education

Beyond Ashwagandha: 5 Calming Herbs for Natural Stress Support

During these uncertain times, there's no doubt that we are all experiencing more stress than we are used to. A simple trip to the grocery store is no longer so simple and can now be anxiety-filled between wearing a face mask and trying to keep 6-feet apart from other shoppers as we navigate the aisles. Even watching the news or checking social media can make you feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed by all that is happening in the world. Let's face it, the "new normal" is not normal. In fact, it's the perfect recipe for feeling drained and emotionally heavy.

Here's where herbs may be able to help. While herbs like Ashwagandha and Holy Basil have been used for thousands of years and are still extremely popular for stress, there are other herbs for natural stress support that we have highlighted below that you may want to consider.* While these herbs cannot eliminate the causes of stress in your life, they can provide support and balance for the body and the mind.* This, in turn, may help you better manage the ongoing heightened level of stress and keep your anxiousness in check.

Herbs for Natural Stress Support

American Skullcap

American Skullcap is one of the herbs that can be found growing on our 350-acre Certified Organic farm in Brevard, North Carolina. This perennial wildflower is a member of the Mint family with a long history of use in Western herbalism. American Skullcap is considered to be a Nervine, and more specifically, a Nervine Tonic. Nervines are herbs believed to affect the nervous and limbic systems of the body by supporting a healthy response to stress. A Nervine Tonic helps to further this process by toning the body or specific organ.*2 This tonifying process is similar to how someone would lift weights at the gym to tone their muscles.

Our Certified Organic Skullcap liquid extract is made with Gaia-grown® American Skullcap, extracted fresh immediately after the herb is harvested, to preserve all the full spectrum compounds for optimal potency. If you are feeling frazzled in the middle of the day, this extract may help. It can also be used in the evening to help you relax after a long day and prepare your body for a good night of rest.*

Are your children also feeling the extra stress? Even kids who are not typically affected by current events may be feeling nervous or jittery these days. We offer a children's formula, GaiaKids® Calm Support, which was developed by a Pediatric Naturopath, and contains a blend of calming and relaxing herbs including American Skullcap, California Poppy, and Lemon Balm.*

Kava

Kava plant in nature

Kava is a member of the Pepper family is grown throughout the Oceanic region, including Polynesia, Fiji, Tahiti, and Hawaii. For centuries, these Oceanic cultures have brewed the Kava root into a calming tea used in social and religious ceremonies.* Today, Kava bars are being established all over the globe, helping this traditionally-revered herb gain popularity.

With our commitment to safety and efficacy, we use only the Kava roots of the Noble, or Piper methysticum, variety, as other varieties of this herb have a higher potential for causing negative side effects.* You can verify this first-hand by using the unique ID number that comes with each Kava product at Meet Your Herbs®, the world’s first herb traceability platform.

Need help unwinding? Our Kava Root Liquid Phyto-Caps® can help you stay feeling calm.* If you are feeling stressed to the max, you may want to choose our Kava Root Extra Strength liquid extract which contains 50 mg of Kavalactones (the active ingredient in Kava) to help restore equilibrium and support your emotional well-being.* If nighttime is where you need some extra support, then our Sound Sleep® formula may be your best choice as it contains Kava, California Poppy, and Passionflower, herbs which have long been used to support a natural transition to sleep.*

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is another Gaia-grown herb and member of the Mint family containing small, delicate white flowers. This delightfully aromatic herb gets its name due to its pleasant lemon-like smell which reminds us of sweet summertime. The leaves can be consumed straight from the stem, used in place of lemon peel in recipes, or brewed as a fragrant tea. Native to southern Europe, Lemon Balm has traditionally been used to support cognitive function, promote a sense of calm in the body, and  has also been used to support digestive upset associated with occasional gas and bloating.*

Looking for a formula that is both calming and uplifting?* Look no further than our Certified Organic Lemon Balm liquid extract, which is made from 100% Gaia-grown Lemon Balm. A fun and easy way to use this liquid extract is in a refreshing herbal cocktail, which is perfect for a hot summer day. Simply combine seltzer water, mint leaves, and drops of the Lemon Balm extract in a glass, and you are all set.

Melissa Supreme is another popular choice, especially for those dealing with nervousness and pent-up energy.* Combining Lemon Balm, American Skullcap, Milky Oats, Passionflower, and Chamomile, this soothing blend of herbs can help you deal with the stressors that life can throw your way and help restore balance.*

Milky Oats

A favorite among the herbs growing on our farm. Milky Oats have to be monitored diligently during the growing process, as the "milky" stage, where the Oats' tops produce a milk-like sap, only lasts for a few days. This is the desired stage for our supplements as these early-harvested Oats yield the health-supporting properties, including the highest level of minerals, such as potassium and magnesium. We hand-harvest our Milky Oats during this stage using old blueberry baskets to gather only the Oat tops, taking special care to ensure that no other plant parts are collected.

Need help building your resilience? Consider our Certified Organic Oats Milky Seed liquid extract, which is considered a restorative tonic that supports relaxation and helps you maintain emotional well-being.* Optimizing adrenal health is also essential in combatting stress and maintaining balance. If you are feeling overwhelmed and rundown, our best-selling Adrenal Health® Daily Support formula, which combines Milky Oats, Holy Basil, Rhodiola, and Ashwagandha, can help by sustaining healthy energy and supporting overall well-being.* Our Stress Response® formula also helps to support the healthy function of adrenals and is made with Milky Oats, Schisandra, and Ashwagandha.*

Passionflower

As tropical as it may look, this climbing vine is native to the United States. Passionflower grows from Virginia down to Florida and westward to Missouri and Arkansas. This beautiful, bright purple flower was popular in Eclectic Medicine, a branch of American medicine that widely used botanical remedies and was extremely popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As the flower grows, it eventually develops into Passion fruit, a deliciously sweet and seedy fruit.

Passionflower is classified as a nervine relaxant. As the name suggests, these herbs help to produce a relaxing effect on the body.* They also help to calm an excited nervous system so are a great choice if you are experiencing anxiousness.* Taken toward the end of the day, nervine relaxants can help to support a smooth transition to bedtime and prepare your body for a tranquil night of sleep.*

Our Certified Organic Passionflower liquid extract supports a sense of calm and relaxation, and can help you silence your mind after a long, busy day.* If you have an extra stressful occasion coming up such as a wedding, a doctor's appointment, or even a shopping trip, and need help to see it through, then consider Calm A.S.A.P.®. This award-winning formula is made with Passionflower, Holy Basil, Lavender, and Vervain to help promote feelings of tranquility when you need it the most.*

Be Gentle With Yourself

It can feel almost impossible to decompress from stress these days. We encourage you to be patient and compassionate with yourself and look for peaceful moments to relax. Incorporating calming herbs can help you find those moments of serenity and better manage ongoing stress.* Discover other tips to help you stay mindful and stress less, so you can live a happier, healthier life.