Stress is a symptom of modern life… but too much is no good for you. Today I’ll share my top 3 herbs for managing stress naturally… and some simple changes you can make to your lifestyle to help control your stress levels.
A little of it is healthy — it challenges you and makes you stronger.
But too much stress without adequate recovery can substantially affect your energy levels, to the point where you become fatigued. And if you fail to do something about it, this feeling of being tired and stressed may become your new ‘normal’ day to day experience.
So how can you handle your stress levels naturally? The secret is to take better care of yourself every day — not just when you are feeling stressed. One of the best ways to do this is nature’s medicine cabinet. My top 3 herbs for managing stress naturally are:
Indian ginseng, also known as Ashwagandha or Withania, is a small woody plant with yellow flowers native to India and North Africa.
It’s classified as an adaptogen, as it helps your body adapt to stress. It can help you to regain energy when you’re feeling flat and exhausted and may also protect the brain from excessive stress.
It has been used for over 3000 years as a natural remedy against a range of conditions and is also used in modern medicine to help with stress, anxiety, mood, blood sugar and memory.
Rehmannia is a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine, with light reddish-purple flowers and a thick orange root.
It is known for being a gentle adrenal tonic, supporting the adrenal glands during times of stress. It is also used to help stabilise the immune system and to treat inflammatory disorders like allergies (eczema and dermatitis) and autoimmune conditions.
You might know it as a lolly, but the herb licorice is actually best known for supporting adrenal function. It’s a wonderful anti-stress herb that can increase energy and endurance, while also acting as a mild tonic.
Licorice has been used to stimulate anti-inflammatory hormones and naturally fortify cortisone (or stress hormone) levels. As an added bonus, licorice root is also excellent for digestive support!
Get moving! – Enjoy a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity 5-6 times per week. Go out for a walk in the morning or evening sun and get a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Maintain a healthy weight – avoid sweets, refined foods and processed foods. Instead, snack on raw almonds, fresh fruit, yogurt, or hommus and carrot sticks. These low GI foods are also perfect snacks for maintaining a balanced blood sugar level, which can impact stress levels.
Get plenty of sleep – ensure a minimum of 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Remember, it’s the hours before midnight that count!
Practice relaxation regularly – try Tai Chi, Yoga or Meditation. Find something that works for you to take your mind off what stresses you. These free mediations from ABC’s LifeMatters have been helpful for me.
Get help for stress
If you’re struggling with your stress levels, it’s important to seek help. Too much stress can lead to further problems if left untreated.