This blog will introduce readers to the concept of ayurveda and explain how ayurvedic treatment works. Then, we will explore an extensive list of ayurvedic herbs that help with anxiety. We will also discuss research and product recommendations for the best ayurvedic herbs for anxiety.
What are the Best Ayurvedic Herbs for Anxiety?
The best ayurvedic herbs for anxiety are:
- Bacopa monnieri
- Lemon Balm
- Holy Basil
- Shankha Pushpi
- Passion Flower
- St. John’s Wort
- Valerian Root
- Gotu Kola
Treating Anxiety with Ayurveda
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient holistic healing system developed in India almost 3000 years ago. The underlying belief behind this practice is that health and wellness depend on the balance between mind, body, and spirit.
These three components of a being are interconnected with each other and the universe. The universe is represented by the five elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. An imbalance between the mind, body, or spirit and the five elements lead to illness.
How does Ayurveda Work?
The elements are believed to combine with the human body to form doshas or life forces/energies. There are three kinds of doshas, Pitta, Vata, and Kapha. Each one is linked to different bodily functions.
The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and appetite-related hormones. The Vata dosha influences mind, breathing, blood flow, heart function, and ability to get rid of waste through your intestines. Kapha dosha impacts muscle growth, body strength and stability, weight, and immunity.
Can Ayurveda help Anxiety?
Since ayurvedic beliefs are holistic in approach, they cover all aspects of wellbeing, including mental health. There is a growing body of knowledge regarding the use of ayurvedic treatment for psychological disorders.
Anxiety too can be helped by ayurvedic herbs. However, it must be understood that ayurveda cannot cure anxiety but only treat symptoms and improve subjective experiences. For a permanent cure to anxiety, one must seek professional therapy.
Having said that, ayurvedic dietary supplements can multiply the benefits of other anti-anxiety treatments. Below, we will explore the best ayurvedic herbs for anxiety:
Bacopa monnieri or water hyssop is a creeping herb with small white flowers. It is adaptive to moist and tropical regions and is often used to decorate aquariums.
The compounds released from this plant on ingestion alter the levels of various neurotransmitters like dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. These changes are suspected to lead to mood changes. A 2008 placebo-controlled trial exhibited that Bacopa monnieri has potential for safely enhancing cognitive performance in aging.
Our top 3 Bacopa monnieri Recommendations
Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, is a plant native to India and North Africa. The Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine published that ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress.
The 2012 study was conducted to assess the anxiolytic effects of ashwagandha. By measuring the serum cortisol levels of subjects, the authors confirmed this hypothesis.
Our top 3 Ashwagandha Recommendations
Clinicians often prescribe lemon- balm as a mild mood elevator and calming agent for patients who have anxiety. This is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. Along with anxiety, it is believed to help with stress, insomnia, indigestion, and dementia.
Abascal and Yarnell (2004) discussed in their article that nervine herbs like lemon balm are safe and non-addictive. They suggested that these should be used instead of addictive benzodiazepines.
Our top 3 Lemon Balm Recommendations
Penny Pettman did a review of literature on the natural ways to relieve anxiety and stress. One of the methods discussed was the use of holy basil to reduce stress hormones. Anxiety is correlated with high production of cortisol and adrenaline.
Therapy for anxiety disorders primarily consists of training the client to learn how to slow down this production. Holy basil products as an adaptogen may be of assistance here.
Our top 3 Holy Basil Recommendations
Convolvulus pluricaulis or shankha pushpi is also known as aloe weed in English. The flowers, leaves, stems, and roots of this plant are highly used in ayurvedic treatments.
The nutritional components of this herb are glucose, maltose, rhamnose, sucrose, glacial acetic acid, beta-sitosterol, convoline, kaempferol, and scopoletin. Scientific investigations have confirmed that shankha pushpi is also an effective herbal remedy for anxiety.
Our top 3 Shankha Pushpi Recommendations
The effect of Kava on anxiety symptoms was shown through a 2002 study. Back then, the overarching concern was on side effects from high dosage. A more recent study found Kava supplements a promising treatment.
Also called kava kava, this is a crop of the Pacific Islands and its name has Tongan and Marquesan origins. Though kava kava is used for many indegenous practices, the clinical evidence is limited.
Our top 3 Kava Recommendations
In 2019, a Japanese trial showed how effective passionflower supplements can be in reducing anxiety. The investigators also found that exposure to this natural extract and improves a person’s diurnal rhythm.
If there’s one thing all mental health professionals address with each client, it’s the possibility of establishing structure. A helpful rhythm adaptive to our circumstances in life promotes wellbeing.
The diurnal rhythm has advantages because it makes the most of daylight. Passionflower supplements will reduce anxiety as well as improve the quality of your daily life.
Our top 3 Passion Flower Recommendations
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St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is a flowering plant either grown or found as a weed across the globe. It’s been used in herbal medicine for centuries and is used for healing wounds. Current trends in scientific inquiry want to examine if St. John’s wort can impact mental health.
It is found that in terms of anxiety, this is a better medicine for a comorbidity with depression. Often depression and anxiety go hand in hand. In such cases, St. John’s wort is a good adaptogen to try.
Our top 3 St. John’s Wort Recommendations
The Ginkgo biloba tree is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta of the plant kingdom. It is suggested to be an effective alternative medicine for the treatment of mental disorders like dementia and anxiety.
That’s why most clinical trials on the subject have taken the elderly as subjects. This paper also looked into the use of ginkgo for anxiety and memory decline in 107 people with general anxiety disorder. In conclusion, the authors write that gingko is of particular value in elderly patients with these conditions.
