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What Herbs Are Good For Anxiety

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Common and Accessible Herbs for Stress and Anxiety | Plant-Based | Well Good

Stress and anxiety are among the most under-reported and under-treated diseases in America.

Nearly 20% of adults in the US suffer from mental health illness and fewer than half receive treatment. Our mission is to increase access to treatment for those suffering in silence.

You can start controlling your stress and anxiety and get access to the treatment you need with K Health. Starting at $12/month get prescriptions for mental health medications plus unlimited provider visits through the K Health app. Start your free assessment here.

K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

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Do you deal with anxiety each and every day? Youre far from alone. Anxiety and anxiety disorders in general is the most common mental illness in the US. And the number of people who live with anxiety is increasing each year, giving rise to more stress, more symptoms and more mental health challenges.

But there is good news: anxiety can be managed, with steps like lifestyle changes, psychotherapy and medication. And you can even use herbs to soothe anxiety and its symptoms. The following herbs have all shown that they might be able to relieve the symptoms and stress that accompany anxiety.

Cbd Oil Gummies And Treats

As of now, theres not enough scientific evidence to really tell us whether or not cannabidiol, a chemical found in marijuana thats become especially popular in the past few years, is effective when it comes to treating anything from epilepsy to anxiety. However, some people swear by it.

While Dr. Margaret Haney, professor of neurobiology and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center, told the Cut that although CBD seems to act at a wide range of brain sites, and could therefore be acting at one of the serotonin receptors in your anxious brain, many scientists say they still just dont know enough about the chemical. If youre interested in trying CBD, though, it comes in everything from edibles to eye serum to oil.

Read Also: How Fast Does Anxiety Meds Work

Polygala And Ocimum May Be The Best Herbs For Anxiety

Treatments and therapies for anxiety include psychotherapy or cognitive behavior therapy, medication, support groups or stress management techniques. However, herbal teas and extracts can not only ease your anxiety but also nourish your body by providing numerous health benefits.

Polygala tenuifolia and Ocimum sanctum are both adaptogenic herbs that help the body combat the effects of stress and enable the body to function normally during traumatic periods.

Polygala is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its health benefits include supporting healthy brain function, learning and memory, creativity and awareness, sleep, and relaxation.

Native to India, Ocimum sanctum, also called Tulsi and Holy Basil, has been used as an herbal therapeutic for more than 3,000 years. Ocimum is used to nurture the body and support the natural healing process. Many people drink Ocimum tea to provide support for chronic diseases and everyday ailments.

If youre looking for a natural remedy to ease anxiety, Polygala and Ocimum are among the best herbs to add to your toolkit.

What Are The Best Herbs For Anxiety

5 Calming Herbs For Anxiety Sleep And Stress

There are a variety of herbs and supplements commonly used to help relieve anxiety-related symptoms, some of which have been used for centuries.

Below, we explain a little about 10 of the most popular: passionflower, lavender, ashwagandha, kava, lemon balm, valerian, St. Johns wort, cannabidiol, galphimia glauca, and hops.

In each section, well describe what the herb is, how its used, how it can help to increase the well-being of those with anxiety , and potential side effects and cautions.

Like medication, finding the right herb or supplement for you can take some time and trial and error. It is also important to know that because these supplements are not regulated by the FDA, they may not always contain the advertised ingredient or dose.

For this reason, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional who can help you make an anxiety plan of action, and ensure a supplement will not interact with anything else you are taking.

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Meditation Walking Moving Or Guided

Another way to bring yourself into the current moment is through meditation. If youre looking to meditate in the traditional sense, Ongaro recommends starting with one minute of stillness and breathing to get the habit started, during which you try to focus on your breathing. If sitting in complete silence seems impossible to you, try using an app for guided meditation, such as Headspace or Calm.

For people who are always on the run, Wei recommends incorporating walking meditationinto their daily routine.

Especially for New Yorkers, whether youre walking to the subway or around the city, I like to suggest walking meditation, where you pair your breath with your steps, she says. Start out breathing in for five steps and then out for eight to 10 steps. As you increase your exhalation, your anxiety will actually go down, and you can always increase the ratio. Thats a very simple way to practice meditation, just using your breath.

Best Natural Herbs For Anxiety And Panic Attacks

Weve talked quite a bit about drug-free, natural ways to manage anxiety and panic attacks. Our advice is always to:

  • treat the problem holistically,
  • consider the food you eat,
  • the exercise you get ,
  • and the way you live your life.

Even if youre doing everything right, we understand that sometimes its not enough.

Many turn to prescription drugs to provide the extra support they need, but we believe that theres often a safer, better choice.

If youve been to the doctor to address anxiety or panic, chances are that you were prescribed or at least pitched antidepressants or a class of sedative drugs called benzodiazepines. While both can be effective options, they often have serious drawbacks. Some including:

  • dependence/addiction,
  • weight gain,
  • and a range of other health and cognitive complications.

Even if you find the side effects unpleasant enough to quit taking a benzodiazepine or SSRI, you cannot stop taking them without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Even if you dont become psychologically addicted to these drugs, your body will become dependent.

To help with withdrawal and to even go the entire natural anxiety relief route, many turn to a number of herbs for anxiety. Some of the best herbs for anxiety and panic attacks are used worldwide. They often come with the benefit of having no harsh side effects or risks of addiction.

Natural, herbal anxiety supplements, based on ancient medicinal knowledge, can be invaluable in offering support.

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Best Herb For Mild To Moderate Anxiety


Chamomile is one of the oldest and most widely studied herbs. An estimated 1 million cups of chamomile tea are consumed worldwide every day. It can also be taken as a tincture.

