Between work, shopping, traveling and family celebrations, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But don’t let seasonal stress take a toll on your end-of-year cheer. These four herbs can support your body’s natural defenses against occasional tension and stress, leaving you relaxed, refreshed and ready to tackle your to-do list.
Chamomile – Known for its soothing properties, chamomile is especially helpful during stressful times. Chamomile may also promote a healthy sleep-wake cycle and a welcome sense of relaxation after a long day. Brew up a calming cup of chamomile tea or add a few drops of chamomile oil to a warm bath to escape the stress of the holiday season.
Lavender – Tired of tension? Envelop your senses in the soothing aroma of lavender. Whether it’s in the form of dried leaves, oil, tea, or in your favorite personal care product, the pleasant scent of lavender is well known for its naturally calming properties.
Ashwagandha – Sometimes known as “Indian ginseng,” ashwagandha is a popular herb in traditional Indian medicine. Ashwagandha may support a healthy mood and promote healthy levels of certain hormones.
Ginseng – Used for thousands of years, ginseng root is considered an “adaptogen,” or substance that may help individuals cope with physical and emotional stress.
Herbs can be a natural way to soothe and protect the body from the effects of stress. However, remember that as with any supplement or medication, it is important to discuss the herbal product(s) you are considering with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant.
Aside from herbal teas and extracts, there are many other lifestyle choices that can help your body better handle the stresses of the season. Be sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, engage in regular exercise and sleep at least seven hours per night. And although it may be difficult during the holidays, try to avoid the temptations of excess sugar, alcohol and caffeine, as they can interfere with the body’s natural response to stress.