With our busy schedules it gets hard not to stress out in one way or another. In many cases of stress and anxiety, people will turn to prescription medicine to help cope. Although medicine can provide temporary relief, there are many natural and cheaper alternatives. Herbal tea is a great alternative.

Tealeaves boiled into water contain antioxidants and hydrating properties, half (if any) of the caffeine of coffee and a minimal diuretic effect. In parts of Asia, teas have been used for millennia to help with relaxation, in rituals (like spiritual and religious ceremonies), for nourishment and as healing medicine.

The following calming tea can become a ritual in your daily life for helping your body process stress, relax and heal from the depletion that can occur as a result of long-term stressors.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) was first recorded to be grown and used by Native Americans in the Southern United States.  It contains flavone chrysin, which has wonderful anti-anxiety benefits and can work similarly to some pharmaceutical medicines – without the side effects.

The plant can be used for sleep problems (insomnia), anxiety, asthma, ADHD, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and can even be applied topically for hemorrhoids, burns and swelling.

How to dose Passionflower

Passionflower tea can be made by infusing 1 tablespoon of dried herbs in 1 cup of boiling water. Let the mixture steep for about 10 minutes. Drink the tea near bedtime to induce restful sleep. You can also use two droppers-full (about 50 drops) of tincture in warm water as a tea before bed.

Passionflower is generally harmless and has not been found to interact adversely with other sedative drugs. To be on the safe side, it should not be combined with alcoholic beverages or prescription narcotics.

Who should and should not use Passionflower?

Passionflower works best for people with anxiety related stress, who have a lot of troubling, obsessive thoughts and experience a lot of circular thinking – also known as ruminating. It should not be used by pregnant or lactating women, or for children under six months old.

The best, natural and long-term approach to anxiety and stress is to sleep well, eat healthy whole foods, exercise and to lower your stressors when possible. Natural, non-drug aids, – like Passionflower, Chamomile, Hibiscus and Hawthorne are safe and wonderful choices to help keep the body relaxed and balanced during stressful times.

Article from Hopewood contributor Lani Saraswati.

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