To look after our mental health, we all have different strategies. You might find solace in nature, exercise, or writing down your emotions. What we put into our bodies makes a huge difference to our emotions, which is why a healthy diet is key. With the right herbs, you can ease your stress levels and access a welcome feeling of calmness and relaxation.
- Avena Sativa
Avena Sativa grows over North America and Europe; it is also commonly referred to as oat straw. The plant is rich in B vitamins, which are thought to play a role in its stress reduction properties. Avena Sativa has also been reported to improve mental performance and attention span. As well as this, the plant can inhibit the MAO-B enzyme, which can help to protect the dopamine in our brain as we age. (With plenty of this in your diet- you’ll have all the brain power you need)!
Damiana is a yellow-flowered shrub that grows in places like Mexico, the Carribean, and Central America. Damiana contains an ingredient called thymol, which is thought to stimulate the body and mind both. The herb is said to be particularly effective in treating those suffering from stress. Damiana has also been linked to a decreased appetite, so it can be beneficial as part of a healthy weight loss program.
- 3. St.John’s wort
St.John’s wort is a plant that’s native to several countries, including New Zealand and South America. One study cited on Healthline, reports that St.John’s wort can reduce the effects of depression, anxiety, and help those with trouble sleeping. It’s believed that a substance inside St.John’s Wort called ‘hyperforin’ may influence the nervous system and boost one’s mood. After taking St.John’s Wort for a few weeks, you’ll likely find that you’re feeling more positive.
Saffron is a popular, yet expensive, spice which is made from the Crocus sativus flower. Studies have shown that Saffron can reduce the symptoms of depression. What’s more, saffron is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it can protect your cells from free radicals.
Chamomile is derived from the white and yellow-flowered plant, botanically referred to as Matricaria recutita. The herb has been linked to managing anxiety as well as helping one to get a good night’s sleep. While supplements are available, chamomile is probably most popular in the form of chamomile tea. Simple things like getting enough water and sleep will improve your wellness levels over time.
6 . Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, is an herb that primarily grows in India. For centuries it’s been used in the practice of natural medicine. The herb is known to reduce cortisol in the body (which is a stress hormone). Ashwagandha also has other health benefits, including reducing inflammation and blood sugar levels.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is an oil made from the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is not the same as THC ( the compound that produces a ‘high’ effect in cannabis). CBD oil does not produce an intoxicated effect; instead, it provides a sense of relaxation, eases stress, and can also provide pain relief. Those suffering from chronic pain conditions may have assessed codeine vs. hydrocodone, yet to manage pain-naturally, many people praise CBD.
Many herbs can cause adverse reactions with other medications, so always check for safety first. You’ll find most of these herbs in capsule form at your local health food store, and some are available in tea form.