5 Herbs for Stress Relief
I get a lot of people coming from the general public and from my classes saying, “Hey, I know that there's a lot of herbs out there for stress relief but there are so many options. What do I choose? What do I start with?”
I always like to say: simpler, easier, one thing at a time is better.
This is because it's good to build a relationship with a plant and figure out if it really works for you.
I know a lot of people say, “Oh, I've tried this and it didn't work. And I've tried that and it didn't work.”
Well, some things work best by themselves, and some things actually work better in combination.
Also, you might not have found the right herb for you yet.
And just like how everyone has different personalities, plants have different
Try Some Tea
Just by adding a really simple tea to you day, you can quickly shift from that stressed fight or flight response state to a very relaxed and happy place.
The act of drinking tea is so important to slow down.
And we don't have enough slowing down in this culture.
I think it's really important to take the time and:
Boil some water
Pour the hot water in a cup with your favorite tea blend
Sit with it and really enjoy smelling it and being in the ritual of it
It's powerful to give yourself a few minutes to pause in your day and check in with yourself.
And if you want to check in with yourself and enjoy some herbs on a one-on-one basis, this is exactly what we do in our Herbal Apprentice Program.
But we also like to bring it home and teach it to you so that you can try it wherever you're at.
My Favorite Five Herbs for Stress Relief
Nervous system tonic
Relaxes muscles and body
Helps with sleep
Another beneficial thing about Skullcap is that it's great for long-term, chronic stress, which is especially helpful in the current world we live in.
It's really nice to have herbal allies that are specific for recovering from long periods of stress.
It's also high in Magnesium, so it helps relax your muscles and your body. And it restores your body back to that healthy stress level balance so that you can enjoy life and not be in fight or flight all the time.
Oatstraw is much gentler and accessible for people of all ages, including kids. It can also be safe for people on medications, which isn't true for most herbs. Please always confirm how herbs will interact with your meds before taking them, though.
It's a really gentle plant that's in the grass family. So if you have a grass family allergy, watch out for that. I wouldn't drink something that you might be allergic to.
But for everybody else, it has some great functions:
Nutritive tonic that rebuilds the body’s store of B vitamins and minerals
Helps bring your body back to a healthy, happy place
Very gentle, can consume in high quantities
Unless you have an allergy to Oatstraw, it's probably not going to do any harm to your body.
So it's a really gentle, lovely herb to play with.
3. Lemon Balm
I love Lemon Balm. Melissa officinalis, she is one of my best friends. She is a happy, zesty, zinger. A little lemony tasting, and I like to say she's a little sassy.
She helps get your morning going and is very uplifting and refreshing.
It's a great morning pick-me-up drink, and a great coffee alternative if you can get there.
And to me, it really just tastes like sunshine. I don't know how else to describe her, she's like a happy morning sunshine tea.
So if you need a little zesty hello and to feel that mood lift, Lemon Balm can be your best friend.
You can work with Peppermint or Spearmint, it doesn't matter. Peppermint is more stimulating and it wakes you up a little more. Spearmint is more relaxing.
Some uses for Mint are:
Brings about calmness
Provides slight muscle tension relief
Mint can be used for morning drinks or evening drinks just fine. And before or after meals, it can help you process your food so that you feel better all day long.
Chamomile has had an odd reputation over the years. Some people love it, some people hate it. There's no problem either way.
It's one of my besties for kids as well as for people of all ages, for people that are big kids.
Some people think that it's great for sleep. Well, it's good for sleep for some people. And for everyone else, you might need something stronger like Skullcap.
Chamomile is really great if you know that you're energetically sensitive. Just a little bit of it can calm you down and put you in a happy, zen, sleepy state.
For other people, including me (I basically need an elephant tranquilizer to go to sleep), Chamomile is just a nice, relaxing herb. It brings me down a few notches so I can enjoy my evening.
So I like to use Chamomile as an evening, wind-down tea.
And a word of caution, Chamomile is in the Aster family. So if you're allergic to Sunflowers, Daisies, Dandelions, Ragweed, you may not want to have Chamomile.
Want To Learn More?
I hope you enjoyed learning about Skullcap, Oatstraw, Lemon Balm, Peppermint and Spearmint, and Chamomile. As teas, they are really great on their own or even combined together into a simmer down tea to relax and unwind.