4 Herbs that help with stress

Bad stress often occurs when we feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. It can affect our behaviour where we feel unable to concentrate, have a short temper or be affected physically with symptoms such as feeling tense, lack of libido, feeling tired all the time, and headaches.

Here are 4 herbs that help the body and its response to stress.

1. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba has been shown to help fight against acute stress. During an acute stress response, the body experiences increased levels of cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones resulting in an increased heart rate, faster breathing, and higher blood pressure. This is fairly common but with modern living, this may happen a bit too often. Repeated acute stress can lead to the symptoms of chronic stress.


Ginkgo is an herb with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is said to boost circulation and influence neurotransmitter activity in the brain. One clinical trial found that ginkgo may benefit people with generalized anxiety disorder. By the end of the study, participants treated with ginkgo showed a significantly greater improvement in anxiety symptoms compared to study members given the placebo.

 Ginkgo Biloba leaves

Ginkgo Biloba leaves

2. Ginseng Panax

Ginseng is an effective adaptogen, able to help calm stressful conditions and restore normal function in humans. Panax ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia due to its ability to increase resistance to stress and strengthen mental capacity. It's also been used for its beneficial effects as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

 Ginseng Panax bowl brown table

Panax Ginseng

3. Chamomile


Studies have shown chamomile to be effective in aiding with relaxation, and also helping with anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Lack of sleep leads to stress, which leads to anxiety and more insomnia, which then leads to even more stress and so on. Chamomile helps with sleep and can help break this cycle. Since this is a very accessible herb, you can easily have a cup in the evening or before something stressful to help calm you and your nerves.

Field of chamomile

Chamomile

4. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is well understood for its effect on stress. In a 60-day study with 64 people suffering with chronic stress, those in the group that supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with 11% in the placebo group. In another 6-week study, 88% of people who took ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety, compared with 50% of those who took a placebo. Along with its other benefits, this is a powerful stress fighting herb. 

Ashwagandha with leaves

 

Ashwagandha

Others things to help you fight stress include a well balanced diet, including high omega 3 fats, getting at least 7 hours sleep, regular exercise (cardio and/or weight training), and learning some relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises. But more importantly, speak to someone, whether it’s someone in your social circle or a therapist, there is power in letting some of these stressors out.


Health is wealth.