I’ve taken Xanax one time. It was on the flight home from Vegas after my bachelorette party where I was extremely hungover and my body was in sheer panic (great weekend though). Besides that, I’m pretty chill. However, I have a lot of friends who do suffer from anxiety, and I understand that it’s a very real thing. On top of that, literally everyone I know is stressed in some way, shape or form. It’s just the life we all live. So today we’re going to talk about some natural herbs and plants to help chill you out. And no, I’m not talking about weed.
Adaptogens is an umbrella term used to describe any herb, spice, or mushroom that helps to decrease stress and balance your body and your hormones. By supporting the function of our adrenal glands, adaptogens help to calm the body and manage its stress response. In addition to these benefits, adaptogens may also help to stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, increase stamina, and boost mental performance.
Here’s where the professional comes in. Adaptogens, although natural, can alleviate symptoms for some people and make symptoms worse for others. I am not knowledgable enough in this area to be giving advice, so I asked Jennifer Grieco, a Women’s Holistic Health Care Provider, to clarify some main points. Please note this is a big topic that I myself am just starting to incorporate into my routine. We’re going to graze the surface here. 🙂
There are many adaptogen herbs/plants that are available from a variety of sources. Please don’t feel overwhelmed! My recommendation is to always research a reputable and organic source (I love Gaia Herbs). These amazing companies will allow you to search a variety of symptoms and then they will help provide herbal recommendations to support your body. This is your starting point.
Anxiety and stress… meet your Wonder Woman. Now it’s time to get on the path to feeling better and more balanced.
Because herbs/plants can be used in a variety of ways, it is essential that directions are read and understood carefully. Some can be encapsulated, infused or even made into amazing tinctures. My recommendation is to always read the suggested dosage on the bottle and consult with your naturopath/holistic health care provider for specifics as dosage may vary per everyone’s individual needs.
I have had the honor of supporting many clients along their anxiety/stress journey and my recommendation is always that because herbs work differently for each individual, it is essential that you check with your doctor before beginning any new herbal remedy (especially if you are currently taking any medication). There continues to be many people who have been able discontinue their anti-anxiety medications and shift to adaptogens after education, empowerment and continued support along a holistic journey.
Ashwaganda is my number one “happy sauce herb.” It is native to the dryer climate of India and considered a primary Ayurvedic herb to strengthen the immune system. Because my work is primarily focused on hormone balancing (ummm…hello moods, fertility, hair growth and healthy weight), Ashwaganda has been found to help support sleep and adaptation to stress (goodbye stressful cortisol production) which then makes our adrenal glands happy and supports healthy hormone production, plus thriving thyroid function!
All of that equals a happy, balanced and thriving body!
Passion Flower is native to Europe and southeastern parts of America. It is PHEMONENAL at calming the nervous system, specifically targeting insomnia and anxiety (bye bye Ambien and Xanax!) I have also clients who have experienced relief of menopausal symptoms, depression, headaches and a decrease of inflammation in the body by incorporating passion flower in its various forms (tea, tincture, infusion, etc.)
If you are currently under the care of a physician for anxiety and/or depression it is essential that you consult with your doctor to discuss interactions that may occur with your medication and any adaptogen. I always recommend seeking the guidance of a naturopath, holistic nutritionist and/or holistic health care provider. (Refer to previous questions)
Ok, now the Anti-Anxiety Shake. 🙂 Normally, you would add adaptogens into a warm tea for an added sense of calm. However, we wanted to provide another easy way to add them into your daily routine. This Anti-Anxiety shake is packed with calming ingredients, including the banana and mango, to alleviate stress. As Jennifer mentioned, please consult with your doctor if you are taking any medication. I make this shake in the morning before work if I know I am going to have a long stressful day. It’s also great to have at night to help you zen. 🙂
- 10 oz unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 banana
- handful of mango
- 1/3 teaspoon of ashwaganda powder
- 1 serving size (40 drops) of liquid Passion flower
- Add all the ingredients to a blender.
- Blend and enjoy.
- Consult with physician if you are taking any medications.
Relieve Your Stress