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Stress and Anxiety

Everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives. Actually, stress is supposed to be an adaptive mechanism, something that is good for us! It alerts us when action needs to be taken. However, in modern life, stress seems to cause more harm. It causes our bodies to worry as if there were a tiger in front of us, even though it’s just a malfunctioning printer.

Over time, these ongoing little stressors (or big ones!) can lead to anxiety. We don’t necessarily need to put a label on it and call it “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” or GAD, but let’s just say it’s enough of a bother that it can impact daily life. It can make us less happy than we would be otherwise.

So what can we do about it?

In herbal medicine, there are are herbs called adaptogens and there are herbs called anxiolytics.

The adaptogens are herbs that help us cope with stress, allow us to deal with regular stressors rather than to get exhausted. They give us a little bit more energy for a little longer. Examples include the herbs astragalus, rhodiola, and licorice.

The anxiolytics are more specific to helping with anxiety. This class of herbs help the body and mind relax, and sometimes help with insomnia. Examples of these herbs include valerian, lemonbalm, or skullcap.

Although you should certainly check with your health practitioner, these herbs are generally safe to use. Many can even be used in conjunction with regular medication, but you must have your practitioner do an interaction check for you just to be on the safe side. We offer all of these herbs individually or as part of herbal combinations, both as tinctures and as teas.

Acupuncture and acupressure are other alternative therapies that you can use along with herbal medicine to help alleviate stress and anxiety.