What Herbs Are Best for Anxiety?
Anxiety can be overwhelming and highly distressing, especially when it takes a toll on your everyday life. However, there are natural remedies, including herbs, that you can rely on to take the edge off anxiety and stress. For those living with social anxiety or general anxiety, incorporating herbs into your self-care routine can be game-changing when it comes to managing your symptoms.
Top herbs for anxiety include chamomile, lavender, passionflower, valerian root, and kava. Whichever herb you choose to go with, it is important to consult your healthcare practitioner first.
In this blog post, I will discuss some of the best herbs for anxiety and how they can support your holistic well-being. Whether you are seeking to ease stress or find relief from social anxiety, you may just find the perfect herbal remedy for your health needs.
Chamomile is a gentle herb that has been widely studied for its ability to promote calmness and alleviate anxiety symptoms. Chamomile tea is a popular way to consume the herb and is best taken before bedtime to help promote a restful night’s sleep. Studies suggest that chamomile can help to reduce the severity of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and boost mood by increasing serotonin and melatonin levels.
2. Valerian Root
Valerian root is an herb native to Europe and Asia that supports sleep and relaxation. It is commonly used in sleep aids and can be used to regulate sleep cycles. Studies have shown that valerian root can help to reduce anxiety symptoms by promoting the production of GABA in the brain, a neurotransmitter that helps with relaxation.
Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is an adaptogen, which means it helps the body adapt to stress. Ashwagandha also reduces cortisol levels in the body, which is the hormone responsible for stress. It also improves cognitive function and reduces anxiety symptoms such as agitation and restlessness. Ashwagandha can be consumed as a supplement or tea.
Rhodiola is an herb that has been used for centuries to support mental well-being and reduce stress levels. Its active ingredients, rosavin and salidroside, have been clinically proven to improve mood and cognitive performance. Studies suggest that Rhodiola can increase serotonin levels in the brain which in turn helps regulate anxiety and depression symptoms.
5. Kava Kava
Kava is another popular herb for treating anxiety. It has been historically used in Polynesian culture to reduce stress and relax the mind, body, and spirit. The active ingredient in kava is kavalactones which have calming effects on the nervous system. Studies suggest that taking kava can be helpful when it comes to reducing feelings of stress, worry, and even depression.
For centuries, people have used lavender to relieve stress and anxiety. Lavender essential oil is thought to have a calming effect that can help you relax and reduce feelings of unease. You can use lavender in several ways, including as a tea, essential oil, or in a sachet. There’s even some scientific evidence that the scent of lavender can help you sleep more soundly.
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7. Lemon Balm
This herb, also known as Melissa officinalis, is a member of the mint family and has been used for over 2,000 years. Lemon balm contains rosmarinic acid, which has been found to have anxiolytic effects, meaning it can help reduce anxiety. You can consume lemon balm in tea or capsule form. Additionally, studies have shown that lemon balm can interfere with the binding of certain enzymes, including GABA, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety.
This stunning plant has been used for centuries to help calm the mind and reduce anxiety. Passionflower contains several compounds that have sedative effects, working to relax the nervous system and promote calmness. You can consume passionflower in tea, tincture, or capsule form. While it’s generally safe, it’s important to note that it can have interactions with certain medications, so it’s always best to discuss new herbs with your healthcare provider.
9. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a natural herb that can be used to support mental health. The active ingredients in St. John’s Wort, Hypericin and Hyperforin, have been found to increase the production of serotonin in the brain which helps alleviate anxiety and stress. Research also suggests that it can help improve sleep quality which is important for regulating mood and emotions throughout the day.
10. Holy Basil
Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi in India, is an ancient herb that has been used for centuries to promote overall well-being. It contains powerful antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and stress. Studies suggest that Holy Basil can increase dopamine levels in the brain which helps regulate anxiety levels.
While these are just a few of the many herbs that have been shown to help reduce anxiety, incorporating them into your lifestyle can be a powerful way to promote calmness and relaxation. It’s important to note that while herbs can be helpful, they shouldn’t be relied on as a sole source of treatment for anxiety.
If you’re experiencing severe or chronic anxiety, it’s always best to discuss your options with a healthcare professional. That said, the power of plants should not be underestimated. Try experimenting with some of these herbs and see what works best for you.
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Here are some of my favorite social anxiety tools
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