Natural Stress Relief Herbs
and Herbal Formulas

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a range of natural stress relief herbs and stress relief herbal formulas that have been time-tested over many centuries for efficacy and safety.

While traditionally such herbs and formulas are boiled in a pot then drunk as a tea, they are also available in pill, tablet and granule form. According to TCM, a complete, professional medical system continuously practiced for at least 2500 years, emotional stress mainly affects the liver and also the digestive organs, the bowels and heart.

According to TCM principles, symptoms of liver involvement in stress include:

  • Irritabililty
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Pain in the chest and/or sides of body
  • Sore, red eyes
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)

Symptoms of digestive organ and bowel involvement include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting, belching, nausea
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation

If your heart is affected by stress you may experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Palpitations
  • Poor sleep

Fortunately, while emotional stress is one of the most common health problems in the world, TCM offers solutions that work. These include acupuncture, therapeutic massage, herbal medicine and dietary and lifestyle advice. This article's focus is Chinese herbs and herbal formulas for stress, two of which are introduced below.

Natural Stress Relief Herbs and Formulas

1. Bupleurum & Dang Gui Formula (Xiao Yao Wan in Chinese)

This first stress relief formula is one of the most commonly used Chinese herbal formulas in China and in Western countries. There are 8 herbs in the formula, the main one of which is bupleurum which relaxes the liver. Others include peppermint, to help relax the liver, and ginger and licorice to aid digestion.

2. Bupleurum & Peony Formula (Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan)

The second stress relief formula is also very commonly used. It contains the same herbs as the above formula but with the addition of two more herbs for clearing heat in the body. According to TCM, emotional stress often creates heat, which can be seen in such symptoms as flushed face, red tongue, constipation and sore, red eyes.

Both these stress relief herbal formulas are suitable for men and women and are widely available from Chinese medicine clinics, acupuncturists and herbs shops in Chinatowns in large Western cities. To find out more about these formulas and if they are suitable for you, you should consult a qualified TCM practitioner, such as a herbalist or acupuncturist. Finally, in addition to taking a Chinese stress relief herbal formula to help you relax and better deal with stress, acupressure and breathing exercises are highly recommended.

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