Last updated: 05.02.2022
Stress is a frequent companion of most of us. Being under stress, our whole body mobilizes to fight against unfavorable factors, using up a lot of vital forces, which worsens its work. We often do not realize how many ailments are related to physical and mental stress.
Feeling unwell, constant tension, irritability, inability to relax, weakness, neuralgia, mental exhaustion, inability to concentrate, inability to breathe, inability to breathe, inability to relax.For many people, this mental state is an everyday occurrence. When we fall into the clutches of chronic stress, the quality of our life significantly decreases, so it is worthwhile to look for an effective way to regain mental balance as soon as possible. We suggest how to fight stress and calm your nerves with the help of known and valued herbal ingredients. Here are the most effective herbs for stress that will help us regain good mood and improve our mental condition!
Table of contents
- 1 What is stress? How to deal with stress?
- 2 Herbs for stress, nerves and depression – which ones to choose?
- 3 Best herbs for stress
What is stress? How to deal with stress?
Stress is the body’s reaction to factors which destabilize the internal balance, which are difficult to overcome and which are a potential threat to us. It leads to a strong mobilization of the whole organism to defend itself, fight or flee from danger.
Stress can be caused by various environmental and social factors, such as.: Pressure at work, job loss, excessive responsibilities in personal and professional life, debt, traumatic experiences, illness, menopause, pregnancy, contact with toxic people, etc.contact with toxic people, conflicts, excessive stimuli, rush, crowd, noise, catastrophes, random accidents.
Since our body uses large amounts of energy to activate defense mechanisms and fight stressors, it may lack energy for other areas of functioning. Therefore, various organs and systems of our body often suffer from severe, long-term stress. Chronic stress can be extremely dangerous. Not only can it cause a number of troublesome ailments, such as headaches, weakness, skin problems or muscle aches, but it can also lead to other problems.It can also lead to the development of many serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
When we are under stress, our body secretes increased amounts of cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenaline, which results in a number of symptoms, such as:
- a racing pulse,
- heart palpitations,
- increased body temperature,
- increased blood pressure,
- rapid breathing,
- excessive sweating,
- hand tremors,
- increased muscle tension,
- feelings of restlessness and anxiety,
- abdominal pain, digestive problems,
- appetite problems,
- dizziness and headaches,
- exhaustion, weakness,
- trouble sleeping, lack of sleep,
- irritability, hyperactivity,
- mood swings,
- problems concentrating.
The most effective way to free ourselves from stress would be, of course, to eliminate all stressors from our lives, but it is usually impossible to do this 100 percent. It is therefore essential for us to become more resilient to stressors and to develop the ability to control stress. This way, even if we find ourselves in a difficult, stressful situation, we will remain distanced from it and stress will not attack our body.
How do you deal with stress? Here are some effective ways:
- using anti-stress exercises (breathing exercises, tensing and relaxing muscles, shaking off tension, smiling as often as possible),
- yoga, meditation, tai-chi training,
- massages, aromatherapy, music therapy,
- taking regular walks, spending time in nature (e.g. in forests, parks, meadows, by the water),
- use of anti-stress accessories and gadgets (such as a weighted quilt, balls, squashes and stress relieving cubes, etc.)
- physical activity,
- regular sleep and rest,
- reducing the amount of stimuli and information coming at us (mainly by reducing the use of computer, tablet, phone),
- proper hydration of the body, taking care of a healthy diet rich in: B vitamins, protein, zinc, omega 3 and omega 6 acids and electrolytes,
- finding an absorbing hobby (by fully concentrating on an interesting, engaging activity, we cut off from problems and negative emotions, and our body relaxes),
- regular use of herbal raw materials with anti-stress and calming properties.
Regular use of appropriate herbal ingredients is one of the best methods to increase resistance to stressors and thus release tension, anxiety, feelings of restlessness, negative thoughts, insomnia and other persistent symptoms.
Herbs extinguish excessive activity of the nervous system in a natural and compatible way, relax, help to distance oneself from problems, improve mood and eliminate sleep problems. In contrast to classic sedatives, they do not act violently and are not addictive.
