Disclaimer – I am in no way affiliated with Traditional Medicinals, nor is this a sponsored post. Out of the herbal tea brands my local health food store stocks, they are my preferred choice.
It’s been a week since we received a call stating my Grandpa was unconscious and Mum raced up to see how he was. I later got a call stating he in fact had passed away. As my Grandmother tells it, they had just come back from a walk, he was tired and went to lay on the bed, finding him, she curled up beside him, he put his hand on her knee and they lay there gently having a nap.
My Grandparents and I have never been close, my Grandpa least of all. I look at them as blood; because of their genetics I am here, but I don’t see a close bond full of laughter. My Father’s parents passed away when he was young and the only other “close” relative passed when I was quite young, almost too young to grasp the terms. It’s been an interesting experience; understanding that I have a different conception of death, the fact that people want to coddle me and discuss the issue drives me crazy. I find people try to label death, put meaning behind it; death is just another stage. There is nothing people can say to change it or make any type of wound caused by it go away, which is why with the friends around me who’ve suffered a loss I simple say – hugs.
We all grieve in our own way some people bawl, others get angry, some get into a depressed like state, but it all causes stress on the body. I’m sure most of us have heard of the fight or flight response. Back in the cave man days we would have faced saber tooth tigers, yet today we face modern versions of the same stress, but yet we don’t know how to deal with it effectively in these modern times. I’m talking about – your high paying client left, your boss unjustly demoted you, or even getting stuck in traffic while you’re heading to a meeting. These things and more put stress on the body.
When tea was first discovered in China it was used largely for medicinal purposes, something I think we actually forget. The following teas are actually herbal tisanes though, but the premise of healing with active constituents still applies. I don’t think there’s anything more relaxing or nurturing like a warm cup of herbal brew in your hand. So next time you find yourself getting uptight, take a little Zen moment for yourself and wrap your hands around one of my top five herbal teas for stress.
Chamomile – A very gentle sedative, my absolute favourite to use and a staple in the house. Its volatile oil, isadol, affects the entire nervous system helping the entire body to relax and sooth the mind. As soon as I feel myself get uptight I know it’s time I need to step away and pour myself a cup. I usually combine this herb with dried ginger and lemongrass for a very good calming tea.
Lemon Balm – This little plant is a nervous system tonic and relaxant used to lift depression and negativity from the mind; usually used for people with anxiety and/or a depressive mood. Unlike chamomile that calms, lemon balm strengthens the brain and it’s resistance to stress and delivers a sense of wellbeing. *
Passionflower – This tea is harder to come by, probably due to its strength; you can usually find it in sleep aid teas or a herbal store. The active constituent here is chystin, great for anxiety and stress. In twin studies, passionflower was compared to Xanax and came up par with anti-anxiety medications. Due to its strong benefits I would recommend taking this in the even before bed. *
Licorice & Ginseng – Unlike the top three, licorice and ginseng are adaptogens, as such they help support the body and bring everything back into equilibrium. As adrenal tonics, they support the adrenal glands that are in charge of our endocrine system, this is where our body’s hormonal response to stress comes from; think of the fight or flight response. If the adrenals are overworked, by constant stress your body will exhibit chronic fatigue, weakened immune system, and therefore an inability to handle stress. Adaptogens taken on a regular basis help boost and strengthen this very important hormonal area.
*Note – Do not take if you are on anti-depressants. If you are incredibly stressed or anxious on a day to day basis, please examine your symptoms and get help from a licensed naturopathic doctor.