Best Herbs for Anxiety To Reduce Apprehension, Agitation and Angst

best herbs for anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, you may feel extremely paranoid and frightened. You may sweat profusely, and have an increased heartbeat and a feeling of reeling. Yet, it's important to realize that anxiety differs from person to person, and in others, the symptoms may be much more subtle. Whatever your experience, anxiety is serious, and the feeling may leave you emotionally spun out, unless treated. With this in mind, these are the 6 best herbs for anxiety and they can help you ease many of its upsetting symptoms.

The search for herbal nerve tonics to help us relax began in ancient times. In the Himalayan Mountains, sages and kings called these plants “Soma” plants.

Herbal remedies for anxiety work similarly to modern day pharmaceuticals. In fact, the aim of synthetic medicines is to replicate the behavior of natural herbs that have worked well for centuries.

So, if you are looking for a natural solution to anxiety, the following 6 best herbs for anxiety will provide relief with fewer side effects. Also, before you leave the site, be sure to check out our other related posts: 4 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety &  Natural Remedies for anxiety attacks. 

Best Herbs for Anxiety

1. Passion Flower

best herbs for anxiety

best herbs for anxietyA team of experts conducted a study to compare the effectiveness of Passion Flower and a benzodiazepine drug to relieve anxiety. 

The results showed that Oxazepam, a benzodiazepine drug used for anxiety, was quicker at providing relief… Yet towards the end of the study Passion Flower and Oxazepam were equally effective at addressing the symptoms of anxiety.
What they found was that passion flower was a little slower initially but just as effective over the course of the treatment. And it was clear that Passion Flower was a beyond-a-doubt winner when it came to side effects too… Because it doesn’t have any, unlike benzo drugs.
In addition, a separate study showed those who took passion flower before surgery were less anxious than patients who did not take Passion Flower.
Passion flower extract has shown no adverse effects on either muscle activity or mental processes.

2. Lavender

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Many natural health professionals prescribe Lavender to treat anxiety. Research reveals that lavender works as well as Lorazepam for providing relief from anxiety.

As a bonus, lavender is useful for other anxiety symptoms like insomnia, migraines, nervousness, and restlessness… Plus it shows no potential for being addictive.
I suggest adding 10 – 15 drops lavender to a warm bath and disperse with your hand. Or, add 3 drops to 3 teaspoons jojoba oil for a soothing massage.

3. Valerian Root

best herbs for anxiety

best herbs for anxiety
Frontier Co-op Organic Valerian Root, Cut & Sifted, 1 Pound Bulk Bag

Valerian Root is often prescribed as a sedative. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘Valere' which means ‘to feel good'.

It is a popular herbal supplement for providing relief from anxiety symptoms. For example, Valerian can help reduce physical and mental tension and is helpful for treating high blood pressure from stress.

Valerian root contains valeric acid which enhances GABA, a naturally occurring hormone. GABA has a calming effect on nerve cells and it can help promote feelings of relaxation to reduce stress and anxiety levels… Which is the same effect you would receive if you opted to take prescription benzodiazepine drugs.
I find Valerian useful when flying because it helps me relax before and during my flights. You can make a decoction by soaking 1 teaspoon of Valerian leaves in 1 cup of cold water overnight. Strain and drink 1/2 – 1 cup in the morning.
A word of caution… Valerian can cause hyperactivity in some people. Do not take for long periods of time without examining why you are so tense.

4. St. John's Wort

best herbs for anxiety

Many people have heard about the benefits of St. John’s Wort. That's because the active elements of this herb work effectively in treating the symptoms of depression. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand and the two disorders have overlapping symptoms. As a result, taking St. John’s Wort can be helpful in providing symptom relief for both conditions.

St John's Wort has active compounds that are helpful in boosting serotonin to improve your low moods. In fact, St. John's wort is the most prescribed antidepressant in Germany… Far ahead of drugs like Zoloft or Prozac because it has far fewer side effects.
Generally speaking, the standard dose for adults is 300 milligrams 3 times per day.
A word of caution… Do not take St. John's wort if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or sensitive to sunlight, as it can intensify the effect.

5. Chamomile

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best herbs for anxiety
Organic Chamomile Flowers, German, Whole, 1 Pound Bulk Bag

Chamomile is another herb used for anxiety relief. It's used to treat anxiety, stress, and depression. In short, chamomile soothes and relaxes a troubled mind.

The University of Pennsylvania studied the effectiveness of chamomile to treat anxiety. Participants taking chamomile for eight weeks reduced their symptoms of anxiety… Whereas those participants in the placebo group experienced no reduction in their symptoms.
Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology showed that chamomile can be helpful for mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder.
To use as a sedative, make a double-strength tea using 2 teaspoons of flowers or 2 tea bags. Cover the cup so the steam does not escape. Chamomile flowers and four cloves make an effective drink to relax the body and mind before bed.
For kids, make an ordinary strength tea and give them 2-3 teaspoons. You can let them drink it full strength or dilute in a fruit juice.
For times of severe stress, make a mixture of three parts chamomile to two parts sage and one part basil. Add to this a pinch of ginger if you have it. Take twice per day to reduce tension.

6. Lemon Balm

best herbs for anxiety

best herbs for anxiety
Organic Bio Herbs-Organic Dried Lemon Balm Leaves (Melissa Officinalis) 4 Oz.

Lemon balm can be helpful for alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and stress. It is most commonly used for relaxation and easing sleep problems.

Herbal medicine experts say that lemon balm is more effective when used with other herbal agents. In my experience, lemon Balm works well with Motherwort.
Make an infusion, or tea, by pouring 1 cup of boiling water on to 1-2 teaspoons of dried herbs. Leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. The tea should be drunk 3 times a day.

In conclusion,

The ancient healing science, Ayurveda, teaches that anxiety is primarily experienced by those people with a Vata constitution or imbalance. If you do not know your constitution or body/mind type, please take the time to learn since it reflects your dominant physical, emotional and mental characteristics.

Western medicine has made some great advances in the last hundred years or so… But it seems too obvious that big pharma has conspired to prioritize financial returns over healthful outcomesFor some people and some conditions, there may be no other viable option than to take pharmaceuticals for their anxiety. Yet, for most people, it is in the very best interest of their long-term health to explore these best herbs for anxiety first.

Also, good nutrition, exercise, Yoga, and Yoga Nidra are all essential for relaxation. I know that learning to relax deeply takes some time and effort. The herbs recommended above are immediate short-term solutions, while lifestyle methods are an essential solution.


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Written by Jackie Parker


Leave a Reply
  1. What an informative post. I suffer from a lot of anxiety and have had some success with lavender and St. John’s Wort. I am not a fan of the taste of chamomile and other than that I haven’t tried any of the other items on your list. I am very interested in learning more about Passion Flower.

    • Hi Dani! Oh, too bad you don’t like chamomile. Have you ever tried it with a bit of honey and milk or cream? It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy it! 🙂 Thanks for saying ‘hi’! 

  2. Great article. I forgot about the healing benefits of lavendar and haven’t heard of lemon balm before, I will have to try this, didn’t know you can drink it as well. I used to get passion flower in tincture form and this reminds me I need to get it. Thanks for the informative article.

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