How to Overcome Anxiety: 20 Best Herbs for Anxiety
Anxiety is not something that should be taken lightly, especially if it is already affecting the quality of life of the person. Severe anxiety can take hold of the person’s life and keep him wrapped in his or her own world. If you suffer from anxiety disorder, it would be hard for you to lead a normal life because you are constantly in a state of distress mentally, emotionally, and physically. Imagine the feeling of fear and worry, which never leaves you and overwhelms your whole being.
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Most doctors treat severe anxiety through prescription medications. However, many of these drugs have their own side effects. You can try going all natural by using herbs for anxiety treatment. These herbs don’t have the usual side effects that you can experience from prescription drugs. For some people, the combination of natural remedies and prescription drugs works best for them.
If you are already taking prescription drugs for your anxiety, you should consult your doctor first before trying out these natural herbs. These natural remedies may contain properties that can interact with the drugs you are taking in. So for safety purposes, ask your doctor if it’s okay to consume herbal medicines simultaneously with your prescription drugs.
20 Best Herbs for Anxiety
We will show you the best herbs for anxiety that you can take to reduce your anxiety attacks and lower stress level. Here are the 20 best anti-anxiety herbs:
Aside from being a natural remedy for a sore throat and colds, ginger is also being used to treat the harmful effects of anxiety. It is actually one of the most recommended herbs for anxiety. When anxiety attacks, it can lead to nausea and upset stomach. Severe anxiety can be hard on your stomach and digestive system. You may have experienced having an upset stomach when you are under stress. Ginger has a soothing property that can help treat many types of gastrointestinal issues caused by anxiety.
In order to enjoy the soothing benefits of ginger, you can consume it as a ginger tea. Just put pieces of ginger root in a hot cup of water to brew your ginger tea. You can also add ginger to your meals. Other benefits of ginger include:
- It has a cleansing effect in your body.
- It helps get rid of waste and toxins.
- Improves your immune system.
The combination of stress and anxiety can make you feel like you’re always drowning with worry. Your heart starts beating faster and there is always a sense of fear and anticipation. In other words, anxiety is the opposite of calmness.
Jojoba is one of the recommended herbs that have calming properties to counter the effects of stress and anxiety. You will often see Jojoba included in many health and body products because of its soothing effects. When it is applied on your skin during excessive stress, it can help you calm down and relax.
Usually, jojoba oil is mixed with other essential oils to be rubbed in your palms so you can breathe in its calming and soothing scent. Jojoba is not known for having many side effects, but it is still safer if you ask your doctor if it’s okay to use jojoba oil as a remedy for anxiety and stress.
Gingko Biloba is one of the most popular herbs for anxiety that you’ve probably heard about. Taking Gingko Biloba for anxiety or depression can improve energy levels, promote mental clarity, and lower the feeling of anxiousness, worrying, and stress. There have been studies showing that Gingko Biloba has the ability to improve social behaviors and increase the feeling of well-being.
Promoting mental clarity and mental focus is the main role of Gingko Biloba. Severe anxiety can be considered as a mental condition, and taking a supplement that improves mental focus is a good way to counteract this condition.
So how does Gingko Biloba work? The effect of Gingko Biloba is related to an improved blood flow to the brain and also an increase in oxygen and glucose metabolism. A poor blood flow to the brain is closely linked to depression, anxiety, poor focus, headache, and low energy levels. Again, consult your doctor before trying this type of supplement.
Valerian Root is considered as a sedative, which can be similar to other sedative drugs that are commonly prescribed for anxiety and depression. This herb will definitely help you to fall asleep even if your mind is constantly worrying and racing through different thoughts. It is important to have a restful sleep because this is your brain’s chance to recharge and rest without any conscious thoughts disturbing it.
The problem with anxiety is that it can come to you at bedtime and it would be quite impossible to sleep because of so many thoughts rushing through your mind. You need the valerian root to help you calm the brain and trigger its natural sleep responses.
Sometimes, valerian root is combined with lemon balm, hops, and other herbs that can also cause drowsiness. It should be taken right before bedtime. It is still better to consult your doctor about the right dosage to take when dealing with anxiety.
Chamomile is well known as a tea and it is used to help calm the mind and relaxes your body. You may often hear it as an herbal medicine recommended by your grandparents, aunts, or other tea drinkers, but it has been recently backed up by science to be a real calming drink. So this is good news for all chamomile tea drinkers.
Chamomile tea is perfect for those who want to avoid taking prescription drugs to treat their anxiety. However, chamomile alone may not be very effective in treating severe anxiety disorder and it might not work for those suffering from panic attacks or severe depression.
You can make your own chamomile tea by steeping 2 to 3 tbsp of dried chamomile in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes. It is safe to drink but it is not recommended for people with asthma as it can aggravate its symptoms.
