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Why adaptogens are perfect for PPD

Why adaptogens are perfect for PPD

Have you heard about adaptogens yet?

This may be the secret ingredient you need to overcome PPD.

But hang on… before we dive in, always check with your doctor before adding any herbal supplements to your diet.

And, if you need medication now – please start taking it and integrate these suggestions with your doctor.

The reality is, it takes a multi-directional approach to heal postpartum depression. And.. adaptogens are just one piece of the puzzle.

But.. they could be life-changing.  So, let’s get started.

Download your FREE Postpartum Recovery checklist to learn the safe herbs to take while breastfeeding:

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First, What are the Postpartum Depression Signs?

postpartum depression

It’s as if you are living outside of your world, looking in and you cannot recognize the woman you see. You may experience any or all of these:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Despair
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Feeling inadequate
  • Guilt
  • Hopelessness
  • Inability to cope or function with daily life
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Irrational concern for the baby’s well-being
  • Joylessness
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Memory loss
  •  Poor concentration
  • Sadness
  • Thoughts of hurting oneself or the baby ·

Note: You should report all of these symptoms to your doctor, especially if you’re struggling with thoughts of hurting yourself or the baby. The vast majority of women with PPD will not harm their babies. But the fear that you might be can be petrifying and all-consuming. Professional help is available. NYC health lists.

What are adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us adapt to stress.

I know. That sounds so simple.  But, they really do help.

Adaptogens For Stress

  • Panax Ginseng
  • Ashwagandha
  • Holy Basil
  • Astragalus
  • Licorice
  • Rhodiola

How do they work?

Essentially, the HPA Axis (or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis ) is how our brain and body communicate with each other — and when we’re stressed out, it sets in motion a series of hormonal and neuroendocrine responses that control our body’s primary alert system, known as the “fight or flight” response.

When you’re in fight or flight, you may experience increased heart rate, increase blood pressure, a sudden need to pee or dilated pupils. Sounds smells, and colors may all become more vivid because all of our senses go on high alert as well.

The problem is that many of us live in a chronic state of fight or flight, especially in the postpartum years when you’re being woken up at all times of the night, or constantly having to jump up every time a baby cries.

Over time, this can lead to dysfunction. The HPA Axis loses its ability to shut off and leaves us in fight or flight mode all day long. If you’re struggling with PPD, you’re probably stuck in this mode as well.

A category of herbs called adaptogens can help regulate this stress response. In traditional medicine systems, these are also known as “tonics” and their purpose is to help restore adrenal health, ease anxieties and reduce cortisol levels.

Postpartum Adaptogens

postpartumdepression

 

My favorite adaptogen to use with a postpartum breastfeeding mom is Ashwagandha, known as the “strength of stallions”.

  • It strengthens the immune system
  • reduces cortisol levels
  • balances thyroid hormones
  • (It’s considered a Level 1 category, in the herb/risk during lactation categories and considered safe to take when you’re breastfeeding.

If you’re not breastfeeding ginseng (Panax ginseng), St. John’s wort, Schisandra and Kava Kava may help as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding

Here’s the thing….

  • If you choose not to take medications, you’ll suffer for many years with insomnia, depression, and anxiety. And, It may get worse.
  • *
  • If you choose to take medications, you may struggle with side effects like loss of libido, incontinence, and weight gain. {some women do need this and it’s ok!}

So, you have to decide what is right for you at this time in your life.

 

Conclusion

When taken correctly, adaptogens and nervines can support you when you are going through anxiety and depression.

If you are struggling, please ask for help.  Medication may be the right answer for you, but it doesn’t mean forever.  Diet, community, sleep, and nutrition can help reduce your symptoms and help you feel like yourself again.

Ready to reduce your PPD? Get on The Present Momma waitlist: https://taragregorio.lpages.co/waitlist-the-present-momma


References:

What causes postpartum depression? Dr. Kelly Brogan

Certified women’s herbal educator, Tara Gregorio is helping moms around the world reduce medications with herbs & homeopathy. Learn more about Tara here: https://taragregorio.com/
5 Natural Remedies To Reduce Panic Attacks

5 Natural Remedies To Reduce Panic Attacks

Admit it.

You’ve felt your heart rate increase.

You’ve felt the heat rise up your neck.

Maybe you’ve even gone to the ER because you were so scared.

