***Note: post has been amended to included Mo's excellent suggestions in comments. Additions are asterisked***
This is a words-only post aimed at getting it published in the most timely manner. It's inspired by a modest number of requests for suggestions of safe and easy to use herbal options to stress-masking pharmaceuticals or an escalating inner need to meditate or have alone time at inconveniently frequent intervals.
note: nearly all of these plants' healing profiles will be equally helpful for a queasy digestive tract. That will be an added blessing if your belly tends to get involved when you're stressed at ongoing feeling and thinking levels
I've listed these suggestions in order of estimated availability from most well stocked bulk herb aisles/food co-ops. Make sure everything you purchase or gather from gardens/wildcrafting is organically grown or located away from roads or places where the soil is chemically enhanced/depleted or insect/weed repellents are are in use.
Lavender Buds - Lavender's resinous healing properties are extensive. For this post's context the flower's most important gifts relate to calming both mind and emotional over-stimulation. It's also a decent pain reliever - making lavender bud tea or tincture a go-to ally for those who find the current times' pressurized nature is evoking headaches. May be especially effective for those who have never had to deal with chronic or recurring headaches in the past. Helpful also for people who deal with forms of PTSD that are easily triggered and generally begin with a relentless series of interruptive thoughts and/or hair-trigger night terror/waking.
If your mind and nerve-based response system responds well to hydro-therapy - try a lavender bud steam under a soft towel. Mix lavender buds and sea salt to use as a shower scrub. Mound a judicious amount of the mixture in the center of a dry clean washcloth. Gather the edges firmly in one hand and begin your shower with a scrub that detoxifies the skin and settles/brightens our inner landscape's feeling tone. You might also try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bedroom's humidifier water to further encourage less wakefulness.
*Rosemary - to support and amplify your memory storage and retrieval capacity.
Red or Pink rose petals. Rosa gallica (apothecary rose) is preferred if you can find a reliably organic source or grow your own. I'm putting it near the top of the list because this will be an authentically essential ally for anyone whose heart hurts in response to difficult topics/situations they must face head-on RIGHT NOW in order to live responsibly and with a mindfully shifting perspective. Drink this tea in a quiet corner in the company of an unhurried mindframe. Focus on easing your sense of emotional/situational pain by breathing deeply into your inner capacity for resilience and self-reliance. It's there or you wouldn't be attracted to blog posts such as this one.
Catnip - Fresh is lovely for plucking a scant handful of leaves per cup/mug. I'd reserve it for later day unwinding time unless you're having wall-to-wall panic or anxiety eruptions - see below. Just about any relatively comprehensive herbal supply source will include dried catnip leaves.
Lemon Balm - Mellissa officianalis is tied for top place (with Calendula) on my green medicine making must-grow list. You'll want enough to tincture generously/create oil infusions for all sorts of reasons related to the plant's immune-supportive, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. Make note that the plant's sedative properties - which is the most relevant usage focus for this list - are slightly more pronounced when the leaves are dried. Use fresh if you can because Melissa's phytochemical sedative properties are released instantaneously that way - with the plant's resinous scent moving directly to the brain's compatible receptors.
To begin coming back to a sense of restored vitality after a long or difficult illness - Pluck just one or two fresh leaves per mug of infusion. You can also gather two or three sprigs, take your tea leaves from that gathering and use the rest in the simple steam process suggested in the Lavender bud notations.
Milky Oats - Can be tricky to find a reliably organic source but well worth the effort - especially for those who veer closer towards panic than anxiety. A gentle compassionate green friend for anyone who resists making reflex/behavioral upgrades from long established patterns of engaging with anger/defensiveness/control freak cycles before finding the inner resources to communicate more effectively and inclusively. For older women this herb is also a modest but reliable/easily absorbed source of calcium replacement. Helps keeps the bones and joints flexible enough to support ongoing activity. This ability in turns is an effective de-stressing form of muscle nourishment as well.
Anise Hyssop( especially the flower heads) - Hardly ever see the flower heads for sale but that's an excellent reason to grow some of your own. This gently sedating/mind-centering herb is often considered 'best' when it's mixed with other compatible herbs to help blend and smooth the individual herbs' taste and tone. Super easy to grow and self-seeds reliably.
Tulsi/Holy Basil - is both soothing and mind-focusing - tempering adrenaline and blood pressure spikes. Its additional anti-inflammatory properties and ingrained spiritual connections to purifying and re-aligning both crown and third eye chakras are a combined wonder for tense or knotted muscles as well as the brain loops that frequently cause them. Tulsi's easy to grow from seed and a marvelous choice for anyone who keeps bees or lives near someone who does.
*Lemon Verbena - profoundly soothing to the brain and general nervous system.