Three Herbal Remedies for Stress-Relief
Herbs have a long history of use as stress-relieving remedies. Many varieties of relaxing teas are available, containing only one herb or several in the blend.
Even though these teas and other forms of stress-relieving herbs are widely available and used, it isn't commonly understood that you need to match your specific needs to specific herbs. Herbs may be classified for stress relief in general, but they are best suited for particular symptoms and needs. For example, if you want to relax and wind down for sleep, you might choose an herb that has more of a sedating effect than if you have to drive to work. It's to your benefit to know a bit about each herb in order to make the best choice for you.
The following three herbs are useful for a range of stress-related symptoms and are easily combined together. They act gently and are mildly sedating, unlike some stronger relaxing herbs. They are safe to use during the day when you need to calm down and still remain alert.
This beloved plant is an herb of choice for people who internalize stress in the gut. If you get the feeling of butterflies and nerves in your stomach, try a relaxing, mildly sedating cup of chamomile tea. The constituents in chamomile affect the vagus nerve, which signals your heart rate to slow and blood pressure to drop so your body can calm down.
You may also find chamomile flowers helpful if you have trouble sleeping or get a headache. For more of a sedative effect, use two teabags or two teaspoons of chamomile flowers per cup of hot water instead of the usual one.
My super-stressed sister was such a severe tooth grinder that she'd either throw her mouth guards or chew through them during the night. A bedtime cup of chamomile tea had her sleeping like a baby with no grinding at all.
Fresh lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis) has such a lovely scent that it's one to be enjoyed whether you are feeling stressed or not. The dried leaves make a delicious cup of relaxing tea.
If you are lucky enough to have some lemon balm growing nearby, crush a leaf and enjoy a deep whiff of it's light lemony fragrance. The uplifting scent of the escaping volatile oils will help interrupt your stressful feelings. Extracts attach to receptor sites in the part of the brain that lets the body "rest and digest".
Because lemon balm has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, it soothe your mood and eases tension in your gastrointestinal tract. Extracts attach to receptor sites in the part of the brain that lets the body "rest and digest".
Melissa is a cooling herb that soothes you when feeling angry. It used to be a traditional remedy for "hysterical" women.
For your little (or big) "tantrum-throwers", melissa combines nicely with chamomile. If you are feeling so stressed that you are experiencing heart palpitations, combine lemon balm with motherwort.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is not as well-known, or as tasty, as chamomile and lemon balm. This herb is quite bitter, and is better taken as a liquid tincture in a bit of water than as a tea. This herb is a favorite of menopausal women who feel irritable, anxious and easily angered.
This herb can help relieve stress and anxiety-related high blood pressure and palpitations. Because it has a mildly sedating effect on the central nervous system, it takes the edge off stress and anxiety.
You may like to combine equal parts of motherwort and lemon balm as a tea that is both calming and uplifting. I
Motherwort is a very effective herbal remedy for stress, but its use does have a few precautions. Please be sure to follow directions carefully and consult a health professional if you have heart problems and you're not sure this herb is appropriate for you. Pregnant women also need to pass on this herb as it can induce uterine contractions.
These three herbal stress remedies, used alone or in combination, can help you feel more relaxed and ease some of the common symptoms of dis-stress.
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