Herbs that help calm a busy brain
It’s normal to feel particularly stressed during times of uncertainty. Considering the year we’ve had, showing your mind and body that extra bit of TLC is more important than ever. Mental health-boosting supplements are on the rise, with many people turning to botanical extracts as ways to alleviate anxiety and help de-stress the mind.
‘Anxiety can present itself in many ways, from feeling sick in the stomach to full blown panic attacks; it’s becoming increasingly common. Firstly, it’s important to highlight that anxiety and anxiety disorders can manifest for so many different reasons… the root of anxiety might be due to stress, poor sleep or a lifestyle high in stimulants’, nutritional expert Zoe Stirling tells Get the Gloss.
If your mind is going override during times of intense stress, looking into the powers of plants is definitely worth it. From their ability to calm an overly active brain, to their stellar mood-enhancing properties, there is more to herbs than their amazing scents and holistic properties.
Weaving some herbal heroes into your daily routine is bound to balance your mood. Here’s a breakdown of the top plant extracts to look for when you’re seeking a sense of calmness:
Loved by wellness enthusiasts around the globe (Ashwagandha fans include Gwyneth Paltrow and Meghan Markle), this mighty plant extract has been hailed for its stress-soothing, anxiety-quelling properties. A staple in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3000 years, the plant is native to India and North Africa. The powder collected from the plant’s root and leaves is widely used in supplements, as recent research has confirmed this traditional healer to help with stress, anxiety, sexual function, memory and cognition.
Known as a stellar adaptogen (nature’s answer to stress and fatigue), the extract is said to help calm a racing mind by stabilising the release of cortisol and adrenaline, two stress hormones that increase anxiety levels. If ashwagandha sounds right up your street, try ripple REVIVE. The zingy blend of functional ingredients is powered by a mix of ashwagandha and rhodiola for a sense-awakening sensation.
Known for its calming, anti-inflammatory benefits, chamomile is a key ingredient in many products, from anxiety-relieving herbal teas to supplements and even cosmetic goods. Dating back from ancient Egyptians, who used to incorporate chamomile oil in skincare formulations, this plant extract is very much a staple standing at the core of the wellness industry today. One of the main benefits is its ability to calm your mind, with its sedative properties having been hailed by many experts. This sleep-supportive plant contains apigenin, a compound which is said to aid sleep and ease tension. Its aromatherapeutic properties are widely incorporated in practices that help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, with chamomile tea being a popular bedtime pick that soothes the senses and helps you unwind. Are you a chamomile lover? Try ripple RELAX. This calming diffuser is bound to take you straight to your comfort zone and get you all snuggled up in a beautiful jasmine scent.
Having been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, ginseng is a stellar antioxidant, hailed for its properties to reduce inflammation. If you’re looking to boost your brain function and keep yourself plugged in, ginseng is the one for you! Known to improve cognitive function and help boost concentration, this powerful plant root helps with memory, behaviour and mood. Ginseng is also a natural energy-booster, helping you ditch the coffee jitters in favour of a herbal alternative. A 2018 study even revealed that this potent plant extract has been proven to help with chronic fatigue, with patients showing increased energy levels after consuming it. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up to help boost brain function and keep you plugged in, cue ripple POWER - the stellar pepperminty aromatic diffuser, formulated with the brain-boosting extracts of ginseng root + ginkgo biloba.
With its history dating back to ancient times, Valerian has been long used for its sleep-aiding benefits, known to help calm bedtime anxiety. Studies have revealed significant results of Valerian when it came to improving sleep quality, with the extract being known to promote tranquility. Valerian contains a combination of valerenic and isovaleric acids, as well as a wide variety of antioxidants which help regulate impulses in the brain and nervous system. The compounds are said to inhibit excessive brain activity in the amygdala, a part of the brain which processes the feeling of fear and strong emotional responses to stress. If you're looking for something to calm your mind before bedtime, try ripple DREAM - a sleep enhancing diffuser blending together the calming extracts of Valerian and Jujube Seed, finished off with a subtle Lavender aroma for a peaceful touch.
Described as ‘the Lucozade of ancient times’ by Get The Gloss, Maca is a popular ingredient used in many good-for-you products that promise to boost your energy levels and support wellbeing. ‘This sweet-tasting root vegetable is actually an adaptogen, a rare group of foods that encourages your body to regulate its hormones. This means that, if you have low energy, it can rev you up and conversely, if you’re always wired, you’ll be able to relax’, according to nutritionist and food blogger Jenna Zoe. This Peruvian plant is related to broccoli, cabbage and kale, all of which are known to help boost your immune system and bring multiple health benefits into the mix. This caffeine-free superfood is a versatile adaptogenic, helping the body deal with different stressors and provide sustained energy. If you want to enjoy the benefits of maca accompanied by a lychee-liscious taste, all packed together in a sense-awakening puff, opt for ripple BOOST. This formula is blended with green tea and maca for a natural energy lift and topped off with lychee aroma for a fruity punch.
Dating back as far as ancient times, Bacopa was a staple ingredient in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, used for its capabilities to fight fatigue and treat conditions affecting the mind and nervous system. A powerful source of antioxidants, this potent plant extract is used to improve cognitive function and support the overall state of wellbeing, with studies having revealed that it helps reverse signs of memory impairment. The extract is also believed to improve spiritual learning and boost the brain’s ability to retain information. Its adaptogenic nature is said to also help improve the body’s abilities to cope with stress by elevating the mood and reducing cortisol levels. If you’re looking to incorporate the stellar properties of bacopa into your routine, try FOCUS; the newest ripple on the block blends together the brain-boosting extracts of bacopa + guarana and is finished off with a tropical aroma for a delicious mango taste.