Readers,

Today I want to talk about something that affects the majority of people living in today’s society, stress.

During anxiety attacks large amounts of epinephrine, or more commonly known as adrenaline, are released into your bloodstream. What happens then? Well your heart rate starts to increase, you start to breathe faster and sweat more, your blood sugar spikes up while your digestive fluids decrease, your blood retreats from your skin and internal organs to your brain and muscles. and why does all of this happen? Well after years and years of evolution, your body is programed that way to enable you to conduct strenuous physical endeavors to succeed in a fight or flee situation. Now that is all nice and dandy until you realize that the 21 century is loaded with reasons to spike these stress hormones up, however less than half are reasons to need the fight or flee body transformation. While your stomach is twisting and turning inside during your new job interview you’re creating stress on your body by putting it through all that work all to sit in a chair and answer a list of on-the-spot questions.

Now imagine being one of those poor souls who is nervous or anxious all the time, that must really take a toll on their body. In fact when experiencing frequent or chronic stress, adrenal exhaustion can occur resulting in fatigue, lowered immune system, leading you susceptible to illnesses and more. The most common go-to for stress are pharmaceutical drugs, which typically alleviates the main symptoms such as headaches and anxiety attacks. Some popular drugs are:

 

Benzodiazepine

(alprazolam/xanax, diazepam/valium)
  • Binds to distinct receptor sites located in the brain, inclining them to produce anxiety-reducing chemicals
  • However they are known to have side effects such as impaired memory and sedation, tolerance and physical dependence can occur with long term use.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

(fluoxetine/prozac, sertraline/Zoloft)
  • Prevents the breakdown of serotonin which is a mood controlling brain chemical. SSRIs are typically used in the treatment of depressive or anxiety disorders.
  • Known side effects are anxiety, insomnia, tremors, nausea, headaches, sexual dysfunction and more.

Although these drugs are known to help anxiety, why risk those side effect and even unknown side effect when there are many plant medicines that work with alleviating anxiety symptoms while having less to no side effects.

Also note that some negative side effects, such as excessive sedation, have been observed when combining herbs and drugs. If you’re taking anti anxiety or antidepressant drugs and want to switch to natural remedies or combine with pharmaceuticals talk to an experienced physician about healthy ways of doing so.

 

10 Herbal Remedies for Anxiety and Stress

listed from least to most potent

1. chamomile (matricaria recutita)

One of my favorite ways to calm down in the evenings. This ageless remedy is known to relax and tone the nervous system, muscles and even ease the digestive complications.

Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • Enjoy a cup of tea every two hours
    • steep 2 teaspoons of dried camomile flowers in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1/8 to 3 teaspoons of camomile tincture every two hours
  • capsules (follow manufacturers instructions)

2. vervain (verbena officinalis)

Sooth and calm your nervous system while also dismissing symptoms of depression that are present. Also good for the liver if its over stressed.

Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • Enjoy a cup of tea every two hours
    • steep 2 teaspoons of dried herb in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1/8 to 3 teaspoons of vervain tincture every two hours
  • capsules (follow manufacturers instructions)

3. motherwort (leonurus cardiaca)

This traditional remedy has been a ton for the cardiovascular system and has many beneficial ways to relieve anxiety such as the rapid heart rate.
Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • Enjoy a cup of tea every two hours
    • steep 2 teaspoons of dried herb in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1/8 to 3 teaspoons of motherwort tincture every two hours
  • capsules (follow manufacturers instructions)

caution: do not use with other cardiac drugs unless under a doctor’s supervision’; avoid during pregnancy or nursing.

4. lavender (lavandula angustifolia)

What is not to love about lavender? It’s lovely smell is what uplifts us and helps us to relax which in turn relieves anxiety and depression.
Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • Add 12 drops of essential oil to a warm bath along with 1 tsp of coconut oil along with this wonderful bath detoxing salt.
  • Add 12 drops to 1 tsp of coconut oil and use as a massage oil…ahh that sounds nice and relaxing!
  • Add 10 drops to a diffuser and inhale the relaxing scent.

5 . skullcap (scutellaria lateriflora)

Skullcap is an herb that comforts, relaxes and even nourishes the nervous system. Used to alleviate tension and exhaustion, skullcap is also great to reduce PMS and menopause hormone swings and irritability,

Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • Enjoy a cup of tea every two hours
    • steep 2 teaspoons of dried herb in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1/8 to 3 teaspoons of skullcap tincture every two hours
  • capsules (follow manufacturers instructions)

caution: do not use while pregnant.

