Published On By Rachel Nall

Herbal Remedies For AnxietyAnxiety disorders are common mental health conditions marked by excessive worry, fear, and nervousness.

Some antidepressants may provide some relief from severe anxieties. However, these medications may not be suitable for everyone.

As an alternative or addition to these medications, herbal remedies have gained attention for their ability to manage anxiety.

In this article, I will explore herbal remedies for anxiety, focusing on commonly used herbs and how they work.

Understanding the benefits and side effects of these natural remedies can help you make informed choices about managing your anxiety.

Mechanism Of Herbs For Anxiety

Herbal remedies could assist in triggering the body's self-healing mechanisms without the side effects often associated with pharmaceutical interventions.

For instance, Ashwagandha could reduce cortisol levels, thereby decreasing the risk of anxiety development associated with high stress hormone levels.

Other herbs like valerian root extracts have been found to modulate gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors in the brain, promoting relaxation and potentially alleviating feelings of anxiety. It may also help address sleep issues like insomnia and encourage healthy sleep patterns.

Turmeric and ginger possess anti-inflammatory properties that could indirectly reduce anxiety symptoms by lowering inflammation.

Herbs like Chamomile are known for their stress and anxiety-relieving properties, possibly due to their ability to interact with neurotransmitters and benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.

13 Best Herbal Remedies For Anxiety

  1. Ashwagandha

    Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian ginseng,” has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its soothing properties.

    Studies have shown that Ashwagandha could help alleviate anxiety by modulating the body's stress response and promoting a sense of relaxation.

    Benefits of Ashwagandha Emotional Impact
    Reduces anxiety symptoms Relief and calmness
    Improves cortisol levels Stability and balance
    Enhances stress resilience Strength and empowerment
    Promotes relaxation Peace and tranquility
  2. Reishi Mushroom

    Reishi Mushroom belongs to a class of herbs known as adaptogens, aiding in regulating the body's stress response. It could help with anxiety by inducing sleep.

    Reishi mushroom contains a sedative compound called ‘triterpenes,' making it suitable for consumption before bedtime. It may help manage anxiety levels effectively without causing overstimulation by gently toning the adrenal glands.

  3. Lavender

    Lavender is recommended due to its proven benefits in inducing relaxation. A recommended daily dose of 80mg/ day of lavender oil could have calming effects.

    For a soothing experience, lavender could be consumed in tea by combining lavender blossoms, chamomile blossoms, and lemon balm leaves. This herbal blend can be steeped in boiling water for 18- 20 minutes to create a relaxing infusion.

    Lavender oil can be utilized for aromatherapy purposes by adding a few drops to a diffuser. This infusion could then be applied to a pillow before sleep, integrated into a bath, or even applied directly on the skin for immediate relief from acute anxiety symptoms.

  4. Kava

    Kava, a drink made using the roots of the Piper methysticum, has been used in the South Pacific islands for its relaxing properties.

    The active compounds in kava, known as kavalactones, are believed to be responsible for its anxiolytic effects.

    However, with some studies suggesting its potential contribution to liver damage, the FDA has issued a consumer advisory on kava supplements.

  5. Chamomile

    Chamomile, a flowering herb known for its calming properties, is available in various forms, such as tea, extract, tablets, and skin cream, offering potential relief from stress and anxiety.

    Though chamomile tea is a popular and soothing way to consume this herb, chamomile extract could be more potent and convenient for those seeking quick relief from anxiety symptoms.

    Chamomile aromatherapy can be another effective method for utilizing this herb's anxiety-reducing properties.

    This is generally safe for short-term use, with minimal side effects reported. However, people with allergies or sensitivities should exercise caution when using chamomile products.

  6. Turmeric

    Turmeric contains an active component, curcumin, which exhibits powerful anti-inflammatory effects that can help alleviate anxiety linked to a chronically activated stress response.

    To fully harness the anti-anxiety effects of turmeric, it is recommended to consume curcumin extract. The dosage might vary depending on the specific product, typically ranging from 80 to 500 mg per day.

  7. Chasteberry

    Vitex, also known as Chasteberry or Chaste tree, can offer relief from anxiety symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It may also be beneficial for women experiencing anxiety during their menstrual cycles.

    Benefits of Chasteberry
    Alleviates PMS symptoms Reduces anxiety during PMS
    Balances hormonal fluctuations Supports emotional well-being
    Regulates menstrual cycles Enhances mood stability
    Reduces symptoms of depression Promotes relaxation and calmness

    When combined with motherwort, another herb known for its benefits in managing PMS, Vitex may provide a holistic approach to addressing anxiety and hormonal imbalances during menstrual cycles.

  8. Passion Flower

    Passionflower, a native to South America, Australia, and Southeast Asia, is believed to have natural calming properties that can help reduce feelings of restlessness and nervousness.

    It may also offer relief from symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and depressive states, providing a natural alternative for those seeking relaxation.

    However, it is important to note that while passion flower is generally safe, some people may experience drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion when consuming it.

  9. Valerian

    Valerian, a plant native to Asia and Europe known scientifically as Valeriana officinalis, has a long history of traditional use in treating sleep problems, anxiety, and depression.