Have you had these symptoms…

Panic Attack Symptoms

  • sweating
  • shaking
  • shortness of breath
  • feelings of choking
  • chest pain
  • and a fear of dying

are common symptoms when you feel an attack come on.

What if Panic attacks could be prevented?

Think about this for a moment. If you’ve had a panic attack, you’re probably noticing you’re a little stressed, right?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you take time for yourself each day to breathe?
  • Do you exercise?
  • Do you drink too much coffee?
  • Do you have wine at night?
  • Are you sleeping well?
  • Do you have other symptoms?
  • Does heart disease run in your family?

But hang on.. I know you are busy. But what is more important than your health?

The truth is when you take just a moment for yourself each day to just breathe. You can calm your nervous system down for hours after. It doesn’t cost any money to do.

Then, when you add in botanicals to help you reduce your stress – your life will change.

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In this post, I’m going to share my favorite herbal remedies to reduce a panic attack. The first two botanicals are also safe for breastfeeding mommas.

Natural Treatment for Panic Attacks

Adaptogens for Stress

postpartumdepression

1. Ashwagandha (withania somnifera)

This is the first adaptogen I turned to when I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, and it’s still a personal favorite. Ashwagandha is “known to give you the strength and stamina of a stallion”, but still gentle enough for anyone coping with anxiety. When taken regularly, it can ease shot nerves and improve sleep.

My favorite Ashwagandha product is Adrena Soothe by Dr. Aviva Romm. Try 2 dropperfuls in¼ cup of water two times per day, to reduce your stress.

If breastfeeding, use just the single Ashwagandha tincture,  not the blend.

2. Motherwort (leonurus cardiaca)

From motherhood to menopause, Motherwort is a true gift for women. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy but should be your first go-to-herb after birth. Motherwort’s calming qualities can help with everything from heart palpitations to extreme anxiety.

Taking motherwort throughout the day can release tension and reduce panic attacks, and it’s a great solution for falling back to sleep if you wake up frequently during the night. This is my go-to remedy for heart palpitations.

Motherwort has a bitter taste, so I find it’s best taken as a tincture. Follow the directions on the label for your dosing. I like this one. 

3. Passionflower (pasque flower)

Calm a restless mind, reduce tension headaches, painful periods and insomnia with Passionflower. Cooling to the body and tasty enough to add it to your nightly tea or take in a tincture dropper for ease and efficiency.

Herb Pharm Anxiety Soother : combines Kava, Passionflower, and other botanicals to boost your mood and reduce anxiety. Not to be taken while breastfeeding.

4. Skullcap (Scutelleria laterifolia)

Use Skullcap in cases of stress, anxiety or tension to promote well-being and induce relaxation. You can use the loose leaf and add it to your Chamomile tea at night or combine this tincture with a Valerian tincture and take nightly to reduce panic attacks and induce sleep.

Dosing: Take 2-4 ml of the tincture 3x day for severe anxiety.

Adaptogen Combinations for Stress

Herb Pharms Good Mood tincture combines Ashwagandha and Skullcap and would be appropriate to take during the day to soothe your stress.

5. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

Known as nature’s natural sedative, Valerian calms the nervous system and reduces stress throughout the body. Take it at night around 7-8 pm to help induce sleep. Valerian can also reduce cramps and pains associated with your period. This is a bitter herb so it’s best to take as a tincture.

  • Keep in mind, work with a herbalist if you are breastfeeding.
  • Dosing: Take 2-4 ml of the tincture at night or 2-3x day for serious panic attacks. I like this one.

Can you afford not to try these remedies?

Have questions? Comment below.

 

 


Panic Attack what to do?

 

Certified women’s herbal educator, Tara Gregorio is helping moms around the world reduce medications with herbs & homeopathy. Learn more about Tara here: https://taragregorio.com/
16 Herbs Every Breastfeeding Mom Should Know About

16 Herbs Every Breastfeeding Mom Should Know About

What if you knew all the natural remedies that were safe to use during breastfeeding?

  • You only want what is best and safest for your little one.
  • But, here’s the thing.. breastfeeding is not always that blissful.
  • Chances are you’ve tried breastfeeding and now struggling are struggling with one of the many challenges we face in motherhood.
  • But don’t worry, botanicals can provide great support during this season of your life.

And don’t forget.. you need herbs to help soothe your stress to enhance let-down and reduce the chances of mastitis.

If you're struggling with milk supply, address your stress first. Click To Tweet

So how can you make breastfeeding a little easier?

