Note! This advice is for healthy adults. If you choose to use it, it’s at your own risk! Do not use herbs for severe conditions, during pregnancy, combined with other drugs, or for children, until you’ve consulted your primary physician.
This is the first post of my new bi-weekly series on herbs. The other Mondays will continue to have posts on weeds. A lot of people are going back to school these days, so I’ve put together a couple of herbs that might help with school related issues.
Many people experience stress before exams, or at other times. Here are a few herbs that calm you down: Chamomile Tea is a classic. It calms you down when you need it. Ginger and Lemon Balm are two others that are used for this. Rose Root is a good thing when you’re under stress. It reduces the body’s response to stress, and it also protects your heart and arteries from the side effects of prolonged stress. The best thing you can do, though, is to find out why you get worked up, and do something about the cause.
If you feel it’s hard to stay awake during the day after a long evening of cramming, or partying, I suggest you try a big cup of Peppermint or Rosemary Tea (they also go well together) or strong Green Tea. The latter has pretty much the same caffeine content as regular tea, but it’s better for you. Rose Root is also a stimulant. Or try one of these recipes: Natural Energy Booster Energy Tea Caffeine Free Energy Drink My #1 tip would be to take a nap, or get your ass to bed in time. But I know that’s not always easy. Remember to eat and drink well through the day. If you feel you absolutely must have caffeine, try to choose green tea over diet soda and energy drinks.
Does too much coffee or cafeteria food give you an upset stomach? These might help: For diarrhea, I’d definitely use dried Blueberries or Blueberry Tea. Don’t eat anything that’s hard to digest or spicy, then carefully introduce more fiber. Replace the good bacteria with probiotics. For constipation, I recommend prunes, dried apricots, lots of water and no caffeine whatsoever. For indigestion/gas/bloating, Aniseed is a good one, and you can find it just about anywhere. The same goes for Fennel seeds and Ginger. Other things that might help in the long run, is to add probiotics, drink enough water and add more fiber to your diet. But if you get this a lot, remember to check if you’ve got food allergies.
Aches & Pains
There are quite a few things that might help for those headaches, neck and back pain from bad chairs and sitting bent over the books: Willow Bark, Goat Willow Bark, and Meadowsweet contain salicylic acid, which is the precursor to the active component in Aspirin. The leaf of the Colt’s Foot is a powerful analgesic, agent. Drink it as hot as possible. The pain’s gone before you’ve finished the cup. But do not use frequently due to the alkaloids. Other herbs that might help are Lavender and Chamomile. If your pain comes from bad posture, try to improve it. If it’s from tension, try to relax. You get the picture. And remember to drink enough water. You can get headaches from dehydration as well. Frequent pain over time needs to get checked out by a doctor, and that’s something I’m not budging on! If you’ve been in pain for over two weeks, go there now!
If you get them, I bet you know how you get them. Here are a few tips on how to possibly avoid them, besides the obvious: Take two tsp of Thyme for one cup of water, boil for 10 minutes and drink the day after. Some recommend taking a couple of Milk Thistle capsules with a glass of water before bed. Others say Green Tea works well. The best advice though is probably to eat properly before and after drinking (not just junk food) and to drink enough water, as most of the symptoms come from dehydration. The obvious I was referring to was not to drink alcohol. At least not often, too much, and during the school/work week.
If you get a paper cut, you can wash it with an infusion of Basil of Thyme. If there’s anything else you think I might help you with during this time, get in touch. I’m fortunate enough to never get hangovers, or work myself up about exams. I never really had to study that hard. But I know a lot of people struggle with these things. So if I can help anyone not to struggle as much, it’s great. If you try one or more of these, and it helps, let me know. I’d be very grateful. Even more so if you’d consider writing a testimonial and tipping off your classmates.
Get notified when there's something new on the blog.
I love those! It’s not so much exams that scare me – especially since I don’t really have any these days – but I can get nervous about real life events, like my upcoming move to another town. It’ll be nice to have some things to help me calm down when I need to sleep, and stay up when I have a lot of work 🙂
I’m trying to stick to subjects for these posts, but the suggestions can of coourse be used in any similar situation 🙂 I hope they help you when you need them 🙂
And if you’ve got any suggestions for later subjects, let me know 🙂
I love this! Thanks so much for posting; you have excellent timing. I’m just going back to school, starting a graduate program after a 7-year hiatus in the job world. I’ve found myself drinking a lot of a Malian tea blend lately, which is mostly gunpowder green tea with a pinch of mint, brewed strong and served HOT.
There’s a nice tradition there that the tea is served three ways: the first cup as bitter as life (straight), the second as mild as death (slightly sweetened), and the third as sweet as love (saturated with sugar). With that ritual in the morning, I have been feeling alert and prepared for anything! It looks like the combo falls neatly under your “Staying Awake” category, too. 🙂
I look forward to future posts!
I’m glad you liked it. With three cups of that in the morning, I’m not surprised you’re awake. I’d be climbing the walls 😀 I do something similar on Saturday and Sunday mornings when I’ve been upp too late. My daughter likes to get up early 🙂 Thanks for the tip for a gunpowder green tea. I need that 😀