The stresses of modern life can get to all of us, which is why it’s important to relax after hard day’s work. Mother Nature knows this, and that is why she has given us so many natural herbs that we can use to take the stress away.
Herbs work by increasing our mental calmness, and if our brains are relaxed, the rest of our bodies will follow suit. They can help us get to sleep, relax muscles and switch off from the worries of everyday life.
Different herbs have different properties and benefits, so it’s good to know which ones can offer you the effects that you are looking for. Here are 12 herbs and how they can help you to get started on the path to relaxation.
The passion flower is a herbal sedative whose effects have been shown to be as strong as valium. As well as helping with sleep, it can help combat nervousness and anxiety. Away from its mental health benefits, the passion flower produces a fruit used in a variety of soft drinks.
Schisandra is considered a super berry for its properties and is known as “Chinese Prozac.” It’s a non-toxic adaptogenic herb which helps reduce the levels of stress hormone in your blood system while also helping to fight fatigue and improve physical performance. In China, it is either drunk as a tea or taken in capsule or berry form, and it can also provide a boost to your libido too.
This tea is probably the most mainstream herbal remedy known to the wider population due to the fact it is safe and mildly sedating, helping to settle the stomach and help relaxation before going to bed. Chamomile has a mild scent and pleasant taste, and its soothing of both internal and external irritations makes it the perfect plant to guarantee a relaxing night’s sleep.
There are so many ways in which lavender can help the human body that it is hard to know where to start. It can eliminate nervous tension and treat breathing problems. Also, it has antiseptic and cleansing properties which makes it ideal for skin and beauty solutions. In addition, it can help minor burns or bug bites heal, and it can fight acne, eczema, hair loss and indigestion. Regarding relaxation and stress, evaporating lavender’s essential oils have the ability to eliminate nervous tension from within the body and lower blood pressure by improving circulation.
This non-sedative plant will calm your nervous system and is extremely similar to lavender in the properties it has. In China, it is served as a tea to help treat those with coughs or respiratory problems and is a rich source of estrogen and antioxidant isoflavones, making it popular among women going through the menopause.
Certain strains of medical marijuana supplied by companies such as Greenwave can have a calming effect. You’ll want to focus on the Sativa strain of marijuana for relaxation purposes. Sativa’s makeup is high in the compound Cannabidiol (CBD) which scientist say moderates electrical and chemical activity in the brain, helping us to switch off. Studies on strains high with CBD have shown that it is an anti-psychotic and likely to help with stress, anxiety, mental illness and behavioral issues.
This Indian plant can be enjoyed any time of day or night. Most commonly consumed as a tea, ashwagandha tackles our stress hormone levels which as a result can help those who are exhausted and agitated. It can also have a similar effect to vitamin C supplements in boosting our immune systems, helping us fight off disease and aiding in the anti-aging process.
You can grow California Poppy in your own back garden before picking it to brew a tea using any part of the plant’s leaves or petals. It’s known as a remedy for headaches, has mild pain relieving qualities and helps relaxation of the muscles which helps those with involuntary muscles spasms and nervous twitches.
A part of the mint family, lemon balm is a great summer tincture whose properties can help with digestive aid, fighting depression and anti-anxiety. It acts as a sedative which makes it great for stress relief while its effects on the body’s central nervous system mean it is particularly useful for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
St John’s Wort
The plant worlds answer to anti-depressants, just with a lower risk of most of the side effects associated with the prescription drugs according to studies. The most common way to take St John’s Wort is via liquid remedies or capsules, and it is a powerful detoxifier. It relaxes the body and mind, helps lift moods and fights fatigue. Plenty of users also take it for its sedation qualities, and it can help with heart palpitations, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Kava Kava is Polynesian psychotropic sedative and an extremely potent herb. The most common way of taking it is through tea although it can also be administered as a mouthwash or by being rubbed into the skin. It helps to ease anxiety, treat depression, relieves stress, helps combat ADHD and decreases problems associated with insomnia. Such is its strength; you should only take Kava Kava using strictly recommended doses of the plant.
Yes, this one isn’t really a herb, but it’s found in so many herbal teas and has such a huge effect on relaxation that we had to include it. It’s found mainly in green and black tea and can also be bought as a supplement in its own right. It acts directly on the brain, helping to reduce stress and anxiety while also reducing drowsiness. A typical cup of green or black tea contains a small amount – about 25mg – of L-theanine so if you want to get a good amount of it into your system, give the supplement a go which is more like a 200mg dosage per day.
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