"Stress and anxiety are the most common combined symptoms that I treat and see," says Rachelle Robinett, herbalist and founder of Supernatural. That has been the case for years, before many of us even knew the words "coronavirus"—and the past year has caused feelings of stress and anxiety to spike even more. In the latest episode of Well+Good's YouTube series Plant Based, Robinett shows us how to make an herbal tea for stress that helps fight anxious feelings in the moment.
"Herbs are a great way to treat stress and anxiety in a holistic way," Robinett says. Adaptogens have been the buzzy stress-reducing herbs for a while, but she thinks that most people could benefit more from a specific group of herbs called nervines. That's because nervines work pretty immediately to relieve stress, while also providing cumulative benefits. Even if you're not familiar with the term, you're probably familiar with at least a couple of Robinett's five favorite nervines: lavender, chamomile, passionflower, oat, and lemon balm. (Reminder: Always check with your doctor before taking any herbs, especially if you are taking mental health medication, to ensure there won't be any negative interactions.)
Each of these plants brings its own stress-reducing ability to the mix. For instance, she says chamomile is wonderful if your anxiety symptoms include irritability and gastrointestinal issues. Passionflower works really well to help calm restless thoughts that just won't quit. She calls lemon balm "partial sunlight," as it gives you a gentle mood lift. And lavender takes you to a place of peace; Robinett loves it for pretty much anybody who is stressed or anxious.
Robinett takes these herbs and blends them into a mild and gentle tea that "smells like citrus and floral" and "tastes like happiness." *Pours over entire life.* Watch the video to get her recipe for this simple herbal tea for stress.
Rachelle Robinett's herbal tea for stress
2-4 Tbsp each oat, chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm, and lavender
Tea-hot water (i.e. just under boiling water)
1. Add the herbs to a large mason jar or pitcher.
2. Fill the jar with hot water (it should be not quite boiling).
3. If you want to drink it right away, let steep for seven minutes, then strain, pour into a cup and enjoy.
4. If you want to drink it later, let it steep overnight (or for at least eight to 12 hours), then strain, pour into a cup, and enjoy.
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