Happy National Nutrition Month. Enjoy another delightful article from one of the talented UNF Nutrition Students I am honored to work with. Have a Nutrition Question or challenge? firstname.lastname@example.org
Stress Reducing Herbs with Recipes
Kea M. Schwarz- Dietetic Student UNF
Stress is something many of us deal with on a daily basis. It can be impossible to avoid in today’s high-pressure society. But before turning to prescription drugs, maybe try some natural remedies first. Every culture has roots in some form of herbal medicines. They have been created as a result of historical and anecdotal evidence. Here are a few more simple recipes that may help ease your stress.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
This is the classic calming herb. The flowers have a gentle sedative property that may help calm the physical body and mind minus drowsiness. Tea made from chamomile flowers has been used to treat sore muscles, inflammation, tension, restlessness, and nerves. In one study, chamomile showed potential for providing antidepressant activity as well as anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) activity. Chamomile may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity that occurs in addition to its previously observed anxiolytic activity. If you’re looking for a calming herb, this is a great one to start with. It is great by itself and pairs wonderfully with food.
Strawberry and Honey Chamomile Popsicle
Recipe alteration courtesy of https://vanillaandbean.com/honey-chamomile-popsicles/
Lavender is a popular nerve tonic known for its relaxing effects. It is thought to help calm the body from head to toe while soothing anxiousness. In a study done to test the effects of lavender on anxiety and depression it was found potential anxiety reducing effects in humans suffering from low anxiety, but these effects were not suggested to extend to conditions of severe anxiety. Additionally, lavender was suggested to help aid in sleep quality. I usually enjoy lavender in a warm tea where I can inhale the volatile compounds and sip a soothing drink. However, I found this great lavender lemonade recipe. Its quite sweet, so I added less sugar to mine. Overall, it is quite refreshing.
Blueberry Lavender Scones
Recipe courtesy of https://www.101cookingfortwo.com/zero-fat-blueberry-scones/
Passion Flower (passiflora incarnara)
Passionflower is thought to help promote restful sleep. In a double blind, placebo-controlled study, forty participants consumed one cup of tea and completed a sleep diary for seven days. Based on the sleep diary, Sleep quality had a better overall rating for passionflower compared to the placebo. This study supports the thought that low doses of passion flower (passiflora incarnara) in tea form may subjectively help, in the short term sleep, with enhancing sleep quality.
TeaRecipe courtesy of http://theherbgardener.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-to-make-passion-flower-tea.html.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon balm is usually found in combination with other herbs, but it may have anti-anxiety on its own. In a pilot study lemon balm was administered as a water-based drink or in yogurt. The participants self-rated their moods before the treatment as well as one and three hours after treatment. Their surveys showed that both the drink and yogurt treatments were associated with improved mood after consumption.
Berry-Banana-Lemon Balm Smoothie.
Important Disclaimers- Please Read
The statements listed above have not been evaluated by the FDA. These herbs are not drugs and are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or injury. The information on this page is not in any way meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Results may vary. Please consult your physician for a complete list of indications, warning, precautions, adverse events, clinical results, and other important medical information. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. Please do not consume these herbs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless suggested by your healthcare provider. Please seek out the advice from your child’s pediatrican if looking for natural remedies. These recipes are adult dosage levels. Please do not provide these recipes to children. Please consider potential drug interactions and consult a healthcare provider prior to ingesting any herbs if you are on anti-anxiety or anti-depression medication. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how your body will react to these herbs. For any additional questions please consult your healthcare provider.
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