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Today we pay homage to mums, the ultimate masters of multitasking who juggle their children, husbands, homes and jobs, by providing a few herbal remedy solutions that can help women (and men!) relax and re-energise themselves. All you have to do is to stir half a teaspoon of the following herbs in a cup of hot water to make a tonic that will energise and de-stress you. Most of these remedies can be found in supermarkets and stores specialising in herbs; some of them are also available in teabag form.

  • Asian Ginseng helps the body relax and fight stress and fatigue. Especially helpful during menopause.
  • Chamomile (matricaria recutita) is good for insomnia; also beneficial for menstrual cramps.
  • Dandelion Leaf (taraxacum officinale) is rich in minerals and iron and helps enhance breast milk production. Fennel (saunf) and fenugreek (methi) seeds have similar properties.
  • Ginger Root is an anti-inflammatory herb and can also be used to alleviate menstrual pains. It can also help overcome nausea.
  • Gotu Kola (centella asiatica), also popularly known as brahmi, reduces fatigue and promotes mental clarity.
  • Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) has a relaxing effect and is a good sleep aid. It is also a mood booster.
  • Lemon Balm, better known as the ‘gladdening herb’, calms nerves and uplifts the spirits.
  • Milky Oats (avena sativa) is rich in vitamins and minerals, which strengthen and nourish the nervous system.
  • Vitex (also known as Chaste Berry or Monk’s Pepper) eases the symptoms of PMS or menopause; also believed to contain aphrodisiac properties for men.

NB: Expectant mothers should not take these herbs.

– Dr Raana Afzal
The writer is Coordinator, Health Awareness Society.

First published in the the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 13, 2012.