Herbal medicine is a combination of art and science, merging centuries of modern research and practices. We have been benefiting from herbs, spices and fragrant oils for over 60,000 years - using their holistic properties to rejuvenate and heal our bodies.
While I have found that eliminating tension from our lives is darn near impossible, we can take little steps to implement different methods that will help us better deal with day-to-day problems. Exercise, proper nutrition and learning to relax can be of tremendous assistance, but if twisting yourself into a yoga pretzel pose hasn’t worked for you, adding herbs to your regimen can head you in the right direction.
1. Catnip – nepeta cataria operates on both the nervous and the digestive system. It calms by concentrating on the brain - acting as a mild sedative.
2. Valerian – valeriana officinalis works by reducing nervous tension and anxiety. I personally take valerian before going to bed as it promotes the good night’s sleep I so desperately need.
3. Chamomile – athemis nobilis, matricaria recutita has a tranquilizing effect on the mind and body. Chamomile tea can be of enormous help where nervous tension and stress are prominent factors. Try a cup if you are finding yourself frazzles.
4. Passion Flower - passiflora incarnata has a long history as a remedy for anxiety and insomnia. It is sometimes as effectively as some prescription medications.
5. St John's Wort - hypericum perforatum is a well-known herbal antidepressant without any of the harmful side effects associated with chemical medications. Taking two – 300 mg capsules a day can be your natural happy pill.
6. Hops – humulus lupulus moraceae has a relaxing effect due to its mild sedative properties and is excellent for insomnia, irritability and reducing anxiety.
7. Lavender – lavandula angustifolia calms and sooths the nerves and assists to improve your mood. I have found that putting some lavender oil in a bottle and spritzing it around the bedroom can induce relaxation. (Plus it smells wonderful!)
Check out your local health food store – you can get combinations of these herbs in one bottle that when taken daily can not only calm your nerves, help to reduce stress and even help with that restful night sleep that is so important in your overall wellness plan.
Remember to always consult your physician, naturopath or holistic healer before beginning any treatment – natural or not. If herbs are right for you as they have been for me, relief from stress and anxiety plus other added benefits are sure to be coming your way!
“The art of healing comes from nature and not from the physicians.” Paracelsus 1493-1541