The Calmative Power of Herbs17 Oct 2022
Anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders have become an integral and accepted part of our day-to-day lives; waking up late, forgetting an appointment, skipping meals – all of the daily pressures and mishaps accumulate, deflating our enthusiasm and motivation when all we really want to be is our best and to make the most of the new day. Just as in nature, when we step out of balance, we become disconnected from the natural source and flow of life.
When Ancient Medicine Meets Science
For thousands of years, the healing capacity of herbal medicine to regenerate and rebalance the human body has continually been demonstrated. They have been sourced to treat some of the most life-threatening infectious diseases afflicting humanity.
The powerful ability of herbs to fight infections and boost immunity should not be underestimated or taken for granted. In the medical paradigm, plants have become more well-known by their pharmaceutical adopted names, such as Morphine (Poppy), Quinine (Peruvian Bark), and Dioxin (Foxglove).
The Resurgence of Natural Medicines
We live in a time of unprecedented demand for natural medicine, and the passing of time has allowed science to prove the potency of the age-old craft. The pharmaceutical and medical professions have relied upon and harnessed the healing power of herbs for centuries yet remain slow to sing their praises. Can you believe it took the medical profession 300 years to accept quinine?
Medical practitioners are working more closely now than ever with qualified herbalists, reinforcing that non-suppressive medicines strengthen immune reserves and help combat disease, rapid aging, and the deterioration of health. Unlike orthodox medicine, herbalism reunites us with our primal connection to nature that lays dormant and lost in the shadows of modern pharmacy.
Did you know that a plant can even synthesize its own chemicals to protect itself against disease? This, in turn, protects us. Even our domestic friend, the cat - a notorious carnivore - will instinctively eat grass when it needs to relieve digestive issues, ease constipation, break down unwanted matter such as fur balls, and even help counteract vitamin deficiencies.
Prescription Drugs – An Alternative
Herbal remedies offer an excellent alternative to prescription drugs such as beta-blockers or benzodiazepines and their unwelcome side effects. Plants like St John's Wort can naturally enhance serotonin and reduce oxidative stress, bridging conventional and alternative medicines. Each plant's efficacy has its own timescale - sometimes taking a couple of weeks or longer for the host to reap the healing benefits.
Although herbs provide a safer and natural alternative, it is important to note that before introducing any herbal remedy into your diet, you ensure that they don't interact with any medication you may be taking to avoid any potential side effects.
Healing Herbs - going back to the source
Egyptian schools of herbalists have existed since 300BC. Herbal medicines stimulate the body's energy-production system, empowering its intuitive ability to heal itself. The detoxifying power of herbs is nothing short of miraculous. They can cleanse the blood, aid in eliminating toxic waste, stimulate the kidneys by acting as diuretics, calm the central nervous system - helping us to sleep and relax, and combat infection through their antibacterial and diaphoretic properties.
Adaptogenic herbs are among the most impactful of these healing herbs on our mental wellbeing.
Adapt to the feeling of calm - Adaptogenic herbs
One of humankind's biggest silent killers today is stress. Just talking about stress can make us feel stressed!
Many aspects of our lifestyle contribute to our mental and physical state, from the
delicate balance between our professional and personal lives to the emotional burden of the unrealistic expectations and demands we put on ourselves. We all exhibit stress in our own unique way, whether it's experiencing heart palpitations, poor sleep, stored tension in the body, irritability, or even skin rashes and hair loss. When we feel overwhelmed, depressed, sad, angry, or scared, we become anxious and tired.
Just as crying is nature's emotional sedative, herbs possess the ability to calm and relax the mind and body, moderating our sleep patterns and restoring energy levels to reduce crippling stress and anxiety. Their exceptional capabilities ease nervous conditions such as chronic fatigue and obsessive-compulsive/seasonal affective disorders.
Adaptogenic herbs work quickly and immediately to help prevent the devastating effects of stress by acting on anxiety-relieving hormones, including serotonin, GABA, and dopamine, to preserve our emotional balance and increase feelings of tranquility and wellbeing.
Herbs are Mother Nature's healers and helpers, diligently working their magic without asking for anything in return. They are offered as dried herbs, teas, capsules, liquid extracts, tinctures, topical creams, and aromatherapy. Liquid extracts preserve the most volatile compounds in the plant, proving highly effective in overcoming anxiety and stress
So, which are the most calmative herbs?
Herbal medicine has illuminated the need to help a person treat the stresses of their life as an integral part of healing the body. Herbs contain life-transformative anti-oxidants and rejuvenating properties that cleanse, purify and restore us to superior levels of positivity and life-enhancing vitality.
Pioneering mood-boosting and calmative herbs include:
- Lavender 'The Plant of Peace' - Aiding mental and physical exhaustion. It lifts the mood and relaxes muscle tension.
- Ashwagandha - Relieves stress, boosts fertility, and sharpens focus and memory.
- Holy Basil (Tulsi) - Calms an anxious mind, slowing the release of the primary stress hormone, Cortisol - to override our harmful 'flight-or-flight response.
- Rhodiola Rosea - Also known as ‘The Golden Root.’ A natural calmative for anxiety and stress, helping to manage depression and increase energy while supporting cardiovascular and metabolic health.
- Licorice - Eases nervous irritability, supports digestive and menopausal symptoms, helping to fight bacterial and viral infections.
- Ginseng - Digestive relaxant, anti-aging, calms an irritable or nervous stomach caused by stress.
- Chamomile - Relaxes nerve tension, is anti-inflammatory, supports optimal digestion, and aids sleep.
- Passionflower - Calms anxiety and helps overcome insomnia due to mental restlessness and nervous excitability.
- Lemon Balm - Reduces stress and anxiety, improves appetite, and promotes sleep.
- Kava Kava - A powerful nerve and muscle relaxant, a natural pain reliever. It contains Kavapyrones making you feel calm, happy, and relaxed.
- Ginkgo Biloba - A circulatory tonic that supports memory and brain health.
- Valerian Root - Used as a calmative since Hippocratic times. It eases nervous tension, sleeplessness, mental confusion, and pain caused by tension.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) - A chemical compound derived from the hemp plant. It reduces anxiety, insomnia, and pain.
Eating In Harmony With Nature
For over 60 years at the globally renowned Hippocrates Wellness, we have maintained that wisdom needs to be shared. We believe in the healing power of plants and the integral role they play in restoring health and vitality. When we embrace a planet-friendly, plant-based lifestyle, we are reminded that Nature has all the answers; we just need to listen.
You can become the change by adopting new lifestyle habits and embracing a diet overflowing with raw, organic, living plant foods, helping your body to heal itself. The Hippocrates Wellness 3-week Life Transformation Program helps you take responsibility for your health and happiness while protecting our magnificent planet.
Book your free consultation now with one of our health and wellbeing experts to learn more about the calmative, healing power of plants and how you can take the first step towards an ethical, healthier future.