Joy has been a little, well, hard to pin down this Summer.
There’s been a wide, cacophonous arc of heartache these past few months. Everything from your run-of-the-mill let downs, to grit-building adversity, to total & completely dismantling trauma.
We don’t need to tell you what’s been going on, because we trust that you’re not only aware, you’re likely IN IT.
If you’ve been bummed out, it’s likely because you have a pulse.
...And our hearts have been breaking too.
During one of our Rasa Team calls, one of our colleagues recalled a stat they saw by NORC at the University of Chicago that said Americans are the least happy they have EVER BEEN...with only a whopping 14% of them stating that they are “very happy.”
Now, we’re not going to say that people *should* be happy right now, because let’s face it, things are, uh, pretty freaking messed up. #dumpsterfire #pandemic #injusticesbroughtolight
Sidenote: we suspect that in a way, it’s ok that the world is a total mess right now. Because when folx are content, change doesn’t happen. And we acknowledge that things haven’t been ok, for many, for a very long time, and that some of us are just waking up to that fact.
Back to Joy.
What we DO want is to help folx cultivate their capacity for joy. Increase their ability to open up to it, like a flower slowly and gingerly blossoming as it receives the sun.
Because we can’t fight our own personal battles...or large revolutions...without injections of joy.
We need joy to be there for us when we feel hopeless and alone, devastated and lost. Rumi said:
“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood.”
And why? Because that 13th century Persian poet *knew* that without Joy (even when it’s hiding, even when it’s impossible to see)...and without the small steps to pursue joy...that life’s impossible cruelty could not be overcome.
AND THAT’S WHY WE CREATED…
LIMITED-EDITION SUPER HAPPY SUNSHINE.
Because we all need some joy in our lives right now, damnit.
From our Clinical Herbalist, Ben LeVine:
“The bright yellow flowers of helichrysum capture the essence of this blend. The flower takes its name from the greek helios=sun and chrysos=gold. It’s also called Life Everlasting or Immortelle because, unlike most flowers, the brilliant color never fades. This blend reminds us that joy is always here, beneath the surface, and that something special happens when we take the time to embrace it.”
Sing it, Ben!
In short: these “happiness herbs” support neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, helping you spark that bodacious inner light & inherent vivacity.
Because thriving in an unpredictable world is BIG WORK and we need all the support we can get.
There’s something incredibly special about one of these herbs in particular....
Sceletium tortuosum is a traditional and sacred plant of the Sān and Khoikhoi people of Southern Africa. Warriors returning from battle would take it to help them release the fear and tension carried from the battlefield.
(Wow, right?! We feel so privileged to be able to ethically and sustainably source this incredible plant ally, and support the local farmers who grow it!)
Used for generations both in healing ceremonies and celebrations, and daily as a chew for deepening social connection and a sense of well-being, this desert succulent is a gift to all who consume her.
So, how does it taste?
Bright citrus lemon top notes play on a base of rich, earthy Original Rasa, with added hints of sweetness and roasted cacao. The lingering and complex spicy finish comes from wild grains of paradise.
How does it make you feel?
One team member described it like…
“Stretching out in a midsummer’s meadow of lemon balm, lit by the Solstice sun, opening up my arms to possibility.”
Our Creative Director loves sipping his over ice on his back porch.
Our Founder, Lopa, injects it into her veins every morning after her toddlers jump on her face.
Wanna nerd out on just the facts? 🤓
Written by our clinical herbalist, check out how these incredible herbs support you living a beautiful, joyful life.
Functional extracts: Sceletium, mucuna, lemon balm, rhodiola
Sceletium 2:1 extract, 15 mg:
Modern pre-clinical and clinical studies have discovered that Sceletium’s mood-enhancing abilities come partly from the plant’s influence on serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is known to help regulate mood, and maintaining normal levels of this neurotransmitter can have wide-ranging benefits on stress, sleep, and cognitive function .
Acute Effects of Sceletium tortuosum (Zembrin), a Dual 5-HT Reuptake and PDE4 Inhibitor, in the Human Amygdala and its Connection to the Hypothalamus (Terburg, et al., 2013)
Dose: 25mg of 2:1 Sceletium extract
A single 25mg dose significantly reduces anxiety-related amygdala reactivity. The amygdala is the brain's threat detection system and hyper-responsivity to mild threats is indicative of states of stress and anxiety.
Effect of Zembrin® (Sceletium tortuosum) on Brain Electrical Activity in 60 Older Subjects after 6 Weeks of Daily Intake. A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, 3-Armed Study in a Parallel Design (Dimpfel, et al., 2017)
Dose: 25mg and 50mg of 2:1 Sceletium extract
The overall results support the use of Zembrin® as a functional food with potential to improve mental health and enhance well-being with respect to cognitive function, anxiety, stress and mood.
Mucuna 10:1 extract (40% L-dopa), 200 mg:
This traditional Ayurvedic plant is high in L-dopa, a natural precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is one of our main feel-good hormones and plays a major role in pleasure, mood, and motivation. The high L-dopa content in mucuna, along with the synergy of the bean’s other active constituents, has given it the reputation for boosting positivity, creativity, and a feeling of expansive joy.
Lemon Balm 10:1, 100 mg & Lemon Myrtle:
Both of these herbs are powerful aromatics that lend citrusy and bright lemon notes to the blend. Aromatics are a special class of herbs with high volatile oil contents— this simply means they often smell and taste delightful! These aromatics help loosen stuck tension, both in the body and the spirit, relaxing us, uplifting us, and bringing us back to the timelessness of the present. Aromatic plants are used in traditional cultures the world over to enhance and protect important moments.
Modern studies confirm the benefits of aromatics, and research on lemon balm has consistently shown anxiolytic and mood-enhancing effects. One in vitro study on rosmarinic acid, a major part of the essential oil composition of lemon balm, found that it increased GABA levels in the central nervous system. The neurotransmitter GABA has been linked to positive effects on mood, anxiety, and stress.
Rhodiola 4:1 extract, 100 mg:
While many adaptogens have beneficial effects on well-being, rhodiola is one of the most studied and effective when it comes to elevating our mood. For that reason, we added in a full-spectrum extract to give this blend extra energy and balance.
Are you ready to try your Super Happy Sunshine Tonic?