FINDING CALM IN THE PRESENT USING TRADITIONAL REMEDIES
Now is a time of global stress. Whether we are isolating or on the front lines of the pandemic, anxiety is often in the driver's seat of our emotions. The worldwide rise in depression and distress has led the World Health Organization (WHO) to put out a special bulletin on mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak. Finding time for self-care can seem impossible when the demands of work and family compete for our attention. So many of us find ourselves longing for a a moment of calm inside the storm of news reports and new regulations. It's easy to lose focus on what matters when the safety of everything from schools to shopping trips is being thrown into question. These days we need every tool we can get our hands on in order to keep calm and carry on. That's where BLOCKHEAD Calm Mints come in.
At first glance, these little mints might not look like much. We have learned to be skeptical of big promises in small packages. Fresh breath with a side of serenity... what's the catch? So, okay, BLOCKHEAD Calm Mints may not be a direct path to nirvana, but they're not a gimmick either. That's because BLOCKHEAD has developed Calm Mints with both traditional wisdom and hard science. Let's take a look at the ingredients to get an idea of why these mints might just help you relax.
WHY IT WORKS
You may have never heard of 5-HTP, but your body actually makes it every day. This naturally occurring chemical is key to understanding why Calm Mints are so effective at improving your mental state. Medical News Today describes 5-HTP as a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin as well as the hormone melatonin. This means that your body actually makes these two mood managing chemicals out of 5-HTP. More 5-HTP in your body means more mood-boosting serotonin and sleep-enhancing melatonin in your brain. A 2018 study actually found that 5-HTP improved both length and quality of sleep in animals. Preliminary research also suggests that 5-HTP can help reduce hunger and assist in weight loss. There is even some evidence to suggest 5-HTP may help manage chronic pain. Science is still discovering all of the benefits of 5-HTP, but it is clearly essential for restoring balance in the body.
While we need 5-HTP to make feel-good chemicals like serotonin, we need L-Tryptophan to make 5-HTP. L-Tryptophan is an amino acid naturally found in high protein foods like fish, soy, and poultry. If you've ever felt particularly sleepy after a big turkey dinner, it was probably due to the L-Tryptophan! That's because this amino acid is instrumental in many metabolic processes surrounding sleep as well as mood. The scientific community has been aware of the importance of L-Tryptophan for a long time. Studies as early as 1972 showed impressive results using tryptophan to treat depression. A more recent study published in the journal Psychiatry Research found that L-tryptophan significantly reduced anxiety, panic symptoms, and number of panic attacks in panic disorder patients compared to placebo. The International Journal for Tryptophan Research notes that "an important feature of tryptophan treatment is that, unlike many other medications administered for sleep disorders, it does not limit cognitive performance or inhibit arousal from sleep." You won't be groggy or dumbed down by L-Tryptophan. The creators at BLOCKHEAD designed Calm Mints to improve your focus as well as soothe your stress.
L-Tryptophan supports your body in making it's own 5-HTP, but griffonia is packed with the stuff all on it's own. Native to the shrub savannah, this plant has been used extensively in traditional remedies throughout West Africa. While there have not been large-scale clinical studies of griffonia's benefits, the seeds of the plant contain up to 20% 5-ATP by weight according to the supplement library at examine.com. It's no surprise that people report improved mood and sleep when taking griffonia!
Often called California Poppy, escolzia is indigenous to Mexico and the Southern United States. Traditional folk medicine has used escolzia for centuries for its calming properties. Like griffonia, however, minimal scientific studies have investigated the plant despite promising preliminary research. Scientists know that escolzia affects the pathways for chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA which all play a role in relaxation and mood. However the precise way the plant affects these pathways is not well understood, according to examine.com. One study did show a significant reduction in anxiety when escolzia was given in combination with another plant, but it has not been studied on its own. Regardless of the benefits, California poppy is not an opiate and is regarded as safe. It seems likely that further scientific studies would confirm the belief of traditional healers that escolzia increases a sense of calm.
Magnolia bark has been used extensively in herbal medicine for a variety of conditions. It would take a book to discuss all of the benefits attributed to magnolia bark. Maybe that's because studies report that there are over 200 chemical compounds contained in the tree. According to Psychology Today, magnolia bark can treat a range of symptoms from poor sleep to anxiety and depression, and may even fight cancer! More than one study has shown magnolia to be protective against oxidative stress, which is related to chronic conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer's. This powerhouse plant rounds out the stress-busting blend in every Calm Mint.
FOCUSED ON YOU
With all of these potent ingredients, here's one that BLOCKHEAD left out: sugar. That means you can pop a mint at bedtime, or anytime really, with no worries about calories or jitters. Simply take one half an hour before you want to feel the calming effects. No product can erase all of our stresses in these uncertain times, but BLOCKHEAD Calm Mints can support you as we get through this together.
Words by Amy Bravewater
Photo by Michael Amadeus on Unsplash