6. kava-kava (piper methysticum)

This is a stronger herb for me but worked in the past (pre-Ava and nursing). There has been significant scientific research on this anti anxiety herb that has identified it’s most active element, kavalactones. They modify (but not bind to) benzodiazepine and certain receptors in the brain. The same receptors that allow xanax and valium to work. The main difference between xanax and kava is that there are no addictions or tolerances on it’s use.

Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • 1/8 to 3 teaspoons of kava-kava tincture every two hours
  • capsules (follow manufacturers instructions)

caution: Do not use while pregnant or nursing. Do not combine with alcohol.

7. Valerian (valeriana officinalis)

Valerian is a stronger anti anxiety herb. Valepotriates, it’s active ingredient, binds to benzodiazepine receptor sites much like xanax and valium. However, valerian is much more beneficial to the nervous system and there are no addictions or tolerances on it’s use. There have been several studies showing that valerian improves sleep quality and can be used as a muscle relaxant (especially the uterus and digestive tract).

Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • 1/8 to 3 teaspoons of valerian tincture every two hours
  • capsules (follow manufacturers instructions)

caution: There is a small percentage of valerian users that experience an increase in anxiety and unpleasant restlessness. Discontinue if you experience this.

8. passionflower (passiflora incarnata)

Another strong calming herb, passionflower is typically used for treating insomnia and severe daytime anxiety and is a good antispasmodic. This herb is great for panic attacks and depression as well.

Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • Enjoy a cup of tea every two hours
    • steep 2 teaspoons of tea in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1/8 to 3 teaspoons of passionflower tincture every two hours
  • capsules (follow manufacturers instructions)

caution: Unless under the supervision of your doctor, do not while taking MAO-inhibiting antidepressants.

9. siberian ginseng (eleutherococcus senticosus)

This wonderful herb works wonders for those who suffer chronic stress! As it restores overstressed adrenal glands. It repairs slowly over time, so continual use is needed to see benefits. Ginseng has been know to help defend the body against many other harmful effects of stress.

Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • 20 drops of ginseng tincture 3 times a day
  • capsules (follow manufacturers instructions)

10. licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra)

Considered an adrenal tonic, licorice increases the production of chemicals that aid the body from chronic anxiety.

Ways to enjoy (choose only one a day):

  • Enjoy a cup of tea every two hours
    • steep 2 teaspoons of tea in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1/8 to 3 teaspoons of vervain tincture 3 times a day

caution: Avoid if you have high blood pressure, heart or liver disease, are pregnant or are taking diuretics or digitalis-based heart medications.

 

Now remember we are all different beings and while some of us can relax with just one cup of chamomile tea, others may need several doses of a much more potent herb. With that being said, always start with small doses of less potent herbs and slowly move up if needed. You never want to feel too sedated. If you are one of those poor souls who do suffer chronic anxiety, schedule your herbs to be taken daily. However, if your anxiety only spikes up before flying on an airplane or when going out into public crowds, take the herbs 30 minutes to an hour prior to the event.

Warning! Pregnant or nursing women should strictly avoid the use of herbs without consulting a doctor.

❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤
Question of the Day:
Have you used any of these herbs to cope with stress?
❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤

Wow, that was a lot of information for you today! So glad you stopped by, I hope that this information has informed you as well as filling you with more questions to begin your very own path towards wellness. I want to thank you for reading today’s post and educating yourself on holistic health. Not only are you helping the planet but you are helping yourself and those around you truly heal. Living a healthy lifestyle takes some work but I promise you it’s 100% worth it!! I also want to mention that I am not a doctor and all the information given to you today is for information purposes only, please continue to educate yourself from other sources. Please read my disclaimer for more information. Be sure to share this post with your friends and family, like us on our social media platforms and subscribe to our newsletter for more topics on holistic living!

 

Source: The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B., Foster, Steven, Herbs for Health Staff White

 

Ashleigh is a stay at home mom who enjoys blogging about balancing the mind through meditation and conscious parenting, the body through plant based eating and yoga, and the soul through up cycling and sustainability. Keep your life balanced & subscribe to her weekly emails, like OmLivin’ on FB or check her out on Google+ for more.

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