Stress and anxiety are common psychological problems that we all face at some point in our lives. It has become an everyday problem that is currently ranking amongst the top causes of death alongside strokes and various cancers. Stress and anxiety can result from professional commitments or other personal engagements, invading our lives in the most intimate ways possible. Anxiety is inevitable in today’s world and has adverse consequences, like depression and poor sleeping habits. Luckily, it is a manageable condition. While some people choose pills to combat stress, a change in one’s lifestyle and diet could quickly achieve the same, or better, results. Better sleep, a healthy diet, and an exercise routine are natural ways to relieve stress. One of the safest methods to handle stress is using various magical herbs that do not have any side effects.
10 Herbs You Can Use to Soothe Stress and Reduce Anxiety
Herbs have been used as medicine for a long time, particularly in Indian culture. Herbs boost your energy and motivation, hence giving you a more positive perspective towards life. Depression and anxiety disorders are not easy to diagnose or treat. One has to get to the root cause of the problem. However, starting on an herb regiment is an excellent way to alleviate some common symptoms. The following are the ten herbs that can help soothe stress and anxiety-
1. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba is native to China and has many uses. It is a valuable herb as many plants within its order have become extinct. Ginkgo biloba is popular among the elderly due to its memory enhancement properties. It is also a brilliant remedy for anxiety and depression due to its antioxidant properties.
Ginkgo biloba has high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids. The herb improves brain functionality, reduces anxiety, and promotes general mental well-being. Its leaves come in a fan-like shape and are mainly used to make the ginkgo extract. However, its seeds are also active. Doctors frequently prescribe Ginkgo Bibola’s supplements to treat and prevent anxiety disorders, improve brain functionality, and enhance blood circulation.
Passionflower is a well-established regiment for anxiety and depression. This herb has almost the same calming effects as a tablet of Benzodiazepine. However, passionflower has zero side effects. The pill causes drowsiness, while the passionflower extract is harmless. Further, the herb’s calming effect is highly effective in reducing anxiety before surgery. A report states that passion flowers work well for pre-operative anxiety. The herb comes in liquid form and works by promoting a relaxed mood.
Peppermint leaves can stabilize mood swings and enhance cognitive skills. Peppermint can be in the form of leaves or oil extracts. It improves memory, increases alertness, and reduces stress. It can treat depression detected at early stages and boosts self-confidence.
Peppermint is safe for both adults and children. Athletes use it as a safe way to enhance their performance. Furthermore, it aids in the eradication of bad breath and poor digestion.
Ashwagandha, commonly known as “Indian Winter Cherry” or “Indian Ginseng,” is one of the most popular herbs since ancient times. A study shows that the herb is a very effective remedy for depression and stress-related anxiety. Ashwagandha targets the brain and nervous system, improving functionality and memory. It boosts happiness in the user and improves their mental state.
The elderly and senior citizens may take Ashwagandha to promote a youthful state and increase longevity. Ashwagandha gives the body a natural resilience to stress and improves the immune system. Furthermore, you may use the herb to promote a healthy sexual balance. It is commonly available in powder form.
Rosemary has needle-like leaves and belongs to the mint family. It is useful in the medical world to treat many conditions, including anxiety and stress. It works by reducing cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body.
Excessive cortisol levels could result in weight gain, high blood pressure, various heart complications, and stress. Rosemary gives a calming effect and helps one stay relaxed. A cup of rosemary tea a day is recommended for all to reduce stress levels. Further, inhaling the rosemary aroma is also useful in calming nerves.
You may take rosemary in tea, skincare oils, or you can spray it on your pillow before sleeping to promote relaxation.
Ginger acts as an antioxidant that counteracts harmful chemicals produced in the body. The toxic chemicals induce stress and may result in stomach upsets such as hyperacidity and indigestion.
Ginger reduces excessive energy in the digestive system, thus reducing energy pressure on the mind. It calms the stomach. The active part of the ginger plant is its roots. You may tap the herb’s benefits in powder form, brew it to your cup of tea or cook in food.
Chamomile is famous for its calming effect. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used it for similar purposes. Chamomile herb has many uses in the health department, such as treating inflammations, insomnia, ulcers, rheumatic disorders, and complications in the menstrual cycle. Recent studies show that it has anti-anxiety properties. Its calming properties help treat hysteria, sleeping disorders, and depression. It is mainly brewed as a tea and consumed up to 3 or more times a day. Moreover, essential oils extracted from chamomile have become vital in medicine and skincare.
The active part of the Jatamansi plant is its roots. The herb has an immensely calming effect on stressed minds; it increases serotonin levels, keeping the mind calm and free of anxiety and nervousness. It also rids the body of harmful toxins, enhancing proper brain functionality. Therefore, Jatamasi can cure sleep disorders and insomnia. It is famous for its anti-fatigue and antidepressant properties. You can use Jatamansi in powder form by brewing it into tea. However, Jatamasi tablets and capsules are now in drug outlets, and various prescriptions are available.
Lavender is one of the most useful herbs in treating anxiety and nervousness. It is native to the Mediterranean region and was famous in ancient times for its aroma. It targets the brain centers related to emotions, acting as a sedative. It enables one to assess their feelings, therefore reducing stress and anxiety rationally. Besides, it helps lower cortisol -the stress hormone. Lavender improves restlessness, sleep disorders, and other somatic complications.
Furthermore, lavender is also used as a mild pain killer. Its aroma also has a calming effect. Lavender has various ingestion methods, including adding the leaves, petals, and flowering tips in salads or cooking them as part of the food, brewing lavender tea, or baking it into desserts. Lavender is one of the most common and valuable essential oils in the world today. Many have taken to growing lavender as a potted plant. It is a low maintenance plant and thrives with very little water.
What are the best ways to take herbs for anxiety and stress relief?
These herbs are perfect for everyday use. One should not necessarily stick to one type of herb. Various combinations work perfectly too. While brewing a cup of tea, one could mix rosemary, ginger, and chamomile, among many other varieties. Herbal teas have become a norm in the world today. Many companies are providing ready-made mixtures of herbal teas. This makes our work easier and promotes the quality of our lives. However, herbs are best consumed in their natural or powdered state. Processed herbs are easy to purchase and use, but the nutritional value may face corrosion with other chemicals. The quality of processed herbs is also not assured
As discussed in this article, herbs go a long way in ensuring heart health, reduce inflammation, calm one’s nerves, and fight depression. Furthermore, herbs help people maintain their weight as a proper body, and brain functionality means that toxins get eliminated from the body. Herbs act as good mood enhancers and instill a sense of self-confidence. This mainly comes in handy for athletes or to eradicate performance anxiety. Herbs have been part of medical treatments since ancient times, and their uses have only increased. It is a natural way to ensure the body replenishes itself and stays healthy, thus ensuring longevity and high-quality life.