By Erika Morvay,
The festive season is meant to be one of the happiest times of the year, and for many of us there’s certainly a lot to celebrate. However, if you find the holidays and everything they involve a bit overwhelming, you’re far from alone!
Here are four of our favourite herbs, which may help you cope better this silly season.
1. Sacred Basil relieves stress symptoms.
In a double-blind, randomised clinical study involving stressed out people, a specific Sacred Basil extract called OciBest® was shown to relieve symptoms like forgetfulness, fatigue and sleeping problems when taken for six weeks. Overall it was shown to be 1.6 times more effective at reducing stress symptoms than taking a placebo supplement.
Sacred Basil is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal medicine that's also known by the names Holy Basil and Tulsi. The OciBest® extract used in this study was a standardised form of Sacred Basil that contained consistent levels of key compounds that are regarded as instrumental in providing Sacred Basil’s therapeutic effects.
To replicate the doses used in this study, look for a formula containing 600mg of Sacred Basil as OciBest® and take it twice daily. Bear in mind that the research mentioned above was conducted over a six-week period, so start taking Sacred Basil now and help get yourself and your nervous system prepared for the lead up to Christmas.
2. Withania supports flagging energy levels
If you tend to respond to stress by becoming exhausted, restless or on edge, the traditional Ayurvedic herb Withania may be for you. It's traditionally regarded as being both energising and calming, without having sedative properties. Also consider taking this herb if you’re feeling mildly anxious, irritable or experiencing nervous tension.
3. Magnolia bark soothes a stressed out digestive system
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the bark of the Magnolia tree is used to relieve digestive symptoms such as indigestion and reflux, especially when they’re brought on or aggravated by stressful times. Laboratory studies suggest that these effects may be due to the presence of a compound called honokiol.
4. Polygala soothes the Mind and Spirit
In TCM, the term Shen is used to describe the Mind and Spirit - those aspects of ourselves that are associated with mental and emotional well-being. Shen is traditionally believed to be agitated by strong emotions, which may result in symptoms of stress and worry. During such times the herb Polygala is traditionally used to quiet and calm Shen, helping to relieve symptoms like restlessness, mild anxiety, and the sleep disturbances that often accompany such agitation. It may also help with forgetfulness and absent-mindedness and ease mild palpitations.