And, in reverse order and 7th place, we have ...
Stress Herb No. 7 - Red Clover - Trifolium Pratense
Red clover contains strong concentrations of natural plant estrogen called phytoestrogens. This is a hormone that occurs both in men and women, and recent studies have begun to suggest that additional estrogen can alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia, which are not all that different from the symptoms experienced under very high stress.
Red clover also reduces cholesterol, acts on the arteries and the blood, and does lots of other good things for people who suffer from stress and could be considered candidates for a future heart attack.
Stress Herb No. 6 - Chamomile - Matricaria Chamomilla
The ancient Egyptians dedicated the chamomile herb to the sun because it cured so many things, including fever, aging, and the problems associated with overindulging in rich foods, drugs, and alcohol. In the middle ages, chamomile was the preferred remedy to stave off delirium tremens and to cure children of nightmares.
A lot of stress problems these days also have components of overindulgence and taking in too many substances of one kind, or the other - and we pay the price in physical stress on the body. The kind of long term stress that modern people experience is clearly a form of overheating the circuitry, so chamomile comes in handy there too. Proven to have a relaxing and restorative effect, a good all round anti-stress herbal remedy.
Stress Herb No. 5 - Tarragon - Artemisia Dracunculus
With its name from the Arabic word "tarkhun", which means "little dragon", Tarragon is a fine herbal friend against stress. Amongst its many good qualities is pain relief, which leads to relaxation and feeling more peaceful without being tranquilized.
Tarragon promotes calmness, balance in appetite and it also contains minerals which can be in short supply in a modern industrial diet.
This herbal remedy has been used for thousands of years for calming hyperactive children - which makes it a very good herb for stress relief.
Stress Herb No. 4 - Dill - Anethum Graveolens
Does your stomach flip when you're stressed? One of the bad side effects of having too much adrenaline for too long in our systems is that our digestive system shuts down and starts working erratically. This is why highly stressed people get stomach ulcers.
Dill has been used since ancient times to soothe upset stomachs, relax the stomach, relieve digestion cramps so if you carry your stress in your stomach, Dill is the first choice of herb to help with stress.
The name dill is derived from the Saxon verb dilla, to lull, because of its tranquillizing properties, and its causing children to sleep. Perfect!
Stress Herb No. 3 - Rosemary - Rosmarini Officinalis
Greek scholars used to wear rosemary in their hair to help them think clearly and study well - Rosemary has many beneficial effects on the mind, and the body.
As an anti-stress herb, Rosemary relaxes the muscles in the body and that's one of the most important things in the fight against stress which is always associated with tension. With more relaxation in the muscles, you get better blood flow into the brain and eyes as well, so that's where the mental clarity comes in as well.
Apart from all of that, Rosemary is stuffed with minerals and vitamins, and cheaply available everywhere, so if you can only afford one herb against stress, this might be it for you.
Stress Herb No. 2 - Sage - Salvia Officinalis
This herb got its name from the Latin "salvare" - which means to save. Sage is a classic example of why herbs can score over man-made cocktails of chemicals, because as time goes by, research is discovering more and more benefits of this seemingly simple herb, which the ancients knew about all along.
Sage has been scientifically proven to enhance memory and clear the mind; it is also a powerful antioxidant, and many other things besides.
Stress is not just a physical matter; there are many aspects to it, emotional, spiritual, and Sage acts strongly on those levels, restoring balance and common sense where there was chaos.
Stress Herb No. 1 - St John's Wort - Hypericum Formosum
What makes this herb the No. 1 herbal stress reliever is the fact that St John's Wort helps the pituitary gland to break down excess quantities of the the stress hormone norepinephrine. Norepinephrine blocks the production of human growth hormone, which is our personal wonder medicine, produced right by our own bodies to keep us young, healthy, and active.
St John's Wort thereby works in two different ways to help with stress - firstly, by removing the stress hormone norepinephrine, and secondly, by creating the space for the pituitary gland to produce extremely beneficial hormones which go on to do much more good all through your systems.
Stress & Herbs - In Conclusion
- Taking herbs for stress relief is one of the easiest, cheapest and healthiest ways to help your body and your mind in the fight against stress.
You can eat the herbs with your food, dried, fresh, in teas, stews, on pizzas, in salads, soups, curries and stir fries every day. Most of the herbs on this list are available for pennies at the local supermarket. There are also mountains of herbal supplements you can take in pill form - not as much fun by a long shot as putting living or dried herbs into your food!
Probably the nicest and most de-stressing way to get your anti-stress herbs is to grow them in a pot or in your garden. Then you also have a real connection with nature there which is, after all, THE best form of stress relief there ever was - or ever will be.
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