Jo Francks, M.H.

This is a season of excitement, renewal, reflection, giving and love. Some situations during the rushed holiday season can bring anxiety and stress in spite of all our efforts to be cheerful and full of joy. Thankfully, there are some wonderful natural solutions to the stress and anxiety that can be experienced at any time. Below are a few brief suggestions.

Kava-kava is beneficial when one is feeling stressed and anxious. There is an old saying, “Where kava is, the heart opens and there is only love.” Traditionally it has been use to soothe arguments and create a peaceful environment. Try serving it at your next family get together.

Passion flower is a calming relaxing herb. It helps calm the central nervous system reducing tension and anxiety and may help lower blood pressure related to stress.

Valerian is a very powerful non-habit-forming potent herb for the nervous system. It has been used for insomnia, headaches, mild pain, muscle spasms and cramps. Valerian is also a tonic for the heart. It strengthens the heart beat without increasing the heart rate.

When feeling run down a nerve stimulant may be what is needed. Unlike a caffeine fix, nerve stimulants are slow builders of the nervous system and some of these are in the same category as adaptogens. When you need an extra boost to get you through, you may want to try one of the following.

Ginseng: all varieties of ginseng, Panax and Eleuthero, have similar adaptogenic properties. They build stamina and endurance and work best if used over a period of time.

Rhodiola has been used historically by the Vikings to enhance physical endurance and mental clarity. It has been used by many societies to increase immunity, circulation and energy.  It is also one of the best herbs to restore and rebuild energy.

Ashwagandha is a tonic for the nervous system when used over a period of time. It helps the body deal with stress, anxiety, depression and promotes general well-being.

All of the herbs mentioned can be used as a tea, in capsules or added to smoothies.

Some other therapies that can help to calm and relax the system are massages, foot baths, reflexology and a warm bath with some relaxing herbs or essential oils such as lavender or lemon balm. Remember the reason we are celebrating the season and take some extra time for yourself.

Lots of love from all of us here at The School of Natural Healing!

Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch Practitioner.