For millennia, humans have known the benefits of using certain herbs to treat various strains on one’s mental state. Those herbs, the same as they were a thousand years ago, are still quite useful in this day and age. Many people suffer from chronic stress and anxiety, often without finding relief from prescription medication. For moderate cases, here are a few herbal remedies that can be useful in relieving stress and anxiety:
This herb is the basis for the drug Valium. A nervous system sedative, a cup of tea made from this herb will give a deep and refreshing sleep with none of the after effects that can be experienced after taking a sleeping pill. During World War II, British doctors used Valerian to calm the nerves of people traumatized by bombing raids. On the other hand, tinctures of Valerian are used to stimulate people who are tired all the time.
This is a tree that grows in the Northern and Midwestern United States. The pinkish inner bark is used to ease stress and anxiety. It’s such a gentle herb that it’s used for people recovering from diseases. One way to use it is to mix the bark powder with cold water to make a paste, then add boiling water to it till it’s smooth.
Ginseng also helps with stress and anxiety. Types of ginseng are native to both China and North America, though the North American ginseng is protected. The root of the plant is used and it’s a hard plant to grow. Even if it’s grown successfully, the root needs to be six or seven years old before it’s ready to be harvested.
Like Valerian, ginseng can also give energy to people who are fatigued. It also stimulates the body to produce more amino acids, which are depleted when a person is under stress. Some herbalists believe that the best way to take the ginseng root is to eat it raw shortly after it comes out of the ground. When it’s that fresh, the Ginsenosides are at their most potent. Ginsenosides are chemicals that have anti-stress properties.
This herb has long been known for relaxing a person who drinks it in a tea. The plant is easily grown in all types of soil and has a lovely, apple-like fragrance. Many naturopaths recommend using chamomile to ease indigestion, as it’s very effective at soothing the stomach and digestive tract. The blossoms can be added to a warm bath to calm down anxious children, and some herbalists claim that if a pregnant woman bathes in chamomile her baby will not be fussy.
These herbs are all widely available at herb and health food stores and can be used after consulting your doctor and making sure there aren’t any interactions between an herb and your medication. Stress and anxiety are difficult to deal with, especially on a regular basis, so finding the treatment which works for you is of the utmost importance.
Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When not writing, she enjoys reading, baking, and indoor rock climbing. Informational Credit to Physical Therapy West Bloomfield