Anxiety is extreme stress, sometimes panic. It can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath along with feelings of doom. You can experience anxiety when your body reacts to signals it thinks are threats. Your heart rate goes up and you start to sweat.
Other causes of anxiety can be classified as phobias, such as fear of flying or fear of heights. Herbs can be an easy way to help ease anxiety naturally. If you are taking anti-depressant drugs, however, do not try to substitute herbal remedies. Talk to your doctor before taking herbal remedies.
When treating anxiety, start with the mildest remedy in the mildest dosage and go from there. Many of the herbs used to treat anxiety are safely compatible.
Oat seeds are calming and soothing and are helpful for those suffering from daily stress or who feels frayed. Tea is the common method of taking oats. Steep 1 to 2 tablespoons of seeds in a cup of hot water for ten minutes. You can drink a cup of tea every two hours as needed. Tincture is also available and you can take up to 3 teaspoons every two hours. Oats are also available as capsules.
Used often as tea, chamomile has a very soothing and calming effect on you. It helps relax the muscles and also helps ease a tense stomach. Drink one cup of tea every two hours or up to 3 teaspoons of tincture every two hours. Chamomile is readily available as tea at most supermarkets, but it’s a good idea to keep some on hand.
Linden gently relaxes and eases muscle tension, and is also used as a remedy for high blood pressure. Linden also makes a good all-around remedy for helping keep the cardiovascular system functioning well. It is most often used in tea, and you should drink one cup of tea every two hours as needed. Tincture is also available as well as capsules.
Vervain is an herb that soothes and calms the nervous system as well as helps with depression. Often found as a tea, drink one cup of tea every two hours. It is also available as a tincture and in capsules.
This old-time remedy is useful for the cardiovascular system in general. It can help calm nerves and aids in soothing anxiety that can cause a rapid heart rate. Drink one cup of Motherwort tea every two hours. It is also available as a tincture and as capsules. Consult your doctor before taking Motherwort if you are currently taking any cardiac drugs.
Lavender is relaxing and uplifting. It is fragrant and offers relief for anxiety and depression. Lavender essential oil is used diluted in bath water or can be inhaled. To use in a bath, add 10 to 12 drops to a full tub. You can also dilute it with oil to use as massage oil. It should not be taken internally.
St. John’s Wort
Commonly used to treat depression, St. John’s Wort is an overall health booster that helps the nervous system. As a tonic, take up to 3 teaspoons every two hours. It is also available in capsule form.
Used for anxiety and hormonal mood swings, skullcap is relaxing to the nervous system. It can be taken as a tea, a tincture or in capsule form. To make tea, steep one or two teaspoons of dried herbs in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Drink one cup of hot tea every two hours as needed.
This is an anti-anxiety herb that originated in the South Pacific islands. It works similarly to Valium, working with the part of the brain that controls the nervous system and emotions. It does not cause addiction nor does the body build up a tolerance to it. It also doesn’t impair thinking the way drugs may. In fact, in studies it was shown to improve brain function and memory. It is a good solution to treat anxiety on a short-term basis. The standard form is in capsules. Do not take with alcohol.
Valerian is considered a strong anti-anxiety herb. Similar to Valium, it works with the central nervous system; however it does not cause dependence. It is also used to improve sleep as well as a muscle relaxant. It is taken in capsule form. Note – a small percentage of users indicate an increase in anxiety when taking this herb. If that happens, discontinue use.
Passionflower is a strong herb used primarily for calming and treating insomnia. It can also be used to help calm daytime anxiety. It is most commonly used as a tea. To make the tea, steep one to two teaspoons of dried herbs in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Drink one cup every two hours.
This herb helps restore adrenal glands that are overstressed. It is a good choice for those who are chronically overstressed, and is taken as a tonic. It has a cumulative effect, meaning that it may take several weeks or even months to see results from taking the tonic.