The Herb Lady: Natural Help For Holiday Stress

Cathy Burkemper Schram

With Cathy Schram

Q: Please help me. The holidays are here and I am stressed out to the max. I simply feel like there is too much on my plate. How can I get through the holidays without feeling anxious all the time?

A: You are just one of many, many people who are feeling the stress of the holidays. We have to try to keep calm and remember to enjoy ourselves during this busy time. Whenever we are stressed, we deplete essential vitamins B and C, which can in turn bring our immune system down and then we open the door for illness. So, there are several options in the vitamin/herbal world that can help you through this time.

  • B vitamins – Very important. I recommend a B-Complex (at least 50 mg.) per day. Check to see if your multi-vitamin contains the proper amounts.
  • L-Theanine – This amino acid balances cortisol levels, thereby reducing stress. It makes you feel calmer and as a bonus, helps you to focus and stay on task.
  • Lavender – This wonderful flower can either be used as an essential oil or taken by capsule to reduce your tension and stress. I find the oil to be much more relaxing and more useful at bedtime and the capsule is great for daytime use. It just reduces tension and stress.
  • Kava Kava – This is great to relax the mind and body and promote restful sleep. This is usually the strongest of the nervine herbs, so always try it in the evening, when you are not going to be driving. Some people can take this twice per day, but you must make sure it does not make you sleepy.
  • Valerian Root – This natural sedative is primarily used for sleep. However, it is also effective for anxiety, nervousness, hysteria or any other form of stress. It also makes a great muscle relaxer. It is non-addictive and very safe.
  • Chamomile, Hops and Holy Basil are also good remedies for relieving stress.

Massages and hot baths are another way to relax and deal with stress. Just be sure to keep taking a multi-vitamin as insurance for your body.

Hope your holidays are great!

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.