The past few years of uncertainty have surely tested our fight our flight response, leading to increased stress levels and sleepless nights. Our daily hustle and bustle often leave us less quality time for relaxation, which is an inevitable risk for burnout. Fear not, there is plenty we can do to help reduce mild stress such as:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day
- Taking 5-10 minutes for a daily meditation (thanks YouTube!)
- Taking time to confide in a trusted friend or family member
- Practicing gratitude through journaling
- Taking a hot bath
- Creating a self-care routine
- Taking a herbal supplement
With herbal supplements, it can be a bit of a mind field when it comes choosing the right fit, however we have put together a list of the most useful herbs to help ease stress and promote relaxation.
Chamomile is a herb that comes from flowers and has been used for centuries to treat a multitude of health issues. More specifically, chamomile has been used to help ease stress, anxiety, and mild sleep issues, acting as a natural tranquilizer and sleep inducer. Chamomile can be taken as a tea or a supplement and is totally caffeine free so is totally suitable to be taken before bed. Some studies have suggested that chamomile may increase neurotransmitter activity such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline which promote a happy and calmer mood.
Hops is a type of plant, where the flowering part is dried and used to make herbal medicine. While many of us may associate hops as an ingredient to beer, research has suggested that taking hops (without the alcohol), either in a tea or supplement can help to treat insomnia, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a better mood. One study found that consumption of a hops-based drink before bedtime can help to improve sleep quality and reducing the number of times participants woke up.
Passionflower is a natural herb, derived from South America. In recent times, it has become a natural remedy for a multitude of ailments such as anxiety and sleep issues. Some scientists believe that passionflower has the ability to increase GABA levels in the brain which in turn can help you feel calmer and more relaxed.
Sona Relax contains chamomile, hops, and passionflower with vitamin B6 to promote calm and relaxation. It promotes tranquility and natural sleep, in times of stress, restlessness and trouble sleeping but is non-habit forming.
Franco, L., Sánchez, C., Bravo, R., Rodriguez, A., Barriga, C. and Juánez, J., 2012. The sedative effects of hops (Humulus lupulus), a component of beer, on the activity/rest rhythm. Acta Physiologica Hungarica, 99(2), pp.133-139.
Miroddi, M., Calapai, G., Navarra, M., Minciullo, P.L. and Gangemi, S., 2013. Passiflora incarnata L.: ethnopharmacology, clinical application, safety, and evaluation of clinical trials. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 150(3), pp.791-804.
Srivastava, J.K., Shankar, E. and Gupta, S., 2010. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future. Molecular medicine reports, 3(6), pp.895-901.