Stress. You feel it, we feel it, and we’re all sick and tired of it.
As it turns out, prolonged stress can make us physically sick and tired, too.
As if that weren’t enough, hormonal changes during perimenopause make grown women more susceptible to stress than ever before.
Thankfully, nature has developed an abundance of remedies for stress and anxiety symptoms. We’ve harnessed plant power for formulas that address women’s health from a holistic point of view, stress relief included.
Stress & Perimenopause
Is it us? Or is this time in life really stressful? The latter.
Society, work and family place high demands on women in this life phase, not to mention the existential crisis of daring to be over 35 in this culture. Add in perimenopause and a cortisol-heavy hormone cocktail and burnout is almost inevitable. It’s no wonder that many grown women feel like we suddenly can’t handle the stress that we used to manage.
But we all deserve help. With so many healing and calming herbs available, there’s no reason not to take advantage of natural stress-relief.
Nervines and Adaptogens - Nervines and adaptogens are classes of ingredients with stress-reducing properties. Nervines nourish the nervous system directly, while adaptogens react with chemicals and hormones in your body to bring you to a state of focus and calm. Most of the ingredients on this list fall under one or both of these categories.
Ashwagandha - Ashwagandha is also an Ayurvedic superstar ingredient that combats stress. As an adaptogen, ashwagandha counteracts the effects of elevated cortisol for a sense of calm that doesn’t feel too sleepy or sedated. It’s such a powerhouse, we couldn’t help but feature it in several products!
Find it in:
Perimenopause Support Supplement, our daily formula designed with adaptogens and phytoestrogens to support hormonal health for improved mood, stress tolerance, focus and sleep.
Women’s Stress, our daily supplement focused on tension relief, mood boost, and stress resilience.
Burnout Relief Tincture, which is specially formulated to reduce stress, as well as nourish your body and nervous system for energy and focus. Take as needed when you need a boost, or as a daily self-care ritual.
Calm & Collected Drink Mix. Mix this into water for a delicious and soothing beverage full of adaptogens and calming herbs.
Brahmi - Brahmi contains compounds called bacosides that increase brain function and can help your brain become more resilient to stress. We love anything that helps us roll with the punches, and brahmi is an Ayurvedic favorite that fits the bill.
Find it in: Burnout Relief Tincture and Un-Worry Tincture. Un-Worry is is our answer to stress that takes the form of the blues, rumination, and nagging worry. A few drops do wonders for natural relaxation.
Holy Basil - Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is another Ayurvedic adaptogen that we can’t get enough of. It’s been called “the queen of herbs” and “the elixir of life,” and we get it! Between its stress-reducing and mood boosting effects, its ability to enhance sleep and the ongoing research turning up holy basil benefits, we’re big fans of holy basil.
Find it in: Un-Worry Tincture
Kava - Kava is another calming ingredient with centuries of use backing it up. In the South Pacific its roots are traditionally brewed into a relaxing ceremonial beverage. There are also several studies showing that kava can safely decrease occasional anxiety symptoms.
Find it in: Un-Anger tincture! Our irritability tonic! Take when triggered or daily during PMS or when overtiredness or high demands have you feeling short-fused or on edge.
Lavender - Lavender calms down the part of your nervous system responsible for survival instincts and bolsters the part that helps you relax. We also love the way it tastes!
Find it in: Un-Anger tincture
Milk Thistle - Milk thistle contains a compound called sylimarin that works on serotonin receptors and boosts mood. And bonus! It’s also great for brain, bone, and liver health!
Find in it: Un-Anger tincture
Passionflower - Passionflower promotes serenity by increasing levels of a calming brain chemical called GABA. It has a long history of sedative use in South America, and it’s also used to promote great sleep.
Find it in: Un-Worry Tincture.
