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8 Herbs To Help With Anxiety

Life is stressful, and there’s nothing you can do to change that. With the compounding pressures of work and life and love, it’s easy to find yourself feeling a little anxious.

When you speak with your doctor about your anxiety, he will likely prescribe you a host of medicines intended to help you calm down and better cope with life’s stresses. While these medicines might help you put your anxiety to bed, you might not have to opt for such an invasive and unnatural treatment. If you’d rather attempt to temper your anxiety with a more natural approach, consider adding some herbal remedies for anxiety into your regular routine.

However, keep in mind that anxiety can be crippling and serious. You should always speak to your doctor about your anxiety before attempting to remedy the issue yourself. With an issue as potentially serious as severe anxiety, you need all the help you can get. Communicate with your doctor that you’d like to try to control your anxiety herbally, and allow him to work with you as you try these approaches.

1. Lavender

Just the smell of this violet beauty is enough to calm some people. Lavender can reduce the development and severity of anxiety when taken herbally and even just when it is inhaled.

A study in Florida confirmed this effect, finding that students who inhaled the aroma of lavender oil prior to taking exams reported that they were able to think more clearly and experienced less anxiety.

Another study found that regular consumption of herbal lavender capsules resulted in reduced anxiety as effectively as some strong anti-anxiety drugs.

Lavender consumption is not typically associated with drowsiness, making this a safe option for treating anxiety during the day. The aroma of lavender can have a similar calming effect, which means that sufferers can experience relief through the use of essential oils and a diffuser or by consuming lavender orally.

2. Valerian

As powerful as it is beautiful in flower form, valerian can help take the edge off of your anxiety. This herbal remedy is commonly used in the treatment of insomnia because its calming effect can promote restful sleep. Approved for use in Germany but popular worldwide, this herb comes in an assortment of forms, from capsules to tinctures.

While valerian can help take your anxiety down a notch, it will also make you sleepy, so it’s best to take it right before bed. It will almost certainly make you drowsy, so you should never operate a vehicle after taking valerian.

3. Kava

The herb kava has been tied to a reduction in anxiety symptoms. This herb continues to face testing by the FDA. While studies have suggested that it is an effective treatment that will reduce anxiety, there are some concerns regarding the impact regular consumption could have on the liver. In order to avoid liver issues, don’t take kava for a prolonged period of time.

This herb comes from Polynesia, where it has long been used to reduce worry and stress. Typically, kava is consumed in drink form. Kava devotees brew a drink using the root of the kava plant and drink the mixture to reduce their feelings of stress and upset.

4. Ashwagandha

Easier to take than it is to spell, this herb has been turned to for anxiety reduction for thousands of years. This herb, also known as winter cherry due to its evergreen appearance and bold, red berries, contains an array of anxiety-reducing elements.

Ashwagandha’s chemicals are most potent in the root, so most herbal supplements you will find come from this base part of the plant.

Believers in the power of this herb say that it pulls its power from its own ability to adapt to the environment. As an adaptogen, this plant can survive almost anywhere, even in hard environments.

5. L-theanine

Although it might sound uncommon, this herb is actually found in a number of high-quality green and black teas. L-theanine is said to improve the brain’s alpha wave functioning, which will leave you feeling calmer. Researchers attribute the calming effect of L-theanine to the noted relaxing quality of consuming warm tea.

In one study on the effects of this herb, researchers found that even when it didn’t effectively reduce the development of stress, it reduced the negativity of responses to stressful situations. Another study found that regular L-theanine consumption aided people with serious behavior disorders by increasing their feelings of relaxation.

One major benefit of L-theanine is that unlike many other anxiety-reducing herbs, consumption of this herb is not commonly associated with drowsiness. This proves to be a major benefit to anxiety sufferers who experience their most severe outbreaks during the day because they can take this herb at the onset of their anxiety development without having to worry about the resulting drowsiness.

Like several other herbs on this list, some studies have found L-theanine to be even more effective than prescription options in reducing the severity and frequency of anxiety.

6. Chamomile

There is a good reason that many people try to calm down with a warm cup of chamomile tea when they’re feeling tense. Chamomile is a deceptively powerful herb. It helps you control your upset by binding with receptors in your brain in much the same way as the powerful drug valium works.

To reap the benefits of chamomile, enjoy some chamomile tea. If you’re seeking a stronger and more lasting impact, take a chamomile supplement.

7. Passion Flower

Consuming this amorous-sounding herb will not have any effect on the quality of your love life. It will, however, take the edge off of your anxiety. In some studies, this herb has been found to be just as effective as stronger, prescription drugs.

Like many other anxiety-reducing herbs, this herb is also commonly used as a sleep aid. Because this herb is so powerful, you should avoid combining it with any other herbs that offer a sedative effect.

Some studies suggest that this powerful herb could be addictive, so users are advised to limit use to periods of one month or less.

8. Lemon Balm

This lesser-known herb has been praised for its anxiety-reducing properties since the Middle Ages. A member of the mint family, this green, leafy herb is said to help reduce anxiety. Much like valerian, it can also aid in sleep.Pin It

Studies have proven its effectiveness, finding that patients who took lemon balm extract were calmer than those who took a placebo. These same studies found that consuming too much lemon balm could have the opposite effect, amplifying your anxiety. To avoid this, always carefully follow dosing instructions.

Lemon balm is available as a tea, in pill form or as a liquid. All forms offer the same anxiety-reducing benefits. You can take it alone or combine it with other anxiety-reducing herbs to reap the maximum benefits.

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Katherine Hurst
By Dr. Christina Stevens
Dr Christina Stevens is a human dynamo who is passionate about spreading the word on alternative and complementary medicine. For the past two decades, she has been on a mission to help people reclaim their lives and their health using a wide range of alternative therapies. She has also had the privilege of being featured on TV shows in Canada and the U.S., and writes for many alternative therapy publications. “I want people to realize that any disease can be reversed using alternative treatments. My treatments and advice is based on verifiable results from clinical studies, ensuring my patients find real relief that provides them with healing and resolution of their health problems.”

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