Best herbs for Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety being the product of the bodies natural response to stress, the feeling of fear, worry, tension or apprehension towards something that is coming. This is a feeling we have all probably felt a number of times during our lives. As a youngster being called to the principals office is probably one of my first experiences of this. For many this feeling can be triggered by various “things” or events and can become difficult to deal with.

Certain triggers can be managed and others are just too overwhelming. It can be conscious or subconscious. You might not even  ” feel ” stressed, yet you have a sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach. In extreme cases anxiety attacks can follow, this is really just your body telling you ” time out ” and enough is enough. I have not experienced an anxiety attack myself, but have first hand witnessed them happening. It is not pleasant to see someone go though an attack. Afterwards they are physically and mentally exhausted, and can even be affected for days there after.

We have all heard the words  ” and breathe “. While controlling your breathing and focusing on it ( breathe deeply in though the nose and out through the mouth ) will help.

Breathing in is linked to our sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the fight or flight response where as exhaling is linked to our parasympathetic nervous system which allows us to calm down and relax.  This is a good aid and will help in moments of crisis, but usually not permanently effective on its own.

Let me give you some pointers to what the best herbs for anxiety or stress are. Most of these can be brewed as teas’, where as others you can find in capsules or tinctures. They are all effective aids in keeping you calm and collected.


Become Chilled 

It must be remembered, there are NO QUICK fixes when it comes to anxiety or stress. It usually requires constant work and sometimes even changes in your life or lifestyle.

1. Lemon Balm – Have been used since the Middle Ages to reduce anxiety and stress. Grow your own Lemon balm and use the fresh leaves in making a tea. You can purchase Lemon balm tea bags ( usually combined with Chamomile or Valerian ) which is a amazing tea for bedtime. It is generally safe, but don’t over consume ( it can have the opposite effect ). One cup a day should be fine.

2. Valerian – Usually found as a supplement capsules or tincture. It doesn’t make for a pleasant tea due to its ” stinky cheese ” odor. Valerian also has sedative compounds, making it great for those suffering with restlessness or insomnia. Please do not take Valerian before going to work. This one is only for the evenings.

3. L-theanine – Most commonly found in capsule or tablet form. L-theanine reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Also found in Green or black tea. However you would have to consume many cups in one day, up to 20 cups.

4. Chamomile – A quick fixer, and probably one of the most common. Chamomile can be consumed in the form of a tea or capsule. The compounds in chamomile binds to the brain receptors, very much the same Valium would.

5. Lavender – Put a few drops of Lavender essential oil in a diffuser or on your pillow. Just breathe it in. It has calming properties which assist in anxiety,  insomnia and even depression.

6. Passion flower – Used by native Americans since ” the beginning of time “. This powerful flower was primarily used to treat restlessness or panic. Passion flower works by increasing the levels of gamma aminobutynic acid in the brain, which in turn lowers the activity of some brain cells and makes you feel more relaxed. Taken as a tea or in capsule form.

Tea Drops


A Calmer You

Calm

In the times we are living I believe many of our anxieties and stresses are caused by the “overload” and ” I have to or need to get this done now”. Our lives whisks past us and we are sometimes adamant to continue at warp speeds. The problem is that our bodies are just not made to function at this constant rate. Not physically nor mentally. We need to take better care of ourselves. Try and be more calmer. And for the times we need something just to help or to take the edge off, nature has given us many incredible herbs to help us along the way.

Please do not take any sedative herbs if you are taking prescription medications or pregnant. Double check with your GP ( General Practitioner ) or Physician beforehand if it is safe to incorporate any herbs or teas.

Until next time

Felicity

 

 

12 thoughts on “Best herbs for Anxiety and Stress”

  1. Hey,

    During this coronavirus there have been a lot more people around the world who are stressed out due to job losses and family members passing. They could really do with your article and to learn about these herbs that will reduce their levels of anxiety and stress.