Bergamot comes from the bergamot orange and it is often used as an essential oil for aromatherapy. The scent of the bergamot oil can calm and reduce your anxiety and stress. Bergamot is also used by doctors as a remedy for patients undergoing radiation treatment. Some patients who are about to go to surgery often experience anxiety, so they are given bergamot essential oil aromatherapy to calm them and lessen their anxiety.
Bergamot oil can be used in many ways. You can add this oil to your tub so you can have a nice aromatic bath, which soothes and calms your mind and body. You can also inhale its sweet scent to give you a boost of positivity. It can be combined with fennel oil and chamomile to massage your abdominal area when you suffer from gas or indigestion.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort has been considered as a health remedy in Europe for many centuries. Today, more people are discovering the health benefits of this wonderful flowering plant.
St. John’s Wort is popularly known as a treatment for depression. Recent studies have indicated that the benefits of this herb can also work for those who are suffering from anxiety. The results of the study are still not 100% conclusive, but there have been a lot of cases where people reported a feeling of ease and well-being after taking St. John’s Wort.
Aside from depression and anxiety, St. John’s Wort is also used to treat other health conditions such as mood disorders, menopausal symptoms, insomnia, PMS, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, and eczema. It is still better to consult your doctor before taking this herbal medicine.
The Eucalyptus oil is extracted from the Eucalyptus plant and it can be made into an herbal tea or spray. Eucalyptus is considered as one of the best herbs for anxiety because it provides a feeling of relaxation, calmness, and positivity.
So how do you effectively use this eucalyptus to treat your anxiety? The key is to make sure that you spot the problem early. According to the experts, it is much easier to treat anxiety in its early stages. When it becomes a full blown anxiety attack, it would be difficult to treat it with any herbal treatment or natural remedies since it takes some time for them to take full effect in the senses. So if there are some signs and symptoms of anxiety, you should immediately inhale the scent of this essential oil to help bring down the effects of anxiety. Eucalyptus can also be used to fight stress, fatigue, tension, and headaches.
Lavender is another anti-anxiety herb that has soothing and calming properties. You can brew it as a tea or you can use its essential oil for your aromatherapy session. The lavender essential oil can also be used when taking a bath by putting a few drops to the water. The scent will really calm your senses and ease the tension in your mind and body.
Bathing with lavender oil is recommended because it calms your body. You have to remember that a relaxed body can always lead to a more relaxed mind, which can really help in fighting anxiety. The bathing with lavender oil is also effective if you have problems with your sleep. The soothing effect can help put you in a drowsy mood so you can get a restful and complete night’s sleep.
In the hospital, lavender oils are helping patients to lower anxiety and stress before they undergo surgery. Doctors recommend the calming scent of lavender to help put the patient at ease. Read More – Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil.
Read More – Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
Meadow Sweet does not actually attack the anxiety itself, but it can help treat the effects of anxiety and stress. When you sense that first sign of a headache due to your heightened anxiety, you can take a sip of the Meadow Sweet tea to help release the tension.
There may be a few side effects when taking Meadow Sweet tea, so it is better to consult your doctor first for safety reasons. It is not recommended to take this herbal tea medicine if you are sensitive to aspirin.
Meadow Sweet contains salicin, which is considered as a pain reliever and it is much better because it doesn’t affect the liver. When it is used as a medicine, it can reduce inflammation that is associated with panic attacks, nervous tension, fevers, and colds.
In Ayurveda, the ashwagandha is revered as a royal herb and it has the ability to reduce panic attacks, elevate mood, and reduce anxiety and depression. According to researchers, ashwagandha obtains its relaxing property from a group of alkaloids called withanolides. There are other alkaloids and minerals in this herb that can play a vital role in delivering a better state of relaxation. Basically, it works as a depressant on your central nervous system, which causes the sensation of calmness, relaxation, and tranquility. This also gives you a more restful and better quality of sleep.
When it comes to being an anti-anxiety treatment, a study about the calming effect of ashwagandha shows that it can be used for a treatment of clinical anxiety and depression. It is much better than other anti-anxiety prescription drugs because it doesn’t have any adverse side effects. Other drugs can also be addicting and cause headaches.
Passionflower looks like an exotic and beautiful plant but it has a sedative effect that can help lower your anxiety. However, Passionflower is more effective when used for mild anxiety. If you have a higher level of anxiety, then you may need additional treatment.
Passionflower contains flavonoids that are responsible for lowering your anxiety and stress. These flavonoids, composed of chrysin and benzoflavone, produces the same effect as other anti-anxiety prescription medicines. They affect the activity of the brain’s neurons, which results in its calming effect. You have to be careful with its dosage because taking higher quantities can disrupt your mental and motor functions. Always talk to your doctor regarding any herbs for anxiety, like the passionflower, that you are willing to take. Experts suggest not taking passionflower if you are undergoing surgery or if you are pregnant.
