Though there is a long list of drugs to handle stress, the list of their side effects is equally long. So everyone is on the look out for natural stress relief techniques which are very effective and at the same time don’t have many side effects. Herbal treatments usually have a significant chunk of followers. Herbs are natural stress relievers with little or no side effects and can be used as a single herb or combination product in stress management therapy. Valerian is said to be the oldest in the herbal treatment of stress while Kava Kava is the latest addition. The following different herbs have medicinal values in the treatment of stress:
Kava Kava, or simply Kava, is the latest sensation in the stress management therapy. It is a derivative of the pepper family ‘Piper methysticum’. This plant family is indigenous to the Indonesian and the Polynesian group of islands. The herb was initially used in drinks while welcoming dignitaries. Kava can be taken as a whole herb or as extracts of the herb. Kava as a stress relief product that comes in both liquid and pill forms.
Kava, when ingested, gives a sense of well being. The herb contains Kava lactones which help in relaxation. The unique feature of Kava is that it does not affect the memories and the mental alertness. Kava can be used to relieve stress, relax muscles and get a peaceful sleep.
Valerian is said to be the oldest among the herbal stress relievers. It is mentioned even in Ayurvedic literature. It is akin to the drug ‘Diazepam’ which is used to calm a person. Valerian relaxes the nervous system and induces deep sleep. It also relaxes tensed muscles and is very useful to relieve the muscle cramps of pre- menstrual tension.
It is used either singly or as a combination product. It contains flavinoids which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances which neutralize the highly damaging oxygen ions. Passion flower also acts as a sedative as it decreases anxiety and can induce a deep sleep.
This herb is used as a nerve tonic. It stabilizes the mood during periods of stress.
This is a mild tranquilizer. It pacifies a stressed mind. It is used if there are sleeplessness and irritability.
Catnip acts on two systems – the nervous system and the digestive system. It calms down an anxious person by acting on the brain. It is effective in relieving the symptoms of peptic ulcer disease and irritable bowel syndrome which are oftentimes associated with stress.
It boosts immunity which is usually depressed during stress and thus prevents infection. It also acts as a tranquilizer by calming down a person. The gastro- intestinal symptoms and signs of stress are also relieved.
This acts on the heart. The irregular heartbeat is controlled so that the heart is made to pump at the normal rhythm.
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