Wile for Stress Relief
At Wile, we’re firm believers in holistic health. Our products are formulated to support both body and mind, and because heightened stress is such a huge part of perimenopause for so many women, you’ll find calming ingredients in many of our products, including the following:
- Women’s Stress
- Burnout Relief
- Perimenopause Support Supplement
- Stave the Crave
- Calm & Collected
As much as we wish there were, there’s no silver bullet that can wipe out all anxiety. After all, heightened stress for grown women comes from both internal factors like changing hormones and external ones like career, family, and social demands. For well-rounded relief, we recommend adding both calming herbs and balancing behaviors to your anti-stress arsenal.
While our formulas will take care of the herbs, here are some tips for serenity now (without an angry eruption later).
Body scan meditation - This body awareness meditation is great for noticing and releasing the physical stress that contributes to heightened emotional tension. You can read how to do a body scan meditation here!
Movement - You don’t have to do a heavy gym workout to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. A walk around the block, a quick stretching session, or a few minutes dancing to a favorite song can lift your mood and kick the calming part of your nervous system into gear.
Looking for more? Check out these real-world lifestyle changes to beat burnout.
- Akhondzadeh, Shahin, Hamid Reza Naghavi, M. Vazirian, A. Shayeganpour, H. Rashidi, and M Khani. “Passionflower in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety: A Pilot Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial with Oxazepam.” Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 26, no. 5 (October 30, 2001): 363–67. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2710.2001.00367.x.
- Chien, Li-Wei, Su Cheng, and Chi Harold Liu. “The Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Autonomic Nervous System in Midlife Women with Insomnia.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012 (January 1, 2012): 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/740813.
- Choudhary, Dnyanraj, Sauvik Bhattacharyya, and Kedar Joshi. “Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract.” Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 22, no. 1 (January 1, 2017): 96–106. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156587216641830.
- Banerjee, Samarpita, Uttpal Anand, Suchhanda Ghosh, Durga Ray, Puja Ray, Samapika Nandy, Ganpat Dewaji Deshmukh, Vijay Tripathi, and Abhijit Dey. “Bacosides from Bacopa Monnieri Extract: An Overview of the Effects on Neurological Disorders.” Phytotherapy Research 35, no. 10 (July 12, 2021): 5668–79. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.7203.Devi, Kasi Pandima, Dicson Sheeja Malar, Nady Braidy, and Seyed Mohammad Nabavi. “A Mini Review on the Chemistry and Neuroprotective Effects of Silymarin.” Current Drug Targets 18, no. 13 (September 30, 2017). https://doi.org/10.2174/1389450117666161227125121.
- Herrera, Alexandra Ycaza, Shawn Nielsen, and Mara Mather. “Stress-Induced Increases in Progesterone and Cortisol in Naturally Cycling Women.” Neurobiology of Stress 3 (June 1, 2016): 96–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2016.02.006.
- Jamshidi, Negar, and Marc Cohen. “The Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Tulsi in Humans: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2017 (March 16, 2017): 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9217567.
- Lee, Bombi, Gwang Seong Choi, and Bongjun Sur. “Silibinin Prevents Depression-like Behaviors in a Single Prolonged Stress Rat Model: The Possible Role of Serotonin.” BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies 20, no. 1 (March 6, 2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-020-2868-y.
- Pittler, and Ernst. “Kava Extract for Treating Anxiety.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003383.
- Wheatley, David. “Stress-Induced Insomnia Treated with Kava and Valerian: Singly and in Combination.” Human Psychopharmacology-Clinical and Experimental 16, no. 4 (June 1, 2001): 353–56. https://doi.org/10.1002/hup.299.
- Bilodeau, Kelly. “Sleep, Stress, or Hormones? Brain Fog during Perimenopause.” Harvard Health, April 9, 2021. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sleep-stress-or-hormones-brain-fog-during-perimenopause-202104092429.
- Healthspan. “How Stress Affects Symptoms of Menopause,” n.d. https://www.healthspan.co.uk/advice/how-stress-affects-symptoms-of-menopause.
- Villines, Zawn. “How to Treat Anxiety Naturally,” March 3, 2023. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322396.
Image Credit: Sage Friedman via Unsplash
This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one medical consultation with a professional. Wile, Inc researches and shares information and advice from our own research and advisors. We encourage every woman to research, ask questions and speak to a trusted health care professional to make her own best decisions.