3 Common Herbs to Help Reduce Stress

Dr. Dzvonick Hugging Lavender Plant

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh lavender, especially when you’re stressed out. In this article I share 3 common herbs for stress. Enjoy!

There’s a lot of simple things you can do to help relieve stress and utilizing the medicinal properties of herbs is one of them.

Lavender (Lavendula spp.)

Lavender is one of my main go-to herbs to help me relax. It’s known worldwide as an herbal “rescue-remedy” for reducing stress, anxiety and tension.

Its strong, relaxation-inducing scent is used in massage therapy lotions, candles, bath salts, tinctures and essential oils.

As one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin, a dab of lavender on the inside of your wrist can help soothe a stressful moment.

Lavender is also used in teas, often paired with chamomile. If you aren’t a tea-drinker, dried lavender can be added to a sachet and placed beneath your pillow to help induce sleep.

Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum)

Holy basil, with its astringent taste and powerful aroma, is not the sweet basil you use to season marinara sauce.

Cultivated in the Southeast Asian tropics, holy basil has long been considered sacred in India where it is still used in worship services.

For centuries, holy basil has been used in Ayurvedic therapies to treat a wide range of ailments including respiratory conditions, skin conditions, inflammation, microbial conditions, infertility, and psychological distress.

Modern scientific research is now demonstrating its beneficial effects. Evidence suggests that it offers protective benefits against physical, environmental chemical, metabolic, and psychological stress.

Researchers are interested in the active ingredients that can be derived from the flowers, stems, leaves, seeds, and roots and used for medicinal purposes.

The active ingredients in Holy Basil have been found to have “adaptogenic effects,” which means it helps the body better manage the physiological response to stress.

Studies also show it helps reduce inflammation and keep blood glucose levels in balance. There also is evidence to support using holy basil as an antimicrobial agent in hand sanitizer and mouthwash.

There are several methods of application for holy basil including a dried powder, a capsule containing the concentrated herb extract, tea, or a tincture.

And your Naturopathic physician may advise using a specific amount and a specific type of application based on your individual health concerns.

For your safety it’s important to note that Holy Basil interferes with several pharmaceuticals including these common anti-coagulant medications: Coumadin (warfarin), Heparin, Aspirin, Plavix (clopidogrel), Fragmin (dalteparin), Lovenox (enoxaparin), and Ticlid (ticlopidine).

Due to this, you should consult with your Naturopathic physician before taking a Holy Basil supplement.

Wild oat (Avena sativa)

Wild oat is far more than a common breakfast cereal or baking staple. Oats are members of special medicinal herb group called nervines.

For more than 150 years, traditional medicine practitioners have used nervines, such as Wild Oat, to lower anxiety, reduce stress, support healthy sleep, enhance cognitive function, and settle digestive stress.

Wild Oat is a slow acting remedy that helps calm the nerves, bring relief to emotional instability, and restore a sense of tranquility.

It has been a part of holistic treatment for Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, PMS, panic attacks, anxiety, and for people who are persistently “on edge.”

Commonly used in tincture form, Wild Oat extract is a safe, gentle way to support nervous system health and restoration without the drowsiness associated with sedatives.

It can also be prepared as an herbal infusion for tea. Preparation involves steeping it in hot water until the beverage has cooled to room temperature before drinking.

And that’s it… Lavender, Holy Basil and Wild Oat — these 3 common herbs can help you deal with stress. I’m feeling stressed and I have some lavender plants in my yard. So I’m going out back to dip my face in it. Cheers.

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