Herbs to combat stress and improve sleep

 

Did you know?

  • 72% of people in Australia feel that stress impacts their physical health1;
  • 64% feel stress affects their mental wellbeing1; and
  • 1 in 5 Australians sleeps poorly every single night2

 

The good news is – certain herbal medicines may help improve your resistance to stress and relieve its symptoms.

Herbs to relieve stress symptoms:

 

  • Sacred basil and withania improve resistance to stress

In Ayurvedic medicine, sacred basil (also known as holy basil or tulsi) and withania (also known as ashwagandha) are traditionally used to improve resistance to stress.

When taken as a specific standardised extract called OciBest®, the Ayurvedic herb sacred basil has been shown to improve stress-related symptoms including fatigue, forgetfulness and sleeplessness. In this research, people who took doses of OciBest® equivalent to 12 grams of sacred basil per day were found to be 1.6 times more in control of stress symptoms after six weeks than those who took a placebo3.

Other herbs to consider for relieving symptoms of stress include:

  • Withania, which is used to relieve mild anxiety, tension, irritability, fatigue and cognitive impairment in traditional Ayurvedic medicine – as well as to boost energy and vitality
  • Polygala, traditionally used to relieve disturbed sleep and mild palpitations, as well as symptoms of mental stress (like irritability and nervous tension) in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)
  • Magnolia Bark, which is traditionally used to ease stress-related indigestion in TCM

 

Use herbs to improve your quality of sleep:

Sleeping difficulties and stress can often go hand-in-hand, and in a vicious cycle, stress can often interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep, and the fatigue that goes along with tossing and turning all night can make it more difficult for you to cope under pressure.

If that’s a familiar story to you, consider the following herbs:

  • Passionflower, which is regarded as having sedative properties and is taken to relieve mild insomnia, mild anxiety and poor sleep due to mental stress in traditional Western herbal medicine
  • Ziziphus (also known as red date), which is traditionally used to relieve poor quality sleep and ease irritability, restlessness and nervous tension in TCM
  • Schisandra, which is traditionally used in TCM to relieve mild insomnia, including difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking during the night and poor sleep quality

 

Mr Vitamins recommends Fusion® Health, including:

  • Fusion Stress & Anxiety: Combines OciBest® sacred basil extract with herbs used to relieve stress and mild anxiety symptoms in traditional Ayurvedic and/or Chinese medicine
  • Fusion Sleep: Herbs used in traditional Chinese and/or Western herbal medicine to promote sleep and relieve mild insomnia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References: 1. Australian Psychology Society. Stress and wellbeing: how Australians are coping with life, 2015; 2. Australian Psychological Society. ABS Compass for Life Wellbeing Survey, 2016; 3. Saxena RC, et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2012;2012:894509.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.

Rebecca Sturgess
Rebecca Sturgess

Rebecca Sturgess is our qualified Nutritionist BHSc (nut med), Health and Nutrition Coach and Wellness Blogger. She is passionate about creating healthy alternatives for your favourite foods and encouraging others to live their healthiest, best lives possible!