Herbs to Ease Anxiety and Stimulate the Mind
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Holly
Posted on: October 22, 1999

I have just recently taken an interest in the use of herbs. I have done quite a bit of research on different herbs, their uses, and possible side effects, but I’m not quite sure if all the herbs I want to take are the right ones for me. I’m also worried that the combination and amount of herbs together might be harmful to me.

I’m 16 years of age. I’m very much into the performing arts. Tension, anxiety, stress, and memorizing lines/blocking can be a problem, along with all the stresses in high school and at home. I want to stimulate my mind, enhance my creativity, relax, relieve tension and anxiety, and overall stress but NOT fall asleep!

I’m interested in taking Creatine, Valerian Root, Yerba Mate, Red Clover, Sage, Rosemary, and Lemon Balm. Can you help?

It is important that you first ensure a nutritious diet, daily aerobic exercise and relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. These factors have the most powerful effect on the long term wellbeing of your nervous system, allowing for creativity and relaxation. Herbs can be used to help get the body system back into balance in the short term.

Valerian has a calming effect, useful in anxiety. In some people, it may have the opposite effect, so you are best to try it alone and see how you react to it.

Red Clover flowers stimulate lymphatic movement, helping to move toxins out of the system. It also has an estrogenic effect, helping with irregular menstrual cycles. The vitamins and minerals which help with emotional stability are available in the fresh flowers, but are not usually extracted in teas and alcoholic tinctures.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a circulatory stimulant, helping blood flow to the brain. It also has estrogenic properties.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a circulatory stimulant which improves blood flow to the brain.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has a relaxing effect.

Yerba mate is a stimulant to the brain and nervous system. It does contain caffeine, which should be avoided when you are trying to calm stress and anxiety. You don’t want to stimulate the nervous system and at the same time try to calm it with Valerian and Lemon Balm.

Creatine is a naturally forming amino acid that supplies energy to the muscles. It can be best supplied by eating a little meat or fish.

Relaxing herbs such as Valerian and Lemon Balm can be used at night to allow sleep, but don’t usually cause sleepiness during the day. Taking stimulants such as Rosemary in the evening can keep you awake.

I suggest that once you have implemented a good diet/exercise/relaxation regime, you start with one herb at a time, monitor your reactions to it, then add others as you feel the need. People’s reactions to herbs varies widely.

The dosage of herbs varies according to the particular product. When adding a herb with the same action as one you are taking, decrease the dosage of both. For example, if you are taking Rosemary and want to add Sage, decrease the package-indicated dosage of both, since they both stimulate the circulation.

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