In this post, I’m going to share my favorite herbal remedies to help you increase milk supply and soothe sore nipples.

How do you increase your milk supply?

Galactagogues are the main category of herbs that enhance milk production, but you’ll also want to address your stress with botanicals that soothe your anxiety in order to increase milk supply.

  • #1 Address your stress
  • #2 Add galactagogues

Here are 12 botanicals to increase your milk supply and please don’t turn to beer to help you!

12 Herbs To Increase Your Milk Supply

  1. Marshmallow Root  (Althea Officinalis)lactation
  2. Dill  (Anethum graveolum)
  3. Oats (Avena sativa) A cup of oatmeal every morning may help soothe digestion and increase milk supply!
  4. Caraway  (Carum carvi)
  5. Blessed thistle  (Cnicus benefictus)
  6. Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare)
  7. Goat’s rue (Galega officinalis)
  8. Barley (Hordeum vlugare)
  9. Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  10. Anise seed (not Star anise) Pimpinella anisum
  11. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
  12. Chaste berry (Vitex angus castus)

 

4 Steps to increase your milk supply?

  1. Try eating oatmeal in the morning.
  2. Make Lactation cookies.  Recipe here  or Bars here
  3. Drink tea of stinging nettles and milky oat tops or purchase Our Lady Of La Leche Tea
  4. Don’t forget to address your stress as well with adaptogens!

Mother's Milk Tea Blend

Ingredients

  • ea Recipe
  • MOTHER’S MILK TEA BLEND
  • • Chamomile Flowers 1 ounce
  • • Dried Catnip 1 ounce
  • • Fennel seeds 1/4 ounce
  • • Dried lavender flowers 1/8 ounce

Instructions

  1. Combine all the herbs.
  2. Put 1 tbs. of the mix in a cup and fill with boiling water.
  3. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain and drink plain or slightly sweetened. Dose; 1-3 cups/day.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
https://taragregorio.com/16-herbs-every-breastfeeding-mom-should-know-about/

Too much milk? Try these herbs to decrease your milk supply.

Watch this video to review the herbs above.

Adaptogens to Boost Milk Supply?

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us “adapt” around stress. They are life-changing for the momma struggling with the baby blues or PPD.

Ashwagandha while Breastfeeding

#3 Ashwagandha Tincture (Withania somnifera)

Known as a Category 1, safe adaptogen during breastfeeding, Ashwagandha can help reduce stress and ease the anxiety that may be causing the inflammation during breastfeeding. You can purchase a tincture here. 

 

If you’re breastfeeding, you may encounter mastitis or plugged ducts.  See this has a sign of your body is doing too much.  I know it’s hard to breastfeed and raise children, see if you can ask for help. Try these herbal remedies, and then see the doctor if it doesn’t resolve.

 

breastfeeding5 Symptoms of Mastitis

  • fever as high as 104
  • local redness, hard tender inflamed area
  • chills
  • achiness
  • exhaustion

Diabetes, steroid use, and oral contraceptives may also increase the risk of candida mastitis {foryeast infections; read this post https://taragregorio.com/yeast-infections/ to see natural remedies for a yeast infection}

Herbal Treatment For Mastitis

If you are experiencing recurrent breast infections, you may want to be evaluated for adequate nutritional intake.
Particularly see if you are low in:

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • Vitamin c

Along with good nutrition, consider adding an adaptogen to support your immune system during this stressful time.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) Tincture are considered safe adaptogens during breastfeeding.

Along with supporting your immune system with adaptogens, consider these tips to avoid mastitis.

  1. Use compresses of hot water, ginger root, or chamomile infusion.
  2. Apply a poultice of freshly grated raw potato 2-3x day.
  3. Take 1/2-1 tsp. of Echinacea tincture every 2-4 hours.
  4. For high fever, drink teas of elderflower and spearmint.
  5. To reduce muscle tension drink teas of lemon balm, chamomile, and catnip.
  6. To relieve pain tinctures of crampbark, passionflower and hops tinctures can promote sleep and relieve pain.

👉 Read this post for more remedies for mastitis: https://taragregorio.com/5-natural-remedies-for-mastitis/

2 Botanicals For Sore, Cracked Nipples

Some amount of discomfort will occur with breastfeeding, especially within the first week of latching. Nipples may become sore, cracked, and may even bleed.

Contact a lactation consultant or midwife if there is continued difficulty or infections due to latching.

Consider adding in these botanicals, to soothe your nipples.

