All of us may have experienced stress at some point of our lives. A mother, an employee, a teenager, a student, an old man, a businessman – surely these people have encountered numerous occasions on a day to day basis wherein they are in a panic mode, stressed, or worried.
Fortunately, there are herbs that may help us deal with stress or casual nervousness or an anxiety attack. These herbs have calming effects that have been tested over time.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. It has been used for thousands of years to reduce several types of stress. This small shrub with yellow flowers works by lowering stress hormones and increasing the immune system.
People given ashwagandha for eight weeks, as part of a naturopathic intervention, improved in scores of concentration, fatigue, social functioning, vitality, and overall quality of life compared to the control group that received only traditional psychotherapy, according to a large study, published in PLoS One.
Moreover, in a small study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, results showed that people given 600 mg a day of high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract for two months showed a significant reduction in scores on stress-assessment scales and had lower levels of cortisol (the “stress” hormone) in their blood.
Enjoy the herb’s benefit by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of ashwagandha powder in a glass of warm milk and consume about half an hour before going to bed at night.
This aromatic herb has been used in traditional healing practices as a remedy against stress. Its antioxidant content known as gingerol is the one responsible for this effect as it can help counteract the harmful chemicals that our body produces when we are stressed. Ginger comes to the rescue whenever we experience upset stomach that is sometimes caused by stress.
For this remedy, we simply need to drink a cup of hot ginger tea by boiling 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain and add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice for taste.
One of the side effects of chronic stress is inflammation and increased in free radicals and oxidative stress. With the help of tulsi, levels and activity of antioxidants are improved thus safely interacting with these free radicals and fighting their harmful effects. Consumption of it in a regular basis can help the body adapt to both psychological and physical stress and prevent the development of stress-related diseases.
Combine 1/4 cup of tulsi leaves and 1 and 1/2 cups of water. Mix well and simmer on medium flame for 10 minutes. Strain and add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Serve warm.
Lemon balm is a natural stress reducer. The herbs in increasing brain levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter known for producing a feel of calm thus providing a gentle soothing effect and makes managing stress easier.
In a randomized, double-blind research published in 2004 in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers found that participants who have taken a single dose of lemon balm were reported to experience reduced stress and improved calmness and alertness after an hour of taking the dose.
In another 2011 study, 20 adults with moderate anxiety and insomnia were given 300 mg of lemon balm twice per day for 15 days. Researchers found the lemon balm reduced anxiety and related symptoms by as much as 18% and decreased insomnia by 42% without adverse effects.
Also known as Korean ginseng, this slow-growing, short plant with fleshy root can help us de-stress by improving our mood and immune system function. Aside from this, it can also support sexual health which can help reduce stress in a different way.
A research published in the Journal of Ginseng Research revealed that ginseng may help regulate the immune response and hormonal changes due to stress, reduce inflammation, and alleviate the anxiety and depression caused by stress.
Ginseng root can be consumed in many ways. It can be eaten raw or can be lightly steam it to soften it.
It can also be stewed in water to make a tea. To do this, just add hot water to freshly sliced ginseng and let it steep for several minutes.
Chamomile is a plant known for its anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties. It can help improve sleep which in turn reduces stress. Much of chamomile’s relaxing qualities are due to its phenolics such as flavonoids, quinones, phenolic acids, and other antioxidant compounds present within the plant.
According to a study published in Phytomedicine, people who took 1500 mg of chamomile a day showed significantly lower levels of anxiety and stress.
For an anti-stress drink, we simply need to mix 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in 2 cups of hot water and let it infuse for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain and enjoy.