The best herbs to relax after the holiday season.
Shopping, relatives, money—stress. The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy, but it can also be exhausting. We asked some herbalists and health-care providers to suggest ways to relax after the holidays.
Relieve tension by filling a sachet with dried hops. Tuck it next to your pillow and settle down for a peaceful sleep. The aroma of hops is mildly sedative.
—Portia Meares, herbalist and author, Wolftown, VA
Unwind by soaking in a bath scented with a few drops of lavender oil.
Curl up with a cup of lemon-balm tea. Place 1 tablespoon of the dried herb in a tea ball, drop it in a teacup, add hot water. Set your Zen Timer with Chime and steep for 10 minutes.
Escape to a sunny vacation spot where you can relax in seclusion. People should vacation in winter, rather than summer; sunny weather gives people stamina to juggle busy schedules, while cold, short winter weather depletes energy.
—Paul Bergner, clinic director at the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies, Boulder, CO
Nourish the nervous system with herbal adaptogens such as oat seed. This herb contains alkaloids, believed to protect and rebuild the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells. Take 30 drops of the extract twice a day.
Inhale the calming scent of rosemary essential oil. Mix a few drops into hand lotion or place a drop or two on a cotton ball.
—Feather Jones, practicing herbalist and owner of Turtle Island Herbs, Boulder, CO
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