase serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter in the brain (often called the “happy hormone”) that makes us—well, happy. So, let’s start at the beginning: What is serotonin?

What Is Serotonin?

As we mentioned, serotonin is pretty powerful. It can help us feel at ease and calm, while a deficiency in it can make us feel sad, panicky, and aggressive—nothing good comes from a serotonin deficiency! It can present with symptoms of depression, like lethargy, mood swings, and trouble sleeping, and it can be an underlying cause of depression.

How Do I Get Serotonin?

Your body naturally makes serotonin and, like vitamin D, another depression fighter, its levels go up with sun exposure. However, natural light can be hard to come by in some regions of the world, and it may be limited by sun sensitivity or mobility. So, how else can we get serotonin naturally?

Like with many other things in life, it’s all connected—low levels of serotonin are associated with low levels of other vitamins and minerals—and low levels of vitamins like vitamin B6 and amino acids can lead to high stress, which can lead to high levels of cortisol, which can lead to low levels of serotonin. What a cycle!

How do you stop this cycle in its tracks? It all boils down to a quality diet, which can often be hard to come by. Yet, with a little guidance and supplementation, you can make healthy choices that naturally increase serotonin levels. Let’s look at some of the best serotonin supplements you can take:
vegetable salad with grilled salmon

  1. Tryptophan: This amino acid is found in a few forms. Whether you take a nutritional tryptophan supplement or try to incorporate more foods that contain tryptophan, be sure to pay attention to quality. Tryptophan can be found in fatty fish (like salmon), nuts and seeds, dairy, poultry, and eggs. Dark leafy greens like spinach, as well as corn, potatoes, and wheat bread, are also a great source if you prefer vegetarian options.
  2. Omega-3s: These are fatty acids that support serotonin levels. They can be found in fish, like salmon, or in a great nutritional supplement.
  3. B vitamins: Vitamins B6 and B12 are important for keeping depressive feelings at bay, and B6 specifically supports serotonin levels and production. These vitamins are naturally found in fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, and whole grains.
  4. St. John’s Wort: This is only found in a nutritional supplement, but it can help the breakdown of serotonin in the body and supports positive mental health. Be sure to check the label to ensure it won’t interfere with any other medications you might be taking.

What’s the Next Step?

Now that you know how you can naturally boost serotonin, it’s time to start on that path to natural wellness! We at Forrest Health can help you, every step of the way, with nutritional supplements and tools for all your health goals. Visit us online or call us today at 408-354-4262 to see how we can help!

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Can Vitamin D Help with Your Depression?

It seems like every week there’s a new trend in the world of natural medicine. While some of these things, like essential oils or CBD, can help support mental health, they don’t work for everyone. If you’re suffering from symptoms of depression, you’ve probably looked into your options for treatment, whether that’s typical pharmaceutical medications, weekly therapy with a clinician or psychiatrist, or just trying to will it away—but maybe you haven’t looked into herbal supplements for depression yet.

Medical studies have shown that people who are depressed tend to be low in vitamin D—so, what do you need to know about this very important vitamin?

yellow plastic sun with emoji faces in a grass field

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the best supplements for depression because it supports brain function, as well as many other parts of the body, including your heart and your bones. It’s also one of the easiest vitamins to get. Just step into the sunshine, and your body gets to work.

Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine” vitamin because your body naturally produces it when your skin is exposed to the sun. Hence, if you wear a high-quality sunscreen regularly or don’t spend much time outside (especially in the winter—hello, seasonal depression!), then your body is limited in how much it can create. For those who are sensitive to the sun or who have mobility issues, vitamin D deficiency can be especially common.

How Do I Get Vitamin D?

As we stated above, your body naturally produces vitamin D when you get any sun exposure. How much exposure varies by person and skin tone—anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours should do the job, but it can be hard to get this without burning your skin! That’s where paying attention to your diet and taking a quality vitamin D supplement can come in handy. You’ll want to talk to a doctor about what your vitamin D intake should be.

