Natural Stress Relief: Herbs

What exactly is stress? And are there natural stress relief herbs that can really help? Stress is hard to define. Experts and scientists have tried but can't pin point exactly what it is. So in general stress is a physical, psychological, and emotional response to outer or inner event real or imagined., Everyday ever human young and old faces some kind of a stressful situation. Many experts say some stress is good and necessary in our lives. It becomes a problem when it is excessive and we are overwhelmed with the problems or crisis we are facing, The degree to which major stressful situations affects our emotional, psychological and physical well being depends on many factors. The most important of these factors are how well balanced and healthy,we are psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. So the underlying cause of stress and the way we handle it should always be addressed in order to really overcome the problem. In the mean time herbs can give us stress relief and support our the body and reduce the damage that that it inflicts.

Korean Ginseng

On the physical level what happens in our body when we feel stress especially extreme stress is the release of adrenaline from the adrenal medulla. Adrenaline acts on the autonomic nervous system triggering the rapid heartbeat, pulse, increased blood pressure, rapid breathing, and sweating. It also raises blood sugar to increase fuel to the muscles for the flight or fight response. Now the problem with this is that we don’t usually need this kind of response to the stress we are facing. The stress response came from our emotional reaction. If this is our habitual reaction to stress it could lead to nervous exhaustion, anxiety, sleeplessness and eventually to chronic disease.

Borage Flower

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The most important stress reliever herbs are are adaptogen such Siberian ginseng and panax ginseng which supports the adrenal medulla and helps to slow down muscular activity. The other adoptogens are borage and liquorice which act on the adrenal cortex directly helping it in its function to bring electrolyte balance to the body. You can take any one of the adaptogens listed below as specified if you are suffering from stress and especially nervous exhaustion.

  • Take ginseng tablets as directed on the bottle or chew .5 to 1 gm of ginseng root per day or use it in cooking.
  • Take 2 to 3 gm of Siberian ginseng capsule up to 3 times a day.
  • (Caution ginseng should not be taken for more than 3 weeks at a time. Do not take during pregnancy and don’t drink anything with caffeine. Do not give to children under 11 years of age)
  • Make an infusion of borage leaves. Power 1 cup of hot water on 2 teaspoons of the dry leaves steep 10 to 15 minutes and drink 3 times a day.

St. John' Wort


Other groups of herbs that are important for stress relief are nerviness such as are skullcap, St. John’s wort and catnip. These herbs don’t act on the adrenal glands. Instead they support the whole body decreasing the impact of stress and anxiety. Take the herbs listed below according to your symptoms and as specified.

  • For general support of the nervous system and to decrease anxiety make an infusion of St. John’s wort or lemon balm and drink 4 cups a day. It will take 2 to 3 weeks for St. John to take effect.
  • For panic attacks make an infusion of skull cap and drink up to 5 cups a day.
  • Kava: Has sedative properties, is very useful in in treating emotional anxiety as well as physical tension because of its muscle relaxant properties and relaxing effect on nervous tension.

For stress take 30 drops of the tincture with water 3 times a day.

CAUTION: Do not exceed the dosage recommended. Do not take more than 4 weeks at a time. Do not take during pregnancy.

For further information on how to avoid stress naturally and keep yourself centered and in balance read How to Avoid Stress.

Taken as specified these natural stress relief herbs can be great allies along with good nutrition, exercise, and good sleep hygiene

How to Make an Infusion

To make an infusion put one teaspoon of the dried herb or three teaspoon of the fresh herb per cup of hot water in a tea pot preferably glass or porcelain and let it steep for 10 minutes. For medicinal purpose it is best to drink it hot but you can drink it cold too. This is the general direction of on how to make an infusion for any herb not just this one.

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Comments 6 comments

Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

I remember the days of being on St. Jons Wort....Great article, lelane!!!

lelanew55 profile image

lelanew55 6 years ago Author

I have tried St. John too Ann. It worked for me.I felt more able to cope with stress. I hope it worked for you too.

Patti Ann profile image

Patti Ann 6 years ago from Florida

Great information! We live in such a stressful world now - it is so much better to use natural remedies to help relieve stress.

lelanew55 profile image

lelanew55 6 years ago Author

Thank you Pat. Yes the herbs are more like nutrients. They nourish and support you during difficult times.

Ramzeed profile image

Ramzeed 5 years ago from Maryland

Great information and thank you!

kelleyward 4 years ago

Thanks for the info! I like holy basil for stress relief!

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