Nutritional and Herbal benefits of Mental Health Supplement

It is a known fact that our body needs vitamins and minerals for maintaining good health. As Good health means both physical and mental health. Deficiencies affect the functioning of all organs including the brain. Hence mental health supplements should be a part of our daily supplement intake.

Some of the well known mental health supplements are:


Also known as vitamin B1, thiamine deficiency causes depression, anxiety and irritability. This is because thiamine is an important molecule required for the synthesis of certain enzymes for proper brain function.


Commonly known as vitamin B2, its deficiency is related to psychosis. Riboflavin is important for the synthesis and use of enzymes in the brain.

Vitamin C

This vitamin is an anti-oxidant essential for the synthesis of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in the brain.  Reduced serotonin in the brain causes depression and mood swings. Hence this is also known as the ‘happiness molecule’.

Zinc & Magnesium

Zinc is responsible for transmission of nerve impulses in the brain. Its deficiency results in behavioral problems and depression. Magnesium levels in the body are affected by stress. This in turn affects the functions of heart, causing irritability and anxiety. Hence zinc and magnesium are recommended as mental health supplements.  

Essential fatty acids (EFA)

EFAs, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids are known to be wide spread in the brain. So intake of fatty acid supplements by way of cod liver oil capsules is said to be safe and effective in patients with mental illnesses.

Amino acids

Tryptophan is an amino acid required in the synthesis of ‘the happiness molecule’ serotonin in our brain. Similarly, tyrosine is required to make dopamine and phenylalanine for norepinephrine. These are usually available in the body; but sometimes deficiencies might occur and cause imbalances in synthesis of these important mood maintaining chemicals in the body. So intake of these amino acid supplements is found to be beneficial in handling mentally ill patients.

Herbal mental health supplements

  • Kava kava is useful in treatment of nervous disorders. It is known to relieve anxiety and insomnia. Long term usage is not advised as it can cause liver damage.
  • St. John’s wort is being widely used to treat mild to moderate cases of depression, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and obsessive compulsive disorders.  
  • Valeric acid (valerian) has proven sedative and anxiolytic properties.
  • Green tea which is abundant in an amino acid called L-theanine is anxiolytic. Once absorbed by brain cells, the L-theanine stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin that are keys to relaxation.
  • Passion flower has alkaloids that have anxiolytic properties. Hence it is used to treat mild anxiety and restlessness.
  • Ginkgo is known to increase concentration and memory power.