In general, herbs are a safe and inexpensive option that facilitate relief from anxiety by calming the nervous system or balancing bodily systems that may be out of alignment.
You can bring herbs into your daily routine in a number of different ways, such as by brewing teas or decoctions.
First, you might consider brewing herbal tea to drink when you wake up, throughout the day or at bedtime. You can make an herbal infusion by pouring very hot water over the herbs or tea leaves. Leaves, flowers and other more delicate plant parts may be good for infusing or plant powders.
Try to avoid using tea bags as many contain plastics that when heated actually leech into the tea. While this does not necessarily decrease the effects of the tea, no one wants to ingest plastic that may embed itself in organs and cause a host of other issues.
Generally speaking, you can add between a heaping teaspoon or heaping tablespoon to an 8-ounce cup of hot water for herbal tea. As it brews, the hot water extracts more and more of the medicinal properties of the plant. Therefore, the longer you allow the herb to steep in hot water, the more medicinal your tea becomes. Some herbalists allow herbs to steep for several days, creating highly medicinal concoctions. These super infusions may be used for more acute conditions due to their potency and positive properties (e.g., colds). Whereas, more chronic conditions, like anxiety, can best be treated with normal plant doses over longer periods of time.
When working with tough plant parts, such as roots (e.g., Valerian root), it is best to make a decoction which involves simmering the herb in water. Depending on the herb you may use different methods for creating a decoction. You could grind the herbs and then brew them in a coffee maker or soak the tea for 15-minutes.
While teas and decoctions are a common and easy way to bring herbs into your everyday routine, there are a number of ways to match herbs with your lifestyle which we discuss in coaching sessions. Happy Brewing!