    A 2021 study conducted by Oman Med J. concluded that valerian has potential medicinal properties for reducing anxiety and depression and improving sleep.

    Though valerian is generally considered safe for consumption, the long-term use and safety of valerian in specific populations, including pregnant individuals, nursing parents, and children, is unclear.

  10. Galphimia glauca

    Galphimia glauca, a plant species indigenous to Mexico, has traditionally been utilized as a natural tranquilizer to alleviate anxiety symptoms.

    Its anxiolytic properties could be attributed to a compound called galphimine B, which has been shown to have stress-relieving qualities.

    Galphimia glauca may also help reduce allergy symptoms by inhibiting reactions in the body that cause allergy.

    Despite its potential benefits, the lack of available plant material has hindered widespread use by medical companies.

  11. Cannabidiol

    Isolated from the cannabis plant, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural remedy that could help in alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other conditions.

    CBD is known for its calming effects without the psychoactive properties linked with THC, making it a suitable choice for people seeking relief without the high.

    Benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) Potential Side Effects
    Reduces anxiety and stress Fatigue
    Alleviates depression Dry mouth
    Helps with sleep disorders Diarrhea
    Manages chronic pain Changes in appetite
  12. Lemon Balm

    Studies suggest that lemon balm exhibits the potential to reduce symptoms of anxiety, specifically addressing feelings of nervousness and excitability.

    Lemon balm has been used as a traditional herbal remedy for increasing relaxation and easing stress. This herb, belonging to the mint family, is generally considered safe and well-tolerated for short-term use.

    Lemon balm is mainly consumed as a tea or in supplement form, with its soothing effects attributed to compounds like rosmarinic acid and eugenol.

    However, it is essential to be mindful of potential side effects such as nausea and abdominal discomfort, particularly in higher doses.

  13. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for optimal body function, and they could have a significant impact on anxiety levels.

    These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects, which can potentially help in calming the body's response to stress and anxiety.

    Omega-3 fatty acids could support brain health and cognitive function, which could help reduce anxiety and stress symptoms.

    These fatty acids could also promote heart health and help with stress management, reducing anxiety severity.

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Safety Guidelines

Though generally safe, many herbs have side effects or could interact with other medications. Therefore, consulting a doctor before trying herbal medicine is imperative to avoid serious side effects.

It's also important to note that herbal supplements take longer to show effect than medication. Taking more than the prescribed dose of these herbs is not advisable when they don't show desirable results.

Since the FDA does not monitor the production and marketing of these herbal supplements, it's essential to be aware of the misleading advertisements.

Safety Concerns Recommendations
Limited data on the long-term safety of herbal remedies for anxiety Consult with a doctor or pharmacist before starting herbal supplements
Potential side effects like headaches and dizziness Be aware of possible side effects and monitor reactions
Chamomile can increase bleeding risk with blood-thinning drugs Inform healthcare providers about all supplements taken
Lavender may cause constipation, increased appetite, and low blood pressure Monitor any changes in health and report to a healthcare expert
Lemon balm may reduce anxiety but cause nausea and abdominal pain Follow dosage recommendations and discontinue if adverse effects occur

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are There Any Specific Herbal Remedies That Are More Effective for Certain Types of Anxiety Problems?
    Chaseberry is known for its stress-alleviating tendencies and could be helpful with PMS-related anxiety. Consulting a doctor is essential when considering taking an herbal remedy.
  2. Can Herbal Remedies for Anxiety Be Used in Combination With Prescription Medications?
    Herbal remedies can be used with prescription medications, but caution is advised due to possible interactions with some medicines. Consulting a healthcare expert is essential to ensure both treatment modalities' safe and effective integration.
  3. Are There Any Potential Risks or Interactions With Using Multiple Herbal Remedies for Anxiety at the Same Time?
    Using multiple herbal remedies for anxiety simultaneously may pose risks of interactions. Always consult a healthcare professional before combining herbs, as potential side effects or reduced efficacy can occur.
  4. How Long Does It Typically Take to See Noticeable Effects From Using Herbal Remedies for Anxiety?
    The timeline for noticing the effects of herbal remedies for anxiety varies depending on factors like individual response, dosage, and herb type. Typically, effects can be observed within a few days to a few weeks of regular use. Consult a healthcare professional for guidance.
  5. Are Any Lifestyle Changes That Could Enhance the Effectiveness of Herbal Remedies for Anxiety?
    To enhance the effectiveness of herbal remedies for anxiety, consider lifestyle changes like regular exercise, balanced nutrition, stress management techniques, mindfulness practices, and social support. Complementary therapies like yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, and acupuncture can also aid in anxiety relief.


Herbal remedies have existed for decades and may help alleviate pain, heal wounds, and treat various diseases, such as fever and cold. Evidence also suggests that these remedies could potentially help relieve anxiety.

Herbal remedies could be a complementary tool for anxiety management. However, it's crucial to approach herbal remedies cautiously, ensuring they are used safely and in consultation with a health expert.

  • The information in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
  • It is not recommended to disregard/delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of what you read or accessed through this article.
  • The results may vary from individual to individual.
  • Consult your doctor for any underlying medical conditions or if you are on any prescribed medicines before following health tips or instructions.

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