Fight stress with herbal remedies

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Herbs can help relieve stress and otherwise benefit your body and mind
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Those herbs in your garden may be your ticket to stress-free living

All too frequently, individuals respond to stress by drinking too much; sleeping too much; eating too much; smoking like a chimney or taking tranquilizers. Although these coping techniques may work temporarily, providing a quick fix to whatever ails you, none of these options is healthy or a recommendable remedy to stress. Dealing with stress by self medicating is simply going to create more problems for you in the long run.

No one is going to experience a stress-free life unless they live in a fairy tale world. Stress is part and parcel of life.

Learning how to manage your stress is imperative, because long-term stress can take its toll on your body and your mind. Stress can lead to heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol and blood pressure as well as wreak havoc on your immune system, making you susceptible to every germ and virus that comes alone. Long-term stress can result in exhaustion, a diminished libido and a brain that is ravenous for glucose (sugar), which has become depleted by high cortisol levels. When your brain is starved, this impairs your mental performance.

When an individual is under stress, she produces copious amounts of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol serves a purpose. It helps adrenaline kick in and allows you to move and think faster and spring into action when there is an emergency; however, when cortisol levels remain too high for too long this means trouble for you. Cortisol changes protein into energy, releasing glycogen, and also offsets inflammation, which is good. A sustained high level of this stress hormone results in bad things, including destruction of your bones and muscles, impairment of the healing process and cell regeneration, poor digestion and the ability of the body to produce needed hormones.

There are herbal remedies for stress that have proven quite effective, and which are not habit forming or detrimental to your physical- and mental well-being.

Herbs that help relieve stress include chamomile, which is a tranquilizer as well as assists in digestive and serves as an immunostimulant, which means that it stimulates the immune system. Immunostimulants improve the natural defense mechanisms in our body, which enables the body to fight off disease and illness.

Consider taking chamomile, which quiets a nervous stomach and helps your sleep.

Another herbal remedy for stress is valerian, which helps you sleep and helps you relax.

Scull cap is considered the best nerve tonic of all the nervine herbs, which are herbs that feed, calm and soothe the nervous system.

Kava kava is effective in reducing fatigue and anxiety and improves ones sleep. It is also beneficial if you are suffering from arthritic pains, asthma or urinary problems.

Hops is used to treat sleep disorders, including insomnia, as well as nourishes the nervous system and quells irritability and nervousness. Hops will relax you.

Catnip can be used to make a tea, which, when drunk, will soothe your nerves. Lemon balm can also be made into a tea and it reportedly relieves aches and pains as well as minimizes tension.

Cats claw can be taken in a capsule or tincture and soothes the nervous system, particularly during times of illness.

Ginseng rebuilds the nervous system after an injury or illness. Siberian ginseng increases concentration and stamina and minimizes the effects of stress.

Reishi extracts and powders reportedly restore emotional balance while schisandra is an effective treatment for heart palpitations, dizziness, insomnia and headaches. Reishi is a herbal mushroom.

The Mayo Clinic, which is one of the foremost leaders in the medical world, has established a program called Complementary and Integrative Medicine, which promotes the use of alternative methods of treatment, along with the conventional approach. The program encompasses herbal remedies and medicine, meditations, resilience training and massage therapy. Complementary and alternative medical therapies can be incorporated into a conventional treatment plan to better address the needs of a patient, including stress.

Whenever using herbal remedies, do so under the guidance of a trained herbalist. Some herbs may cause allergic reactions and may also be contraindicated if you are taking certain types of medicines.


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