Herbs are a great natural way to help beat stress, boost the immune system and get your skin glowing as local herbalist Sarah Hillyer explains.
Too much adrenalin will not only keep us awake at night but can lead to stomach upsets, ulcers and IBS. Our stress-packed 21st century lives can quite literally make us ill. Stress in small doses is good for us – we thrive on the occasional adrenalin rush – but when this carries on day-in day-out, our adrenal glands become exhausted and our immune system weakened, and that’s when nasty
viruses can strike.
Adrenalin is our ‘fight and flight’ hormone. As it rushes through the body, the blood moves away from the gut to the heart and muscles, ready for action. Too much adrenalin will not only keep us awake at night but can lead to stomach upsets, ulcers and IBS.
Stress is also extremely dehydrating. Next time you reach for caffeine-containing drinks, alcohol or nicotine, make sure you also have a glass of water. The adrenalin ‘kick’ you’re looking for will keep you going in the short term but plays havoc with the water content of your skin in the
longer term. Drinking enough water will do more than any beauty product to hydrate your skin, keeping it supple and beautiful.
And what about the stress? A brisk daily walk in fresh air will reduce your adrenalin load. Yoga, tai chi and meditation may not be your thing, but
finding your own way to relax is essential. And a large daily helping of green fruit & veg will do wonders to boost your immunity.
Calming Herb Tea to lift the spirits
Put 2 tsp of mixed dried herbs (chamomile, rose petals, limeflower, borage, lavender, peppermint in any combination) into a mug (around 200ml) of boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and drink. This tea is good to have before bedtime as it will aid restful sleep.
Power Juice to aid the immune system
Blend 1 raw beetroot, 2 apples, 1 stick celery and 1 carrot through an electric juicer and drink immediately. Beetroot is full of vitamins A, B and C and iron and zinc. It contains Betaine which cleanses the blood, liver and gallbladder and is used in naturopathic cancer treatment programmes.
Golden Milk to boost your immunity
In a small saucepan, simmer half to 1 tsp of turmeric powder in approx. 120ml of water for 5 minutes, then add about 200ml of milk (or almond milk), a pinch of black pepper and 1-2 tsp of sweet almond (or coconut) oil. Bring just to the boil and remove from heat, add honey to taste and drink hot.
Research has shown that the cucurmin in turmeric will also boost the ‘good’ cholesterol in the body, and it has anti-inflammatory properties and improves joint health.
CAUTION: Always consult a qualified health care professional if you are unsure of any medical symptoms.