Herbs That Help Anxiety And Stress

5 Herbs To Handle Anxiety And Stress

Our generation is a part of a chronic stress-induced culture that is overworked and anxious almost every day. Even exercise feels like work, and there is practically nothing on our whole day that gives us a moment to relax and feel comfortable. Stress and anxiety have become one of the most common mental ailments of today’s youth. Professionals share that the level of impact of these ailments on a person’s emotional and physical wellbeing are severe. The effects and symptoms of these disorders could lead to a lack of focus, disturb your sleep cycle, and interfere with your mood. It can lead to chronic heart disorders, nerve damage, or other ailments.

While consulting mental health professionals is always a good idea, sometimes using simple remedies at home can help alleviate levels of stress and anxiety. Yoga, meditation, and a healthy diet can go a long way in building a healthy lifestyle. Apart from these, the use of some potent herbs, which are the true magic of nature can have elevated stress-relieving benefits that can aid users to feel less nervous and anxious. Here are five beneficial herbs to add to your list to treat anxiety and stress disorders naturally.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a herb holding a rich tradition of forming an integral part of ayurvedic medicine. It is a woody plant hailing from several regions of Southern Asia and North Africa and is known for its energy-boosting benefits. The herb was useful as a part of ancient medicine to increase energy levels and aid in curbing stress. It can also regulate blood sugar levels, improve mood, memory, and initiate several other significant health benefits. Its effects on hormone levels also make it a potential compound for improving fertility in women.

The earthy smell and subtle flavors of the herb are known to improve strength and stamina in users. But many believe that these stimulating effects could, in fact, be the solution to easing symptoms of anxiety and stress that led to research and clinical studies across the globe. People often search for sunset sherbet to lower down their stress and relieve anxiety.

The Chemistry

Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogenic herb that makes it an ideal choice for treating mental health ailments. It means that the constituents of the herb, that include some powerful alkaloids and lactones, can not only elevate the activity of hormones when necessary but can also block excess simulation of chemicals in the body to strike the perfect balance. A study from 2012 constitutes 64 randomized subjects who were exposed to ashwagandha or placebo effect twice a day for two months. The results indicated that the group consuming capsules filled with concentrated extracts of ashwagandha roots showed significantly lower levels of anxiety compared to their initial scores.

Ashwagandha is also capable of lowering the levels of cortisol and NADPH diaphorase in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes long term fatigue and influences negative emotions and damages memory when produced at high levels. By regulating the levels of cortisol in the body, the herb can eliminate long term effects of stress, such as elevated blood pressure, heart diseases, depression, anxiety, and even memory problems. Lower cortisol levels ease the fight or flight response of adrenaline secretion to bring a sense of balance to the body, and potentially reduce the risk of panic attacks.

Ashwagandha is also a powerful sleep inducer that can initiate mild sedative effects to ease stress-triggered exhaustion and improve the quality of sleep. It can influence energy levels and regulate mood influencing hormones, to increase a feeling of relaxation and calmness in users.

How to use it?

Dosage levels play an important role in utilizing this powerful herb to curb anxiety and stress effects in the body. A typical daily dosage of 125 mg- 5 gms over three months can be effective to alleviate the cortisol levels in the body by about almost 30%. 500 mg of ashwagandha for three months can aid in treating anxiety and related symptoms effectively.

You can add a few spoons of ashwagandha powder to your tea or juice preparation in the evening for a calming effect. Alternatively, you can also consume ashwagandha in a capsule form. Ashwagandha supplements and liquid extracts are also available in the market to enable users to utilize the herb for their best benefits.

2. Lavender

Lavender essential oils form an innate part of aromatherapy that aims to destress users. The oil promotes several benefits, including treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, menstrual cramps, eczema, nausea, allergies, and fungal infections. The detoxifying and sedative nature of the constituents of lavender is responsible for its use in treating mental health conditions.

The use of lavender oil dates to Egyptian culture, where it formed a critical part of the mummification process. The ancient civilizations believed that the oil had purifying capabilities, and is useful to detox the mind and body. They utilized the ingredient to treat a palette of ailments, both physical and mental.

The Chemistry

According to a meta-analysis published in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, the use of lavender oil can have incredible benefits to calm individuals suffering from several symptoms of anxiety and stress. The study focussed on the effects of an active ingredient called Silexan. Ingesting the chemical enabled to calm the clinical symptoms of anxiety in users compared to placebo trials. The results of the study show a significant drop in the levels of Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale scores. They also suggest that a 10-week administration schedule of the chemical could be most beneficial to curb several symptoms of the ailment.

