Stressful times call for natural measures. And no doubt about it, as we have seen in recent days, stress is an inevitable part of life. It is important though that we try to tame our levels as studies have shown that exposure to prolonged stress can contribute to weight gain, low energy, lack of mental focus, and lowered immune defense.
Now, while there’s no magic pill to eliminate stress, the fact is herbs and natural remedies can help to minimize its damaging effects on our mind and body.
How To Strengthen Your Nervous System
If you foresee a particularly stressful time ahead such as intense exams, or a problematic work project, herbalists strongly recommend taking adaptogens, a class of herbs that nourish and protect nervous system health and help your body adapt to physical and mental stress. A few of the most popular adaptogens are:
- Ashwagandha…The Ayurvedic tonic helps you manages stress and also acts as a non-stimulant rejuvenator.
- Astragalus…Supports healthy immune function and is used in Traditional Chinese medicine to help balance the adrenals, commonly referred to as the “stress glands”.
- Reishi (Ganoderma)...The fabulous fungus helps to alleviate the effects of stress and is classified as a nervine, a remedy that relaxes and strengthens the nervous system.
Stressed Out? “B” Balanced
Even short-term stress depletes essential nutrients such as B vitamins from your body. The B-family plays a vital role in effective stress management because they support nervous system health and replenishes what stress takes away for improved energy and immune support.
What’s more, specific B vitamins such as Pantothenic Acid (B5) nourishes the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands affect metabolism and mood and are involved in the production of important hormones including cortisol and adrenaline.
Herbal Stress Relief
Add a dose of tranquility to your life with centuries-old, time-tested herbs such as:
- Hops…The herb that gives beer its bitter-aromatic flavor, is a calming botanical that soothes the nerves and eases nervous tension.
- Holy Basil (Tulsi)…Herbalists suggest Holy Basil for the personality that experiences irritability, occasional indigestion, and sleeplessness due to nervous tension.
- Passionflower…Experience serious flower power for nervous restlessness and mental stress. Passionflower calms irritability coupled with occasional sleeplessness.
- Scullcap...This powerful nerve tonic nourishes and restores the nervous system. It is especially helpful for exhaustion, emotional stress, and muscle tension (Scullcap is also an antispasmodic).
- Valerian…The popular stress and sleep support herb actually help to rebuild and rejuvenate the nervous system. Valerian relieves occasional sleeplessness due to exhaustion and nervousness.
Stress-Less Herbal Teas
For many of us just sipping a cup of our favorite brew is a relaxing ritual we look forward to. Reach into nature’s medicine chest for nature’s stress soothing teas to help smooth out the rough edges of your busy day. These plants and flowers have been used for centuries to:
- Ease stress & tension
- Promote relaxation
- Soothe irritability
- Help the body unwind
Chamomile… mild-tasting tea with a delicate apple fragrance gently soothes nervous indigestion and relieves occasional sleeplessness.
Lavender…feel soothed and relaxed with the pleasant floral flavor.
Lemon Balm… enjoy the delicate citrus brew as a calming afternoon or relaxing bedtime tea.
Linden Flowers…pleasant jasmine-like flavor soothes upset stomach – ideal for the whole family.
Roses…delicate, rosey taste promotes relaxation and relieves head discomforts.
**Caution: Consult a healthcare practitioner before using any of these herbs if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition.
Easy Stress Relief Tips
In addition to natural stress relief remedies, there are other effective short-term options you can try as well. Consider these 5 feel-good tips:
- Snack Smart – If you find that you snack when you’re stressed, reach for a crunchy de-stressing treat like Almonds. They are naturally fortified with stress-fighting antioxidants.
- Take A Tea Break – Whether you’re at the office or home, a 5-minute break is just enough time to enjoy your favorite calming, non-drowsy brew to relax the mind and body. Olbas Instant Herbal Tea, Tangy Lemon Balm and caffeine-free Rooibos are some of our customer favorites!
- Exercise Your Right To Stress Less – Get your body moving to beat stress, boost mood, and to just feel better. Health care professionals recommend at least 150 minutes a week for healthy adults, but also suggest that you start slow, and of course, consult with your doctor on what is best for you.
- Soak Your Stress Away – Relax, refresh and renew with a soothing bath. Even better, create a serene, spa-like experience by adding relaxing herbs to harness their calmative properties. Place a 1/2 cup dried Chamomile or Lavender in a cheesecloth or even a clean sock and place in a bathtub of running water. Sit back, relax while sipping a cup of your favorite tea…Aaahhh
- Feel-Good Fragrances – Diffuse uplifting scents like Bergamot, Clary Sage, and Ylang Ylang in your space to instantly brighten mood and chase the stress away.
While we certainly cannot control life’s stressful events, we CAN control our reaction and rely on natural remedies to help create a sense of balance and inner tranquility. What are your natural stress relief strategies? Let us know in the comments below!