Apply - A Practical Approach

Four Scents Team

Practical Steps to Support Wellbeing

Taking a look at what nature offers us, whether it’s certain herbs or essential oils; particular foods or other help, can guide us as to what can help support the mind and emotions. They can work together in strengthening mental health and optimise how we feel all-round.
    Glass teapot with ceramic bowls containing different herbs   


Making tea infusions from the softer parts of the herb (or ground with a pestle and mortar) is a simple way to make the most of these supportive botanicals:

Lemon Balm – eases tension and promotes a relaxed state of mind (avoid with hypothyroidism).
Skullcap – Nourishes the central nervous system, helping to alleviate anxiety. Works well together with Lemon Balm.
Ashwaganda – An adaptogen, meaning it boosts us when feeling fatigued, and calming when we feel stressed, adapting to the situation (avoid with hyperthyroidism or in pregnancy).
Liquorice – Helps to balance stress hormones (avoid with hypertension, in pregnancy or large doses over a prolonged period of time.)
Passionflower – Deeply relaxing for mind and body and works well with chamomile.

These are just a few of many, but a good place to begin. The benefit of a herbal infusion is also the opportunity to use this as a mindful/meditative practice!


Smoothie bowl with brightly coloured fruits


Again, this is not intended to be exhaustive, but a pointer. Having looked at the gut/brain connection, we can support the gut for a healthier mind. What we eat can help to balance moods and maintain energy levels.

Magnesium-rich foods – work to help calm the nerves. Natural yogurt feeds good gut bacteria, while almonds and cashews also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that converts to mood-regulating serotonin.
Fermented foods – such as sauerkraut, kefir and kimchi, contain probiotics that also support the gut/brain connection.
Antioxidants – inflammation has been linked to stress, so brightly coloured fruits and veg such as spinach, or other elements such as turmeric, green tea and dark chocolate help to support healthy blood pressure.
Healthy fats – The brain is made mainly of fat, so this makes a lot of sense! Oily fish is high in brain-boosting omega-3. Olive and coconut oils are also thought to boost the body’s serotonin levels.
Melatonin-rich foods – these help to promote sleep, which in turn boosts our sense of wellbeing. Examples of this are tomatoes, cherry juice, rice and corn.


Essential oil bottles

Essential Oils

It would be wrong of us not to give these a mention! They can be used to steady breathing, calm the stress response and act on the part of the brain that controls the mood. We have plenty of coverage on this topic, so below is a small selection:

Frankincense – deepens breathing and soothes the nervous system.
Ylang-Ylang – sedative while also gently uplifting.
Jasmine – relieves low moods and low energy.
Mandarin – relaxing and soothes restlessness.
Rose – encourages the body’s rest response and lifts low moods.




Sometimes, we simply need that extra support. A few examples of therapies that help to support us are:
Massage – relieves stress and promotes relaxation.
Hypnotherapy – can help relieve anxiety.
Homeopathy & Flower Remedies – help to support and promote emotional balance.
Counselling and psychotherapy – provide support and a safe space to express emotions and work through issues.

References: Neal’s Yard Remedies Complete Wellness by Susan Curtis, Pat Thomas, Julie Wood, Fran Johnson and Fiona Waring


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