Everyone experiences stress at different times in their lives.
Stress is the body’s defence system against danger—whether it is real or perceived. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction takes place in your body that lets you act in a way to avoid getting harmed. This is known as “fight or flight”. During a stress response, you experience increased heart rate, quick breathing, high blood pressure and tight muscles.
Feeling stress is totally normal. But ongoing or chronic stress can lead to symptoms like headaches, an upset stomach, blood pressure, chest pain, mental health problems, sleep problems, prolonged fatigue and sexual dysfunction.
How Botanicals Can Ease Your Stress
There are many ways to get relief from stress, from breathing exercises to yoga. For centuries, people in many cultures around the world have used a variety of herbal supplements for stress management.
Science is also beginning to prove the remarkable efficiency of herbs in stress management. Several adaptogenic herbs have been proven to calm stress hormones and promote relaxation as well. They work to calm you down and boost your energy at the same time, without over-stimulating you.
Here we have rounded up some powerful botanicals for stress and anxiety.
Ashwagandha is a powerful herb being used in many health concerns including stress and depression. Also known as ‘Withania Somnifera' or Indian ginseng, this ancient Ayurvedic remedy helps fight stress, depression and nervous tension.
According to one study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, there was less stress reported in patients with a dose of 300 mg of Ashwagandha root extract for 60 days. The study found that the herb reduced the stress hormones or cortisol by almost 28%.
Ashwagandha can be used in many ways and is one of the key ingredients in Super ZenTM.
Like Ashwagandha, holy basil is an Ayurvedic herb being used for many ailments. Belonging to the family of mints, it is a powerful antioxidant. It has been proven to regulate blood sugar and support cardiovascular health as well.
However, the most powerful potential associated with this herb is relaxation and stress relief.
After all, holy basil has been shown to contain antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. Like Ashwagandha It is an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it can help you adapt to stress and mental imbalance.
A 2012 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that holy basil can decrease stress by 39% based on its research on 158 stress patients. Further, the study concluded that the herb has reduced the feelings of forgetfulness and sleep problems.
Ginger contains a powerful antioxidant known as gingerol.
Gingerol helps us fight bad chemicals in our body that often cause physical and psychological stress. Stress can sometimes cause an upset stomach since the production of digestive juices gets hindered. Ginger also proves useful here as it boosts the production of those juices.
This way, ginger is your everyday health tonic.
It is easy to use. Just boil 2-3 slices of ginger in a cup of water. Add a slice of lemon. Take it daily to uplift your mood and banish all negative thoughts.
Lemon balm is another powerful herb to reduce stress and anxiety. It is often combined with other herbs, such as lavender, chamomile and valerian to increase its potency as an anti-stress remedy.
With its citrusy hints, refreshing fragrance and the delicious taste, it is a great way to heal and uplift your mood.
Lemon balm is also found to increase GABA activity in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter used by the brain to control over-excitement and achieve balance as well. It minimizes the stress level and helps in sleep.
Lemon balm can be used in syrups, tinctures, cooking and baking.
Chamomile as a calming remedy dates back to the times of ancient Rome and Greece. It is an effective natural remedy for anxiety symptoms.
The most popular way to consume chamomile is tea or you can make yourself by adding dried chamomile flowers in a cup of hot water.
While stress may be the part and parcel of life, it doesn’t have to be something that undermines your health.
Herbs are here to support and can’t singlehandedly make up for a lack of sleep, poor diet or unhealthy relationships. It’s up to you to take important steps to make sure that you are taking care of your mind and body along the way.
These herbal remedies for stress promote relaxation and help you feel good. They are also used in several herbal supplements for stress and mental health.
However, these remedies work best when coupled with self-care practices such as yoga, meditation and a positive mindset. If you have a severe anxiety disorder or chronic stress, you are advised to see your mental health professional.