Stress and anxiety are normal and inherent parts of life. And believe it or not, moderate stress can even have a few benefits, like improved alertness and memory, enhanced motivation, and increased problem-solving skills.
HOWEVER, being constantly stressed is a completely different story. Constant, aka chronic, stress can have the total opposite effects. Think brain fog, suppressed immune system, tiredness, fatigue, and even depression and anxiety.
There are tons of natural ways to cope with stress, depending on your specific needs. And when it comes to treating stress, using a natural strategy is always the safest route.
Exercise, cutting out toxicity, eating a balanced diet, getting your hormones checked, and getting plenty of sleep can all be beneficial for reducing stress levels. In addition to these strategies, we’re also BIG fans of HERBS for stress relief – and you should be too.
Herbs have been used for THOUSANDS of years to treat all types of sicknesses, wounds, and general discomforts.
Whether you’re eating them, drinking them via a tea or tonic, or using them in their aromatic form, there are quite a few herbs out there that are scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
So, if you’re in need of a little help in the stress department (which we think everyone does, at least a little), read on for a roundup of 10 of the best herbs for stress relief:
10 Best Herbs For Stress
Also known as “Indian ginseng” and “winter cherry,” Ashwagandha is a small shrub with yellow flowers. It’s native to India and Southeast Asia and has a ton of PROVEN health benefits. This herb is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body cope with stress.
Most take Ashwagandha via powder or capsule, over a longer period of time. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate effects – Ashwagandha is one of those herbs that takes time to work its magic.
Recently, Kava has become super popular in Western culture. Hence the introduction of specially made Kava drinks and even Kava bars. Originally from Oceania, this herb is now used in various regions all over the world to treat pain, anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia – all factors that contribute to stress.
You can purchase pre-made Kava drinks, or mix it into a paste and add to water. Click here to read more about this herb and how to choose the right variety for you.
Lauryn & Michael are big fans of the kava drink Feel Free. You can head to this link and use the code SKINNY for 25% off your purchase. In the meantime, listen to the founder’s story on the podcast here.
The scent of lavender can prevent stress, depression, and anxiety, especially for women during the postpartum period. Studies suggest that this herb directly affects the parasympathetic nervous system, regulating the heartbeat, breathing rhythm, and hormone secretion.
Because lavender is most effective when inhaled, we recommend grabbing some lavender essential oil and a diffuser. Use right before bedtime for some serious calming effects, or anytime you feel stressed, tense, tight, or anxious.
♡ Passion Flower
Passion Flower is a perennial plant native to South America, Australia, and SouthEast Asia, and is now used widely in the pharmaceutical field. According to this study, Passion Flower has been proven to effectively treat insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Thus, reducing stress throughout the whole body.
You can find Passion Flower liquid extracts, capsules, and tablets, and most health stores will carry dried Passion Flower in a pre-packaged tea.
Curcumin, a primary component of Turmeric, is known for its many health benefits. We’re talking major anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as antidepressant properties. Inflammation can cause serious bodily stress and inhibit the immune system. So, the anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric are particularly helpful when it comes to relieving bodily stress and tension.
There are tons of ways to get your daily dose of turmeric. You can add it to a variety of foods, including rice, eggs, stir-frys, and soups. Or, you can drink it via a tea or smoothie. If you’d rather not taste it at all, grab some turmeric capsules at your local health store. P.S You have to try turmeric as a face mask.
Out of all the herbs on this list today, you’re probably the most familiar with Chamomile. You know, that yummy tea that everyone recommends for a good night’s sleep – that’s the one. This herb has amazing stress-relieving powers, especially when consumed on a regular basis. This is due to the fact that Chamomile contains apigenin, a compound with many of the same effects as most anti-anxiety medications.
This tea is also known to reduce menstrual pain, support bone health, and improve heart functioning – so many wins. As you probably already know, Chamomile is best ingested via a nice, calming tea. Add some honey for an extra little burst of sweetness.
♡ Lemon Balm
This herb comes straight from the mint family and, as the name implies, has a pleasant lemon aroma. According to this roundup of studies, lemon balm is directly associated with improved cognitive functioning and improvements in mood.
Feel free to use lemon balm just like you’d use mint. Garnish your fave dishes or cocktails, add it to salads, or throw it in some soup. Like most herbs on this list, you can make a delicious lemon balm tea as well. This herb is also found in capsules, tablets, and topical creams.
♡ Valerian Root
Commonly called valerian, this herb is native to Asia and Europe – although it’s now grown in Canada and the United States as well. Crazy enough, this herb has been used medicinally since the time of the Greeks and Romans. We love an ancient health hack.
Valerian root contains specific chemical messengers that help to balance and regulate nerve impulses. Thus, calming the body, regulating the central nervous system, and improving sleep patterns. Valerian is most often consumed via tea or capsule.
♡ St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is one of the most commonly consumed herbal supplements in all of the United States. This is because St. John’s Wort contains properties that increase the efficiency of neurotransmitters, which promotes relaxation, reduced blood pressure, and an overall better mood.
Tons of people utilize this wild-growing plant as an antidepressant, treatment for anxiety, and effective sleep aid. You can easily find St. John’s Wort in the form of capsules, teas, and liquid extracts.
♡ Rose Root
Rose root is another herb with a ton of health benefits. Other than stress reduction via adaptogens, this herb reduces symptoms of anxiety, helps manage diabetes, improves brain function, and fights fatigue.
Because correct dosing is pretty important when taking rose root, many prefer capsules or tablets. But, you can totally find pre-made tea mixtures as well. With rose root, you can expect to see improvements in mood and cognition in just one week – super impressive.
A natural way to reduce stress and anxiety? We’re here for it.
Herbal teas and mental health go hand in hand, but only if you utilize the right herbs. As with most things in life, it’s important to use these herbal remedies in moderation. Too much of anything can lead to negative side-effects.
We want to see all our readers HAPPY and HEALTHY. So, we also encourage you to keep in mind that these herbs are NOT a substitute for seeking out a medical health professional and/or prescription meds.
There is no one cure-all for stress and anxiety, so don’t shy away from getting the help you need.
x, The Skinny Confidential team.
+ read this post to learn all about the hidden toxins in tea.
++ check out this post on why you need to add spices to your life.