With hectic daily schedules, joggling between family responsibilities and work related tasks, we all live nowadays under the empire of stress. Our body may well endure it for brief period of time, but prolonged stressful circumstances can impact not only our morale, but also our physical health.
Luckily, nature is filled with easy-to-find herbal remedies able to help us fight efficiently with stress. Here are the top 5 herbs you can use on a daily basis to alleviate the symptoms of this modern health condition:
1. Golden Root
Roseroot or golden root (Rhodiola rosea) is a perennial plant featured by a large fragrant rhizome. It grows at high altitudes, mainly in northern Europe and in the mountainous regions of Asia. It has been successfully used within traditional medical systems throughout the centuries because of its therapeutic properties that allow our body to adapt more easily to stressful emotional situations. Golden root also helps us maintain a good cognitive performance despite fatigue and pressure. It is, therefore, the ideal botanical to use during exams sessions as well as over periods of emotional distress caused by a death, a separation, etc. Roseroot’s great advantage lies in its rapid effect (about 30 minutes). Unlike synthetic medication, it causes no addiction and it does not have side effects.
With a strong smell and pretty purple flowers, horehound is a common herbaceous perennial in Europe that measures approximately 0.80 meters. Its antidepressant properties make horehound an entirely appropriate remedy in cases of nervousness, nervous disorders, anxiety and depression. Being completely devoid of toxicity, horehound is a healthier alternative to benzodiazepines and it can also be used for alleviating the symptoms of emotional shock. Horehound is also helpful for treating the digestive troubles associated with long periods of living under stress.
3. Lemon balm
A small perennial bush, whose leaves give off a very sweet citrus smell due to the essential oils they contain, lemon balm has a relaxing and sedative effect. Therefore, it is used to improve sleep quality, mood and reduce anxiety. It can also be helpful in the treatment of digestive disorders that have a nervous origin, such as flatulence, intestinal and digestive spasms, stomach cramps, colitis, etc.
4. St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort is an herb originating from Europe and Central Asia. Its flowers and leaves are dotted with black spots and the leaves have many transparent pockets filled with liquid secretion that give the impression of perforations. St. John’s wort acts as an antidepressant as it causes an overall change of the neurotransmitters involved in mood modulation. This botanical is very efficient when fighting with mild depression, but it also has many contraindications such as anticoagulant or antiepileptic treatments, contraceptive pill or immunosuppressant medication.
A plant that was originally growing in the Mediterranean basin, poppy flourishes in May, filling the fields with its red fragile flowers. The poppy’s petal contains alkaloids that have a remarkable action on sleep disorders both in adults and children. The poppy’s sedative effect removes excessive nervousness, anxiety and emotionality.
All these botanicals can be easily found in the natural environment. If dried and stored appropriately, they can turn into highly efficient herbal remedies able to help us alleviate the symptoms of stress.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.