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How to use herbs and herbal mixtures to relax?

Today's times are fast-paced and full of challenges. Work, children, household, family - sometimes we are in over our heads. All the more reason to look for ways to preserve and promote mental balance. Many of us find our best rest in nature. But what if you just can't get outside? In that case, it's good to have herbs or herbal blends on hand to make a delicious tea or relaxing bath.

What can herbs help with?

They smell good, taste good and help. Herbs have always had a special place in folk medicine and beyond. Although synthetic medicines still dominate conventional medicine, many people are trying to return to nature and prefer natural alternatives.

Herbs can have beneficial effects on digestion, boost immunity, help with pain, reduce inflammation, various skin conditions and insomnia. They can be used in cooking, cosmetics, aromatherapy, and are also popular in poultices, wraps and herbal baths. The effects and uses of herbs would be the subject of several separate articles, so today we will focus mainly on which herbs are suitable for inducing well-being and mental harmony.

Herbs for calming, sleep and stress relief

When you say herbs to calm the psyche, calm the nerves, sleep and relieve tension, the following probably come to mind:

  • Lemon Balm
  • Chamomile
  • St. John's Wort
  • Valerian
  • Lavender

However, these are far from all that have a beneficial effect on mental health. For example, ashwagandha, also known as "Indian ginseng", which has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, has recently become very popular in our country. Studies show that ashwagandha helps reduce stress and improves sleep quality.

Current research is also focusing on cannabis. It turns out that certain cannabinoids contained in this herb, such as cannabidiol (CBD), can reduce anxiety and tension and have a variety of other benefits for the nervous system.

t's take a look at an overview of selected herbs and their effects:

Herb Effects
Lemon Balm Calming effects, promotes falling asleep, has a beneficial effect on digestion
Chamomile Healing, calming effects, promotes sleep, strengthens the immune system, improves mood
St. John's Wort Promotes mental balance, helps with stress, anxiety and insomnia, soothes skin
Lavender Calms the psyche, helps with anxiety, stress, headaches and insomnia
Ashwaganda Increases vitality, helps reduce stress, improves mood and concentration, regenerates the nervous system
Cannabis Relieves tension, reduces spasms, helps regulate anxiety and stress
Valerian Calming effects, helps with headaches and nervous tension, improves sleep, relieves stomach cramps caused by nervousness

Herbal mixtures with cannabis

The herbs can be used alone, but they can also be mixed in various ways. . By combining them appropriately, you can enhance their properties and effects. In this case, we are talking about the so-called synergistic effect, which is the joint action of two or more substances that support and complement each other, making the resulting effect greater than if they were used individually. If you mix herbs, be careful that the substances in them do not work against each other.

For those who are new to herbs, or who do not have sufficient knowledge and experience, ready-made mixtures in which the appropriate herbs are already combined in the ideal proportions can be a good solution. You can also choose a blend specifically targeted to your needs, for example to aid sleep, digestion or to improve your mood. 

How are the herbs used? Tea, decoction, macerate

Herbs are used fresh or dried. You can use them to make a tea - in which case pour hot water over them and leave to infuse for the recommended time, or a decoction - pour cold water over the herbs, bring to the boil, and simmer for 10-60 minutes depending on the type of herb.

You can also prepare a cold decoction of the herbs by maceration. Herbs are macerated in cold or lukewarm water, or in oil or alcohol. Maceration in alcohol can produce tinctures suitable for internal and external use. However, such extracts can be very concentrated and should therefore be dosed carefully.

Cannabis tea and herbal mixtures with cannabis

Herbal teas can bring relief from everyday stress. Take a few minutes to yourself, brew some tea, wrap yourself in a blanket and let your thoughts drift away for a while to work and responsibilities. Cannabis tea can help you relax and unwind.

Cannabis contains cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, minerals and other beneficial substances that mají have a positive effect on the nervous system. The hemp used to make the infusion and decoction comes from special varieties of technical hemp and is not psychoactive, yet, thanks to its higher content of CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids, it can calm the mind and relieve tension.

Pour the mixture of dried cannabis leaves and flowers over hot water and leave to infuse for approximately 4-5 minutes. If you don't like the slightly bitter, earthy taste of cannabis tea, you can sweeten it or flavour it with honey, a touch of cinnamon or vanilla, for example. For maximum effects of CBD, which is fat-soluble, it is sometimes recommended to add a teaspoon of coconut oil or butter.

If you already have your favourite herbs for relaxation, you can combine them with cannabis to enhance and complement its effects. Try a blend of lemon balm, St. John's wort, cannabis and chamomile before bed or for stress relief.

Herbal bath

After a busy day, what could be more relaxing than soaking in a bath filled with warm water? If you add a suitable herbal blend, you can relax, relieve stress and recharge your batteries. For example, lavender and lemon balm may be suitable.

You can prepare a herbal bath by making or buying a bag made of non-woven fabric or gauze, filling it with herbs, throwing it into a bath filled with hot water and letting it infuse for a few minutes.

Or you can prepare a decoction or infusion of herbs in advance, then strain it and pour it into a bath of water at around 38℃.

Herbal baths are beneficial for the body and mind. Immerse yourself in the bath for at least 20 minutes. Your body will warm up beautifully, regenerate, your skin will be hydrated, cleansed and you will feel reborn.

What to think about when using herbs?

Nature has great power to heal and relieve stress and anxiety. One of the most effective remedies it provides is herbs. If used properly, they can help with a variety of ailments. However, even in the case of herbs, side effects can occur in the form of reddening of the skin, allergies or even digestive problems.

Follow the recommended dosage and bear in mind that some herbs cannot be taken together with medicines. St John's wort, for example, can reduce the effects of some medicines. Herbs are usually not recommended for young children under 3 years of age, and pregnant women should also be cautious, especially in the first trimester. If you are unsure whether an herb is suitable for you, consult your doctor.

How to promote relaxation?

Herbs and herbal blends can be a great support for relaxation and stress relief, but for even greater effectiveness it is advisable to include other methods of relaxation such as yoga, meditation or aromatherapy. Getting outdoors and taking a walk or foraging for herbs will recharge your batteries. Find a moment for yourself, even if it's just a quarter of an hour with herbal tea in the armchair or a herbal bath before falling asleep.

If you want to be in a good mood, feel at ease and have plenty of energy, also focus your attention on diet, exercise and sleep.


Photo: Shutterstock

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