(NaturalNews) Even if you do yoga, meditate and perform other stress-reducing activities, calm may allude you. Instead of getting a prescription for Xanax, try a natural supplement to relax. There are several herbs you can take in a nice cup of tea that could give you the sedative effect you need during times of hardship. Generally, one teaspoon of dried herbs or three tablespoons of fresh herb to one cup of water is a beneficial amount. Most herbs should steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Valerian root is well known for its sedative properties and is often taken to promote good sleep. However, it can also ease tension, both physical and emotional. Too much can make you lethargic. It should not be used by kids under 12 years of age.
Another herb associated with easing sleep troubles and calming the nervous system is blue vervain. Research has shown that it can be effective against certain nervous conditions, but it should not used used for long periods of time.
If you have cats, try stealing their catnip. Cats rarely seem stressed or nervous, perhaps because the herb fights symptoms of anxiety. It can also reduce muscle tension while providing mild stimulation. If your troubles are making it difficult to fall asleep, try catnip in a tea before bedtime. It could also help if your lack of sleep is giving you headaches. Even people with severe anxiety may benefit.
Many people reach for chamomile tea to relax. It helps soothe the stomach and decrease mild anxiety. It is one of the herbal remedies that can be given to children, though it is not recommended for prolonged use in anyone. Chamomile and catnip could both stimulate an appetite lost due to stress. In addition to a cup of tea, people can add chamomile to a warm bath for increased relaxation.
Anything with the name "balm" should be soothing, and lemon balm is no exception. Lemon balm acts on the nervous system to make you feel less nervous, anxious or upset. Generally taken in a tea, lemon balm may also reduce headaches. Let it steep up to 15 minutes and use it in a hot or iced tea.
Kava is arguably the best herb for treating moderate to severe anxiety. Many studies have shown its effectiveness for anxiety and stress. Some herbal remedies ease the symptoms of anxiety, but kava might actually reduce anxious thoughts. There are some concerns about the safety of kava, so even though a cup of kava tea probably won't hurt you, talk to a doctor anyway.
People with moderate anxiety who want the benefits of kava without the possible risks can try passionflower tea. Passionflower might help with severe anxiety, but it is recommended for people with a mild to moderate condition. This herb is known to decrease muscle tension and calm nerves. It could also help with headaches and sleep difficulties.
Although a main ingredient in beer, hops are also used in tea and may soothe nervousness and stress. It could also fight insomnia, indigestion and headaches. If your stress level has weakened your immune system and you end up with a fever, hops could also help that too.
Besides its high antioxidant content, green tea could help you relax because it contains theanine. Research shows that this amino acid promotes alpha waves in the brain, which are linked to relaxation. Green tea does have caffeine though, so if you're looking to calm down, you may want to try the decaffeinated kind.
About the author: Sarka-Jonae Miller is a published novelist and MARSocial Author of the Year runner-up. She's also a former personal trainer and massage therapist. SJ's published work includes the #3 bestseller "Between Boyfriends" and the just released sequel"Between the Sheets". The chick lit series was recently featured in the San Diego Reader, the largest alternative newsweekly in the United States.