In the midst of a global pandemic, I love to think about different ways of thinking to help make a stressful time less stressful. While of course your mindset make a huge difference in your stress levels, you also need practical ways to support yourself. If you are searching for a tangible way to prevent a burnout, herbal products can bring our bodies back into balance naturally.
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Which is what I’m talking to Kim Charlot, who the founder of Eden’s Leaves an herbal products company that offers premium organic non GMO herbal products and information to get us back from the brink of burnout and help us stay there going forward.
First, Why herbs? What are they?
Herbs are anything that grows and that we take into our bodies to heal ourselves. So if we use part of a plant or tree for medicinal purposes, those are herbs. It does start in our spice cabinet, anything like rosemary and sage and cinnamon those are all herbs that we use for spices in our food and that is a great place to begin. And then we also have roots like ginger root and turmeric. There are barks, for example cinnamon being the most noticeable one. Berries like elderberry. We also have plants with leaves that are so good for us like chamomile and lavender. So, Anything that grows and has healing properties, we call those herbs.
Tell me about your story with herbs
Herbs have been a part of my life forever, but I didn’t know it. My family is Korean, my mom is from Aruba. They have a different connection to the land there, so I remember when I was a little girl they used to take something called Bush Tea. For any illness you had Bush Tea. And to this day I have no clue what is in Bush Tea but it worked. It was just roots and barks that really helped to heal.
Fast forward a few decades, when I had my son. He came down with a pretty bad case of eczema. And our pediatrician wanted us to put a steroid on him. I sat back and said he is two, a steroid seems a bit harsh. So I started to do my own research and I came across calendula and burdock and thought, well let me try it. So I made a bath with some oatmeal, chamomile, and lavender and it actually worked. It didn’t heal it but it took away the redness, bumps, and itchiness. I said to myself, if it can work for this what else can it do.
How can they improve our health and help with stress
Herbs actually are my best friend when it comes to burnout and stress. I push and go really hard and I have one of those nervous systems where I am always anxious. Herbs a re a part of my daily routine. There are two ways to look at stress. One, way there is something that comes up in your life and you are completely frazzled. Whether that is being stuck in traffic and being late to a meeting to navigating virtual learning. You have those moments where you are completely stressed out. When that happens, usually a cup of tea is really great. It is warm and soothing to your body. When you get herbs that act on your nervous system you can see an effect on your wellbeing in an hour or so. So those kinds of herbs, chamomile, lavender, etc. are wonderful for that.
There are more chronic herbs for chronic stress. At that point you can use those same herbs and other herbs that may be stronger and take them for a longer period of time and take more of them everyday. Typically, if you have a cup of tea that is wonderful but in longer and more prolonged periods you may want topical items since your skin is the biggest organ. An herbal foot soak or bath would be great when dealing with those more chronic conditions. Not only does it help you relax but also treats the root causes, herbs are a bath for your nervous system. You’re getting into your body and bringing your body back into balance very harmoniously.
What are three things people could do to help themselves handle their stress?
When you look at using herbs that are going to make an impact, you want two types of herbs you take regularly. The first types are chamomile, lavender, and kava. And I wanna put in a special not for kava because it is one of those herbs that actually does have a mild flavor and a powerful action. And then I would encourage using an adaptogen. So you may have heard of herbs like ashwagandha, astragalus, ginseng, those types of herbs. They are a bit more powerful so they act on the nervous system. But adaptogens, their real purpose is to counter the effects of stress on our body and so if you are able to have an adaptogen you are in great shape.
I would also recommend aromatherapy, which is herbs first cousin. They are herbs, you are just extracting them in different ways. There are two essential oils in particular that I would have on hand. Scientifically proven to be phenomenal for stress. The first of course, is lavender. Just the scent of lavender alone has been proven to relax your nervous system. And the second is bergamot. It is an unknown powerhouse. We like to call it liquid happiness because it brightens up your spirit. A nice cup of tea, an herbal bath, and essential oils does the trick.
There are a lot of people that are skeptical of looking at homeopathic remedies, it doesn’t seem to be something that works or is accessible. The one thing I will say is for thousands of years people have used it as a form of medicine, and still across the world. For many people around the world, herbal remedies are their first source of treatment and care. Most pharmaceuticals we take are based on herbs. Pharmaceuticals may be more powerful and fast acting, but they also have more side effects. Because you are using the herb in a way they were not intended. Herbs give you the impact you want by working on the entire system and not just the symptom. So it may take a little longer to get the entire effect but you will get an entire body healing.
Where can folk find out more and connect with you?
My company is EdensLeaves.com. It is the joy of my heart. You’ll find teas there and herbal honeys to pair with your teas. We have baths. My line of products are focused on dealing with particular conditions. My herbs are really tailored towards stress. I have a line of common blends. My chill tea and sleep easy help with that. I also have a line of herbal teas for children for sleeping. So check us out Edensleaves.com
Daily Tiny Assignment
Interact with an herb today. My friend and nutritionist Mary Sheila Gonnella, whom I interviewed about eating for resilience a few weeks ago, just told me how she goes out into her garden every morning and picks whatever herbs she as growing, rinses them off, then throws them in a pot of water to boil and then steep for a few minutes, then she strains a cup of that and drinks it for tea. Or dig out your bottle of essential oils and take a few whiffs today when you start to feel stressed, or go to edensleaves.com and check out Kim’s great offerings.
After we stopped recording, Kim was talking about how herbs are such accessible and affordable medicine. So many people are either under insured or not insured and prescriptions are getting more and more expensive, but herbs are such a cost-effective way to support your body’s own inner physician and healer.