There are many herbs that can help ease and calm a stormy day, or even a long period of difficulty. In fact, in thinking about writing about these herbs, I looked back over an article that I wrote for a small publication over 10 years ago. In addition to the herbs that were at that time cutting-edge, there are several more that hadn't come to the forefront yet. Just the other day, Dr. Oz talked about Passionflower, and how it can be helpful - particularly for women who are constantly going from one task to the next, never finishing, and then having trouble shutting down for a restful night - know anyone like that?
My first line of defense is always Chamomile.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) tincture is a favorite for one of my friends.
She uses it when her kids "get on her last nerve", and suspects that's how the herb got it's name. This herb is well known for her helpfulness in menopause, but part of that is the way it helps with anxiety and ... stress!
Next in line is a St. John's Wort.
We also keep Eleuthero (aka Siberian Ginseng) on hand.
Of late, these remedies weren't cutting the mustard for me. Coincidentally, a few years ago I was looking for something for a friend who is a tax preparer. Four months out of the year the workload increases by (seriously) 1000% and the stress takes a visible toll. A couple new herbs became part of my daily routine.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) - also known as Tulsi - came up in my research with some prodding by Sandi Wakefield at Black Kat Herbs.That year it so happened that I had purchased a Tulsi plant at an herb festival, and she was large and busy, perfect for a quart or so of tincture. He and I shared it, and it was the first time in many years that I heard him laugh in March. Seriously. We sometimes use it in tea form, too. Besides helping with stress, Holy Basil is considered a tonic to the nerves, increases memory, is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, immune stimulating, and acids contained in the herb change the way our bodies release cortisol and the way we react physically to stress. In India, Holy Basil is used for nearly all ills. I have an entire flat on order for this spring!
In addition, we use Mimosa (Albizzia julibrissin), also sometimes known as "the happiness herb."
It is also sometimes called "herbal Prozac", which I don't like at all, but it seems to get the point across, and some herbalists include it in formulas for grief. Sometimes when we are stressed it is because we are grieving the loss of something. If you've ever seen Mimosa flowers, they are happy little flowers, pink puffs that sit on top of the leaves in bunches.
Those are the things we use here at The Essential Herbal. Almost all of them are available on our website if you don't have them growing at your house!