Thursday, July 19, 2012

Herbs That Help Fight Stress & Increase Mental Clarity

Please read my disclaimer before continuing on.  Thank you

I think we all know stress is super bad for our bodies.  And stress can come in many forms: overworked, depressed, constantly angry, troubled by past traumas/memories, anxious about a new chapter in life or transition, money, etc.  When I'm anxious, angry, sad, overworked (physically/mentally), I strive to find my balance back to a state of calm and control - calm and control AMID the stresses of life, they aren't going anywhere, so we need to learn how to cope.  This is where behavioral interventions are key and can significantly help reduce the affects of stress on our bodies.  Behavioral techniques coupled with herbs can help us retrieve balance.  Because come on, LIFE is stressful, love is stressful, having kids is stressful, family is stressful, missing the turn is stressful, waiting in line is stressful, waiting in line with kids is ridiculously stressful.  Let's get the stress under control so we can enjoy the many awesome things that life has to offer.  

And look less like this:
And more like this:

Herbs to Help Fight Stress and Increase Mental Clarity:

Vitamin B Complex 
Great for natural stress reduction.  Vitamin B can be taken everyday - very safe and super good for you. I take these

This is my all time favorite!  Chamomile is my #1 go-to for stress relief.  It has a gentle, mild calming effect - great for bedtime.  Targets central nervous system.  I find this in bulk at my local Coop (little dried flowers).  I use one tablespoon with 8 ounces boiling water.  Steep for 15 minutes.    

Lemon Balm
Gentle relaxing effect on the central nervous system. Few side effects (long term use okay).  Good for reliving tension and fighting stress. 

Valerian Root 
Traditionally used as herbal remedy for insomnia.
(does not give you that groggy feeling in the morning.  Do not take for more than 2 weeks)
Used to calm nerves.  Non addictive.  Great anxiety fighter.

Licorice Root 
Contains a natural hormone alternative to cortisone, which can help the body handle stressful situations, and can help to normalize blood sugar levels as well as your adrenal glands, providing you with the energy necessary to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Some claim licorice stimulates cranial and cerebrospinal fluid, thereby calming the mind.  Click above link for additional stress fighting herbs.   
I purchase licorice root in bulk at my local Coop.  To use: I steep 1 teaspoon in 8 ounces boiling water 3x per day.

Rooibos (aka red bush tea)
Rooibos is touted as a tea that helps improve brain function.  Caffeine free, this tea targets the central nervous system and has a calming effect.  It's used to strengthen mental clarity without causing any side effects (such as the jitters or exhaustion).  An excellent herb for nervous tension.  One study cited that the antioxidant flavanoids in rooibos tea were as much as 50 times more potent than even green tea. Rooibos is naturally sweet.

Passion flower 
Considered a mild sedative and can help promote sleep.  Passion flower also treats anxiety, insomnia, depression, and nervousness.  The parts of the passion flower plant that grows above ground can be dried and steeped for tea.  Otherwise, passion flower is available as a tincture, capsule, and even as a juice.  Please use this herb with caution - many known side effects.  

Attention and Focus Herb Blend

Bach's Rescue Remedy 


More pictures of people looking stressed (that I thought were funny):
 (or maybe she's super hungry?)
Holiday stress!  OR A ghost is strangling her with Christmas lights.



Pictures of people being meditative and calm (which I thought you might appreciate after seeing that woman eat her computer):


it does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble or
hard work. it means to be in the midst
of those things and still be calm in your heart.
Shared on: Fat Tuesday, Allergy-Free Wednesdays 


  1. Lauren @ Empowered SustenanceJuly 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I had no idea Roobios helped with stress--that is my favorite tea! Have you heard of Bach's Rescue Remedy? It is a homeopathic stress-relieving mixture, and you can take a few drops anytime you are stressed. It brings immediate stress relief for me.

    1. Thanks Lauren,

      I added Bach's to the list! I have heard of it, but never used it. Sounds great. And thank you for the testimonial.

  • Gabby @ the veggie nookJuly 19, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I loooove chamomile and rooibos teas. I'll have to stock up on them for when I start school again in September, I can be such a stress case!

    1. Thanks sweet Gabby. I remember those days...oh do I remember! Glad I finished grad school in my 20's and before I was diagnosed. The stress and anxiety was through the roof! I can't imagine going through that now. It takes such a toll on the body. Good luck to you!!

  • Perfect timing my friend as I am under enormous stress at the moment, yet who isn't right?! I need to grab some chamomile and rooibos tea and stock up on them. To add to what Lauren says, Bach's Rescue Remedy works wonders as well. Thanks for the great suggestions that I plan to put to use pronto!

    1. My poor Laura. You ARE going through so much right now. You have extra - lots extra! Chamomile is my preferred sleep aid for those tough nights. Loose leaf is so much stronger if you can find it. Peppermint also works well. I didn't add it above.

  • Tessa Domestic DivaJuly 19, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Several belly laughs aside, there is some great tips here! Music is a big calmer for me...and a steaming cup of tea. I also love to watch fires with soft, relaxing music...and now I will add a chamomile and roobios tea to the mix! Great info again!

    1. Thanks Tessa. :-)

  • Minnie@thelady8homeJuly 19, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    That was funny!!! What a great post Amber!

    Watching any water body calms me down. I am fortunate to have a small stream at my backyard, watching it flow through the soft rays of sun is very relaxing.

    Great great tips! Bookmarking it.

    1. Thanks Minnie. :-) Great ways to relax.

  • Hi, this article is quite what I need. Found this while me try to write about how to release tension from work. I hope you attach an image on those herbs you mentioned. See if I can find it here, I'm not sure if they grow here.

    Well, tea helps me to relax, second from coffee though. Do you have any reference about coffee and relax? Must be the caffeine makes me slightly keep up for a while.


    1. Hi There,

      I do believe that a particular body chemistry interacts with caffeine in a different way, but I'm not an expert or doctor. I have a friend with ADHD and caffeinated coffee always calms her down. Also, one can develop quite a high tolerance for caffeine and it will lose it's simulating effects.

      I suggest you goggle the herbs I listed for pictures.

      Good luck to you!



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