These worries can then be carried into the evening and affect our sleep. It is common to experience anxiety or low mood, which seems to compound as time goes on. Herbal medicine can be applied to these situations in a number of different ways. There are herbs that can help our body handle stress, those that can support a more positive mood and others that relax the mind and body ready for a good night’s sleep.
When I am looking to make a personalised formulation for clients for stress or mood support I look at the different actions that my herbs give, to make a well-rounded formula.
These herbs work to balance the nervous system. When we are stressed we get stuck in “fight or flight’ mode, which leads us to feel anxious and find it hard to unwind. This is because our nervous system triggers reactions in the body automatically, as soon as our brain detects stress. Adaptogens help sooth our nerves and work to correct these subconscious processes so we go back to a more restful state.
Withania, also known as Ashwagandha, is a wonderful herb for helping achieve a more balanced, relaxed state. It is well known in Ayurvedic (Indian traditional medicine) for stress support and promoting a good night’s sleep. I also like rhodiola, as it helps to balance, but invigorate the body.
When people are in a more exhausted state Siberian ginseng is a lovely herb, to bring more energy to the body without stressing it out.
There are many great herbs for helping to chill us out when we get over wrought. One of my most dispensed herbs is passionflower, which I often give to people in a small bottle for in-case of emergency. It gives fast relaxation and is great at night when you are stuck and can’t get to sleep. Chamomile is also a lovely calming herb and is fantastic for anyone who suffers from nervous stomach. It can be use day or night for relaxation.
When looking at herbs for those feeling flat and having low mood, most people have heard of St John’s wort. This herbs supports the creation of serotonin, which is our hormone that makes us feel happy and relaxed. It also supports the nervous system and is great for people recovering from low mood post virally. My other new favourite herb is lavender … and yes it tastes like it smells. It really helps with relaxation and recovery from low mood.