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12- Mar-2015

Natural herbs that help you manage stress*

Natural Herbs- Chamomile & Ashwagandha

Stress Is a common factor in modern life,strongly affecting all our actions and decisions. Stress can occur with increased anxiety about external factors such as family problems, relationships, pressure at work, financial issues, or as a natural response to internal health – with either physical or mental causes and concerns.

Anxiety often creates an inability to find relaxation even in the most pleasurable of activities. Persistent anxiety is known to cause loss of interest in food or can even cause insomnia. This vicious cycle of inability find relaxation can naturally set rolling the stress cycle.

A persistent feeling of stress or even a recurrent episode can severely deplete the nervous system. In extreme cases, it can cause burnout, which is the natural response of the body to extreme anxiety and stress signalling nervous and emotion exhaustion that requires prolonged therapeutic relaxation. Stress can also promote the onset of numerous severe ailments such as ulcers, asthma, heart diseases, high blood pressure, or even the psychiatric conditions of generalized anxiety disorder, obesity, and depression among many others. However, not all stressful situations need medical intervention or the need for prescription pills to relieve anxiety and stress. The simplest and most natural ways to combat anxiety and stress is to try effective natural stress reducers, such as food-grade herbs.

Some natural herbs that have been traditionally been considered effective for relaxation and for managing anxiety and stress include:

  1. Chamomile – ancients Greeks discovered this natural anxiety-relieving herb. It has traditionally been acknowledged worldwide for its anti-stress properties as an effective aid to relaxation. Chamomile flowers have a natural fragrance similar to apples. It is generally steeped as a tea for consumption after dinner. This is among the best-known natural dried herbs used to relieve anxiety and stress and the allied symptoms such as gastrointestinal disorders and insomnia.The World Health Organization recognizes Chamomile as a calming agent due to its soothing and anti-inflammatory effects on the stomach.

    Avail 10% off on Chamomile Herb: Soothe Anxiety & Calm Upset Stomach.

  2. Ashwagandha– Ashwagandha, a herb recognized by Ayurveda, is used in various medicines, especially those meant for providing the effect of relaxation on the nervous system. Ashwagandha, also called Withania somnifera or Indian Ginseng,is a natural adaptogen that protects the nervous system and increases the body’s ability to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. Moreover, this herb is considered as one having advanced protective qualities for the nervous system, controlling the degenerative effects of stress on the body’s immune system. The natural herb derives its key medicinal chemical from with anolides (steroidal lactones) that aid stress management. Other beneficial compounds present in this herb are amino acids, fatty acids, alkaloids, and numerous sugars. Ashwagandha has been steadily gaining support in the global and the mainstream US market with consumers approving its use as a natural aid to relaxation, wide-ranging health benefits of reducing anxiety and stress, metabolic activation, sleep aid, supporter of enhanced cognitive function and sports performance. Ashwagandha extract, derived from the plant’s root and leaves, is available as either a powder, or in an oil (fat)-based or water-based form. The powdered form is most common. This natural extract is the ground up dried root of the plant. Powdered extract can be consumed along with food or this can be taken as a capsule. People usually favour the capsule form for ease of consumption of the natural extract.

  3. Passionflower – Passionflower is a natural herbal food known to treat sleep disorders, anxiety,stress,and nervous tension. Research shows that the effectiveness of this natural food is comparable to that of benzodiazepine drugs used for the medical treatment of stress. Researchers claim that passionflower increases the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, reducing the activity of some brain cells, result aptly causing the person to get into a state of natural relaxation. However, these claims are still to be established. Passionflower is available as an anxiety and stress aid as a tea or an infusion, or as a tincture or a liquid extract.

  4. Green Tea – Green tea, sometimes called the ‘healthiest beverage on the planet’, has recently been gaining immense popularity due to its wide range of health benefits. Asians have long sworn by green tea when under stress, tired or in need of reaching a state of relaxation. Green tea undergoes minimal processing, thus retaining its natural food supplement benefits and natural colour. Its innate efficacy as a herbal food is comparatively unaffected by the oxidation processes that darkens traditional black tea. Green tea is a healthy alternative to stress-inducing caffeine and can aid relaxation while controlling cholesterol as well.

  5. Barley Tea – This is a caffeine-free, roasted grain-based infusion made from natural barley. It is most popular as part of the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisine. Barley Tea is considered very effective for aiding relaxation. The natural food grain contains tryptophan, an amino acid required for sleep and for synthesizing serotonin—a neurotransmitter essential in the regulation of mood and sleep. This causes barley tea to be a very powerful natural food that can help relieve anxiety and stress.

  6. Numerous other herbs and natural food ingredients have also been traditionally known for their stress and anxiety alleviation and relaxation inducing properties. A few notable natural anti-anxiety plants include lavender, St. John’s Wort, Kava Kava, licorice root, valerian root, mint, fever few, and hops (flower).


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Dt. Maithili Pashtekar, Registered Dietician ,P.G.Dip Clinical Nutrition
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