Everyone experiences stress in some form in their lives. It’s unavoidable. Students deal with it all the time with assignment deadlines and the pressure to keep their grades up. But things don’t exactly get any easier after graduation and entering the workforce. They often get much worse. Performance reviews, sales quotas, difficult bosses, office politics, and so many other things can really stress a person out.
Stress isn’t just an inconvenience. It can really take a toll on your health, too. A large percentage of doctor’s visits, for example, are for issues that are related to stress. These include such issues as chronic headaches, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, depression, insomnia, and many others. Stress-related medical issues are also very costly to society, resulting in billions spent each year to treat them in addition to lost productivity at work.
Although it isn’t possible to completely eliminate all stress from our lives, there are some natural herbs that really do help in dealing with it. These herbs help to take the edge off things and calm frayed nerves.
When most think of lavender they tend to think of the color or a particular scent. But lavender is also a very powerful herb that has been used for thousands of years to reduce anxiety, induce a deep sense of relaxation, and even to help people sleep better.
Lavender is usually consumed as a tea, but it is also available as an essential oil. You can purchase lavender tea by itself, but it is also commonly found mixed with other calming herbs as a tea blend. Lavender oil is usually placed in a diffuser to radiate the calming scent throughout a room.
Passion flower is another powerful herb that has been proven effective in alleviating agitation, irritability, anxiety, and other related issues. A study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center concluded that the herb is just as effective as some prescription anxiety medications.
Despite its name, all parts of the plant that grow above ground are used – not just the flower. It is commonly consumed as a tea, but it is also available as an extract or in capsule form for convenience.
Chamomile is another herb with very powerful calming properties. In addition to soothing frayed nerves, it is also used for soothing upset stomachs as well. Perhaps one of the best things about chamomile is that it calms without making people sleepy. As such, it can be taken throughout the day.
The part of the chamomile plant that is used is the flower. Chamomile flowers are commonly consumed as a tea, but tinctures, capsules, and essential oils are also available.
Lemon balm is a type of plant that is part of the mint family. It is indigenous to parts of Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean. As an herb, it is used for anxiety, insomnia, and also for indigestion and heartburn.
Academic studies on lemon balm have concluded that it does work to reduce stress and promote sleep when combined with other herbs like chamomile and valerian root. Very few studies, however, have been conducted on lemon balm by itself.
Valerian root is another popular herb that is used for reducing anxiety, stress, and agitation. It’s properties are well known, having been used by both Hippocrates and Galen of antiquity.
Valerian root is commonly consumed as a tea and is available by itself or in combination with other herbs. The herb does cause sleepiness, however, so it may not be the best option to take during the daytime. Valerian root is used in many herbal preparations for insomnia.
A Natural Calm
You don’t have to let the things that life throws at you drag you down, stress you out, and negatively affect your health. These five herbs are powerful natural ways to calm your nerves, relax your mind, and release tension. Best of all, they are inexpensive and available over the counter without a prescription.
The author enjoys drinking the occasional cup of an herbal tea mix to both relax and help him sleep better.