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Easing Stress with Herbs & Mushrooms - Harmonic Arts

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Easing Stress with Herbs & Mushrooms

We live in a fast-paced world that values hustle culture and productivity. This puts pressure on us to always need to have it together. When we add in inflation, politics and family responsibilities, there’s a lot on our plates!  

It’s challenging to prioritize self-care, slower living and overall balance. Doing what we can to eat whole, nourishing foods, exercise, sleep, get outdoors and connect with our community can feel like added pressure to an already stressful situation. 

Every small caring action we do for ourselves has a positive impact. In stressful times, we welcome our favourite herbal allies to the rescue. Adding Adaptogens and Nervines to our wellness routines is a great way to bridge the gap. Easing stress with the following herbs and mushrooms can make finding balance a little easier. 

Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care practitioner before adding any new herbs to your wellness routine. 

 Image of passionflower, eleuthero, lavender, lemon balm and reishi


Adaptogens modulate the body’s hormonal and physiological functions. These herbs and mushrooms build our capacity for balance and help us adapt when we’re faced with stressors. They nourish the adrenals, calm the central nervous system, fortify immunity, and restore mental clarity (1). 


This mushroom works effortlessly to calm the spirit, restore balance and help us feel grounded. Known as “The Mushroom of Spiritual Potency,” Reishi boosts physical well-being, reduces fatigue and can help combat stress and anxiety (2). 


This ancient medicinal herb has been used for thousands of years to relieve stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha reduces the activity of the HPA Axis in our brain. This helps regulate our stress response, creating a calm body and mind (3). 


Eleuthero contains an active compound that stimulates the release of acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter that helps moderate motivation, attention, arousal, and restful sleep (4). Eleuthero gently energizes and boosts clarity and vitality. 

Find these nourishing adaptogens in our Adapt Artisan Tea. 



Nervines work to support the central nervous system. These soothing herbs aid in reducing stress and promoting rest. 

Lemon Balm 

Lemon Balm has been traditionally used for thousands of years to improve mood and cognitive function. It contains rosmarinic acid, which is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Lemon Balm can soothe stress, help us relax (5) and reduce feelings of anxiety or nervousness (6). Find Lemon Balm, along with Ashwagandha and Eleuthero in our Uplifted Spirits tincture. 


This popular sleep aid can also reduce anxiety. One study showed that 45 drops of Passionflower per day is just as effective as taking a pharmaceutical medication when treating General Anxiety Disorder (7).  This soothing herb is featured in our Dream Artisan Tea 


Lavender has been traditionally used for centuries to promote a calm nervous system and deep sleep. This nervine is a favourite of ours, and can be used in many ways. Drink it in a tea or inhale its scent to feel more at ease. A 2019 study showed that the inhalation of lavender can significantly reduce anxiety (8). 


Looking for more herbal wisdom? Check out this webinar to learn more about Adaptogens with our Co-Founder, Yarrow Willard (Cl.H). 



  1. Panossian, A., & Wikman, G. (2010). Effects of adaptogens on the central nervous system and the molecular mechanisms associated with their stress—protective activity. Pharmaceuticals, 3(1), 188–224. 
  2. Zhao, H., Zhang, Q., Zhao, L., Huang, X., Wang, J., & Kang, X. (2012). Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 1–8. doi: 10.1155/2012/809614 
  3. Speers AB, Cabey KA, Soumyanath A, Wright KM. (2021) Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on Stress and the Stress- Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2021;19(9):1468-1495. doi: 10.2174/1570159X19666210712151556. PMID: 34254920; PMCID: PMC8762185. 
  4. Liu, Ko Yu, Yang-Chang Wu, I-Min Liu, Wen Chen Yu, and Juei-Tang Cheng. (2008) Release of Acetylcholine by Syringin, an Active Principle of Eleutherococcus Senticosus, to Raise Insulin Secretion in Wistar Rats. Neuroscience Letters 434, no. 2 (2008): 195–99. 
  5. Kennedy DO, Little W, Scholey AB. (2004). Attenuation of laboratory-induced stress in humans after acute administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm). Psychosom Med. 66(4):607-13. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000132877.72833.71. PMID: 15272110. 
  6. Scholey, A., Gibbs, A., Neale, C., Perry, N., Ossoukhova, A., Bilog, V., Kras, M., Scholz, C., Sass, M., & Buchwald-Werner, S. (2014). Anti-Stress Effects of Lemon Balm-Containing Foods. Nutrients, 6(11), 4805–4821. 
  7. Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Vazirian M, Shayeganpour A, Rashidi H, Khani M. (2001). Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. J Clin Pharm Ther. 26(5):363-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2710.2001.00367.x. 
  8. Donelli D, Antonelli M, Bellinazzi C, Gensini GF, Firenzuoli F. (2019) Effects of lavender on anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine. 65:153099. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2019.153099.

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