Whether fresh from the herb garden or dried in the jar, herbs and spices added to prepared meals provide both flavor and an extra sprinkling of antioxidants, minerals or vitamins. No food is off-limits. Sandwiches, snacks and smoothies all qualify for delicious herbal additions.
Tagged: herbal supplements
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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.
Looking for a natural way to wind down in the evening? Consider these four herbs, noted for their soothing and calming properties:
- Passion Flower: The compounds found in passion flower may have a mild calming and relaxing effect that can soothe occasional stress. Dried leaves of passion flower have been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans to make a soothing tea.
- Valerian Root: Used in many cultures, valerian root has calming properties that may promote relaxation and restful sleep.
- Chamomile: A member of the daisy family, chamomile is said to have soothing, relaxing properties – which is why it is a popular addition to many bedtime teas.
- Skullcap (or Scullcap): American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) has been used by Native Americans for calming and sleep purposes.
Be sure to consult with your personal physician or pharmacist before taking any herbal supplement or product, especially if you have any medical condition or are taking any drugs.
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