Herbs are a fantastic way to support your mental and physical health. When I’m going through a stressful time, I like to reach for a natural remedy to soothe the problem instead of masking it with a medication. Sometimes, it helps to feel into those emotions, but by no means do you have to do so without first arming yourself!
There are a few herbs that are always in my house for times of stress. Of course, herbs are a great way to soothe your mind and also protect your body. Our immune systems are one of the first things to be compromised when we’re under stress. Herbal teas can boost your immune response and prevent you from getting sick, which is amazing to me!
Another thing stress does is physically manifest itself in our bodies. From aches and pains to activating chronic illnesses. It also causes is breakouts and, well, no one wants to deal with that. Managing those tense moments with rituals and herbal support helps to prevent them or at least lessen their effects.
Teas and herbs for support to breathe through stress…
I’ve been making special teas to support myself while going through life transitions for a long time. Two go-to herbs for support are Astragalus and Mullein. Both have anti-inflammatory properties and can literally help you breathe easier.
Astragalus is native to northern China and Mongolia and is found along the forest edge, in thin open woods, in grasslands, and shrub thickets. Astragalus is a big immune stimulant. We all know that when we get stressed, our immune system is compromised and we’re much more likely to get sick. This herb is an antibacterial, an anti-inflammatory, and antiviral, and an antimicrobial.
If you’re in a large group, on a plane, or anywhere that’s known for making people sick, ward off a cold with astragalus. Avoid this if you’re allergic to legumes or taking drugs that suppress the immune system.
Mullein is in the same family as the snapdragon. It was, and still is, used to treat respiratory problems. Both the leaves and flowers contain mucilage, which is soothing to irritated membranes. When you cough, it will actually do something; medically, it’s called “being more productive.” I’m sure you can use your imagination on that one! This herb also has anti-inflammatory and, some say, antiviral properties.
Sometimes, the plant’s hairs irritate the skin and mucous membranes. Try a little at first to see if you can tolerate it.
Use herbs in your skincare routine!
There is a big shift to natural skincare and makeup. Personally, I love this! Your skin is the largest organ in your body; what you put on it gets quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. When you use natural products for skincare, you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin and in your body.
I use herbs to support my skin by infusing oils to make lotions, masques, and salves. I’ll also infuse oils as a spot treatment or to make roller ball tubes of my instant stress reliever. Two that have been in my arsenal lately are Calendula and Lavender.
Calendula has a great reputation. It was believed to promote sunny dispositions and good health in cold weather. Calendula is known as an antifungal, antioxidant, antiseptic, and astringent. It also cleanses and stimulates the lymphatic system. You can use it to soothe and heal wounds, bruises, burns, sores, skin ulcers, skin infections, and rashes. It can even relieve menstrual problems!
This is a go-to when I need a spot treatment. I love the way it soothes my skin if it feels irritated.
Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, but it grows successfully elsewhere. There’s a lavender farm here in Southwestern PA! Lavender helps to support a positive outlook with its antidepressive effects. It can also help with mild anxiety, insomnia and other sleep problems, minor digestive problems, fatigue, and mild depression.
It’s most known for its relaxing and sedative effects. Because it’s most known to relax you, people have a biodynamic response when they smell it; it reminds you of being calm when you smell it and then you become calm! Be sure to avoid large quantities if you’re pregnant. If you’re interested in what else lavender can do, read more about it in the Herb Spotlight: Lavender post.
When you’re facing stressful times, look to herbs to support your mind and your body. They are a natural and safe way to boost your immune system and help you get through stress.