You know that spices can be used to flavor your food, but did you know can you use them to help you relax? Learn about soothing spices and how to incorporate relaxing herbs into your routine to help you obtain a peaceful state of mind.
by Stacy Mosel, LMSW
With everything that’s been going on in the world, it’s understandable to feel more stressed than ever. To relax you might practice yoga or meditate — or even binge on Netflix — but these options may not totally cut it when it comes to alleviating stress today.
Enter Ayurvedic herbs and spices, many of which live in your kitchen cabinet and when used in the practice of Ayurveda they can help promote feelings of relaxation and peace.
At the Root Of It All, we use specific Ayurvedic herbs and spices in our products — including our SLOW for Calming CBD-infused essential oil blend. Here are some tips to help you understand more about how many of these ingredients can help you unwind and de-stress.
Top 8 Ayurvedic Soothing Spices and Relaxing Herbs
Here are some of our favorite Ayurvedic spices and herbs, advisable for any dosha, to help you calm down and rest when you’re feeling overloaded, overwhelmed, and stressed out.
1. Sweet Fennel
One of the best spices for soothing stress is sweet fennel, which can help calm the nervous system and help you regain a sense of balance. We combine it with orange and basil in our SLOW for Calming blend because it’s excellent for encouraging feelings of peace.
The aroma of sweet orange can promote feelings of well-being and relaxation, but it can also help to elevate your mood and create an atmosphere of harmony and balance. Technically it’s neither an herb nor a spice but it’s worth mentioning here because the peel — where orange’s valuable essential oil comes from —can be used like a spice.
While the aroma of basil might remind you of your favorite Italian dish, it’s not just a tasty herb, it’s also incredible for soothing stress. Basil is thought to be an adaptogen, which may help balance stress-inducing hormones, soreness and more, leaving you feeling calm from the inside out.
You may have heard that a cup of mint tea can help ease an upset stomach, but the aroma of mint can also help alleviate tension, promote calmness and relax your body and mind.
While it’s widely used in Indian cuisine, fenugreek is not as commonly known in the Western world. It’s a powerful herb (when the leaves are used) and spice (when the seeds are used) that can help restore your body and mind to feelings of natural wellness and calm, especially when combined with other relaxing herbs and spices.
Lavender is perhaps the best-researched herb for promoting relaxation. It has cooling, relaxing and calming properties that help to soothe the central nervous system during times of stress.
Vanilla, a spice derived from orchids, is traditionally used for its soothing and refreshing properties. It is said to have a Sattvic effect, which means it can help promote awareness without overstimulating your nervous system.
Arguably one of the most popular herbs used to promote natural sleep, chamomile is believed to have sedative properties that can help soothe tension from your mind and body.
Best Ways To Incorporate Soothing Spices and Relaxing Herbs Into Your Day
There are many creative ways to include soothing Ayurvedic herbs and spices in your wellness regimen. Using our SLOW for Relaxation blend is one of the easiest ways to gain the benefits of three relaxing herbs and spices. Our formula blends sweet fennel, orange and basil with soothing CBD to help leave you in a state of serenity.
You can also use a few drops (5-10, depending on how strong you’d like the aroma to be) of your favorite essential oil in a full tub of warm water, or in an aroma diffuser to disperse the aroma throughout your home or office. Or try making your own stress-relieving aromatherapy massage oil by combining 3-10 drops of your chosen essential oil with 1 fluid ounce of a base oil, such as almond or sunflower oil.
My Personal Experience
As a licensed social worker and proponent of holistic healing methods like Ayurveda and aromatherapy, it’s important for me to create a soothing atmosphere for my clients when they visit my office, as they’re usually experiencing a lot of stress and tension.
I’ve experimented with diffusing different essential oils (such as lavender and bergamot) and finally settled on sweet orange oil. It is my personal favorite because it has an uplifting yet relaxing and calming aroma.
To wind down after a long day, I’ve also been enjoying a soothing homemade Ayurvedic herbal tea (you can find the recipe here); you can also add different Ayurvedic spices depending on your taste preferences, such as cumin, coriander and sweet fennel, all of which can help promote balance and well-being.
Keep In Mind
Never apply essential oils directly to your skin; it’s important to dilute them in a carrier oil to avoid irritation. If you’re in doubt, do a patch-test first. If you have any specific health conditions, talk to your doctor first, and if you need further advice about which herbs and spices are best for you, discuss your concerns with a qualified Ayurvedic health practitioner.
Stacy Mosel, LMSW is a health and wellness writer, as well as a licensed social worker and counselor, amateur aromatherapist, certified Reiki practitioner and musician. She received a bachelor’s degree in Music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1999 and a Master of Social Work from New York University in 2002.