There are numerous natural herbs and supplements that can reduce stress without causing as many side effects or other mental health conditions as many pharmaceutical psychotropic medications do. Over one-third of people taking anti-anxiety medication do not respond to drugs, and many carry significant side effects that counter any positives they deliver. Anxiety is one of the most significant health issues of our century, to the extent that it is being called a global epidemic. Although being stressed is a normal and often healthy response, excessive stress can be disabling. Many health experts feel, can be found in safe and effective natural therapies. When these are combined with a healthy lifestyle such as a balanced non-processed food diet, adequate rest, and regular exercise, the results are amazing.
- Chamomile. This amazing herb, related to ragweed, can be brewed in a tea or taken as a supplement, and it has been used for centuries to ease the mind and calm frazzled nerves. It has a mildly-sedating quality, and is often used for those having difficulty sleeping due to stress.
- Kava. Kava, also known as Piper methysticum (intoxicating pepper), a shrub that is a member of the pepper family. Medicinally, it is the root of this powerful plant that has gained so much attention for its stress fighting properties. Kava makes its home in the South Pacific Islands where it is ingrained in social and religious customs and medicinal therapies and often referred to as the “root of happiness.” Kava has a calming effect on the body and produces changes in brain waves that are similar to those seen in drugs such as Valium. An ever-expanding body of research supports its calming effects and ability to relieve anxiety, restlessness, muscle tension and even pain. Cognitive function is not impaired with kava, nor is it addictive.
- Ginseng. Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) is considered the most potent. According to Wallace, research has validated Asian ginseng’s use for improving mental performance and your ability to withstand stress. This red ginseng also has antioxidant effects, antidepressant effects, and can help naturally lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Holy Basil. Holy Basil is known in India as the “elixir of anti-aging.” Preliminary studies suggest that holy basil benefits include helping you fight fatigue and stress; boost your immune system; and regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and hormone levels.
- Green Tea. Theanine is an amino acid contained in Camellia Sinensis (green tea) that regulates certain aspects of brain functions like relaxing the mind.
- Ginkgo Biloba. Tracing back nearly 300 million years, Ginko biloba is the oldest surviving tree species on earth. Ginkgo is considered a prescription herb in Germany and is used to reduce fatigue and enhance oxygen utilization. In cases of fatigue, the adrenals suffer from a significant amount of oxidative stress, leading to an increase in free radicals.