Feelings of loss.
As our bodies transition from summer to winter, many of us begin to experience the seasonal effects (i.e. depression. tension, and lethargy) most often caused by:
- the decrease in light between the Autumnal equinox and the Winter solstice
- the body’s ability to work with nature in regulating our levels of melatonin — read more here…
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), then you are all to familiar with these changes in personality — from happy and bright to depressed and lack-luster. You may find yourself having difficulty:
- getting out of bed in the morning
- finding fulfillment and joy
- focusing on necessary daily tasks
- managing your weight and diet plan (especially when it comes to carbohydrates)
The following magical, heart-healing botanicals — when combined in this powerful tonic — are liken to pulling back the curtains on a sunny day.
Perfect during the long months of winter…
…or anytime light and happiness are sought!
Happy Hippie Tonic
-any size glass jar with lid
-organic dried herbs (I highly recommend purchasing herbs at your local health food store. However, if they are unavailable to you there…the quality of Mountain Rose Herbs can’t be beat.)
- 2 parts hawthorn berries
- 1 part St. John’s Wort flower and leaf
- 1 part lemon balm leaf
- 1 part violet leaf
- 1 part eleuthero root
- organic vegetable glycerin, to cover
- pure water, amount based on glass jar size, see below
- just a touch of brandy, optional
- Put herbs into a glass jar (your size choice) — filling the jar 1/3 full of dried herbs.
- Bring enough water to moisten dried plant material just to a boil and pour over herbs.
- Pour the vegetable glycerin over herbs to cover, filling the jar. Note: I like to use brandy to extract the maximum amount of goodness from the plants, and extend the self life of the tonic. If you are using, add approximately 5-10% of the total liquid in brandy to the jar at this time.
- Seal the jar and shake until mixture is well combined.
- Set the jar in a warm place and shake once or twice daily.
- After 2-4 weeks (following the principles of tincturing with the moon), strain liquid through a cheesecloth. Squeeze as much of the menstruum as possible out of the plant material. Note: If so desired, repeat steps 1-5 using the liquid extract that is strained in place of the water and vegetable glycerin. This is referred to as a double infusion, and produces a much stronger, more effective medicine.
- Pour the extract into dark amber glass bottles with dropper or keep in a glass jar in a cool, dark place. Label the bottles with the name, herbs, date made, and menstruum used. Will keep for approximately 2-3 years.
I like to take 2-3 dropperfuls of glycerite 2-3 times daily for 5 days, then discontinue for 2 days. Repeat cycle for several weeks or even months, as needed. Please contact your professional medical provider prior to use and for personal dosage recommendations.
Where Can I Get This Stuff?
–Mountain Rose Herbs…they have everything you’ll need for this remedy! It’s your one-stop-shop!
–Starwest Botanicals also has a beautiful selection of Bulk Herbs and Natural Products for Healthy, Natural Living!
–The Bulk Herb Store carries many of these ingredients if you’d like to price check.
Happy Hippie Tonic
is available for purchase
in my Etsy Shop.
See the listing by clicking this link.
DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this article. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.
Linda Marcella says
There are several other things that can be done. One of the best things I did after suffering from SAD for years (my hair was automatically a different length and different color every October!) was to put a light over my desk with full spectrum bulbs in it. My eyes pop open the minute I turn it on. HUGE difference. 5-htp is also helpful with depression. I know something is wrong when I just want to go back to bed or cry. I am a very happy UP person the most of the time. When I start feeling like that I need to do things to increase the sunshine I get on a daily basis. I also take D3 and short walks outside. My best solution, however, is my little garden in my basement. Going down there and picking my salad for dinner, seeing my flowers that would have died long ago and picking vegetables that I would normally have to buy during winter just makes me feel better and more in control.
herb parts by weight or volume? thanks
Your choice. The hawthorn berries are your measuring guide.
Here are a few examples:
Volume: 4 Tbs Hawthorn, then 2 Tbs Lemon Balm
Weight: 2oz/56g Hawthorn, then 1oz/28g Lemon Balm
The quantity you make is up to you as long as the ratio stays the same.
Vitamin D3, 5000IU daily, cured my SAD. I gave away my happy lamp.
How safe are these herbs during pregnancy? I suffer from depression year round but it is particularlly bad during the winter.
My SAD got better when I moved to another state. Get this: My SAD was worse in Wisconsin, but when I moved to South Dakota, it got better. There’s more sun during the winter in SoDak, even if it snows and it’s cold and the sun is much brighter and stronger out here. Plus our apartment has a southern exposure.
I’ll have to keep this in mind because I do have depression year round. It used to get worse in the Winter, but now it’s gotten better.
Estelle Stone says
Sunbox that simulates natural sunlight works miracles! One of my sons has severe Bipolar depression and every October out comes the Sunbox. We don’t know what we would do without it and we live in Souther California! I can only imagine those of you that live elsewhere where the sun doesn’t shine most of the winter! My sons Dr. said we could never move because of this. If at all possible, get a Sunbox! I’m going to make this tonic as well. 🙂
Would you make this using Vodka or Brandy? I do both, but just wondering if you think it has an effect on the outcome.
P.S. LOVE your posts and recipes!
Would this work using alcohol as the solvent instead of the vegetable glycerine?