7 Herbal Anxiety Remedies Acting as a Balm for Your nerves

by Vlasta Kuster

Today I'd like to introduce you 7 herbal anxiety remedies that help reduce anxiety in a natural way and act as a balm for your nerves:

The human race has never been exposed to so much stimuli, repeated stress, noise, hurriedness and lack of sleep as it is today.

The consequences are felt in our physical and mental health.

  • working too hard and
  • too much stress at work and during leisure time,
  • the loss or the threat of losing your job,
  • an uncertain future,
  • partnership problems and
  • negative thoughts

often give rise to different fears and anxiety.

The most prominent anxiety signs are

  • an accelerated heartbeat,
  • muscle tension,
  • shaking,
  • hyperventilation (breathing too fast and too deep),
  • sweaty hands,
  • a dry mouth,
  • strangulation in the throat,
  • insomnia,
  • headaches and difficulty concentrating

There are several ways in dealing with these unpleasant feelings and everyone has to to find the one that suits them best.

Some people will help themselves with medication, others with relaxation and meditation and others by exercising or visiting a therapist.

However, the following medicinal plants that nature offers us also help:

1. Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis)

Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis) a recognized remedy for insomnia and anxiety in America since the mid-20th century
Image by Sonja Kalee from Pixabay

The 1. on our list of herbal anxiety remedies is valerian.

Some also describe Valerian or all-heal as a natural sedative. They had already used it for tolerating stress more easily and eliminating problems with insomnia thousands of years ago in Greece, Rome and China.

It was not until the mid-20th century that it became a recognized remedy for insomnia and anxiety in America (Anxiety in the West: Is it on the rise ?)

We collect and use only the primary root with the secondary roots from which we make tea, tinctures or extracts. Ground up roots are also available in capsule form.

Bitters in valerian (so-called valepotriates) together with essential oils act on brain cells and eliminate stress, nervousness and fear. Scientifically validated valerian preparations are soothing and have a beneficial effect on sleep.  They are also recommended for calming a person down before an important event or to reduce nervousness.

Valerian’s preparations have a bitter and unpleasant taste, so they do not suit everyone.

Herbalists and researchers point out that valerian only works on some people.

If we would like to check out its effects, we should just start using it.

Contrary to synthetically manufactured medicines it has no side effects or addictive effects.

Effect of valepotriates (valerian extract) in generalized anxiety disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study.

Tip to relieve anxiety with valerian

  • Cut 25 g of fresh roots and soak them in 600 ml of cold water for 8-10 hours.
  • Drink 1 cup up to 3 times a day.

2. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)   

St. John’s Wort is especially effective in treating mild forms of depression, anxiety and nervous agitation...
Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

The 2. on our list of herbal anxiety remedies is St. John's Wort.

St. John's Wort originates in Europe and has been used since the early centuries as an all-purpose cure.

Due to the scientifically validated positive action it has on a person’s mood it is especially effective in treating mild forms of depression, anxiety and nervous agitation...

...however it may also have the opposite effect in some people and trigger a panic attack.

It is available in

  • capsule,
  • pill,
  • tea,
  • tincture or
  • oil form.

These preparations contain hypericin and hyperforin, which perform like antidepressants do:

  • it relaxes a person,
  • improves their mood,
  • reduces irritability and tension,
  • contributes to quality sleep and freshness in the soul.

Due to the functioning of St. John's Wort, there is more serotonin (the so-called happiness hormone) available in the brain.

Tip to relieve anxiety with St. John’s Wort

  • Pour 1/8 L of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried St. John's Wort and then cover and steep for 10 minutes. Then drain the tea and sweeten with honey as needed.
  • Drink 1 cup several times a day for several weeks in a row

Consult your doctor before using St. John's Wort since it has an effect on many prescribed medicines (i.e. it may increase the functioning of antidepressants or decrease the functioning of contraceptive pills).

Avoid direct contact with the sun during treatment the sun since St. John's Wort increases the skin's sensitivity to the sun's rays.

3. Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)

Lemon balm relaxes as well as strengthens the nervous system.
Image by zrenate target="_blank" from Pixabay

The 3rd.herbal anxiety remedy is Lemon balm.

Lemon balm relaxes as well as strengthens the nervous system.

They already used it in the Middle Ages for improving sleep and reducing stress. Today, lemon balm is mostly used for

  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • nervous tension and associated digestive disorders.

The healing power of lemon balm is contained in its leaves, which contains terpenes important for soothing and tannins with antiviral properties.

Tea, extracts, tinctures and oils are produced from them and it is also available in capsule form.

The essential oil, which has a lemon-like scent is highly prized in aromatherapy and is used to improve a person’s mood and relax the body.

Tip to relieve anxiety with Lemon Balm

  • Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried leaves, steep for 10 minutes and strain.
  • Drink from 2 to 3 cups of tea every day.

You can also enjoy fresh or dried lemon balm in our food, which becomes the “icing on the cake” with some foods. Lemon balm essential oil must not be consumed.

Taking an extract or capsule can cause

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • abdominal pain and dizziness,

which is why it is necessary to take into consideration the enclosed instructions or recommendations of herbalists.

4. Lavender (Lavanda Officinalis)

Lavender flowers are appreciated for its soothing and calming effect.
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Lavender is the 4th on our list of 7 Herbal Anxiety Remedies.

