Best herbs for relaxation
Try adding lavender to your favorite baked good recipe. Purple lavender flowers will offer a sophisticated herbal makeover to your favorite shortbread cookies, or white tea cakes.
Lavender is great in your herbal medicine blend, and can also be used to stuff pillows, or as an aromatherapy stress reliever throughout the day. Lavender should not be used in pregnancy due to its emmenagogue effect (stimulation of blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus).
Also known as “Melissa officinalis” this herbal sedative should not be used by those with hypothyroidism as it inhibits the thyroid and is used to treat hyperthyroidism or by anyone who is pregnant. However for everyone else it is a common simple herb to grow in your garden and make in to your own calming sedative tincture each summer.
I grow lemon balm in my garden and harvest it, rinse it, let it dry and then pack it in a jar with enough room for it to swim around in some vodka. Shake the jar once a day for two weeks. The vodka will extract the constituents and after a few weeks you can strain out the plant part leftovers and put a half a teaspoon of this liquid “anxiety medicine” in a little bit of water when you need something to calm you down.
St. John’s Wort
Although we think “depression” the second we hear about St. J’s Wort, we also need to address that depression and anxiety tend to walk hand in hand and this herb is not just an anti-depressant it is a mild sedative as well. St. John’s Wort has also been shown to have a lower risk of side effects than conventional anti-depressants and is worth trying for those that don’t quite have severe enough depression to mandate the use of a prescription pharmaceutical, but instead need something to take the edge off and boost the mood a bit.
If you’re suffering from anxiety that has a form of depression associated with it, then this is a great herb to consider in your herbal-sedative blend if you are not on any anti-depressants or anti-psychotic medications. The condition “serotonin syndrome” may occur from combing this herb with those classes of medications or other herbs and supplements that boost neurotransmitter levels.
This herb should not be used by those on oral contraceptives, or any medications as it increases the cytochrome p450 enzyme system which results in a more rapid detoxification of drugs from the system. The drugs or birth control pills are then rendered useless. Standard dose of St. John’s Wort for those not on any other medications, is 300 mg three times daily of the 0.3% standardized extract.
Cannabis induces a state of intoxicated relaxation, euphoria and dreaminess for users. It is considered a “soft” drug, and can pave the way for experimentation with other substances.
It is quick acting. When smoked, the pot’s first effects are usually felt within seconds. The peak follows within minutes and then declines sharply after about forty five minutes, with a ninety minute tail-off.
You feel a general sense of well-being and relaxation, giddiness and euphoria. You may also experience introspective dreaminess, increased appreciation of music, sleepiness and time distortion. The effects can be subtle. First time users often detect little or no effect.
The first sensation that using Mary Jane may produce is a sense of euphoria. The initial high evolves into a sense of calmness. The individual then feels very relaxed. In this state, a short time can seem like an hour. During this time, the pot smoker’s senses are heightened and everything he or she sees, smells and tastes is different than normal. The change in color perception is aided by the dilation of the user’s pupils.
Cannabis is also famous for stimulating the appetite (especially, it would seem, for Wheat Crunchies and chocolate flavored milk). These short bursts of extreme hunger are known universally as the “munchies” and sweet things are especially craved during this phase of the experience.
Along with the munchies, cannabis users are also prone to experiencing fits of uncontrollable giggling. Anything and everything is amusing at this time.
Some pot smokers report that their mood before lighting up a joint affects their mood while they are high. A person who is feeling happy may find that using marijuana intensifies those good feelings. Conversely, someone who is not in a good frame of mind who smokes weed may find that it acts more like a depressant.
The experience the pot smoker has will also be affected by the amount smoked. The method of ingestion (smoking or eating) also plays a role in the length and intensity of the high.
Physically, bloodshot eyes and a dry mouth are common symptoms, as well as a slight increase in heartbeat and impaired short term memory.
Cannabis increases heart rate but decreases blood pressure, like a car changing down a gear. Regular users gain tolerance to this effect.