Three Sacred Calming Plants to Help You through the Holidays
The holidays are often a time of joy and cheer, but many of us find ourselves facing some amount of stress during this time, trying to keep up with busy work schedules, social obligations, and family dynamics. We may be under financial constraint, trying to keep addictive or unhealthy tendencies at bay, or struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Pretending all is well while fulfilling responsibilities is a challenge in itself.
Luckily, we have so many wonderful herbal allies to help our bodies adapt to the effects of stress. Herbs, especially those with nervine and adaptogenic properties, can offer us both emotional and physical support during trying times. Here are 8 herbs that help put our hearts, minds, and nervous systems at ease.
Skullcap for Sleep Support
Another friendly herb with nervine properties, Skullcap is wonderful for easing muscle tension associated with stress and anxiety. It works to relieve muscle spasms and can also be useful in cases of sudden onset anxiety and panic attacks. Skullcap is also helpful in cases of insomnia, when sleeplessness is due to an overactive mind. It is a soothing ally to those who are going through periods of prolonged stress and feel their nerves have frayed. Skullcap makes a great nourishing tincture and can be used as a tea as well.
Reishi the Medicinal Mushroom
Reishi – A medicinal mushroom with adaptogenic properties, Reishi has long been revered for its myriad health benefits in Japan and China, and is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Reishi is perhaps the most immune system-enhancing adaptogen, and has additional stress-calming, heart-opening, and mind-centering qualities. This treasured mushroom is also a potent liver tonic and helps to protect the body from free radicals, inflammation, bacteria, and oxidative damage. Reishi works best when taken over a prolonged period of time, and can be consumed as a tea decoction, powder, or tincture.
Chilling Out with CBD
A non-psychoactive constituent from Hemp and Cannabis plants, CBD has been shown to be a very useful remedy for stress, inflammation, and pain management. Though not an adaptogen or a nervine, it works on the central and peripheral nervous system, helping one relax from the sympathetic “fight or flight” stress response to a parasympathetic “rest and digest” state. CBD also boosts overall mood, is anti-oxidant, anti-convulsant, and has cancer fighting and neuro-protectant properties.
These herbal allies (among many others!) can help us to overcome periods of stress, anxiety, and turmoil, allowing us to be present and enjoy our lives. In addition, it’s helpful to incorporate other aspects of self-care into your routine in addition to herbs. Things like exercise, meditation, self-massage, connecting with friends and loved ones, and engaging in creative or community-centric activities also have a positive effect on mental and physical health. When all else fails, know you can always seek professional therapeutic support.
Via Anima Mundi