Thursday, February 12, 2009

De-Stress with Herbs

For physical and mental well being, it’s crucial to find ways to slow down. Herbal rituals—teatime, a long soak in an herbal bath and a restful slumber with an herbal pillow—can help soften the pace.

Herbal Tea Time

Whether you need to relax before climbing into bed, de-stress after a busy day at work, or even get your day off on the right (calm) foot, a cup of herbal tea can help. Try different herbs that are known for their soothing properties, then pick your favorites and enjoy them solo or in combinations. As a general guideline, use about a teaspoon of herb per cup of water, and steep for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tootsie Soak

No time for a full bath? Relish the scent of relaxing herbs and the warmth of the water as you soak your feet, and you’ll feel calm from the tip of your soaking toes to the top of your once-frantic head.
Make an infusion of soothing herbs (about one cup of herbs per quart of water) and pour it into a shallow pan. Add enough warm water to make the soak comfortably hot, then immerse your feet and drape the pan with a towel (to hold in the steam). Lean back and breathe deeply. Before the water gets too cool, remove and dry your feet. This is a good time to moisturize them, too!

Herbs for a relaxing foot soak include:
marshmallow, pennyroyal, sage, rosemary, juniper, angelica, chamomile, rose petal, lavender, yarrow, elder berries, and clover blossoms.

Herbal Nerve tonics

Valerian, hops, chamomile, scullcap, oats, damiana

Herbs to Relax Nerves

St. John’s wort, passion flower, valerian, lemon balm, lobelia, scullcap, hops, chamomile, lavender

Herbal Nerve demulcents
Oats, barley, slippery elm bark, marshmallow

Nerve Stimulanting Herbs
Kola nut, peppermint, ginkgo, gotu kola, wintergreen, spearmint, cayenne, ginger, rosemary, ginseng

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