Everyone experiences stress in different ways. Stress can wreak havoc on your body if it isn’t dealt with and recovered from appropriately. If sustained and unmanaged, stress has the potential to interfere with every element of your life: your relationships, nutrition, hormone levels, menstrual cycle and sleep patterns. Absolutely every facet of your life!
Stress treatment doesn’t need to necessarily involve immediate pharmaceutical intervention. There are definitely natural treatments that can be of benefit - whether you're feeling run down or wound up, there's a herb that can help you.
5 Herbs to Treat Stress Naturally:
Lavender is famous for a reason. In the past few years studies have shown the smell of lavender not only soothes anxiety and promotes sleep, but can even help you fight pain. It has been used to relax for centuries, from the Ancient Greeks onwards. If you feel on edge a lot of the time, or have trouble sleeping, then lavender could be the herb for you.
Use lavender essential oil on an aromatherapy burner, or sprinkle some drops straight on your pillow or into a hot bath before bed. If you have lavender in your garden you can dry the flowers and then use them to stuff a small pillow.
Chamomile is another herb for people with too much on their plates. It has a narcotic sweet smell that helps you relax physically and slow down mentally. While lavender can be used to relax while meditating or studying you might find that the scent of the essential oil of chamomile is such a powerful sedative that you have trouble keeping your eyes open!
Use chamomile tea to settle your digestion if stress interferes with your stomach. Use the essential oil mixed with lavender or geranium to unwind at the end of a long day.
Rose is less of a knock-out sedative, instead it restores harmony and balance. The essential oil is expensive but very effective at building emotional resilience. It is especially good for women who suffer with premenstrual tension and for those going through menopause.
Even a small amount of rose essential oil goes a long way, so mix a couple of drops with a base oil like jojoba and rub into wrists and temples when you need to be uplifted.
Valerian is effective for people who experience stress in clenched muscles, irritable bowel syndrome or a tension headache. It is an antispasmodic so it will tackle the pain head-on, but it will also help to sooth the underlying psychological stresses and strains.
Valerian is very effective as a tincture or a dietary supplement. For insomnia use the essential oil in combination with any of the herbs mentioned above.
5. St John's Wort
Another classic. St John's Wort is a powerful anti-depressant. If you’re not just dealing with a temporary bout of stress, but feel as if you're locked in an ongoing struggle against the world, then maybe you should consider St John's Wort. It's also known as “chase-devil” because of its effectiveness at fighting off the blues!
You can buy liquid extract or capsules from a pharmacist or herbalist, talk to them about whether it will be suitable for you and the best way of taking it. It will take a while to start working, so don't give up if nothing happens within the first week.
You can also get St John's Wort in herbal tea mixes, if you are interested in trying this herb but don't want to commit to a regular dose.
Herbs can have different effects on different people and it’s important to be wary of herbal interactions with existing medications (including the contraceptive pill). Always consult your doctor before using any of these herbs.
Although natural, herbs are powerful, so it’s vital to use them carefully.