Herbs for Anxiety and General Well-Being

We all want to feel better right?
We all want to be able to handle the overstimulating, fast paced world, right?
We all want to feel more complete, empowered and balanced in body, mind, and spirit, right?
That's why nature has provided us with these amazing plants, trees, and herbs growing all over. -
and YES - in the big cities as well!

So, as we all gear up for some noisy and loud days and nights ahead - with fireworks going off round the clock - I wanted to share some herbs that help with anxiety and stress.

These herbs can be used regularly to alleviate anxiety and stress and not just over this Fourth of July Holiday.
Keep on reading for my top relaxing herbs for body, mind and spirit.
 

Linden flower with surrounding leaves

Linden flower with surrounding leaves


Linden Flowers - from the linden tree. (Tilia Cordata)
These trees are all over the United State. and Europe. We are lucky to have them all over the Chicago area, so wild crafting is very possible.
Linden is best known for relieving anxiety and mental stress. Having a bit of a sedative effect, it induces a state of relaxation for both body and mind and can be good for improving digestion as well.
Linden flower tea is a great choice for the elderly as it is very gentle and not at all bitter in taste. It is particularly good for those who who have recently lost a spouse, or who are supporting those in long term care for an illness.
 

Everyday garden Sage - Salvia Officinalis

Everyday garden Sage - Salvia Officinalis


Sage - Salvia Officinalis
Sage is said to improve brain function, lower inflammation, and regulates digestion.
As it lowers inflammation, I consider it more of a relaxing herb. It is readily available everywhere as a culinary herb. Fresh is always best.
Sage and sage flowers can be used as a tea or put into recipes for cooking. It is an extremely versatile herb.
 

The lovely, wispy yet strong, Chamomile

The lovely, wispy yet strong, Chamomile


Chamomile - Chamomilla recutita
I have to say that is my number 2 herb for relaxation. (number 1 if you are allergic to Linden flowers)
It is really good for mental stress resulting in physical tension (muscle tightness).
Fresh chamomile tea, which brings out the volatile oils, is excellent for overall relaxation. It is also effective as a dried herb (being a bit more bitter) and will also have some effect on relaxing and coating the digestive tract due to it's high mucilage content.
Chamomile is particularly safe for babies and children that have become overstimulated and irritable.
**However, as always, check to be sure your children are not allergic to this herb by testing a small spoonful of tea first and look for rashes, or other signs of discomfort that may appear.**

Hope this helps with the loud sounds throughout the next few weeks - and please take care of your sweet furry beings during this extremely stressful time of year.

Big love to you

 

Lisa Kai is a licensed bodywork therapist in Chicago Illinois. She specializes in transformational bodywork including Lomi Lomi and Visionary Craniosacral. This blog contains her insights on bodywork and everyday tips for practicing Aloha for the body, mind, and spirit. Lisa also practices Aloha, practices herbalism, is a nature loving tikiphile, digs jazz (well, all types of music really!), double dips her veggies, is an artist, and embraces change.


 

Herbal Body and Face scrub

Winter can really take a toll on your skin. Not much is more distracting than than having my skin feel dry. I like to be outdoors - yes, even in the winter - so my skin can feel dry and dehydrated from the elements.

Lately, I have taken to making a simple face and body scrub with some items from the pantry. Right now, my favorite is made with granulated sugar.

Sugar is an amazing natural loofah that doesn't harm the environment the way those little plastic cleansing beads that come in most scrubs do. (These beads go into the water where fish and other creatures eat them, causing illness and even death. Plus, they're made out of plastic which never decomposes. Boo....)

Here's my simple recipe, it's super easy and takes no time at all to make. Really, I wouldn't lie to you!

Ingredients:
1tsp. granulated sugar
1tsp. filtered water (or olive oil, or another base oil such as almond, jojoba, I actually like Kukui nut
                                                                                                                                                           oil)
1 or 2 drops of essential oil (body scrub only! Some essential oils are too harsh for your face)

IMG_3286.JPG

Directions:
1. mix it up
2. apply gently to your face, rubbing lightly in small circles to cleanse the pores (If you rub too hard, it will scratch your face and it will probably feel tender. Please be gentle with your skin.)
3. rinse with cool water
4. pat dry and add a hydrating lotion
5. That's it!

After mixing with the water or oil, it should look like this. A bit on the dryer side.

After mixing with the water or oil, it should look like this. A bit on the dryer side.

If your skin still feels super dry, try rubbing coconut oil on your face, letting it soak in for 10 minutes or so, then wipe off any excess with a soft cloth or damp paper towel. This usually does the trick!

If you are making a scrub for your body, use 1/4c. sugar and just enough filtered water or base oil of your choice to get it wet.

Wishing you and your skin good health and well-being for the season.
Aloha, Lisa Kai

 

Lisa Kai is a licensed bodywork therapist in Chicago Illinois. She specializes in transformational bodywork including Lomi Lomi and Craniosacral. This blog contains her insights on bodywork and everyday tips for practicing Aloha for the body, mind, and spirit. Lisa also practices Aloha, is a nature loving tiki freak, digs jazz, double dips her veggies, is an artist, and embraces change.


 

Essential Oils for Travel

When I travel, I have a few I always bring along. I use them for both their aromatherapy and medicinal properties.

I LOVE essential oils. I love how they smell, the aromatherapy properties they have, and also their medicinal properties. I got hooked when I wrote a paper about them in massage school. (a long long time ago...)

 

These staples come in handy for a variety of situations between feeling anxiety and stress about air travel and jet lag to using them for minor cuts, bruises, and inflammation of muscles that come from day long hikes and more extravagant eating habits than when at home.

Here are my favorite essential oils for travel:

Lavender Oil: This is good for anxiety, minor cuts, blisters, bruises, dry itchy scalp and skin irritations, and sore muscles. Lavender is generally safe to put directly on the skin and scalp, but please test with a drop on your ankle to be sure your skin isn't sensitive.

Peppermint Oil: Excellent for jet lag, nausea, tired and sore feet, and it helps with any water retention in your ankles and feet (barring any heart related edema) when you travel.  For water retention, just put a bit on a cotton ball and rub on your feet upwards towards your ankles. For jet lag and minor headaches related to travel, put a bit on a cotton ball and use on your temples and wrists. Inhaling it's aroma will also help with headaches and nausea.

Geranium Oil: Great for general tiredness, physical exhaustion and even dry skin. In aromatherapy it is used to uplift your spirit and balance your entire being to one of feeling more joyful. Always mix this oils with a carrier oil such as almond, coconut, or even olive oil before putting on your skin as it can be an irritant.

If you're getting ready to travel, I say grab these. If using them on the plane, I suggest putting a few drops on a tissue and keeping it in a baggie until needed. This keeps the scent from being overpowering to others on the flight, and also makes security checks a bit easier.
Any way, what's important is to enjoy whatever essential oils you pick, and remember they are for external use only. If you have a serious injury on route, please have it properly looked at by a doctor before applying any oils.

 

Lisa Kai is a bodywork therapist in Chicago Illinois. She specializes in transformational bodywork including Lomi Lomi and Craniosacral. This blog contains her insights on bodywork and everyday inspirations for wellness. Lisa also practices Aloha, is a tiki freak, loves nature and double dipping her veggies, is an artist, and embraces change.