Five Herbal Remedies to Reduce Anxiety

by Kallie Terrazas

Anxiety is something we all feel from time to time. It is defined as a feeling of apprehension or fear. While it is normal to feel anxiety when you are in stressful situations, many people feel sudden anxiety for no apparent reason. Approximately 40,000,000 Americans suffer with some form of anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Anxiety is usually treated with medications such as Lexapro and Paxil. There are also a number of homeopathic and herbal remedies that can be used in conjunction with medication and other anxiety treatments or alone.

Effective medicines don't have to be made in a chemical laboratory. Many natural items such as herbs, berries, and plants have healing qualities for all sorts of ailments. Many herbal remedies have been researched for anxiety relief. More studies are needed to fully understand the benefits and risks, but there are five herbal remedies that show real promise.



Calm jittery nerves or get some help falling asleep with a cup of chamomile tea. Compounds in this flowering herb bind to the same brain receptors as drugs like Valium. A University of Pennsylvania Medical Center study showed patients who took chamomile for eight weeks experience significantly less anxiety.



Another flowering plant that studies show can both help you sleep and calm your nerves is Valerian. The root can be made into tea, but it has an unpleasant odor. Supplement capsules are easier to take. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician was the first to write of this herb's curative effects.


Lemon Balm

 Lemon balm, Melissa officinalis, has been shown to reduce irritability, excitability, and nervousness. It can be made into a tea, capsule, or extract. Lemon balm can also make you feel more alert and focused when used in aromatherapy.  It is sometimes combined with Valerian root to increase effectiveness.



For mild anxiety, Passionflower may just do the trick. Studies show it has been successful in calming the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Use it as a tea or extract for the most benefits. It can also be effective for treatment of insomnia and mild pain.



Lavender has been shown to be an effective treatment for insomnia and generalized anxiety disorder. Linalool and linalyl acetate, primary terpenoid constituents in lavender, may produce a minor tranquilizing effect. It is particularly effective in aromatherapy and as an ingredient in tea.


Herbal remedies can be a great help to anyone suffering from the symptoms of anxiety as well as myriad other illnesses. They are far safer than prescription drugs with no chance for addiction. It is important to talk with a doctor before starting any herbal treatments. Some can have side effects or counteract prescription medication. Always follow the dosage instructions on any herbal supplement you plan to take.

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