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Believe it or not, there could be herbs to relieve stress growing in your own backyard.
Stress is as much a part of life as breathing for most people, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing.
Many view stress as a negative, when in reality you could just as easily view it as an indication that change is needed.
Some amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioral and cognitive performance.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should strictly seek to “stress-out” in order to sharpen your life skills. However, I am saying to embrace certain stress and utilize it to make yourself healthier, happier and stronger.
According to the American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress, NY, the top 5 causes of stress in the US are:
- Job Pressure
These are all causes of stress for most of us, but they’re really not significant in the grand scheme of things… especially when we’re the very(and only) reason we’re even subjectively perceiving these particular experiences .
All we have to do is recognize what is triggering the stress response and act accordingly. Either remove, improve or moderate the stressful situation without relying on something artificial to mask the problem.
Prescription medications are rarely the best choice for those suffering from stress & anxiety issues. The most common class of prescription stress & anti-anxiety medications, can have overpowering side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, and lack of coordination.
Related: Top 20 Healing Herbs
Many over the counter solutions to illness have long-term adverse cognitive effects and withdrawal symptoms.
With all the negative elements surrounding synthetic solutions to stress, why not take a peek inside Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet instead?
Without further ado…
Here are 11 legal herbs to relieve stress:
Licorice Root has been used by herbalists as a natural alternative to hydrocortisone, which can help you cope with stressful situations, and can help you keep your blood sugar levels balanced. It’s also known to keep your adrenal glands in check. Licorice is great for giving you the energy you need to deal with any stressful situation [2, 3, 4].
Passion Flower has long been hailed as a go-to anti-anxiety herb in the alternative health community. It’s a mild sedative, and definitely helps promote sleep. Passion Flower can also be used to treat nervousness, jitters, depression, insomnia, and anxiety. It’s one of my go-to herbs to relieve stress [5, 6, 7].
Kava Kava is a unique & exotic herb from the South Pacific, and is a powerful analgesic and muscle relaxer. It’s also widely used to treat depression, as well as anxiety related to menopause. Be careful as kava has been know to induce severe liver toxicity in large amounts [8, 9, 10].
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort has been used since Hippocrates’ time for the treatment of mental illnesses. According to a recent study, it was shown to be more effective than many prescription medications for major depressive disorders [11, 12, 13].
Lemon balm is an herb that has been used since medieval times to reduce anxiety and stress, and help with sleep. One study showed that healthy volunteers who took lemon balm extracts were more calm and alert than people who took a placebo [16, 17].
This stress relieving herb can calm frayed nerves, and acts as a mild sedative. In an eight-week study of nearly 60 patients with anxiety disorders, researchers showed chamomile extracts led to significant improvements, as opposed to placebos [18, 19].
Some herbs reduce anxiety without making you sleepy, while others are sedatives. Valerian is definitely in the second class. It’s a sleep aid, used in the treatment of insomnia. It has sedative compounds, and the German government even approved it as a sleep aid. This is definitely one of the more powerful, readily available herbs to relieve stress [23, 24, 25].
This is one of my all time favorites, in fact I grow it year round and take it daily for stress management and general well being. The best part is that all parts of the holy basil plant act as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress and promotes mental balance.
To wrap this up, don’t discount the anti-anxiety effects of certain widely available herbs.
Many studies have shown many herbs to be just as powerful as common prescription medications used to treat anxiety and stress.
My go to remedy when I’m feeling stressed out and a barefoot night hike isn’t an option, I’ll take a few drops of a powerful and organic herbal remedy known as Cortisol Calm.
Cortisol Calm is a 100% herbal formula and contains the following ingredients from our list in therapeutic dosage: Lavender, Lemon balm, Passion flower.
It’s also important to realize that when we’re constantly stressed out, we tend to breathe shallow. When we do this, our sympathetic nervous system is activated (aka fight or flight response).
This particular response to stress has been coded into our DNA for survival which is great, but it also means our levels of cortisol and adrenaline are constantly raised, which results in weight gain, sleeplessness, irritability over time.
If you’re reading this article, you’re looking for all-natural solutions to your stress & anxiety problems.
While these herbs won’t take away your problems, they can help give you the strength reserves to deal with the stress, gain a new perspective, or even get the sleep you need in order to confront the problems with a fresh, clear outlook in the morning.
If chronic, crippling anxiety is disrupting your life, then you might just need a little herbal help to get you out of that funk.
You shouldn’t stew, stagnate, or waste away in a permanent anxiety or stressed state because you can only really enjoy life when you’re grounded, stress-free, and focused.
Health by choice, not by chance.