    I have shared your article with friends and family as there have been some of them struggling.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    1. Hi Tom.
      I am glad you found my article helpful, and really appreciate you sharing it with your friends and family. If this could help anyone out there, then I know it was a ” job well done “. It is a very stressful time right now for most, and we will get though it. If having a ” cup of tea ” will help and not just resort to prescription meds then that’s great. Thank you for the comment. All the best to you and your family. Felicity

  2. That’s what I was looking for!
    I had quick heartbeats, couldn’t sleep at all but I felt I was okay, not stressing much. Obviously my stress was coming from all the situation we are living right now, so much uncertainty and my body could not resist anymore.
    Like you mentioned hard work, patience and change on lifestyle plays a big!
    Great article,
    Best

    1. Hello. Our stresses can really come out of no where, and it is not necessarily ” one big event or stress ” that can cause our bodies to call time out. More than often it’s a slow build up of all the little things. I’m glad my article will help you and hopefully help many others. Take it easy. Keep well. Felicity

  3. Hi Felicity,

    I must admit, I have heard of all but one of the herbs you’ve alluded to above.

    I’ve often drank chamomile and passion flower tea, typically as a relaxing influence a hour or two before bed.

    However, surprisingly, lemon balm is completely new to me, and you’ve even mentioned that it’s been used as as a stress and anxiety reliever for hundreds of years.

    So, I’m going to take your tip and find me some lemon balm teabags and see how much of a calming effect they have on me.

    Fantastic read and keep up the great work.
    Partha

    1. Hello Partha. I’m glad you found the article informative. Lemon Balm is really soothing and a easy drinkable tea. I’m sure you will enjoy it. Thank you for the wonderful comment. Keep well.

  4. Hi, anxiety is a modern issue and for sure we go through it many times. Self-control is key. I like to listening to Serenity by James Allan. It is really good to calm our mind. A part from that a good Chamomile is just perfect. My favourite. I’m really into teas and they are amazing to help us on a daily basis. Keep sharing with us. Thanks.

    1. Hi there. I agree taking control of ones mind is just as important. It’s when our mind starts taking the wheel ( so to speak ), that’s when things become overwhelming. Thank you for your comment. Keep well.

  5. Hello Felicity,

    This is a highly timely site that I have found. I have been going through anxiety recently and so your advice regarding the “best herbs for anxiety & stress” is really helpful to me. I also looked at your page on growing micro greens at home which also gives some great advice.
    The list of herbs you suggest, Lemon Balm, Valeri*n, L-thean*ne, Chamom*le, Lav*nder, Pas*ion flo*er gives me lots of great options. Do you think , having a lot of lavender growing around the house would help to give the house a “calmer” feel?

    Your point about possibly changing your lifestyle is a good one. Do you have any suggestions for people who are currently in “lockdown” or in quarantine (as we are) to do this?
    Thanks again for these great suggestions.

    1. Hello Trevor. I am glad to hear you found my article helpful. When it comes to lavender, the sent and its color/hue has a calming and relaxing effect on a person. If you have space to grow some lavender around your house then that would be great. Lavender even do very well in outdoor pots. I have lavender growing in medium size pots situated at my front door. The current situation we are all in during this “lockdown” is terrible. However I found that starting my day with a simple task ( even just making the bed for example ) and feeling good about the completed task, gives me the motivation to move on to another simple/small task. Before I know it I have done 5 or 10 tasks around the house. None of these might be significant to others, but to me it really gives me a great sense of accomplishment and it lifts my overall mood for the day. We all will get trough this. I hope this will help you going forward. If you have any questions please feel free to let me know. Keep well.

  6. Hi Felicity
    I have been aware that chamomile had soothing properties, or at least is purported to have soothing properties. I say that because I am not so sure I have every noticed any such effect on myself. That is mostly likely as I am a large insensitive lump barely able to respond to any stimulus one way or another. I find lavender reasonably pleasant though in large or concentrated doses it can make me feel a bit migrainy – so maybe I do have some sensitivities after all. There is another herb that makes me feel nauseous as well and I think that is willow bark. Anyway, it is strange how for me many of these substances that are supposed to produce positive effects can make me feel worse. Maybe I should just go back to the occasional chamomile tea.
    Thanks and best regards
    Andy

    1. Hi Andy. Some people do have sensitivities to herbs, plants or even flowers. However sometimes it can be a question of “a process of elimination “. If lavender or chamomile tea doesn’t work for you, maybe try lemon balm tea or Valerian capsules. There are many different natural products that could assist you. I assume you don’t have a high intake of caffeine? If you do drink caffeinated drinks, this could increase your anxiety. So just keep an eye on that. All the best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *