5 herbs to stay stress-free

5 herbs to stay stress free

it’s noon. your boss just tried it. you can either flip a table over and pop off or take some deep breaths while envisioning your happy place. chose the latter girl, unemployment ain’t cute.

in all seriousness, whether it’s constant race and gender microaggressions, navigating parenthood or facing anxiety from academics, a stress-free day is something that has to be pursued. it won’t come without an investment in our well-being. developing a healthy self-care practice has helped me become more equipped to respond to life’s daily stressors.

i consulted with herbalist kendra dean-johnson who recommended using these five herbs as tinctures, teas, supplements or aromatherapy for achieving peace of mind.

  1. chamomile — probably the most well-known on our list, this herb is the main ingredient in most bedtime teas in your local grocery store. chamomile is actually several daisy-like flowers first used for their medicinal powers in ancient egypt, rome and greece. it’s been used for centuries as a calming herb, especially as a sleep-aid, treatment for colds, stomach aches and as an anti-inflammatory.
  2. ginseng — one of the most popular herbs in asia, ginseng has an almost magical reputation. it’s been used to treat nervousness, stress, fatigue and depression. however, be mindful of the type and dosage because it can also stimulate the nervous system and have an opposite effect.
  3. lavender — it’s not only a beautiful purple flower, but also a relaxant and sleep-aid. commonly used in aromatherapy, it’s my go-to oil to use in a burner or diffuser at home and work. lavender was originally found in the mediterranean, but now blooms in sunny locations around the world.
  4. valerian — it relaxes the central nervous system and smoothes muscle groups, making it a popular treatment for nervousness and insomnia. it’s also a super complex herb with over 120 chemical components.
  5. passion flower — native to the tropical parts of america, it’s been known to treat stress, anxiety and insomnia. often used as a tincture or in capsule form, passion flower can be combined with valerian for even better results.

herbs are just part of my self-care regimen, but an important step towards wellness. combining them with meditation and journaling at least once a day is where i’ve seen the biggest results in being able to maintain my peace — despite unpredictable stressors.

quick disclaimer: please use the above herbs as recommended and consult with your doctor, especially if taking other medications.