If getting your vitamin D the sunny way isn’t possible for you, then diet and supplementation are your next best options. Foods like fatty fish—salmon, for example—and fortified foods like milk are good places to start. If you are averse to animal products, then an herbal supplement is your best bet.

baked fish with fresh vegetables on white plate

What’s My Next Step?

While seeing a doctor is always recommended before self-medicating or taking a new supplement, making a list of your symptoms will be incredibly helpful for determining your next step. Vitamin D deficiencies can present in many different ways, not just depression: fatigue, weak or achy joints, a change in weight, anxiety, and many other problems. It is very important to not ignore any of these symptoms!

Once you’ve listed your symptoms and talked to a professional, they can help you determine which herbal supplements for depression, like vitamin D, they recommend you take and what your dosage should be. As with many things, your body may react differently than others’ do, so keep a journal before and after you start a new drug or supplement. Monitoring yourself will make it much easier to find what works best for you.

Now that you know that vitamin D can help support your mental health, and you know to have a chat with your doctor, where should you go to find all the natural supplements for depression and tools you need to help you on your path to wellness? Forrest Health, of course! We offer the highest quality herbs and products to help you through all phases of life. Check out our website or call us at 408-354-4262 to get started toward a healthier life today.

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Home Remedies for Allergic Reactions

The signs are unmistakable. One minute you’re breathing deeply and feeling great, and the next minute your nose is running, eyes are watering, throat and mouth are itching, and you just want to curl up in a ball.

We’ve all been there. Allergies come in so many different forms and affect so many of us, and dealing with them can be a daily struggle—but if over-the-counter antihistamines leave you groggy, drowsy, and dizzy, what can you do?

Avoid unpleasant side effects and find relief fast. Try these quick, simple, and effective home allergy treatments and get your life back on track.

What Happens in an Allergic Reaction?

An allergic reaction is essentially an overreaction by your body’s immune system. The usual harmless substances like pollen, dust, and animal hair are seen as invaders by your body, which sends out antibodies in response. When these reach certain cells—like in your nose and throat—histamines which trigger the classic allergic symptoms are released.

nature grass blossom plant

Proven Home Remedies

When those symptoms have started, there are two ways that home remedies can help. One is to fight the histamines that produce the symptoms, and the other is to ease the severity of the symptoms themselves, allowing the histamines to reduce naturally over time.

Easing the Symptoms

If you need rapid relief from the typical allergy symptoms, try:

  • Exercise – Just a few minutes of high-intensity exercise can help unblock the nose and clear the airways.
  • A Saline Nasal Rinse – These have been proven effective in combating hay fever symptoms. Use one teaspoon of a 3:1 non-iodized salt to bicarbonate soda mixture in eight ounces of filtered water.
  • Honey and Lemon Tea or Lozenges – They provide a quick and easy way to soothe throat irritation and inflamed mucous membranes.

Natural Antihistamines

In many cases, you don’t even need to leave the house to find natural antihistamines—just check the cupboard! Many foods contain allergy-fighting compounds that will even work to relieve localized stings and rashes. These include:

  • Bioflavonoids – A natural antioxidant and antihistamine found in a number of foods, including citrus fruits, green peppers, and cherries.
  • Quercetin – A particularly potent type of bioflavonoid that blocks histamines. Found in green apples, red onions, red berries, red wine, and herbs such as St John’s Wort and ginkgo biloba.
  • Peppermint and Eucalyptus oils – Both of these have antimicrobial and anti-allergic properties. Don’t apply essential oils directly—it’s best to use just a couple of drops in a steam bath or a carrier oil.

blue ceramic coffee cup

Give Yourself a Natural Boost

When home remedies aren’t proving to be totally effective, it might be time to give yourself a natural boost in the fight against allergies. There is a range of natural allergy relief supplements out there which give you all of the comfort but none of the side effects. Be on the lookout for:

  • Stinging Nettle – Known for centuries for its healing properties, stinging nettle is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and great for natural allergy relief. It can be taken as a tea or in capsule form for all-season use.
  • Spirulina – Studies have shown that these algae reduce hay fever severity and symptoms if taken daily. Mix it up in a smoothie or your next batch of protein balls!
  • Probiotics – Like many health conditions, so many allergies can be traced back to intestinal health. Probiotics can restore the right balance to your gut flora and reduce histamine outbreaks.
  • Butterbur – This migraine-busting wonder extract has also been found to have a significant effect on seasonal allergy symptoms.

