For centuries, herbal remedies have been a commonly used tool to treat illnesses and improve a person’s general well-being.
However, while they have often been associated with healing physical pains, they have also been shown to have positive effects on our mental health, especially when it comes to depression and anxiety.
There are many natural ways to manage anxiety, from keeping active to improving a sleep schedule, but herbs have also proven time and time again through studies to work extremely well at soothing the muscles and helping us feel relaxed and content in our daily lives.
If you’re someone currently struggling with anxiety and feel like you’re becoming overwhelmed by stress, fear, and worry, it never hurts to try using a herbal remedy, and we’ve got 10 of the best ones right here that you should try out.
Valerian roots have been a common ingredient used for helping sleep disorders, anxiety, and headaches for many years.
The valerenic acid contained in the herb has been shown to upregulate the GABA receptor, which is closely related to feeling tired and sleepy, so this herb is best taken as a remedy for if you are struggling to get to sleep because of racing negative thoughts before bed.
Ashwagandha is a type of adaptogen herb that can affect a person’s hormones to regulate their stress levels. It has been a very popular remedy in India as part of Ayurvedic medicine for many years.
Studies have proven that when taken in moderate to large doses of around 600 mg, ashwagandha is capable of helping people feel much more relaxed and free of worries, alongside improving their quality of sleep.
This herbal remedy (see also: Herbal Remedies For Depression – Do They Actually Work?)therefore won’t necessarily make you feel tired, but it will certainly help to give you that extra boost to get out of bed in the morning without worrying about the day ahead.
Passionflower can be taken either as a tablet or as a liquid tincture, and it is a herb that has been proven to treat feelings of restlessness, nervousness, and anxiety.
While there are plenty of studies that have shown passionflower has a soothing effect and many positive benefits in the short term, its long-term effects are not yet fully understood due to a lack of controlled studies.
It should also be noted that taking passionflower in higher doses can lead to dizziness and a lack of focus, so keep this in mind if you’re trying to ease your anxiety (see also: Holistic Yoga & Anxiety – Benefits And Poses You Should Try)to focus on other activities.
Chamomile is known as a very mild sedative, meaning it is able to increase the brain’s neurotransmitter activity which in turn boosts a person’s overall mood.
The best way to consume chamomile is by using it to create a warm and rich herbal tea that you can gradually sip on it at your own pace.
Alongside being a sedative, chamomile acts as a digestive reluctant that can also help with indigestion, diarrhoea, and flatulence issues.
5. Lemon Balm
This member of the Mint family has been used to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety as far back as the Middle Ages. Lemon balm stimulates your thyroid which in turn produces more serotonin.
Because of this, it has been seen to work incredibly well at helping to treat depression, (see also: Meditation For Depression – Why It Works And How To Do It)but also anxiety, especially since it also contains eugenol, which calms muscle spasms, numbs tissues and kills skin bacteria.
6. St John’s Wort
St Jonh’s Wort has been used to treat nerve disorders for over 2,000 years, and as more analysis and research has gone into them, the more we are coming to realise their incredibly beneficial effects.
While there is still a lot to be learned, it is currently believed that this herb contains the ability to prolong the effects of serotonin, allowing us to feel energised and confident by striking back against a mood imbalance.
St John’s Wort is also believed to have antibacterial properties that can help fight inflammation and is also able to ease wounds and irritation when applied to the skin.
Rhodiola is another herb which has been recognised as an adaptogen, granting it the ability to increase our bodily resistance to feelings of stress and worry, and can also help give you that extra boat of energy when experiencing burnout.
One study tested the results of 118 people who were suffering from burnout and high-stress levels and who decided to take 400 mg of Rhodiola for 12 weeks.
The results showed a clear improvement in each individual’s mood and energy levels, making this a brilliant remedy for treating anxiety and fatigue.
The benefits of turmeric herbal medicine have been well known for many years and include promoting heart health, reducing cancer risk, and acting as an “emergency remedy” to help protect us from panic attacks and breakouts of anxiety.
It is very noticeable for its bright yellow phytochemicals, which can also be used to reverse inflammation. Because of its bland and rather dry taste, turmeric is best digested when mixed with a liquid such as tea or a smoothie.
Chasteberry, also commonly known as vitex, is a herb that is able to attenuate symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety during the PMS cycle in the lead-up to a period.
This period can obviously lead to very intense mood swings, irritation, and lots of worrying thoughts, but taking around 180 mg of chasteberry capsules twice a day is enough to help you feel relaxed and stress-free without any ugly side effects popping up.
While chasteberry is usually consumed as a capsule, you can also buy it in tincture which you should consume between 3-5 ML daily to feel its full effects.
10. Gotu Kola
Because it is believed that gotu kola is a herb capable of reducing our startle response, which is linked with feelings of anxiety, it has been commonly referred to as a “brain tonic” which can help stabilise our nervous system while also increasing our mental focus.
Gotu kola is an ideal herb to use when your anxiety is preventing you from focusing on your work or from building up the confidence to go to a big event such as a party or a wedding.
Anxiety can often cause thoughts to race across our minds at 100 miles an hour, which can result in a foggy and forgetful brain. Luckily, gotu kola is also a powerful tool for combating brain fog since it can help to sharpen our cognition and memory too.
The good news is that there are plenty of different herbal remedies that can be used to help us feel focused, relaxed, and free of anxiety and worry, so if you have felt a wave of anxiety wash over you recently, it can be well worth trying out some of these natural medicines.
Always remember that specific herbs have their own unique traits, so while all of these will help with anxiety, some can also inspire drowsiness and others can grant you more energy, so it’s all about knowing when you feel the most anxious to decide which herb to use.