Home Healthier Life 10 Calming Herbs And Spices To Fight Stress And Anxiety

10 Calming Herbs And Spices To Fight Stress And Anxiety

by Tatiana Plesco
Fight Stress

The overwhelming feeling of constant irrational dread, excessive fear, and restlessness is “Anxiety and Stress.” Everyone has felt feelings of anxiety at certain times of their lives, and it is perfectly normal to experience this occasional anxiety.

Some people find it difficult to control their feelings of fear and worries. The constant feelings of anxiety with stress hamper their daily lives, which can lead to many psychological and physical disorders.

There are lots of options available to conquer anxiety and stress, including medicines, although these medicines have adverse effects. Other options include having a healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook for your feelings.

Yet! The Healthcare community is emphasizing on traditional medicines to treat anxiety and depression. Traditional medicines include herbs and spices to treat common ailments, which can also effectively treat anxiety symptoms.

The use of herbs and spices to treat common ailments has been noted in history for thousands of years. Inevitably, they can surely help calm your nerves and relieve you from this distress.

Following on that note—here are five calming herbs and spices to fight stress and anxiety.

1- Ginger

Zingiber officinale—Ginger is the versatile herb, which is a remarkable spice and a simple herbal remedy. It is commonly used to treat digestive issues but also offers benefits for the brain and is a natural adaptogen.

Ginger is the oldest medicinal herb and culinary spice in the world. The use of ginger has been recorded for almost 5,000 years in Indian Ayurvedic practices and traditional Chinese medicine.

The active components– ’10-gingerol’ and ‘6-shogaol’ are anti-inflammatory agents and affect brain functions. This anti-inflammatory property helps to ease the effects of anxiety, depression, brain fog, and stress.

Ginger balances brain hormones by increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine. The deficiency of both hormones causes mental disorders, including depression and stress-related anxiety.  

Infusing ginger into your regular part of the diet could help you to achieve long term results. Drinking ginger tea every day is also an excellent method to get full health benefits.

2- Valerian

Valeriana officinalis—Valerian root has been part of ancient Greek and Roman medicinal practices. Hippocrates first noted down its medicinal properties, which later became a remedy to treat insomnia.

Valerian root extract has shown an impact on the central nervous system by inhibiting nerve transmission (GABA-Gamma-amino butyric acid), resulting in the prevention of nervous activity in the brain.

valerian

The active component–‘valerenic acid’ acts on your brain and nervous system, resulting in feelings of tranquillity and calmness. Valerian roots have a mix of complex compounds that reduces anxiety, stress, and promotes sleep.

The consumption of valerian is through making tea, but the smell and taste of it are awful. It is best to take it as a supplement in the form of capsules. You should take the valerian supplement with caution as high doses can lead to toxicity. 

3- Saffron

Crocus sativus—A species of flowering plant which is best known for producing the world’s most expensive and valuable spice-Saffron. The majority of health claims of saffron relate to its high levels of antioxidants.

The primary bioactive antioxidants present specifically in saffron are ‘crocin,’ ‘picrocrocin,’ and ‘safranal’ are considered as promising agents to treat several nervous system disorders. These antioxidants balance levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin exerting antidepressant effects on the brain.

The antioxidant ‘crocin’ lowers the oxidative stress and free radicals in the body. This activity helps to protect a person’s brain and nervous system and prevent health conditions like cancer.

Chemical compounds such as carotenoids that give saffron a beautiful burnt orange color are said to have the mood-boosting ability. This ability helps to lower anxiety, giving out the feelings of calmness and tranquility.

The best method to consume saffron is by making tea or combining it with various cuisines.

4- Magic mushrooms

Psilocybe Cubensis—Commonly known as magic mushrooms or shrooms, are notorious for their euphoric properties. They have lately gained the medical community’s attention for its medicinal effects on the brain.

The first-ever use of psychedelic mushrooms was seen on rock art originating in Sahara dating back 9,000 years ago. They belong to the fungus family and yet are in the category of herbal medicine.

‘Psilocybin’ is the most researched active compound of the magic mushrooms and has shown promises in treating anxiety, depression, and stress. Although because of its legality issues, the studies remain limited.

Scientists have found that a single dose of psilocybin can alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety in cancer patients for a minimum of five years. The outcome of few studies has to lead to an increase in research of magic mushrooms to treat mental disorders.

The best way to manage your stress and anxiety is by making tea using shrooms dry powder whenever you feel stressed and anxious.

5- Chamomile

Matricaria chamomilla—Chamomile is very popular as herbal tea in many parts of the world. Primarily people use chamomile tea to ease anxiety or feelings of restlessness during bedtime.

The use of chamomile flowers dates back to ancient Greek and Roman cultures, and they used it to treat common health ailments. Presently the medical community has acknowledged and deemed safe, effective herbal remedy for treating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress for the overall public health. 

Chamomile dietary supplements are effective in treating generalized anxiety disorders for long-term treatments. Apigenin, the bioactive compound, is an antioxidant bind to neuroreceptors of the brain which promotes sleep.

