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We say it often. Plants are medicine. They have the power to strengthen, heal, and calm the body and spirit. In addition to filling our diets with diverse, nutrient-rich plant foods, there are many herbs and adaptogens we can rely on to naturally promote relaxation, strengthen immunity, keep germs at bay, and energize the spirit. When stress mounts and uncertainty looms, embracing at-home herbal practices can help to ground us and support a system that nurtures and soothes. 

During a time that feels unstable, it’s helpful to consider how our rituals, those daily moments of slowing down, have a profound impact. Both the ingredients and process can contribute to a sense of healing, a powerful boost to both our physical selves and overall energy. The herbal rituals below offer the tools and the space to slow down even for a moment, allowing our physical, mental, and emotional systems to relax.

Like a healthful diet and a calming practice, infusing your self-care routine with a dose of herbs (many of which you may have in your kitchen or garden) can turn daily rituals like making tea, preparing a meal, or taking a bath into an opportunity to check-in with yourself throughout the day. When you give yourself space, you can connect with a sense of groundedness. And that is the greatest comfort of all. 

Herbs + Adaptogens To Calm 

These plants have properties that can quell anxiety and promote relaxation at any time of day but are especially helpful at bedtime. 

  • Tulsi/Holy Basil
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Reishi
  • Ashwagandha

Calming Herbal Remedies 

Tea Time: Brew any of the herbs alone as a tea or play with combinations to find your favorite blend. We are loving holy basil and rose right now.

Cook Shop: Mix adaptogens like Reishi or Ashwagandha into your morning lattes or soup broth for a healthy oomph.

Herbal Steam: Bring a pot of water to the boil, take off the heat and toss in a few tablespoons of any of the calming herbs above. Place a towel over your head and the pot and hover your face over the herbal brew while breathing deeply but gently. (You can also do a steam using essential oils. Just add three to five drops of your liking and follow the same steps.) 

Sundown Bath: An evening soak is a peaceful way to wind down at the end of the day.  Draw a bath with any combination of the herbs above added to a generous helping of Epsom salt. If the herbs are loose-leaf, place them in a mesh bag or even a coffee filter to drop into the water. No bathtub? Fill up a bucket or large bowl with warm water and add in your herbs and salt. Soak your feet for 20 minutes.

Bedtime Massage: Don’t have fresh or dried herbs but have essential oils? Add a few drops of essential oils to a neutral carrier oil (almond, jojoba, olive...anything you don’t mind putting on your skin) and do a full-body self-massage. Start at your feet and move slowly all the way up to your neck and face


Herbs + Foods To Protect 

Known for their protective properties, these plant ingredients can be easily sprinkled into tea, coffee, or other recipes.

  • Sage
  • Cinnamon
  • Thyme
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Tea Tree

Protective Herbal Remedies 

Steep Often: Brew any of the herbs alone as a tea or play with combinations to find your favorite blend.

Easy Add-On: Sprinkle some cinnamon into your morning latte or add some sage to a tray of roasted vegetables.

Savory Steam: Tea tree, sage, and thyme can be used in your herbal steam. Think of it as a medicinal spa treatment. 


Herbs + Foods To Strengthen 
The best defense against any kind of virus is a strong immune system. Consider an extra helping of these each day to fortify yours. 

  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne
  • Hibiscus 

Strengthening Remedies 

Emboldened Broth: Make a plant-based broth using shitake mushrooms and garlic. It will keep the vampires away while acting as an immune booster. 

Sweet Sip: Hibiscus makes for a soothing cup of tea for your afternoon break. 

Extra Helping: Think about adding extra flavor and kick to any dish you are preparing by throwing in some garlic, cayenne, or shitake.


Herbs + Plants To Activate 

Refreshing and renewing, these herbs are energetically they work to stimulate our system, promote circulation, and expel unwanted toxins.

  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus 
  • Bay Leaf
  • Sage
  • Calendula
  • Lemon peel (literally the peel from a lemon)

Activating Remedies 

Cool Breeze: Adding mint leaves to your favorite tea or alone in hot water will make an enlivening elixir. 

Self-Care Essentials; Any of the ingredients above are great additions to your herbal steam, bath, foot soak or massage oil.


Cleanse and Clear Your Home’s Energy 

Smudge your space with dried herbs like lavender, pine, cedar, sage, rosemary, rose, peppermint, and lemon balm. Make your own bundle by gathering herbs from around your house or backyard and binding them together with string. Once they are completely dried, place them in a heat-safe dish made out of ceramic, shell, or stone and burn for a clean slate. 

While many of the above herbs and ingredients are available at your local grocery store, farmer’s market, or nursery, we compiled some online resources here.  

Frontier Co-Op

Prairie Herb Farms 

Starwest Botanicals 


More Healing Hits 

Glowing Rose Adaptogenic Latte
Turmeric Kale Fried Rice
Garden Pearl Mushroom Wraps
Filed Under: Recipes

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