It is worth emphasizing that many herbs used in states of high stress, excessive nervousness and anxiety show adaptogenic properties – they make the body adapt faster and more effectively to existing environmental conditions, even those very difficult and highly stressful. What’s more, herbs from the adaptogenic group have a beneficial effect on the entire body – they regulate its work and take care to maintain the natural harmony in the system. They also strengthen the nervous system. Many of them also improve mental performance.
Herbs for stress are commercially available in various forms, including dried for brewing, in powdered form (they can be added to cocktails, water, milk, juices) or in the form of convenient dietary supplements (capsules, tablets, drops).
Herbs for stress, nerves and depression – which ones to choose?
In stores, pharmacies and on the Internet we can find a wide spectrum of herbs with relaxing effects, improving the quality of sleep and reducing stress, mood swings and depressive disorders. Which one to choose? There is no single answer here.
Although herbs for sedation and stress work similarly, they are not exactly the same, so they may elicit slightly different reactions in everyone. St. John’s wort may work best for one person, ashwagandha may work best for another, while Rosemary, Passionflower or Melissa may work best for another. Not surprisingly, opinions vary as to which is the strongest and most effective herbal remedy for calmness and stress.
If we are looking for an antidote for ourselves for stress, nerves and not the best mental condition, it would be best if we learn the exact properties and effects of each herb and then try a few of them. This will allow us to determine which have the best effect on us. We can use a single herb treatment or create our own herbal mixture. Combinations of several different herbs, whether in the form of a multi-ingredient supplement or a handcrafted herbal concoction, areThey are better than single raw materials because they work in a more complex and intensive way.
Such multi-element mixtures are especially helpful when we complain about a very pronounced weakening of our mental condition or when we struggle with a number of different problems related toFor example, we struggle with chronic stress, irritability, reduced mental performance, difficulty in controlling emotions, etc.
Best herbs for stress
In high-stress situations, we can use calming teas or stress relief supplements composed of several different plant extracts. Which ingredients are worth looking out for? Here are well-known, respected and effective calming and anti-stress herbs:
Ashwagandha is one of the master plant resources helpful in building a high resistance to stress. It exhibits strong adaptogenic properties. When confronted with stressors, our body quickly adapts to them and does not release excessive amounts of cortisol or adrenaline as a defense response. As a result, we do not feel increased tension, anxiety, fear or other effects of stress, instead, we remain in a state of relaxation and distance from the situation.
Ashwagandha, while protecting us from the negative effects of stress, at the same time shows a whole range of positive effects on our mind and body, including: Improves mood, combats depressive, anxiety and neurotic disorders, calms and quiets bad emotions, increases mental productivity, helps to enter a deeper state of concentration and stay focused on a given task for a longer period of time.
Ashwagandha also reduces susceptibility to mental and physical fatigue, combats migraine pain, reduces inflammation in the body, boosts immunity, normalizes blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and benefits the cardiovascular, endocrine and joint and muscle systems.
Bacopa monnieri (small-leaved bacopa)
Bacopa monnieri (small-leaved bacopa), also known as brahmi, is a powerful adaptogen known not only for its anti-stress properties and calming effects, but also for its excellent effects on memory. Bacopa is rich in bacosides, which have a beneficial effect on the entire body, normalizing its work and promoting internal balance.
The plant reduces anxiety, hyperactivity, excessive nervousness. In case of anxiety and panic attacks, it leads to calming the nerves, tranquility and relaxation. In case of depression, despondency and depressive disorders, it provides stabilization and improvement of mood. The high content of bacosides makes Bacopa monnieri one of the most effective anti-stress herbs as well as one of the most effective sleep aids and diurnal rhythm regulators.
Bacopa monnieri is also an ally of good mental performance. It improves the process of remembering and reproducing information, improves concentration, eliminates brain fog, and improves thought processes.
Rhodiola rosea can be a very valuable support for people dealing with long-term stress. It makes us immune to stressors, minimizes the effects of chronic stress, inhibits cortisol secretion and makes us better able to cope with difficult situations.
