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Natural Awakenings Rhode Island

Herb of the Month

Sep 01, 2016 04:08PM

Herbs for Back to School

by Mary Blue and the Farmacy Herbs Crew

The anticipation of a new year at school can be stressful, requiring some additional support to systems for optimal health. During the back to school season, it’s wise to consider supporting the brain, immune and nervous systems. Nervines such as lemon balm, passion flower and skullcap will help to take the edge off before the first day. Some stimulating herbs such as rosemary and gingko are specifically supportive to brain health, increasing focus and memory. Adaptogenic herbs, such as siberian ginseng, holy basil and ashwagandha, are another great tool to help relieve stress as they counteract the adverse effects of stress through support of the endocrine and nervous systems. They also have a natural energizing effect, great for transitioning back to early weekday mornings.

Some effective ways to incorporate these herbs into the daily school routine are in the form of syrups, tinctures and teas. Syrups are a delicious and sweet treat which children typically have no problem including in their daily routine. Especially during changes of season and times of stress, elderberry as well as Lung Lovers syrup supports immune health. Immune blend tinctures made with adaptogenic and immune stimulating medicinal mushrooms as well as the herbal superstar, astragalus, is also helpful.

Tinctures are a convenient, portable, “on the go” medicine that can be taken by the dropper-full as needed throughout the day. Mineral rich teas that are blended to support mental clarity are great to sip on, hot or iced, after school or during homework time. Other options, such as Unwind Your Mind tea, are great for chilling out after a stressful day and will help prepare for bed time and a good nights sleep.

Mary Blue is a community herbalist and educator, author of Herbal Foundations, and owner of Farmacy Herbs, located at 28 Cemetery St., Providence and co-owner of The Sage Clinic, 201 Waterman St., East Providence.  Learn more at 401-270-5223 or

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