Take Back Control with Forrest Health

At Forrest Health, we know how hard it is to deal with allergies. At times, it can seem like they’re the ones running your life, not you.

We’re here to help. With our trusted brands and caring advice, we’ll look after your body the natural way.  Order from our extensive range of pharmacy-grade herbal supplements and take back control of your life today!

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Cold Prevention: 5 Natural Supplements for Relief

It doesn’t have to be “cold and flu season” to experience a nasty cold that can make you feel miserable, but a cold is often nothing more than your body telling you it needs a rest.

In fact, resting is one of the best things you can do when you have a cold. Even if it means taking a day off work just to get some extra sleep or to relax and rejuvenate, it can make a big difference.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with the common cold is that it comes with a variety of unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms can make it hard to do almost anything—even get some decent rest!

Thankfully, there are several natural herbal supplements you can use to help ease the symptoms of your cold. Natural remedies can work just as well as over-the-counter medications when you know which ones to use.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best common cold treatment options using home remedies.

white ceramic mug on white table

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is often referred to as a cure-all for a variety of ailments. The common cold is no different. ACV helps to alkalize the body. An alkaline environment makes it easier to destroy bacteria and viruses.

To use apple cider vinegar as a cold treatment, add a couple of tablespoons to a bit of warm water, lemon juice, and honey. It’s a strong solution, and it might not taste great at first, but the stronger it is, the better it will work!

2. Vitamins C & D

Even if you already take these natural supplements or a multivitamin that includes them, boosting your vitamin C & D intake when you have a cold is a great way to find relief faster. Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system, and Vitamin D can help to prevent you from getting a cold in the first place.

You can either choose to take supplements or get these vitamins from the food you eat. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, and brussel sprouts.

3. Ginger

Ginger packs a punch when it comes to treating the common cold. First, it helps to boost your immune system, which lets your body fight off bacteria and viruses faster. It also helps to reduce inflammation, which might be causing a lot of your symptoms.

Finally, ginger can help to clear up any congestion you might have with your cold. You can purchase ginger tea or make your own “brew” by simmering about two teaspoons of freshly grated or sliced gingerroot in a cup of hot water.

sick woman in a blue

4. Honey

Honey has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also has many different antioxidants that can help to boost the immune system. Because of these powerful properties, it’s a great natural solution for curing colds quickly.

Not only does honey work well on the more traditional symptoms of the common cold, but it’s one of the best natural remedies for soothing a cough.

You can use honey in a variety of ways to help with your cold, but one of the most comforting solutions is to add a tablespoon or two to a cup of hot water or green tea.

5. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is made up of several important compounds. One of those compounds, known as cineole, helps to fight against viruses and bacteria, as well as fungal infections.

Studies have shown that the use of eucalyptus oil can help to reduce your risk of viral infections significantly. If you use it during a cold, it can help to ease some of your symptoms, especially congestion and sinus issues.

To use eucalyptus oil safely, one of the best options is to create a “steam” with it. You can do this by adding 4-5 drops of the oil to a bowl of hot, steaming water. Then, hold your head over the bowl and tent your head with a towel. Inhale the steam deeply. Not only will it help you to feel relaxed, but the oil can help to clear your sinuses while fighting off harmful bacteria.

How to Treat a Cold at Home

Using natural home remedies to treat the common cold can give you peace of mind. Over-the-counter cold remedies are sometimes effective, but are filled with things many people don’t want to put in their bodies. Many of them also come with the risk of serious side effects.

If you’re interested in learning more about nutritional supplements and homeopathic treatment options, visit our website today. From overall health and wellness to natural, effective cold treatments, Forrest Health has everything you need to live a naturally healthy life.

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