Nature kindly provides herbal stress relief for those times in life when we need some added help.
Herbal remedies have been used for thousands of years for assistance with healing, balancing and nourishing.
Herbs are often the source of many of our modern medicines. However, unlike modern medicines which isolate and manufacture specific parts of plants, herbs are whole plant packages of nutrition in their natural form.
Many people believe that the holistic nature of herbs helps to prevent unwanted side effects.
Herbs have been used in many ways over the centuries. Teas, infusions, syrups, tinctures, essential oils, ointments and cooking are some of the more common examples.
Making a simple cup of herb tea is often all that is needed for gentle herbal stress relief.
Boil water. Place herbal tea bags in a cup, teapot or jar. To start, you can use one tea bag of herbs for each cup of boiling water. Pour boiling water over the herbs and cover the cup or jar with a lid.
Be sure to let the herbs steep for awhile in the hot water (usually at least 20-30 minutes) so the full goodness of the herbs can be more available to your body.
Many people use herbal capsules for convenience. I often use the “Liquid Phyto-Caps”, from Gaia Herbs. Most health food stores carry them. “Liquid Phyto-Caps” combine the bioavailability of a liquid, with the convenience of a capsule.
A number of years ago the Russian athletes were mystifying the world with their amazing stamina and prowess. Their “secret” turned out to be a blend of adaptogenic herbs which were being given to the top athletes to enhance their performance.
Some herbs with adaptogenic qualities include:
Adaptogens tend to be safe and beneficial herbal remedies for most people because they tend to move each person’s body back to his or her unique balance point.
I find blends of adaptogenic herbs particularly helpful to recover from the stress of illness, over exercising, traveling, sleep deprivation, and general fatigue.
These herbs are considered to be nourishing and strengthening.
Examples of common Tonic and Nutritive herbs include:
Nettles are wonderfully rich in calcium and magnesium. Many people find oat straw to be very gentle and soothing. Sea vegetables like dulse and kelp can be a great source of many natural minerals, including iodine. I often use small amounts one or more of these herbs as nourishing additions to soups and stews.
Some calming herbs include:
These herbs are often used to help people settle down in the evening and promote a deeper sleep at night.
Some stress reducing examples include:
The choice of Ayurvedic herbs that are recommended for a person is usually based on that person’s individual constitutional type.
Herbs are simple, natural remedies which have been used for thousands of years. A warm cup of herb tea can settle and soothe.
However this page is not intended to be medical advice. It is always wise to consult with a trained health care professional for appropriate recommendations for your situation.
*Indicates some of my personal favorites.
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(For more specific suggestions and ideas for using herbs I recommend the three books listed below.) The Gaia Herbs website is also an excellent source of additional information.
Weed, Susan S. 1989. Wise Woman Herbal Healing Wise. Woodstock New York: Ash Tree Publishing
Ladd, Dr. Vasant. 1998. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. New York: Harmony Books.
Scalso, Richard & Cruz, Omar. 2002-2007. Traditional Medicines fro the Earth. Brevard, North Carolina: Herbal Research Publications.
Herbs, Gaia.2009."Search results for adaptogen." http://gaiaherbs.com/cgi-bin/search.pl?Realm=&Match=0&Terms=adaptogen&maxhits=10&Rank=1