Anti-Stress Tea

May 08, 2017

NB: This post appeared first on my (written in Dutch) blog Thyme & Pepper, but I thought it would be fun to post it here as well.

I am what you can call a big stress case. Because I am pretty sensitive as a person I quickly experience a lot of stress. I've been struggling with chronic stress and panic attacks a good deal of my life - and my goodness stress can do horrible things to your body!

A little bit of stress can do no harm, but when stress does not reduce and your body is constantly in the 'fight or flight' mode, it can become dangerous. Chronic stress reduces your immune system,  making you more susceptible to infections and viruses, causing high blood pressure, tenacious weight gain, pain, trouble with sleeping, poor concentration and so on.

For quite some time, I've been working hard to reduce stress in my life on all fronts. Sometimes pretty discouraging, because in the world we live in today stress is prominent and it's difficult if you do not know where to start to tackle it.

Quitting coffee is one of the (biggest) steps I have taken to reduce stress in my life. Caffeine breaks down B-vitamins, which leads to an increase of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone). Too much cortisol gives a lot of nasty symptoms. If you suffer from chronic stress or hormonal problems it's very worthwhile to read up about this.

Another step I took to reduce stress is herbs. As an herbalist, I work a lot with herbs: a relaxing activity for me by itself. But not only that: herbs can also be used therapeutically. Herbal medicine (not to be confused with homeopathy) has been used effectively for thousands of years by our ancestors to give our lives more quality and balance.

Unfortunately, herbal medicine fell into oblivion with the advent of allopathy (conventional medicine as we know it today). The disadvantage of allopathy is that, although it works faster (think of painkillers and antibiotics), it often suppresses the disease, the underlying problem is not addressed, and it can cause nasty, sometimes serious side effects.

Herbs, on the other hand, reliably contribute to balance, health and vitality provided you use them on a regular basis and in the long term.

In order to reduce my stress, I started to study which herbs are most effective in combating stress and on the basis thereof I developed this anti-stress tea. This tea blend has a soft taste and smells delicious because of the roses and the lavender. The smell by itself can make the stress go away! I wish you could smell it!

So, what's in this tea?
  • Holy Basil, also called Tulsi. Holy Basil is one of India's holiest plants. The plant got its name thanks to Hindu monks. They regard this plant as a manifestation of the goddess Lakshmi. Holy Basil is an adaptogenic herb, which means it will reduce cortisol and therefore will also lower your stress.
  • Passiflora. Passiflora calms and reduces fear and panic attacks. It also often used as a sleeping drug. Studies even show that passiflora works just as well as prescribed medication. However, do not use passiflora for more than a month in a row.
  • Rosa Villosa. The smell of roses lowers blood pressure and ensures calmness in times of stress.
  • Lavender reduces a nervous and agitated feeling
Caution: do not use holy basil during pregnancy or breastfeeding! 

Anti-stress tea recipe
(double the ingredients when you want to make a larger batch)
  • 40g dried Holy basil
  • 20g dried passiflora
  • 20g dried Rosa villosa
  • 15g dried lavender 

Blend the herbs in a tea caddy or preserving jar.

Add a tablespoon of the anti-stress tea in a tea-egg or tea bag and simmer for 5 minutes in boiling water.

Drink 1 or 2 cups a day in cases of acute stress.

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