Each one of us has gone through periods of unbearable stress. It can affect anyone, anytime. One of the main concerns today is how to cope with stress. Stress symptoms commonly include a state of alarm and adrenaline production, short-term resistance as a coping mechanism, and exhaustion as well as irritability, inability to concentrate and a variety of physiological reactions such as headache and elevated heart rate. It may also cause insomnia, which, in turn, can lead to other health problems.
How to deal with stress
No matter if it’s only during the holiday season or more permanent, it should be dealt with right away, as soon as it appears. Research has shown that relaxing herbs have a positive effect on the reduction of stress levels. Here are some therapies that may help easing stress.
Aromatherapy, the practice of using essential oils taken from plants for healing purposes, has been proven to help ease stress, and even induce sleep.
It is the most widespread method of extracting the medicinal compounds of herbs, simply by boiling the herbs slowly or dropping them in boiling water. It is prepared as tea and may be drunk hot or cold, but, it is advisable that they be drunk hot, and possibly taken with honey.
When making decoctions, parts of the plant should be simmered in boiling water. That way all the medicinal compounds are extracted. Decoctions are for when barks or roots of herbs are used, because they do not let out their active principles by simple infusions. They take more time, and the thick parts should be cut into small pieces before boiling them. When done, solid is separated from the liquid, and decoctions can be taken hot or cold.
Herbs used for dealing with stress
For centuries now, kava kava, skullcap and valerian have been used to reduce stress levels, to make one feel more relaxed and sometimes, to induce sleep with children (for that purpose, the most effective ones are valerian, orange leaves and orange blossom; all of which may be used as remedies).
Another herb helpful in this situation is the passion flower. It is most efficient in the alcohol extract form, and only a few drops should be taken with tea or milk for good results.
Sweetgrass is known to be of great help when inducing sleep and peaceful dreams. It is also known as buffalo grass and holy grass. The coumarin content of the herb is used often to make perfumes, or as incense.
Extracts of relaxing herbs can be combined with other extracts to produce an even better result. For instance, passion flower may be mixed with skullcap and taken before bed to help one sleep. Another option, the mixture of Ginseng, Reishi and Fu Ling, all in equal parts taken twice a day with meals may solve the problem of insomnia.