Natural stress relief is becoming very popular as people want to find ways to relax that don’t involve ingesting chemicals. Here are some natural stress relief herbs and teas that you should try. These herbs are available separately but can also be found in a combined form.
Catnip: Have you ever seen a cat after it has rolled in catnip? Wouldn’t you like to be that relaxed? Find out what Kitty’s known all along by trying some catnip tea. This member of the mint family has been shown to relieve stress, improve sleep, heal upset stomachs, calm PMS symptoms and relieve tension headaches. (However, be advised that pregnant women should not use it.) Use 1 tsp of dry catnip leaves per cup of boiling water. Let it steep for five to 10 minutes.
Chamomile: There is almost nothing more calming than a cup of chamomile tea. Drink a cup before you go to bed and be assured of a good, solid night’s sleep. You can also use chamomile tea as a foot bath or as a gargle against mouth sores. Use about 1 Ω tsp of dried chamomile per cup of boiling water. Let it steep for at least 20 minutes before use to get the full effect.
Kava Kava: This tea is excellent natural stress relief. It calms the mind and body so you can sleep better and it also has been shown to improve digestion and kidney function. This is a very powerful relaxant: Your best bet is to purchase it in gel-cap or tea form and follow package directions. While small amounts are generally safe, drinking too much can damage the liver over time.
Lavender: Ever notice how many herbal products, including soaps, candles and lotions contain lavender? Lavender is one of the best natural stress relief herbs there is. A cup of lavender tea has a slightly sweet taste and has been proven to calm the nervous system. Like chamomile tea, use about 1 Ω tsp of lavender per cup of water and let it steep for at least five minutes before drinking.
St. John’s Wort: This herb has long been popular as a stress reliever. It has been proven to help fight anxiety, depression and stress. St. John’s Wort supplements are readily available at most stores that sell herbal products. St. John’s Wort is best used as a tincture: Place 1 oz of dried St. John’s Wart in a jar and cover it with a pint of alcohol (such as vodka). Place it in a dark place and shake it twice daily for two weeks. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth and place the liquid in a dark glass bottle. To use, apply a dropperful into your mouth every day.
Valerian Root: This is a common sleep aid, readily available in the herbs/vitamins section of your grocery store. Like St. John’s Wort, Valerian Root is a very effective tincture. It is also available in supplement form.
Willow Bark: Willow Bark Tea has long been used to treat headaches, especially migraines, thus it is a great stress reliever. Use 2 tsp per cup of water and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
The really great thing about herbs and herbal teas for natural stress relief is there are generally few if any side effects or risks. When used as a tea, they do not have additional calories (unless you use a sweetener). However, if you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes or a heart/lung condition, it is best to check with your doctor before using them.