Get Lustrous – Bust Stress!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on December 18, 2009 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Every holiday season I find my skin incredibly reactive, sensitive, and just generally irritated. Much like many of the folks rushing around me, filled with holiday madness (pun intended)!
Getting gorgeous for the holiday season can sometimes be as stressful as shopping for it, and it’s no surprise that stress is one of the leading causes of hormonal imbalances: which can result in a less than lustrous physical appearance.
I love to feel and look lustrous. Who doesn’t? And so I take it upon myself during this period to give myself some pretty fantastic holiday gifts, the most important one being: relaxation! When I’m relaxed, my skin glows, my hair shines, and I feel great (aka lustrous).
There are many fantastic things one can do to promote relaxation. My favorite – though a little time consuming – is a bath. After a long, cold day of running around, immersing myself in a hot bath filled with salts and precious oils brings me back. I begin with a gentle but invigorating body polish, to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation – I am in love with Deep Steep’s polish in Lavender Chamomile.
After the great slough, a bath with salts aids to naturally draw toxins from my body, and promote a sweat, and the molecules from essential oils enter through my skin and into my nervous system. I am instantly transported to Planet Peace. Bonus: I glow from top to bottom! One of my favorite bath salts on the market are the Ginger Bath Salts from Pharmacopia, filled with epsom salt; powdered ginger and mustard; and essential oils of lemongrass, tangerine and cinnamon. Absolute heaven – and makes my whole house smell delicious!
When I’m feeling particularly bustling, I skip the coffee and head straight for my garden – a tea of fresh herbs does wonders! Try sipping tea in an oversized cup, inhaling the fragrance as you drink. Herbs like mint, especially spearmint and peppermint, add a mild sedative action to herbal teas. They are especially soothing to an upset stomach. Chamomile has a light, gentle taste, and naturally soothes jittery nerves as a result of stress. It also can help to ease stomach cramps caused due to overeating. Some homeopathic physicians recommend the use of tea made from chamomile three times a day to help a person recover from addictions to medications and other drugs, citing the tea’s ability to help flush out toxins from the system. I think of a bad mood as a toxin, and inhaling and drinking such sedating herbs are great ways to flush it away!
And speaking of inhaling, the molecules in essential oils can have profound effects on our nervous systems. Lavender, chamomile, and rose are all fragrant ways to induce a calm state – especially in kids and pets! Aromatherapy burners and diffusers can be found almost anywhere (and make great gifts btw), and can make lovely bathroom or counter top accessories- just don’t ever leave unattended!
And finally, my number one stress-busting tip for the holiday season: smile! Everyone looks more attractive when they smile. A smile is contagious, and lights up any room. What better way to de-stress than that?
Love, Your Lady Luster, Sage
Photo Credit: denniswong
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan