Holistic Health – Herbs for Stress Reduction
There are a variety of excellent herbs for stress relief. Many
are made into excellent organic herbal teas. Even black tea, known for its caffeine, has been proven to lower stress
In fact–in London, Europe researchers discovered that those who forgo other drinks and choose Black Tea on a regular
basis actually are more apt to lower their stress levels. This is because black tea lowers a hormone in the body
called cortisol. Therefore, during high tension experiences you might consider brewing up a cup. Also, when you are
recovering from intense life situations drinking black tea may help you balance the tension built up in your system.
Of course, the tea does not take away any of life’s complications but its effects help to bring stress hormone
levels back into the normal range, so says researcher Andrew Steptoe, from a London University. Another important
discovery is the benefit black tea may have in reducing the risk of chronic illnesses which are often brought on
by acute stress due to various life circumstances.
There are other teas that also are combined into various herbal blends specially designed to relieve tension and
offer a more peaceful state of mind. You will find teas designed to support meditation, and Yogi teas to calm the
The Kava Root is well known for it’s effects and somewhat mystical properties. Studies of the herb kava have shown
it to be a safe nonaddictive anti-anxiety medicine. It contains benzodiazepines such as valium does, which is often
given as a prescription for anxiety. However recent studies have shown Kava Root to assist concentration and memory.
Even reaction time for people who are suffering for anxiousness, and stress are more apt to achieve a relaxed state
without dealing with the side effects of narcotics and prescriptions medications.
Some other herbs for stress are:
- St. John’s Wort
- Lemon verbena
- Passion flower
A wonderful resource for organic herbal teas, herb blossoms, leaf teas, and extracts is, Mountain
Mixing Herbs with Birth Control Pills
Question for Dr. Leia: I am interested in trying some adaptogenic herbs to help with daily stress.
However I’m not sure about the contraindications with oral contraceptives. I plan on taking oral contraceptives in the near future and was wondering if adaptogenic herbs will decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives?
Dr. Leia’s Answer:
Thank you for asking this wonderful question.
As you know, adaptogenic herbs are herbs which help to enhance the body’s natural responses to stress, increase the body’s resistance to disease, and to help keep the body in its natural state of balance.
They balance and enhance one’s immune system, making it stronger, and help to maintain the body’s homeostasis or natural state of balance and state of proper functioning.
Adaptogens are non-toxic, they act to restore normal physiological and bio-chemical functions, and produce non-specific responses in the body.
As you can see, these herbs are all about balance and normal cellular functioning. They do not drastically alter or change any hormone or chemical levels one way or another, but just help to prevent alterations to the body’s physiology due to physical, biological, or chemical stressors.
Now, with that said, oral contraceptives are usually synthetic replacements for estrogen and progesterone normally produced by the body.
Since oral contraceptives are exogenous or outside influences which totally replace the body’s production of female hormones and shut down the body’s own hormone production temporarily while using these contraceptives, the body cannot make or manufacture these natural hormones while taking the contraceptives.
Adaptogenic herbs, in normal doses, would probably be ineffective against these stronger chemical hormone replacements. It would be unwise to take larger doses of the adaptogenic herbs and of course, it would depend upon which herbs you are taking.
Different herbs work on different organ systems. Please consult with your local Naturopathic doctor or herbalist to see if there would be problem with the herbs you are contemplating using and also concerning the correct dosage to use.
Dr. Leia Melead
Healthy New Age Herbal Choice
If you are seeking high quality organic herbs for stress relief you will find a wonderful resource for organic herbal teas, herb blossoms, leaf teas, and extracts here Mountain
Rose Herbs. More information on this can be found in our free online health magazine.