Feeling overwhelmed? Try these 3 simple herbal life-savers.

We've all been there.  Over extending ourselves with work, school, family, friends...  we stop and think long enough to say to ourselves, “next week I'll have more quiet time,” and next week arrives and our boss needs our help on an important project and the cycle starts again. 

Humans are the most adaptable animals, that means we can adapt ourselves to almost any situation, no matter how unhealthy.  Before we know it, we're fatigued, can't concentrate, feel depressed and lethargic. 

If you've been following Nathalie's previous posts, you learned about the symptoms of burnout. Below you'll find 3 herbs that are safe for long-term use that you could use when experiencing these symptoms:

  • OATS are one of my favorite foods to turn to when I have anxiety, stress and experience complete exhaustion. Oats are restorative to the nervous system and are specific for people who are too busy doing, rather than being. I have also used oats successfully to help with ADD/ADHD symptoms. You can take milky oats in tincture or glycerite form or fresh oat tincture.  Dried oats are not as effective as a nervine.
  • HOLY BASIL is another of my favorite herbs/foods for burnout.  I drink 3 cups of tea per day when I cannot focus, have trouble remembering simple things or other “brain fog” symptoms.  Not only does it taste great as a tea, but I also add it as a garnish to soups and food.  Many Asian recipes use Holy Basil in case you'd like to get new ideas on how to make it.  You can also use Holy Basil tincture. 
  • PASSIONFLOWER is another excellent nervine specific for those who experience insomnia with circular thinking or worry.   When you can't shut your brain off or are easily irritated by the slightest imbalance, Passionflower is your ally.  I've also used Passionflower for those who suffer from stress-induced headaches. A tea can be made of the leaves or vines.  Drink 2-3 cups per day.  You can also find the tincture at your local health food store.

Lauraine Velez is an experienced clinical herbalist who trained at the David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies. She uses Traditional Chinese Medicine along with Western, Ayurvedic, Middle Eastern and Cherokee herbal traditions. She's the founder of Apothecratic Oath.

From Spain: 4 Simple Herbal Remedies to Slow Down

The first step to slowing down is to control stress in all its expressions: worry, pressure, insomnia, anxiety, depression and numbness... Here are a few allies we use in Spain to fight back stress: 

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) + Passionflower (Passionaria incarnata) + Orange blossom (Citrus aurantium) + Linden (Tilia platyphyllos)
Mix in equal parts. 1 tbsp per cup. Boil for 1 minute and let it rest for 5 minutes. Take 30 mins. to 1 hour before going to bed. 

White Hawthorne (Crataegus monogyna) + Melissa (Melissa officinalis) + Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) + Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)
Mix in equal parts. 1 tbsp per cup of boiling water. Steep for a few minutes. 

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
1 tsp. per cup of boiling water. Steep for a few minutes. Do not take if you are pregnant, breast feeding, taking contraceptives, taking antidepressants, suffer from severe depression or schizophrenia. Check for harmful interactions if you're taking medications. 

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) + Sage (Salvia officinalis)
1 tbsp if the mix per cup of boiling water. Steep for a few minutes. 

—Prepare whole jars of the infusion of your choice to save time.
—If you have a health condition or are taking medication, always check with your doctor before taking herbal remedies to avoid harmful interactions.
—If you are pregnant, be specially cautious when taking herbal remedies.

Based in Madrid, Spain, Eva Miquel specializes in preparing simple and safe natural remedies to balance and energize your body. She can be reached at evamn@hotmail.com. 

If YSL can't hide those dark circles under your eyes... you may be more than just tired.

You slept 8 hours and woke up tired. Your digestion is playing tricks, your mood swings are taking you on a bumpy ride, and—no matter what you do—those dreadful black circles under your eyes won’t fade.
You may be suffering from early stages of what experts are calling Burnout Syndrome, a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress.

 But worry not; here are 7 tips to help you get back to your radiant, bubbly self:

 1) Forget meditation, just breathe: Sit on a chair with a straight back and your feet on the floor. Inhale deeply to the count of 4, retain your breath to the count of 4, and exhale to the count of 8. Repeat this 5 times.  Breathing patterns can help reduce stress and provide a nice boost of oxygen to your brain (and skin!).

2) Try Reiki: A 60 minute session can help you relax deeply. It’s like a natural reboot. It makes most people feel renewed, recharged, balanced and hopeful. And the best part: you don’t need to do anything, just lay down on a lovely massage table.

3) Give a clinical herbalist a quick visit to fight digestive troubles that can be ruining your mood and your skin: Herbal supplements and tinctures help balance stress hormones and support your digestive system. Do make sure your herbalist has a clinical background, especially if you take medications, to avoid any kind of negative interaction.

4) Don’t try to outrun your problems on the treadmill: Running like a madwoman will keep you from chocking those pesky colleagues that are making your life miserable and keep you fit. But it will also drain you from valuable energy at a time when, let’s be honest, you don’t have a lot to go around. Stick to gentler exercise like stretching, walking or Hatha yoga.

 5) Pave the way to a good night sleep with a Restorative yoga class: Try it on Friday evening to relax and disconnect from the workweek and get a full night of repairing sleep.

6) Try something old, something borrowed, something new: Reconnect with yourself. What small things do you enjoy? Ask your close friends what makes them tick in a good way, and borrow their secret happy routines. They may work for you. And lastly, try something new. Step our of your comfort zone and do something opposite of what you usually go for. If you always use pink lipstick, try red. If you always go jogging, try a cycling class. It will feed your brain with new stimuli and keep it active.

7) And the most important one, GO EASY ON YOURSELF: You are suffering from burnout because of driving yourself too hard. Give yourself permission to slow down a little bit and smell the roses this spring.


Nathalie Jaspar is the co-founder at Natky927 Wellness Collective, a group of professional Reiki practitioners supported by life coaches, clinical herbalists and yoga teachers in New York City and Miami. 

Photo credit: YSL Touche Eclat advertising.