Our top 3 Gingko Recommendations
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Recently, investigators examined the effects of Valerian extracts on hospitalised patients with coronary heart disease. They used the Spielberger state-trait anxiety inventory to measure these effects. If you’re stuck in a hospital bed with an ailing heart, it’s natural to think about death.
The study compared the effects of Valerian oils with those of Oxazepam, an anti-anxiety drug. Surprisingly, valerian essence was found to be equally effective. If you’re not a fan of pharmacotherapy, valerian essential oil can be a good substitute for Oxazepam.
Our top 3 Valerian Essential Oil Recommendations
Similar effects on cortisol levels can be induced using turmeric, report these Indian nutritionists. Turmeric is a close relative of the ginger plant and is often confused for it. But once cut open, the turmeric’s distinct bright yellow colour reclaims its identity.
Indian culture celebrates the nutritional benefits of turmeric as can be seen from its generous use in cooking. Besides lowering stress hormones, turmeric can also help with pain, inflammation, rashes, and healing injuries.
Our top 3 Turmeric Recommendations
Gotu Kola, or Asian pennywort, is a herbaceous, flowering, perennial. In Asia, it is popularly used as a culinary vegetable and is said to be good for high blood pressure. Gotu kola is often promoted as a remedy for skin conditions or wounds.
It is also supposed to increase mental clarity. This evaluation of the anxiolytic effects of gotu kola revealed that its methanol and ethyl acetate extracts impart this influence.
Our top 3 Gotu Kola Recommendations
Astragalus is a medicinal herb used in Chinese traditional practices for its health advantages. It is said to boost immunity, prevent inflammation, and delay aging. Astragalus is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Mongolian medicine.
Researchers have shown interest in the anxiety-reducing effects of astragalus as well. Another 2020 paper reported that astragalus was markedly effective in lowering blood cortisol levels and improving immunity.
Our top 3 Astragalus Recommendations
Chamomile is a type of flower commonly used to brew tea. It is considered an effective relaxant and is used for numerous health conditions like inflammation, menstrual disorders, insomnia, and pain.
Long-term oral administration of chamomile has been found to be safe and can significantly reduce moderate-to-severe GAD symptoms.
Our top 3 Chamomile Recommendations
Also called “tapaswani”, jatamansi is a popular ayurvedic herb used for its antioxidative properties. It is said to improve memory and cognitive functions as it prevents cell damage.
As an ayurvedic remedy, jatamansi is used in the treatment of epilepsy, hysteria, syncope, convulsions, and mental weakness. A 2021 study of the anxiolytic effects of this herb confirmed that jatamansi is an effective medicine.
Our top 3 Jatamansi Recommendations
The ancient herb vacha is said to stimulate intelligence and expression. In Sanskrit, ‘vacha’ means to speak clearly. This is considered a rejuvenating herb because of its positive impact on the nervous system.
Ayurvedic doctors implement vacha treatment using a brain tonic. It is said to improve digestion and prevent nausea. A 2020 publication discusses the role of vacha in neurological and metabolic disorders. Vacha supplementation can counter many of the immune suppressing effects of anxiety.
Our top 3 Vacha Recommendations
Ayurvedic Capsules for Anxiety
Now that we have discussed various herbal options for anxiety treatment, let’s review some more ayurvedic products. In this section, we are going to describe certain ayurvedic capsules available in the market.
These are made from formulas that combine multiple therapeutic herbs to offer several benefits together. You can try the following ayurvedic supplements for improved mental health:
AVN Perment is a pack of 100 multi-functional stress capsules that help with many stress-related bodily symptoms. It acts as a stress buster, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and anti-diabetic pill. This product is useful in the treatment of peptic ulcers and hypertension.
Click here to buy Perment capsules.
AVN Manomitram is a pack of 90 capsules that help you relax and sleep better. Ayurvedic doctors recommend this medicine for insomnia, mental stress, psychosis, depression, anxiety and epilepsy. This product is safe to consume in pregnancy or when breastfeeding, making it a much safer alternative to prescription drugs.
Click here to buy Manomitram capsules
Charak Sumenta ayurvedic capsules are anxiolytic, anti-stress, and adaptogenic. They also have mild tranquilising properties. Sumenta pills can elevate mood, increase physical activity, and reduce feelings of stress. The soothing and sedating effects of Sumenta on the brain help alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Click here to buy Sumenta capsules
This blog introduced readers to the concept of ayurveda and explained how ayurvedic treatment works. Then, we explored an extensive list of ayurvedic herbs that help with anxiety. We also discussed research and product recommendations for the best ayurvedic herbs for anxiety.
The herbal remedies mentioned here were Bacopa monnieri, ashwagandha, lemon balm, holy basil, shankha pushpi, kava, passion flower, St. John’s wort, ginkgo, valerian root, turmeric, gotu kola, astragalus, chamomile, jatamansi, and vacha. Ayurvedic herbal capsules included in this list were Perment, Manomitram, and Sumenta.
FAQs (Best Ayurvedic Herbs for Anxiety)
Can Ayurveda cure anxiety?
Ayurveda cannot cure anxiety by itself but it is very useful in treating anxiety symptoms. Ayurvedic remedies are plant-based, natural, non-addictive, and without serious side effects. They target the level of stress hormones in the body, relax muscles, and induce sleep. They are great for immediate relief but are not a permanent cure.
What is the best natural cure for anxiety?
The best natural practices that can cure anxiety are:
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants
- Practice meditation and relaxation techniques
- Challenge anxious thoughts and identify unhelpful thought patterns
- Drink green tea, reishi, holy basil tea, or chamomile tea
- Try aromatherapy
- Regulate breathing
- Practice yoga and aerobics