Stress has become a part and parcel of modern lifestyle, and people of all ages have to bear it in daily life. But it can be really harmful for physical health and well-being, as it has a negative influence on the immune system, making you prone to ailments. Medication is available to treat stress, but it may have several harmful side effects.
Therefore, the best ways to combat stress are natural therapies like right diet, meditation, yoga, massage and aromatherapy. Also there are some natural herbs which are effective for inducing relaxation. These are scientifically known as Adaptogenic herbs and they strengthen our immune system, besides combating anxiety and stress.
Listed below are top 10 herbs which induce relaxation:
1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Topping the list of stress relief herbs is ashwagandha, popularly known as Indian Ginseng. The literal menaing of ashwagandha is “smell of the horse”, which is derived from its ability to provide strength and vigor to both brain and body. The presence of certain calming chemicals in the herb is the key reason of its stress relief properties. In addition to inducing relaxation, ashwaganha has numerous properties like enhancing memory and learning ability, stabilizing mood and inducing sleep. It is also considered as a natural aphrodisiac. The additional benefits of this herb are its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial action, which makes it useful for treating diseases like hypertension, heart problems, diabetes and high cholesterol. It can be had in the powdered form, along with milk.
2. Jatamansi ( Nardostachys jatamansi)
Next on the list of top 10 herbs which induce relaxation is jatamansi, a root used as a nervine tonic. It is known to improve memory and be effective for treating diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. It can also be used in oil and powder form. Besides relieving stress and anxiety, this herb ahs curative effect on insomnia and headaches. Additionally, it is aphrodisiac, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic in nature.
3. Green Tea
Another simple and easily available herb which is excellent for stress relief is the health green tea. This amazing herb is loaded with a chemical called theanine, a kind of amino acid, which plays a key role in generation of alpha brain waves. These brain waves are linked with relaxation and provide instant natural relief from stress and anxiety. There are countless other benefits of green tea, some of them being weight loss, reduction of cholesterol, sound digestion and improved general health.
4. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
Featuring next on the list is a powerful herb called guduchi, also called amrit. Besides being useful in combating stress and anxiety, this amazing herb has the ability to strengthen immunity by stimulating the formation of white blood cells in the body. High cholesterol, diabetes, liver problems and hormonal imbalance are some other ailments which can be treated with the herb.
5. Lavender (Lavendula Angustifolia)
Lavender is a sweet smelling flower, which is used in the oil form in aromatherapy, an effective therapy for inducing stress relief. Basically, the aroma of this wonderful smelling oil has the ability to calm down the nervous system, as it can slow down the fast wave activity of the brain, which is the principal cause of stress.
6. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
Another herb which acts as a brain tonic is brahmi. The herb leads to a sudden spurt in GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) in the brain, which not only induces relaxation but also improves memory and concentration. The anti-oxidants and bio-chemicals present in the herb have the potential to stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain.
7. Tulsi/Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
Tulsi, a sacred herb is another name on the list of top 10 herbs which induce relaxation. The magical herb is revered for its amazing healing powers and is known as an adaptogen and anti depressant agent. Additionally, it has the ability to combat common ailments cough, cold, fever, sore throat, skin troubles and heart disease.
8. Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis)
Another wonderful natural herb for enhancing memory and reducing stress is shankhapushpi. It can also be used for alleviating neurotoxicity, the effect of toxins on the brain. It also has tranquilizing and anti-depressant properties.
9. Lemon Balm (Mellisa Officinalis)
Lemon balm is an aromatic herb with citrus smell, which has been used as a sedative and relaxant since ancient times. The herb can not only promote mental calmness and improve mood, but also have a positive impact on cognitive performance.
10. Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata)
Passion flower is another name on the list of stress relief herbs. The leaves and flowers of passion flower have a wonderful aroma, along with the ability to do away with anxiety and insomnia caused by it. It has been used effectively for sleep inducement in historic times too.
You can use these herbs as a safe and natural alternative for treatment of stress related problems. However, you must consult your health care practitioner before using them on regular basis. This is particularly important for pregnant women, lactating mothers and people taking medication for some specific health problems.