It minimizes nervous tension, protects against mental exhaustion, eliminates negative emotions, regulates mood, combats depressive states, and helps to maintain internal balance. It also has a beneficial effect on the heart, protects against ischemia, improves blood circulation. It has antioxidant properties, inhibits aging processes and strengthens the body.
Another valuedmedicinal plant recommended for people who are often affected by stress. Regular use improves the body’s ability to adapt to difficult external stress factors. Similarly to Rhodiola rosea, it reduces the production of cortisol in the body, protects against excessive tension, anxiety, restlessness as well as irritability, breakdown, problems with sleep.
Chinese Citronella also promotes inner calm, helps to better control emotions, counteracts depression and has a positive effect on mood. It reduces mental fatigue, improves concentration and memory. It also has many health-promoting properties, including: improves immunity, benefits the liver, improves digestion, purifies the blood, improves physical performance, adds vitality, increases longevity.
Eleutherococcus aureus, also called Siberian ginseng, has adaptogenic properties which make it less susceptible to stress factors and help stabilize the mood. By eliminating tension and stress and maintaining internal harmony, it helps us function better in our professional and private lives.
Eleutherococcus spikensis also has a number of other positive properties: reduces anxiety and depressive disorders, improves memory and concentration, supports the function of key organs such as the heart, liver, and pancreas, and exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-stimulating effects.
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Passiflora incarnata (passionflower)
Passiflora incarnata reduces the sensitivity of subcortical centers, has a calming effect, eliminates tension, reduces anxiety and relieves stress. It is recommended for depression, nervous agitation, chronic stress, mental exhaustion and sleep problems. Passiflora may also prove helpful in the difficult period of recovery from addictions.
Known since ancient times, lemon balm is a medicinal plant rich in essential oils which give it a very pleasant, relaxing, lemony aroma. Melissa is one of the most popular herbs with calming, soothing and relaxing properties.
Lemon balm infusions can help with anxiety, nervousness, high nervous tension and overexcitement as well as with sleeping problems and the inability to maintain a uniform, deep sleep throughout the night.
Thanks to its lupulin content, hops exhibit sedative and sleeping properties. By having an inhibitory effect on the function of the cerebral cortex, it calms internally, reduces nervous tension and makes it easier to fall asleep.
Hops cones (in the form of infusions or dietary supplements) are recommended in the states of mental exhaustion and when the nerves are upset. They are also used in insomnia, nervousness, excessive anxiety, hyperactivity (including sexual hyperactivity) and general body weakness.
Valerian is one of the best known and most effective herbal remedies for calmingdown and improving sleep quality. It calms down, induces a state of light sleepiness, suppresses nervous excitation, helps to extinguish strong negative emotions, gently lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Active substances contained in valerian, that is essential oil, valerenic acid and esters of valerian and isovalerian acids cause relaxation and make falling asleep easier.
Valerian root is used in states of excessive nervousness, feelings of restlessness, insomnia, hysteria, obsessions, neuroses and in combating accelerated heart rate on a neurotic background.
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St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is mostly used for digestive problems (it relaxes smooth muscles of digestive tract, stimulates secretion of digestive juices, improves metabolism), however it also shows many other valuable properties. One of them is antidepressive, calming and eliminating negative emotions.
Angelica will help us in case of anxiety, neurotic disorders, excessive anxiety, depressive disorders and in case of frequent exposure to stress factors.
Angelica is a valued medicinal plant with a multifaceted effect. One of its most important properties is its beneficial influence on the nervous system. Angelica has an effective sedative effect and is recommended in nervous exhaustion, nervousness and anxiety, insomnia as well as headaches and dizziness.
As an anti-stress and sedative herb,lavender can be used both internally and externally. Lavender flowers have a very pleasant scent, which puts us in a good mood and has a relaxing and slightly sleepy effect.
With the help of lavender oil, you can make an aromatherapy session, pouring a few drops into a scented fireplace, adding water and heating. Lavender infusions and preparations containing lavender extracts also help to soothe the nerves.
Other herbs that reduce stress and tension, positively affect brain function, and improve mental well-being are:
- gotu kola,
- green tea,
- Ginkgo biloba,