#1 Calendula
Calendula is used topically and EXTERNALLY for the treatment of minor inflammations of the skin. Typically used as an oil or salve. Apply to cracked, dry nipples to prevent infection and soothe inflammation.

Caution: The oil or salve may stain clothing and although there are no known risks with minimal ingestion, wipe off your nipple before breastfeeding again.

#2 Chamomile
Chamomile salve EXTERNALLY.

The German Commission E. approves chamomile for the use of skin inflammation and bacterial skin diseases. Chamomile Matricaria oil has demonstrated activity against Candida albicans at the concentration of .7%.¹

Taking preventative steps to support your immune system, rest, and apply an herbal salve will prevent cracked nipples which increase your risk of mastitis.

>>>Euphorical Herbals has amazing products for your time of breastfeeding. 

Additional tips to reduce cracked nipples

  • Ensure proper latching
  • If nipples are sore or cracked, gently rinse and pat dry after each feeding
  • Avoid the use of breast pads, when possible, and spend time without a bra
  • Wash nursing bras regularly to avoid infection
  • Treat oral thrush in the newborn with yogurt and probiotics to prevent the spread to the nipple
  • Apply an herbal salve several times a day after nursing and wipe off before nursing again
  • When there is an infection, use an antimicrobial – like Echinacea internally – to support the mother’s immune system

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3 Herbs For Plugged Ducts & Mastitis

Milk ducts can become inflamed, tender, and distended creating a ‘plugged duct’.

In mastitis, the plugged duct is accompanied by infection.

Phytolacca Homeopathy

#1 Phytolacca 30C 

Personally, I liked to take homeopathic medicine when I had mastitis.  Along with Echinacea, this helped resolve the inflammation within minutes.  If you are having these symptoms, consider Phytolacca as a remedy. Click here to purchase. 

Dosing: Take 2 tablets, wait 20 minutes, take another 2 and you should see improvement.

Phytolacca Symptoms: “For sore, cracked nipples, which hurt when the baby nurses. One of the most commonly used remedies for mastitis, especially where the pains radiate from the affected area and the breast is hard and lumpy.  The patient may feel heavy with flu-like symptoms, or may have a breast abscess threatening.” ¹

#2 Echinacea Tincture Internally breastfeeding remedies

Boost your immunity with Echinacea tincture.  In Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years, Susan Weed recommends a dose of a 1/2 drop for every pound of body weight (so a 130 lb woman would take 65 drops).

 

You want safe, effective herbal remedies.

Don’t forget to download The Postpartum Recovery checklist so that you have all of the SAFE herbs to use during this season of your life.

Pin the images as well, so you remember!

Conclusion

Botanicals can provide great support during this season of your life when used correctly.  Particularly if you’re getting recurring infections; like mastitis – you’ll want to explore how you can boost your immunity safely.

Stress is one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle during the postpartum time. Don’t forget to take time for yourself and ask for help.

See more videos on recovering from pregnancy faster, on my youtube channel.

Tara


References:

  • ¹https://www.homeopathycenter.org/breastfeeding
  • https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Breastfeeding/Pages/Benefits-of-Breastfeeding.aspx
  • https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/115/2/496.full
  • https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/
  • https://lllusa.org/
  • ¹Romm, Aviva, Botanical Medicine For Women’s Health
Obsessed with natural remedies, Tara Gregorio is a Certified Women’s Herbal Educator located in Cold Spring, NY. She loves helping women reduce their medications with botanicals. Her favorite herbal recipes can be found on Pinterest and Instagram. https://taragregorio.com/

 

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10 Things I would have done differently postpartum

10 Things I would have done differently postpartum

I cried when we left the hospital.

I was so afraid to go home with two babies and get back to real life where I had to cook, clean and care for two little ones. I was right to be afraid.

Our postpartum time was filled with so much chaos, crying and sleep deprivation.

We opened two businesses and had twins in the same year. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone.

Five years later, we survived the fevers, the crying, the sleep training, the potty training and feeding them with only one experience of Mario choking on ice.

So, I’d love to share with you what I would do differently if I were to raise twins all over again.

#1 Ask for Help

I found it very hard to ask for help. I was a strong, independent woman and didn’t realize it’s ok to ask for help. Although friends and family are very busy, they want to help. I’m forever grateful to those who made us meals, held a baby for just a moment and ran after baby a, while I ran in the other direction for baby b. Thank you.

