When the opportunity came up to connect with renowned master herbalist Sara-Chana Silverstein, I couldn't resist. I love a natural remedy. And Silverstein's practice is all about helping women stabilize their moods, nourish their livers, and refresh and revitalize their systems.
Best of all, this fresh advice can be found in her exciting new book MOODTOPIA: Tame Your Moods, De-Stress, and Find Balance Using Herbal Remedies, out everywhere August 28.
Silverstein prides herself on spreading the word about how people can integrate alternative medicine with conventional medicine (which she often does on national news shows). And after working with more than 20,000 clients over the past 20 years, she discovered that most people needed help dealing with moodiness—which brings us to her book. The secret she shares in MOODTOPIA? A focused herbal regimen. Using tools, tips, and strategies, Silverstein claims that herbs, essential oils and other natural remedies can help combat stress and anxiety, and promote peace of mind.
With that, here's my exchange with the lovely and likable Silverstein.
What is Moodtopia?
Moodtopia is about learning how to be in control of your moods so your moods don’t control you. You will be able to distinguish whether a specific emotion that arises will be beneficial for the situation you're in, or whether you should acknowledge the emotion and decide, with a clear head, that you will deal with the mood that is presented at a more appropriate time.
How can it change our lives?
You can become a master of your moods, so they don't control you—instead, you can draw on them when they are helpful, and disengage when they do not benefit you.
When a new client comes to you, what’s the most common mistake he or she is making when it comes to health?
Not understanding that staying healthy takes hard work. If you want to become an expert in any field, you need to be educated and disciplined—but the good news is that it gets easier with practice. When it comes to good health it's not easy. Being disciplined is hard, but it pays off, because your body will reward you with strength and clarity of mind. Remember to take deep breaths, too!
Let’s talk stress. Pretty sure the majority of us can raise our hands for that one— how do you address this with an herbal regimen?
There are herbs called adaptogens that do not have specific action; instead, they support the entire body. If you have a sinus infection, [I recommend taking] herbs to thin the mucus and tone the tissue. Adaptogens can strengthen the entire body, which helps you stay balanced during stressful times. Herbs like rhodiola, schizandra, medicinal mushrooms and eleuthero are a few of the dynamos.
If a reader (or, if I, for that matter) wants to change one thing today, what should that be?
I suggest having a few herbs handy to help lift you out of your mood. There are some that can help with sadness, frustration, anger, and gloominess; when diluted in a little juice or water will help improve your mood within 20 minutes. I would also say it is important to perform random-acts-of-kindness. They are easy to include in your life, and studies show that they lower blood pressure, reduce cortisol levels and raise the feel-good oxytocin hormones. So not only do you help others in need, you get the health benefits!