Regular drinking of chamomile tea may stabilize mood, promote calm, and reduce the symptoms of stress linked to depression.

6- Turmeric

Curcuma longa – Turmeric belongs to the family of ginger and is the most popular spice in the world today. This spice is undoubtedly the most beneficial spice for your physical and mental health.

There is a confusion between various aspects of using turmeric – a) the fresh root is consumable alongside the whole plant; b) the bright yellow :

  1. Thede from dried roots is a culinary spice;
  2. The bioactive component derived from turmeric and sold as support.
  3. Curcumin way, all three types mentioned above can relieve the symptoms of mental stretch, anxiety, and are also brain protective. However, the bioactive component curcumin is a natural antidepressant.

Curcumin increases the activities of serotonin and dopamine, easing the symptoms of stress and depression.

Using turmeric powder in cooking is a great way to introduce this spice in your body. You can also get curcumin supplements in the form of capsules in the market.

7- Lavender

Lavandula species—Lavender flower and its essential oil were part of ethnic rituals that date back to ancient Egypt. Later times the use of this flower herb was highly seen in Persia, Greece, and Rome–these cultures believed that lavender helped to purify the mind and body.

Today lavender derivatives are highly used as an aid to relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia. The ‘terpenoid’ constituents present in lavender essential oil have mood-stabilizing and neuroprotective properties.

The fragrance of lavender flowers and its essential oils promotes calmness and wellness. It also helps reduce stress, anxiety, and mild pain; because of these abilities, the use of lavender derivatives in aromatherapy is quite high.

Lavender is an excellent mild sedative; it helps to promote sleep and eases restlessness and anxiousness. The best way to use lavender is by applying essential oils or by drinking tea.

8- St John’s wort

Hypericum perforatum—St John’s wort has a long and exciting history of its traditional medicinal use. The first record of this herb was found in De Medicina in 30 BC, and later in the Middle Ages, it was used to treat Knights of the Order of St John after the holy crusades—hence the name St John’s wort.

The bioactive components’ hyperforin‘ found explicitly in St John’s wort have antidepressant and anxiolytic properties. Presently the herb supplements are used as an over-the-counter medication to treat depression, stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

St John’s wort increases the activity of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenaline that play the role of regulating mood and lowers the symptoms of stress. Due to improved activities of neurotransmitters, a person can have a feel-good effect on the brain, which helps to reduce anxiety episodes.

St John’s wort supplements are one of the top-selling supplements in the United States. So the best way to consume this herb was by a supplement or by making an herbal tea of dried flowers. Same as valerian, St John’s wort herbal supplements have toxic adverse effects when taken in high doses.

9- Passionflower

Passiflora incarnata—Native Americans traditionally used passionflower as a calming herb to treat anxiety and insomnia. Today scientists believe passionflowers work by increasing the levels of GABA in the brain, making you feel relaxed and calm.

Passionflower

There is sound evidence that passionflower helps lessen the symptoms of anxiety. Combining passionflower with oxazepam (medication for anxiety) is effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder.  

A clinical trial found that passionflower can reduce stress and improve memory. The sedative effects can give feelings of relaxation and calmness by reducing the symptoms of anxiety and stress.

Passionflower supplements are available in markets. Yet the easiest way to consume is making herbal tea from dried flowers and consuming before sleep.

10- Cinnamon

Cinnamomum Verum, referred to as ‘true cinnamon’ and Cinnamomum cassia as ‘cassia,’ are two varieties grown commercially as a spice. The first record of cinnamon was in early ancient Egyptian culture, dating back to 2000 BC. It was a profoundly prized spice among the monarchs, who valued true cinnamon more than gold.

cinnamon

Cinnamon is widely known to improve the brain’s cognitive functions, boosting memory power, and protects the aging brain. The polyphenol antioxidants combat oxidative stress on the body and lower the damage of free radicals on the cellular level.

Since cinnamon is the warm spice, it helps to energize the body and mind by reducing signs of stress. The high antioxidant content may help ease anxiety and depression symptoms, yet this property is highly understudied.

Cinnamon affects brain receptors that interact with glucose and cholesterol activities in the body. This property helps to curb excessive eating habits of a person, which is directly or indirectly connected to anxiety and stress over the body.

One study shows that cinnamon essential oil can be used as a therapy to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression disorders. However, more reviews and clinical trials are yet to happen. Cinnamon is a culinary spice that you can infuse into a regular diet. Using essential oils or drinking cinnamon tea is another way to consume this spice.

Humans have been incorporating herbs and spices as an herbal or medicinal remedy for thousands of years. It has proven over time that they are effective in easing up our turmoil of emotions and feelings.

Although feelings of anxiety and stress are pretty standard–it is not mandatory to hide them or act on them. You must take the necessary steps to resolve your anxious and stressed feelings.

Consuming herbs and spices as a supplement or as herbal concoction will undoubtedly help you tackle the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Get them on your regular diet, have a positive look at your life, and keep breathing!

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