It is also known as Kava Kava, which is a widely known Polynesian plant. The Kava roots are brewed to create a healthy drink that has a calming effect. This is an excellent drink that is used by many people to treat their anxiety.
Kava is most preferred as an anti-anxiety sedative because it does not have any negative side-effects. The minimum dosage of Kava that can effectively treat anxiety ranges between 210 to 240 mg. Remember that kava can make you drowsy so it is recommended to start taking it in the evening or before bedtime.
However, kava may not produce an immediate effect for everyone. While some may feel the calming effect of taking one dose, others may take months before they experience the desired effect. Also, you have to remember that kava may not work well with other substances so you should talk to your doctor about this.
Skullcap is recommended for people experiencing anxiety with muscle tension, restlessness, and jaw clenching. Anxiety can often have a negative impact on your physical well-being. Usually, combined stress and anxiety will cause painful muscle tensions, headaches, and restlessness, which will further aggravate your condition.
Skullcap is great for helping you unwind and relieve those muscular tensions and restlessness associated with high levels of anxiety. You can take skullcap as a tea or tincture form. If you can tolerate a little bit of alcohol, then 20 to 40 drops of the tincture can be effective in treating your anxiety.
L-theanine is the amino acids that are found in green tea which helps lower rising heart rate and blood pressure. One study showed that participants who are prone to anxiety were calmer and more focused when they took 200 mg of L-theanine. Buddhist monks have used the calming effect of green tea to help them meditate and keep them relaxed and alert for several hours.
L-theanine is a psychoactive substance, which means that they can access the central nervous system and affect your mental abilities, mood, and state of perception. It can increase your dopamine levels and serotonin levels, and affect the brain’s alpha waves, which helps relieve your anxiety.
Hops is a common ingredient in beer and it is often used as a sedative to promote better sleep. You don’t often see it being brewed as a tea because it has a very bitter flavor unless you combine it with other herbs such as peppermint or chamomile.
Anxiety can sometimes attack in the evening, making you restless in bed and it could be difficult to fall asleep. You can take the hops extract or tincture before going to bed in order to keep you calm and drowsy, which reduces your anxiety level.
Remember that you should not take hops simultaneously with any tranquilizers or sedative pills. Let your doctor know about all the supplements you are taking just to be safe.
Although you often see lemon balm being used together with other herbs, it has its own powerful anti-anxiety properties. A research done in 2004 has revealed that a single dose of lemon balm extract can effectively improve the participant’s mood after just one hour. When given a higher dose, participants reported an improved calmness and alertness, and stress is greatly reduced.
The dosage for lemon balm, when used in aromatherapy, is about 300 to 500 mg three times daily. If you want to consume it as tea, you need ¼ to 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm and put it in hot water.
Brahmi or Bacopa Monnieri is a herb that is native to India and it has been used in Ayurveda for many years now. It can help reduce anxiety by improving the impulse transmission between the nerve cells in the brain. This raises your mental capabilities, concentration, and focus, and also dispels your anxiety.
It is also considered as one of the best herbs for anxiety because it has the ability to increase the serotonin level in your brain. This leads to higher level of relaxation and greatly reduces your anxiety.
Brahmi can help improve mental function and memory in old people suffering from dementia. It could also help treat depression, epilepsy, asthma, allergies, and ulcers.
Arctic Root or Rhodiola Rosea is found in the Arctic and the mountain regions of central China. It has been used for centuries as a Chinese and Scandinavian traditional medicine. It contains potent substances that have a stronger resistance to both physical and emotional stress. It works by increasing the activity of major neurotransmitters, as well as the brain’s serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
You should consider taking Arctic Root if you feel that you are low on energy due to anxiety, you have trouble concentrating, or you suffer from depression. It’s been proven to work faster than other anti-depressant prescription drugs.
Other uses of Arctic Root include treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, memory loss, seasonal affective disorder, and depression.
Magnesium is known for helping treat sore and tight muscles, but it is also great for lowering blood pressure and reducing stress and anxiety. You can get your daily dose of magnesium in supplements or foods high in magnesium.
Read More – Magnesium: Top 10 Magnesium Rich Foods
Magnesium has been proven to reduce abnormal heart beat and keeps your cardiovascular system healthy. It is a calming mineral that nourishes your nervous system and helps reduce nervousness, restlessness, irritability, and other signs of anxiety.
Early studies do indicate that magnesium is effective in reducing anxiety and depression. Those who constantly suffer from anxiety and depression are magnesium deficient. So it is important to eat foods that are rich in magnesium to fight and prevent anxiety.