Six Best Plants to Promote Relaxation (and how to use them)

Six Best Plants to Promote Relaxation

In today’s world, stress affects all of us. High stress levels greatly diminish your health and quality of life when left unmanaged.

According to a recent survey, 48 percent of Americans report that their stress levels have increased in the past five years and this negatively impacts their relationships, health, and productivity at work.(1)

For most of us, stress is an inevitable part of the day– but it’s not all doom and gloom. This just means it’s crucial to have a few powerful and effective natural remedies to turn to that promote mind and body relaxation during times of chaos, anxiety, and pressure.

It’s easy to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms when you’re stressed, such as alcohol, smoking, binge watching Netflix, excessive social media scrolling, or overeating. The problem with these unhealthy coping mechanisms is that they don’t directly deal with your stress. They only serve as a means to temporarily escape.

Usually, unhealthy coping mechanisms also add an extra layer of stress if they’re choices that have negative consequences on your health and well-being. However, it can be hard to think long-term in a moment when you just need some relief. This is where herbal remedies come in.

Many plant ingredients contain potent compounds that are scientifically proven to support the nervous system, reduce anxiety levels, help your mind and body better adapt to stressful situations, and promote an overall sense of feeling calm, grounded, and relaxed (even when you encounter chaos).

The right herbs and botanicals may be all you need to feel like yourself again. Consider adding these options to your routine to help reduce the negative effects of inevitable every day stress and promote enhanced relaxation.

Plant-Based Relief

KAVA KAVA

Pacific islanders have used this herbal remedy to promote relaxation for hundreds of years. Kava kava (usually shortened to ‘kava’) is prized for its roots, which are typically dried and crushed into a fine powder. 

Kava’s stress-relieving benefits come from compounds called kavapyrones. These compounds produce a mild sedative effect that can help you feel calm and relaxed. Some people also report mild ache and pain-relief. You can dissolve kava powder in hot water and drink it like tea to enjoy stress relief. Since kava promotes an overall sense of “chill”, it’s even recommended as a top herbal alcohol alternative for social gatherings and parties. 

While the plant is considered safe to consume, it is something to be used in moderation. Experts recommend limiting your daily intake of kavalactones to 250mg. If you take kava as a supplement, the kavalactone content will be listed on the packaging.

Plant-Based Relief

KRATOM

A relative of the coffee family, kratom trees are native to South Asia and have long been used within the region to treat chronic pain.

The leaves from the Kratom plant contain mitragynine, an alkaloid that acts similar to opioids to relieve pain. Small amounts may energize you, while larger doses have sedative effects. Many people who’ve shared their personal experiences report that kratom has helped ease symptoms of anxiousness. Research indicates it can improve your mood.

You can take kratom in many forms, from herbal teas to capsules and tinctures. Kratom is also one of the active ingredients in VIVAZEN™ which was formulated with those in mind who are seeking natural remedies for fast relaxation.

Plant-Based Relief

CHAMOMILE

Think beyond bedtime tea because chamomile can do a great job soothing you at any time of day. Research shows this pretty white flower works as a mild tranquilizer to relax your muscles, reduce anxiety, and calm your nerves. As an added benefit, it can even improve digestion and prevent headaches which are two common symptoms of excess stress.

Chamomile owes its effectiveness to an antioxidant called apigenin. This compound binds to receptors in your brain to calm it down and help you fall asleep. Studies suggest chamomile extract improves sleep better than placebos, and it may be as effective as prescription medications for many people. If you need a mental break, consider a cup of chamomile to decompress.

Plant-Based Relief

TULSI (HOLY BASIL)

Considered by some to be “the Queen of Herbs,” tulsi is a member of the mint family and a powerful antioxidant. It’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to relieve stress and promote relaxation. But what does science say?

One 2012 study found that tulsi improved stress symptoms 39% more than the group that took a placebo. It reduced symptoms like exhaustion, memory problems, and fretful sleep without adverse side effects. There’s also evidence that the tulsi plant reduces anxiety and dampens depression symptoms.

You can take tulsi as a tea or in tablet form. If you love this herb’s spicy taste, don’t hesitate to bring it into the kitchen! You can add its fresh leaves to salads, desserts, and even make homemade tulsi-infused syrups.

Plant-Based Relief

LEMON BALM

This citrus-scented herb comes from the mint family (ironically, not the lemon family) and can be found worldwide. Lemon balm can help improve your mood and cognitive function while soothing stress symptoms. 

One 2004 study found that the plant increased a sense of calmness in participants while reducing negative moods. It even seems effective at relieving anxiety when taken in other ways, such as blended into beverages or yogurt.

Consider drinking lemon balm tea or regularly taking lemon balm as a nutritional supplement for all-around stress support.

Plant-Based Relief

VALERIAN ROOT

Long used as a natural anxiety and insomnia treatment, valerian root can trigger feelings of tranquility quickly. In fact, this herbal remedy was commonly used throughout England during WWII to soothe nerves frayed from frequent air raids. 

Valerian root remains a popular sleep aid today. Some people even refer to it as “nature’s Xanax”. Research shows Valerian root can decrease the time it takes you to fall asleep while improving your overall sleep quality without lingering drowsiness or that “hangover” feeling you might experience with medications. You can take this root as a liquid tincture or capsule, and it’s often found in “sleepy time” herbal tea blends sold at health food stores.

Plant-Based Relief

the takeaway

We all experience stress at some point or another and in today’s world, our stress levels only seem to be climbing higher. Unfortunately, chronic stress can be detrimental to your relationships, success, motivation, and rob you of your zest for life.

This is why it’s crucial to arm yourself with natural remedies that help your body adapt to stress better, support your nervous system, and help you feel more clear, uplifted, calm, and focused during these times. Research suggests kava, kratom, chamomile, tulsi, lemon balm, and valerian root are the most powerful herbs you can add to your routine as natural, daily defenses to help you better manage and reduce the negative consequences of stress.