Chamomile is one of the safest calming herbs you can try, says functional-medicine practitioner Mark Menolascino, MD.

Chamomile has many calming constituents, but one of the most potent is apigenin, a flavonoid that influences GABA.

Although chamomile is typically used for mild anxiety, new research hints that it can tackle moderate to severe symptoms too. In a 2016 study published in Phytomedicine, people with generalized anxiety disorder took 500 mg of chamomile three times daily for up to eight weeks. More than half-reported a clinically meaningful reduction in symptoms.

How to Use: Chamomile comes in many forms, but herbal tea is the most traditional form used to ease anxiety. Pour hot-water over 2 to 3 heaping teaspoons of dried chamomile, steep for five to 10 minutes, then strain. Drink as needed throughout the day.

When Is Anxiety And Stress Harmful

Herbs For Stress and Anxiety – with Rosemary Gladstar

Its possible for people who experience on-going anxiety and stress for a while to develop health issues. Over time, the anxiety and stress can take its toll on their health, making them more susceptible to issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and panic disorders.10

Anxiety and stress can also become harmful when people develop thoughts about harming themselves or others. In these instances, they should seek medical help as soon as possible. The same applies to if their thoughts are getting in the way of being able to go about their day-to-day life.

Anxiety and stress can be treated and there are many resources, strategies and treatments available to enable people to understand and manage their anxiety and stress levels.

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Herbs For Anxiety: My Take As An Herbalist & Doctor

Okay, so what are my alternatives then? When treating anxiety in my clinical practice, I always work with my patients to find their unique set of root causes. To learn to find your root causes and address anxiety in a nourishing way, you can read my article about this right here .

While youre getting a handle on those root causes, or if you just want to take something thats going to help ASAP supportive remedies can help you get by and feel more inner peace, day-to-day.

My go-to for over 35 years of practicing as an herbalist, and even still now as a medical doctor who can prescribe medications, is herbal medicine. In addition to providing us with important phytochemicals that work on resetting pathways within our nervous system, many botanical alternatives work as well as pharmaceuticals and rarely cause side effects unlike their pharmaceutical counterparts. And for you earth-conscious ladies out there like myself, I love that botanicals provide a medicine that doesnt put the undue stress on the planet that pharmaceuticals are causing in natural environments.

So, now youre probably thinking Okay, Dr. Aviva, this all sounds great, but where do I start?

Im so glad you asked

What The Evidence Says

Supplements include herbs as well as vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients. Heres a list of popular remedies and what we know or dont know so far about whether they really help.

  • Kava. You can find kava in various forms, including capsules, powders, and liquid extracts. Its often labeled as a stress reliever, and some evidence suggests it may have a small effect on anxiety. However, kava can cause serious liver damage. In fact, researchers had to stop a clinical trial of kava because of this concern.
  • Passionflower. You can get this supplement dried for making tea or as an extract, capsule, or tablet. Some small studies suggest passionflower may help with anxiety. But experts say theres not enough evidence to know for sure. If you want to try it, its generally safe. But it can make you drowsy.
  • Valerian. Some people report less anxiety and stress when they take valerian, which comes from a pink flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. Study results are mixed though. You can get a tea or tincture of the plants dried roots and capsules or tablets of the dried plant. It may cause headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness.
  • Chamomile. Extract from the daisy-like flower may help with anxiety according to small clinical studies. You can get it in teas, extracts, tablets, or capsules. Note that some people are allergic to this herb.
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    Natural Anxiety Relief: Massages And Rubs

    • A warm bath with a couple of drops of chamomile oil aides sleeping. Add a splash of lavender oil for a relaxing aroma.
    • For a relaxing body rub, soak equal parts finely chopped dandelions, burdock , yellow dock, and lobelia in a mason jar of vodka for two weeks. Apply externally .

    What Are The Risks When Using Essential Oils

    8 Herbs for Anxiety (Sleep Well and Boost Your Energy Too)

    As with all skincare products, you should always use essential oils in line with the recommended guidance.

    As weve already mentioned a bit further up, pure essential oils are highly concentrated solutions and can therefore potentially be toxic.49

    Before using essential oils, especially if youre planning on applying them to your skin, make sure you dilute them down in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.

    Using diluted essential oils can reduce the likelihood of them irritating your skin, eyes or lungs.

    Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to peoples skin or eyes.

    If you have particularly sensitive skin, you may potentially develop an allergic reaction or your skin may become irritated by essential oils.

    If it becomes blotchy, starts to itch, hurts you or becomes red, its best to avoid using them.

    The best and safest way to use essential oils, is to carry out a patch test on your skin first.

    If your skin responds negatively, clean it with some soap and warm water and stop using the oil.

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    Avoid Technology For At Least An Hour Before You Go To Bed

    Technology can have negative effects on us for a number of reasons, particularly when were trying to go to bed.

    Thats largely down to the fact that most electronic devices emit blue light which stimulates the brain, making it much more difficult to switch off for sleep.23

    Avoid looking at your phone or tablet for at least an hour before bedtime if you can.

    Herbs To Calm Anxiety

    Are you ‘swimming’ in stress, lately? Are bills piling up? Challenges sprouting up in your job, family, and home? You may be suffering from anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. and affect 40 million adults. Generalized anxiety disorder, on its own, affects 6.8 million adults, with women twice as likely to be affected as men.

    Whether youre suffering from a lifelong illness or simply going through a stressful period in your life, natural herbs can help. Here are seven that are particularly good for calming you down – without putting you to sleep. .

    Read Also: How To Stop Health Anxiety

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