6 Best Herbal Remedies For Anxiety: By N. Steele RN, BSN,MPH



6 Best Calming Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

Mary a school teacher has always had a knack for showing her children at school how to remember what was taught while having fun. Lately, however, she finds herself feeling fatigued and experiences periods of memory loss while teaching her students. She also found herself worried all the time and experienced difficulty sleeping at night. Upon seeing her doctor it was determined that she has been experiencing anxiety. There are relaxing herbs that could be beneficial. Herbs for anxiety have certain properties that affect the chemical reaction in the brain.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety can be defined as emotions that are usually negative in nature. It will often involve some level of fear and worry, individuals may even experience autosomal arousal expressed as physical signs and symptoms such as dizziness, sweating shortness of breath as well as a panic attack. Anxiety can be a complicated emotion and is comprised of various elements. Some of these elements are somatic or cognitive, in order for the body to deal with an external threat. During this process, you may have difficulty sleeping. At the same time, you may also experience various muscle aches and restlessness. 1

Why does this anxiety happen?

Although quite common there are various types of anxiety. These include obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder as well as and acute stress disorder. Anxiety sometimes occurs due to underlying conditions. These may include thyroid and heart problems. Individuals who use and abuse drugs as well as undergo alcohol withdrawal or intoxication may show signs of anxiety. Statistically, it has been shown that women experience more anxiety than men however it is the reverse when the obsessive-compulsive disorder is highlighted. 2

The association between food and anxiety

There is a lot of evidence that an unhealthy dietary pattern may increase the risk of developing depression or anxiety, alternately a healthy dietary pattern may decrease it. whole food is important in providing the essential nutrients to sustain our body. Various enzymes in plant-based food are attributed to hormone balance. Studies have shown that the type of diet you eat affects your risk for developing anxiety and depression. Persons who ate a whole food diet such as grains nuts and seeds fruits and vegetables had a lower incidence of depression while those who consumed a western diet such as fried food red meat and processed food was associated with higher depression. 3

Foods That Trigger Anxiety

Foods that may trigger anxiety include a diet that is more westernized such as fast food, red meat, fried foods. This type of food would cause an inflammatory response to occur in the gut, opening the door to intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s or celiac disease. An important dietary deficiency that has been associated with anxiety is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This is important for brain development and protection. This element is mostly obtained from the diet. Studies have shown that Curcumin a spice from the Tumeric plant complements the action of DHA in the brain. 4 This study is vital especially for brain health and reducing the risk of cognitive disease. There are certain foods that can affect your mood.

How to Reduce Anxiety

Reducing anxiety encompasses physical mental and spiritual balance. Take regular breaks. Working hard without regular breaks will eventually build up stress and tension. Ensure that you have at least one 15-minute break in the morning and one in the afternoon as well as at least 20 minutes for lunch. Another way to reduce anxiety is to engage in regular exercise.Exercise helps increase endorphins in the body to increase your energy. It is important to not being so hard on yourself. This fosters an atmosphere of doubt and worry. Self-deprecation is a huge part of stress, depression, and anxiety. Each time you blame yourself for minute issues yourself, you’re confidence and self-esteem are slowly destroyed. Never tell yourself you’re useless, worthless, stupid, hopeless, boring, and a loser. Never convince yourself that other people hate you, that others find you difficult to be around, and that you’re better off being alone. Think positive about yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from it. Isolation has been an issue with persons during these times and has increased some level of anxiety in others. It is important to occupy your mind with favorable activities. These could include tackling a jigsaw puzzle, a logic problem, a crossword, read a book, or perform a hobby such as painting, playing a musical instrument, or whatever it is you have an interest in.

Natural Sedative for anxiety

There are six important herbs that research has found to have produced benefits comparable to standard anxiolytics and antidepressants . According to Yeung (2018), there are certain herbs that can be beneficial to persons with anxiety . These herbs work in helping an individual to be in a calm state when the body is undergoing changes due to internal or external stress.

Calming Herbs

There are herbs that help to reduce the stress, reduce anxiety or even have a positive effect on reducing depression. These herbs are not neurotransmitter building blocks or enzyme enhancers, but may have less harsh effects when compared to anxiolytic medicines. 5 There are six herbs that we will focus on in this article. They are Lavender, passion flower, saffron ,chamomile, black cohosh and St.Johns worth.