Lavender or Lavanda Officinalis in Latin is a natural herb that is famous for its aromatic gray-purple flowers. It is known as an all-purpose medicine that

  • helps to relieve insomnia,
  • fatigue,
  • nausea,
  • stomach problems and
  • stress-related headaches.

Its flowers are appreciated for its soothing and calming effect.

  • teas,
  • essential oils for massages,
  • baths,
  • tinctures,
  • massage oils,
  • ointments and compresses

are prepared from lavender.

Tip to relieve anxiety with Lavender

  • Dip 3 to 5 drops into a regular essential oil burner.
  • This type of aromatherapy with lavender is very beneficial because it strengthens the nervous system, soothes and relaxes.

You can also prepare a lavender bath:

  • steep 70 grams of lavender flowers in a liter of water, strain it and then pour it into the bath water.

Lavender essential oil must not be consumed. Lavender is also not suitable for people with gallstones or bowel obstructionas it can promote bile secretion.It can irritate the skin in rare cases. It is also used in the kitchen as part of spice mixes or for making desserts.

5. Hops (Humulus Lupulus)

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

The 5. herbal anxiety remedy are hops which are best known for the bitter taste it gives to beer and has long been established in human medicine as a sedative and has been used for both nerve and digestive problems.

A recent research in Greece Effects of a hops (Humulus lupulus L.) dry extract supplement on self-reported depression, anxiety and stress levels has confirmed that it is an effective remedy for anxiety and sleep disorders.

The ingredients in hops, which includes bitter acids, accelerate the activity of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which regulates anxious thoughts.

Products made of hops are available in

  • pill form,
  • capsules,
  • teas,
  • tinctures and powders.

Herbal pads, which are placed under the pillow are also used as a calming effect and to help us sleep better.

Tip to relieve anxiety with Hops

  • Boil 2 teaspoons of dried hops in 1 large cup of milk, add 1 teaspoon of honey and cover.
  • Strain after 7 minutes and drink the “hops milk” before you go to bed.

Hops are rarely used alone but in combination with other medicinal herbs like hawthorn and valerian.

Its use should be waived if you are taking sedatives, since it can enhance their action.

Since it also works as a sedative besides have soothing effects, it should not be taken before

  • operating heavy machinery,
  • driving a car or
  • before starting other tasks that require a person’s complete concentration.

6. Herbal anxiety remedy with Bergamot Orange (Citrus Bergamia)

Bergamot orange essential oil mixed with jojoba or olive oil can be used as massage oil mixture that reduces anxiety.

Bergamot Orange photo by Wikipedia

The 6. herbal anxiety remedy is the bergamot orange is a citrus that is not used in our daily nutritional diets. It is very common in Italian folk medicine. Due to its delicate and invigorating scent, it is often recommended for those suffering from anxiety and insomnia.

The bergamot orange essential oil does not only heal because of its pleasant-fragrant effects but it also contains other active substances such as linalool for example, with slightly sedative and soothing effects.

The bergamot orange is also used to flavor Earl Grey black.

Do not consume the essential oil ! One of the components in the oil is phototoxic, which is why we must not be exposed to sunlight after using it.

Tip to relieve anxiety with Bergamot Orange

  • Put 5-8 drops of bergamot orange essential oil in your bath.
  • It can also be put in a diffuser, which is placed beside the bed and left to work over night. Mixed with jojoba or olive oil it can be used as massage oil mixture that reduces anxiety.

7. Holy Basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum, Ocimum Sanctum)

Holy Basil is useful in overcoming fatigue and stress since it improves physical fitness endurance, concentration and memory.
Image by Azlin Bloor from Pixabay

And finally, there is Holy basil, also known as tulsi, which is considered to be one of the most important plants in Ayurveda.

Its use for medicinal and culinary purposes is widespread in Asia, Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Due to its many medicinal substances it has a

  • beneficial effect on regulating glucose in the blood,
  • stress hormones and glands.

Due to its adaptogenic substances, it is useful in

  • overcoming fatigue and stress since it
  • improves physical fitness endurance,
  • concentration and memory. 

It helps

  • reduce anxiety, stress and depression in people with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Herbal tea, capsules or herbal beverages are the preferred forms usually used for therapeutic purposes.

Tip to relieve anxiety with Holy Basil

  • Steep a basil tea bag or a teaspoon of dried leaves boiling water and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Let it cool down and drink it 3 - to 4 times daily.

We can grow fresh basil by ourselves.

Preparations must not be used by

  • pregnant women,
  • breastfeeding mothers and
  • couples who want to conceive a baby.

The use of these medicinal plants can always be combined with other methods for greater effect to relieve anxiety.

One of these methods is a special form of energy treatment called EFT or achieving the Emotional Freedom Technique. It is based on the realization that a disturbance in the body's energy system is the cause of all our negatives emotions.

This disturbance causes a blockage, which can be removed by gently tapping your fingers on the main meridian endpoints and simultaneously talking about problem.

As a result, we send vibrations along these energy paths, which eventually clear emotional blockages and restore physical balance.

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Vlasta Kuster, holds an MA degree in Basic Medical Sciences and uses her 3-month EFT therapy in her work to help people to do away with panic attacks and anxiety for good. She has more than 10-year experiences in EFT therapy and achieves at least 90% success in permanently eliminating anxiety and panic attacks. You may contact her through her website freeofpanic.com