Although scientists are uncertain about what causes these relaxing effects after consuming lavender, its potential expression with the GABA-A receptors in external cell cultures indicates that the interaction could be responsible for its efficiency. Linalool is an active ingredient of lavender oil that inhibits the activity of glutamate in the brain and acetylcholine release that initiates a relaxing feeling in users. The strong potency of its activity with these receptors is responsible for its powerful benefits to curb even anxiety related to caffeine dependence.

Lavender oil can also treat insomnia. A study published in 2015 in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that the combination of lavender oil therapy with traditional sleep hygiene therapy could aid college students in achieving better sleep at night. It also shows that the oil can have energizing and rejuvenating properties the following morning as the individuals were able to enjoy a calming and relaxing sleep. The use of lavender oil to treat insomnia and several other symptoms of stress and anxiety can help witness healthy benefits in a shorter duration.

How to use it?

Lavender oil is very easy to use, even in a regular home setting, to create a soothing and detoxing vibe in the house. You can use lavender oil in aroma diffusers in your living room to initiate the effects. You can also use lavender essential oil during aromatherapy, include it during a massage, breathe the scent of the oil, or apply the oil to the skin before you go to sleep for elevated benefits. It is beneficial to mix lavender oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil to use for massage.

Oral lavender supplements have also shown great results to curb anxiety. Several clinical studies demonstrate the powerful benefits of the herb, and you can buy some high-quality supplements to benefit from it.

3. Cannabis

Cannabis is the latest rage in the world of medicine that promises to offer several health benefits to improve both physical and mental wellness. Before starting cannabis, you must understand the difference between hemp vs. marijuana. Hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC whereas Marijuana contains more than 0.3 percent THC. It implies that Marijuana can cause euphoric effects to the users.Cannabis plant has a long history of being a popular part of medicine in several cultures until a few decades ago. The natural healing and therapeutic benefits of the plant, and it’s most powerful cannabinoid, CBD is truly magic in disguise to heal anxiety and stress disorders. One can check this product at ILGM and reap out all the benefits of cannabis strains 

Cannabis can induce several health benefits such as treating digestive issues, reducing inflammation and pain, improving immunity, treating menstrual cramps, elevating cognitive functions, alleviating anxiety, treating diabetes, and elevating heart health. 

The Chemistry

The presence of a potent profile of terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids is responsible for the efficiency of CBD oil in curbing anxiety and stress. Our body consists of CB receptors scattered in several parts, and the presence of an endocannabinoid known as anandamide helps reduce the effects of stress from causing permanent damage. CBD blocks the FAAH enzymes that break down endocannabinoids. It causes a shoot up in the levels of anandamide that enables users to cope with stress and anxiety. CBD also influences TRPV1 protein that is responsible for stress response in the body. Blocking the protein desensitizes the brain’s response to a stressful situation and thus calms the user. 

The effects of CBD in curbing anxiety are also efficient. CBD, as discussed, influences the functions of several receptors that initiate chemicals in the body to give a sense of calmness and relaxation. A review from 2015 suggests that CBD can be a powerful aid for users suffering from social anxiety. The cannabidiol activates the serotonin receptors in the body, which is like the action of some anti-anxiety drugs. It, in turn, reduces the level of anxiety and nervousness and makes the users feel euphoric and relaxed. It can also show benefits for treating acute anxiety as well as reduce the frequency of panic attacks.

Cannabis also has mood-elevating properties that can boost motivation and positive thoughts in users suffering from stress or anxiety disorders. The cannabinoid influences hormone regulation in the body to keep the users happy and energized. The right dose of CBD can bring incredibly relaxing benefits to users to treat the effects of stress on their health.

How to use it?

The interest in the cannabis sector by several popular brands and users encouraged a healthy market with a wide range of product choices. You can use CBD infused tinctures, salves, edibles for enjoying the purest form of the herb. Alternatively, you can also explore some interesting products that include gummies, candies, brownies, cookies, vape juices to ease anxiety. Ingesting CBD is known to have a smooth and long experience that takes a while to kick in but stays long enough to help you cope with the symptoms of the ailment. CBD oil is also particularly beneficial to treat stress and anxiety disorders.

Dosage plays a critical role in ensuring good benefits from the cannabinoid. Higher doses of Cannabinoids could have an inverse effect and hence also begin with low doses and increase based on the effects.

4. Chamomile

We all know how blissful and calming it feels to get home from a stressful day and sit in a comfortable chair by the window and sip a simple cup of chamomile tea. You can feel a sense of ease and comfort in your body and brain almost immediately after you consume the tea. Chamomile, in fact, has a long history from the ancient Egyptian times for inducing relaxing properties in users.  

The plant produces daisy-like flowers that have an incredible flavor, smell, and fruity notes that enhance the experience of consuming the tea. The flowers and buds of the chamomile plant go through drying after harvesting to prepare them for infusion into tea. Some regions also have popular recipes of chamomile brewed wine and beer that have a glorious infusion of floral and fruity flavors to cherish.

The Chemistry

Several studies have proven that chamomile can have a soothing and calming effect on users that aids in sleep and fighting mental ailments, such as anxiety and depression. Although the herb does not have a direct influence on an individual’s anxiety, it can work efficiently to curb severe symptoms of anxiety disorders to ease the effects of the ailment on users. Regular usage can bring great benefits to users suffering from anxiety, states a study in 2016.

A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and 2012 utilized the data of patients suffering from anxiety and depression to understand the long term effects of chamomile usage. The results indicate that the herb could have antidepressant benefits and improve optimism in users. The herb is also a powerful antioxidant that can improve your overall health.

Chamomile also has mild sedative properties that enable users to enjoy a good sleep. Insomnia could be an added problem associated with stress and anxiety, and the benefits of chamomile enable users to achieve good quality sleep apart from keeping them energetic and well-rested. The presence of flavonoids in chamomile could be the reason behind the many benefits to mental health. A flavonoid named apigenin benefits users by inducing relaxation and binds at the benzodiazepine receptors to create a sedative effect. The interaction of this flavonoid with the body enables the effects to ease anxiety and stress in users.

How to use it?

A well-brewed cup of chamomile tea can give a flavourful recipe to cherish while you relax. You can use dried chamomile flowers or tea bags and place them in a cup of hot water. Add a few drops of honey or other alternatives to sugar to relish a healthy and tasty cup of chamomile tea. You can also add chamomile to some healthy meal recipes, such as quinoa. Add quinoa to hot water and place the tea bags in the mixture to let the flavors soak in. You can remove the tea bags after the quinoa soaks in all the water, and add some dry fruit to garnish. You can enjoy these recipes in the evening after a stressful day to ease out the effects. Chamomile Aromatherapy is yet another means of utilizing this herb.

5. Turmeric 

The Indian saffron or popularly known as golden spice, turmeric is a savored ingredient that forms a staple part of many kitchen cultures across the globe today. The spice hailed from the Asian region and is grown in parts of Central America also today. The ground roots of the turmeric plant are the special part of this nutritious herb that comes in a vibrant tone of bright yellow. Ground turmeric powder, often used as a common kitchen spice, adds flavor to curries and tea. Today, turmeric is available in the form of powder or capsules that can be beneficial to destress and kick anxiety.

Turmeric is rich in calories, carbohydrates, and fiber, apart from a dose of protein, fat, vitamin C, manganese, iron, and potassium.

The Chemistry

The presence of curcumin, a powerful biological compound in turmeric, is the reason behind its brilliant golden radiance and amazing health benefits. The compound has several benefits to humans that include anti-inflammatory properties, neurodegenerative properties, protection against aging of brain cells, and improved digestion. Some also believe that curcumin is a potent ingredient for the treatment of cancer. The chemical can reduce the risk of cancer tumor development, as suggested by some studies.

But one of the lesser-known benefits of curcumin is its effects on mental health. Turmeric in tea can have a very soothing and calming effect on the user. Curcumin is the reason behind this effect. The compound has antidepressant effects on the user as powerful as some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac states in a study. The compound works by influencing the levels of two powerful mood-influencing neurotransmitters known as serotonin and dopamine. A boost in the levels of the two compounds enables the user to feel calm and relaxed. It eases the effects of stress on the user’s mental health.

Curcumin is an antioxidant that helps protect the brain cells from stress-induced free radical damage. It improves blood flow to the brain that enables you to feel focused. The latest research suggests that a compound can enhance the bioavailability of an omega fatty acid and is known as DHA. It constitutes the fundamental building blocks of brain cells. This property enables the curcumin to balance any deficiency of DHA in the user and support synthesis to curb mental health ailments such as depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders.

How to consume?

Turmeric is one of the easiest ingredients to include in your regular diet. The brilliant flavors of the spice can instantly infuse incredible taste to your barbecue rib mixture, your regular salad dressings, and oils, smoothies, juice, tea or regular curry. Turmeric infused milk or golden milk is a popular recipe with a touch of turmeric in warm milk that can have soothing properties to put you to sleep easily.

Several curcumin supplements are also available that can induce a similar effect in users and can become a healthy part of your diet. Unlike most ingredients, turmeric will not affect the benefits of any other medication, such as antidepressants. So, you can consume turmeric in combination with these medications to elevate the properties, and improve your mental wellness.

These herbs can create a natural response in your body to fight the effects of stress and anxiety and ease your mind to improve overall health and wellbeing. Try a small amount of the herbs before you choose long dosages to understand possible side effects or allergies. 


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