Lavenders are small shrub with purple flowers and a strong aroma that is caused by the oil glands embedded in the tiny hairs. The plant is popularly utilized as essential oil and is extracted through the distillation of the flowers. 5 Persons with anxiety can benefit from herbs that are chemically designed for the healing of the body. Research suggests that the plant concentration may not be enough to provide adequate transfer to cells. Hence it’s more effective as an essential oil formulation. It has been found that essential oil has been used for inhalation thus affecting the olfactory bulb eliciting emotions and memory. It is thought that smell is associated with a positive or negative memory. Research had later concluded that lavender essential oil caused a calming effect without sedation and found it effective for certain anxiety disorders. 6. Its aromatic scent has been used for relaxation and has been utilized in different forms such as soaps, teas, and essential oils(EO). There have been studies conducted that support the efficiency of lavender essential oil for anxiety. Among the studies, the essential oil of lavender has been shown to be helpful as antibacterial, antifungal, anxiolytic, useful for wound healing, and muscle relaxant. In one of the observational studies, postpartum women were investigated and it was discovered that their anxiety level was decreased by using a rose/lavender oil blend 15 minutes twice weekly for four weeks. The lavender essential oil can produce a calming effect without sedation.

Passion Flower

There are different species of Passionflower. One is passiflora. These have been used in research to determine its effectiveness to anxiety in brazil. known as passion fruit. Passionflower has numerous therapeutic benefits, especially for the mind. This herb is perennial in nature and has been studied thoroughly especially as it relates to anxiety. Studies have shown that it is helpful for stress, insomnia, and depression. 7 According to Wojtkowska et al.(2020) 9 clinical trials were reviewed related to the effects of passionflower on anxiety and it was discovered that participants less than 18 years old were used to measure its benefits. Results revealed that anxiety levels were reduced when the passiflora was used.


Anxiety and depression are neuropsychiatric disorders that mostly result from strong interpersonal relationships, certain drugs, and major life-altering and stressful events. There may also be genetic factors that may contribute to depression or anxiety. Saffron has been used widely around the world and is very expensive. It is mostly used as an additive in cooking so the flavor is enhanced. Saffron has been used as an herbal treatment for its hypolipidemic, anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant properties. 8 In relation to anxiety saffron has been utilized in clinical trials that have shown some improvement in anxiety.According to a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of saffron extract on anxiety showed in a six week study of 66 subjects who suffered from major depression followed by anxiety showed improvement in anxiety symptom with no side effects.9


Chamomile has been recognized as an effective herb for various ailments. But most notably it has been utilized for relaxation. This would be a significant mode of natural treatment for anxiety. As an essential oil, a study has shown how effective it was in reducing anxiety and improve the sleep quality of patients with burn injuries. This however was used with lavender essential oil. 10 Persons with burn injuries undergo intense stress in the body that could lead to anxiety and depression and using chamomile as a form of relaxation and anxiety reduction is a great step in reducing the effects of this condition.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh has been known as a female herb. Used to regulate women’s hormones. There are times when a woman’s hormones are out of balance which contributes to their mood. This is especially evident days before menstruation and during menopause. In a 2009 study, a clinical trial was conducted to determine the validity and tolerability of the herb black cohosh in the treatment of anxiety disorder due to menopause. Subjects were followed up for a period of time and results showed Black cohosh significantly reduced depression and anxiety in all studies reviewed. 11 This herb may be a vital source for women who have undergone menopause and struggling with anxiety.

ST.Johns Worth

This herb has been popular for years in the treatment of depression.it is perineal in nature and is found exclusively in Asia, North and south America, and Europe. This herb is known to increase serotonin in the brain. In recent times there were two clinical trials that utilized the herb for the study in patients with anxiety. More specifically women with pre-menstrual symptoms. It showed to be effective in reducing anxiety. It is important to note that it should not be used during pregnancy, lactation, and with other antidepressant drugs. 12

The Last Thing You Need to Know about anxiety and calming herb

Anxiety can be a debilitating condition and is often caused by environmental or genetic factors. It involves emotions that are usually negative in nature and involve some level of fear and worry, individuals may even experience autosomal arousal expressed as physical signs and symptoms such as dizziness, sweating shortness of breath as well as a panic attack. Although there are medications used to reduce symptoms. There are herbal treatments that are just as effective. These are usually called calming herbs that may or may not have a sedative effect on the body.

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