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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Natural Remedies for Stress

Natural Remedies for Stress

The end of summer vacation and the beginning of the back-to-school routine can be stressful for many of us —adults and children alike. To help keep stress at bay, here are some natural remedies.

Sleep is key to fighting stress.

Getting the sleep you need daily is essential to maintaining good health. Chronic insomnia can contribute to various physical illnesses and psychological problems. Numerous chronic illnesses, stress, aging, aches and pains, depression, hormonal changes, shift work, and even iron, calcium, or magnesium deficiencies can cause insomnia.

Could you use help sleeping, unwinding, or slowing down each evening? If you have ongoing difficulty sleeping, seek professional help. For occasional trouble sleeping, follow these simple suggestions to help promote a good night’s sleep.


  • Don’t smoke or consume alcohol, caffeinated beverages, or chocolate after lunch, if you have trouble sleeping.
  • Don’t take naps late in the afternoon.
  • Eliminate processed foods, especially those containing MSG, aspartame, and other excitotoxins.
  • Avoid heavy meals and eating close to bedtime.
  • Don’t exercise close to bedtime, as that speeds up the metabolism.
  • Avoid taking work to bed, such as bill paying or balancing the checkbook. Turn your home computer off before dinner to avoid putting in an extra hour of work at bedtime.
  • Avoid playing competitive games near bedtime. Card games and electronic games stimulate the mind, making it difficult to relax.


  • Exercise, walk, or work physically earlier in the day.
  • Resolve family conflicts before going to bed.
  • Take a warm, relaxing bath an hour or so before bedtime. Dim the lights in the bathroom; light candles, and listen to soothing music while bathing.
  • Read a novel to unwind. Children can benefit from the calming effect of reading fiction, thirty minutes before lights out, but it must not be a scary book.

(These tips were taken from “Natural Cures and Preventions,” an article in the 2009 Farmers’ Almanac, written by freelancer Deborah Tukua.)

To Reduce Feelings of Stress:

Chamomile DaisiesThink Chamomile. Try adding 3 teaspoons of flowers to boiling water and steeping 10—15 minutes for tea, or add a few handfuls of flowers to bathwater. Keep in mind, chamomile is possibly allergenic, so you should always test a little to make sure you’re not allergic to it.

Chamomile’s flower friend, sweet violet (Viola odorata), is also thought to be good for the nerves, thus earning it the nickname “heart’s-ease.” Add some of its Vitamin A- and C-rich blooms to your spring salads for a tasty (and lovely) treat.

Other herbal teas like catnip or passionflower are known for their calming, mildly sedative properties.

Feeling tense? Massage is great for relieving tension and inducing relaxation. Massage the face and scalp to unwind.

Last but not least— Learn to say NO!

Schedule time for yourself each day. Do things you really want to do without having feelings of guilt. Always have something to look forward to: a movie night with your children; one night with no cooking; a vacation; a special show on TV; a visit from a friend; a bubble bath; a hobby.

The following are tips and advice were taken from two stories in the 2009 Farmers’ Almanac. For more natural remedies for common ailments, be sure to consult the Farmers’ Almanac.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.