#2 Take supplements

I was so against supplements before giving birth. I wanted everything natural and thought I could get my vitamins and minerals from my food. I suffered from digestion problems, so taking anything scared me as I didn’t know enough. I feared taking anything at all that it may disrupt my digestion more. What I know now, is I lost a lot of blood giving birth, and it’s a traumatic, stressful event, the body needs more support. Postpartum women need iron, vitamins, digestive enzymes, EFA’s and probiotics to restore their gastrointestinal flora. Next time I would take supplements, especially magnesium to release the stress and tension!

Essential fatty acid supplementation (1-3 g/day combined EPA and DHA) and adequate cold water fish consumption during pregnancy and during the postpartum period may prevent or alleviate postpartum depression. ¹

#3 Improve my diet

The first six weeks were all about survival. Whatever you made me, I ate it. I woke up to coffee and had wine to wind down at night. The excessive caffeine contributed to my insomnia and created a terrible daily routine of anxiety. Next time, I would wake up with hot water and lemon and eat oatmeal to aid my digestion. I’d skip the caffeine, chocolate, and coffee.

#4 Skip the wine & beer

I found myself drinking Guinness as it was supposed to increase my milk supply. I would have a glass of wine or a drink to take the pain away in the evening. My body ached from sleeping just two hours most nights, and I was numbing the pain with alcohol. It didn’t help. It created anxiety and insomnia that lasted months. I’d skip the alcohol and drink herbal teas of chamomile, lavender, and stinging nettles.

 

#5 Take adaptogens sooner

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help you adapt to stress. At the time of my children’s birth in 2013, I studied herbs for over six years but what I was not taking was adaptogens; like Ashwagandha or Reishi mushrooms. These herbs help the body modulate stress, reduce anxiety and ease insomnia. Ashwagandha, motherwort, and nettles are considered a L1 in the risk category for lactation risk.² For a list of herbs to avoid while breastfeeding see Kelly Mom’s website. 

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#6 Meet with a pelvic floor physical therapist

My six-week postpartum visit to the doctor was a disappointment. I asked her if I had a diastasis recti or a prolapse. She insisted everything was “fine.” I didn’t feel fine. It turns out I did have both. Meeting with a pelvic floor physiotherapist would have confirmed my biggest worries and eased some anxiety about my body. Locally, we love Dr. Ashely Hocutt. See her website here.

#7 Had my thyroid checked

Your thyroid can become hyperthyroid two to four months after birth and then hypothyroid for two to eight weeks. I treated my self for hyperthyroid with botanicals, but I would have loved to have a proper diagnosis. Dr. Aviva Romm discusses your postpartum thyroid here. 

#8 Waited to go back to work

In most cultures, the new mom is encouraged to rest for forty days. The family helps with food and caring for the newborn. The mom is invited to sleep and relax. Again, this was not my experience. The worries of the new business, the stress of not sleeping and the never-ending crying of babies were exhausting. If I were to do it again, I would have planned better to be able to step away from my business and ask for help.

#9 Moved in with my parents

I joke about this, but it’s the truth. Raising twins is hard. Very hard. Living with my family would have helped immensely. End of story.

#10 Hire a postpartum doula

Postpartum doulas are known as the “must have” accessory for new moms. They help new moms with the caring of the child so that would we can trust our inner momma instincts. They also may help with light housekeeping and meal preparation. I breastfed both of my kids for three weeks, and then I looked in the mirror and thought, I am never going to get out of the house if this doesn’t change. That night at 3:00 am I ordered formula and The Baby Whisperer on my phone. The next day Mario ate 5oz. of formula and slept seven hours! I would have loved for someone to tell me it’s ok to give your kids formula! Katherine Whiteside runs a free infant support group at the local libraries.  Sign up for Linda’s Ladies breastfeeding support group for postpartum questions and support.

If you are in the “thick of it” and your babies are young.  Don’t worry, it will get easier.

I hope some of these tips help you survive the chaos of raising little ones.

Warmly~

Tara

If you’re curious about integrating botanicals into your diet during the postpartum period, book a health consultation to get started.


References:

¹Romm, Aiva; Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health

²Hale, Thomas; Medications and mothers milk 2017

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7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress & Anxiety

7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress & Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety at different points in life—stress, and worry are natural parts of being human.

Even though it’s not unusual (anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. today), anxiety can be isolating and hard to confront when it gets out of hand.

Most days we’re able to bounce back from stressful events, but for those who struggle with anxious feelings, daily life can feel like an uphill battle.

Raising twins and running a Pilates studio taught me the true meaning of anxiety and burnout a few years back. After months of sleep-deprivation, I began studying to become a women’s herbal educator, hoping to get to the root of my struggle with anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

I quickly learned that nourishing my body with botanicals—specifically adaptogens and nervines— is key to keeping anxiety and burnout at bay.

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us “adapt around stress.” Their anti-fatigue effects make them particularly potent when you’re up against mental exhaustion, frequent illness, or chronic stress.

If you’re burning the candle at both ends, treating yourself with any of these seven herbs will help you feel relaxed, balanced, and healthy again:

1. Ashwagandha (withania somnifera)

This is the first adaptogen I turned to when I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, and it’s still a personal favorite.  Ashwagandha is “known to give you the strength and stamina of a stallion”, but still gentle enough for anyone coping with anxiety. When taken regularly, it can ease shot nerves and improve sleep.

My favorite Ashwagandha product is Adrena Soothe by Dr. Aviva Romm. Try 2 dropperfuls in¼ cup of water two times per day, to reduce your stress.

2. Reishi (ganoderma lucidum)

Do you find you get sick when you finally go on vacation? The relationship between stress and illness is complex.

One study shows that chronic stress can raise the risk of viral infections,  eventually manifesting in full-blown illness. Try reishi if you’re under the weather frequently, or just feel stressed out and run down.

Taken regularly, reishi can reduce the likelihood that your stress will literally make you sick– so you can enjoy your vacations, rather than spending them out of commission.

Reishi has an earthy taste. I prefer Reishi Extract by Host Defense. Follow the directions on the label for dosing.  

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3. Milky Oat Tops (avena sativa)

Filled with vitamins and minerals, milky oat tops are a great herbal remedy that nourishes your nervous tissue and promotes relaxation.

Pairing milky oat tops with stinging nettles is a perfect combination to boost your daily energy without spiking stress or anxiety.

Due to cross-contamination, you may want to avoid milky oats if you have celiac disease.

👉My favorite way to enjoy milky oats is in a cup of blended tea. Combine equal parts of dried milky oat tops and stinging nettles.

Add 1 tablespoon of the blended herbs to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep the herbs for 20 minutes for a medicinal infusion, then strain and add a little raw honey for flavor.

4. Chamomile (matricaria recutita)

Just one cup per day of this well-loved tea can reduce menstrual cramps, shift your mood, and ease digestion. Safe for children, our family enjoys a cup of chamomile tea most nights to reduce our collective stress.

My favorite recipe for the whole family: Blend dried chamomile, lemon balm and milky oat tops together.

Then add 1 tablespoon of the mixed dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep for 10 minutes. Add honey for flavor and double-check the tea has cooled before serving to children.

5. Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis)

If you’re prone to ragweed allergies, skip chamomile and enjoy a cup of lemon balm tea. This delightful citrus-flavored tea is known as the “gladdening herb”.  

As a nervine and mild anti-depressant, lemon balm promotes relaxation and reduces nervous energy.

To enjoy: Add 1 tablespoon of the dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. Add milk and honey for flavor.

6. Motherwort (leonurus cardiaca)

From motherhood to menopause, Motherwort is a true gift for women. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy but should be your first go-to-herb after birth.

Motherwort’s calming qualities can help with everything from heart palpitations to extreme anxiety. Taking motherwort throughout the day can release tension and reduce panic attacks, and it’s a great solution for falling back to sleep if you wake up frequently during the night.

Motherwort has a bitter taste, so I find it’s best taken as a tincture.  Follow the directions on the label for your dosing.

7. Lavender (lavandula officinalis)

My favorite way to use lavender is as an essential oil.

Tap diluted lavender essential oil on your wrists or spray it in the air to soothe stress immediately. Lavender is known to help induce sleep, which makes it a perfect remedy for unwinding before bed.

To enjoy: Dilute lavender essential oil with water and add to your body products, spray on your pillow, or tap on your wrists as an organic, soothing perfume.  

Have you used botanical remedies before? Which ones work for you? Share in the comments section!


This article was featured in the Icon in March 2019. women's health

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Obsessed with natural remedies, Tara Gregorio is a Certified Women’s Herbal Educator located in Cold Spring, NY. She loves helping women reduce their medications with botanicals. Her favorite herbal recipes can be found on Pinterest and Instagram.
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