Best Natural Herbs for Anxiety (15+ List)
Here is a helpful list of natural herbs that help with anxiety and can be easily found. Our blog also includes links to herbal products that provide users with the medicinal benefits of these healing plants. Use them to lower the severity and frequency of anxiety symptoms.
What are the Best Natural Herbs for Anxiety?
Before we begin describing in detail, let’s take a quick look at the best natural herbs for anxiety:
- Lemon Balm
- Passion Flower
- Valerian Root
- St. John’s Wort
- Holy Basil
- Rhodiola rosea
Herbs that Help with Anxiety
Now let’s take a deeper look at these herbs and see just how they help with anxiety. In this section, we are going to describe in detail the properties of each herb and how that connects with anxiety:
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.
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.
The roots of Panax plants are called ginseng. These roots have been used in traditional medicine for over centuries. Ginseng is commonly sold as dietary supplements because of its many benefits.
Research on these benefits have investigated the effect of ginseng on diabetes, menopause, and memory. Experts have even demonstrated that ginseng helps in the attenuation of anxiety symptoms.
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.
Perry, Terry, Watson, and Ernst (2012) wanted to check whether lavender really does have anxiolytic effects. They used seven electronic databases to extract data of existing studies to create a meta analysis.
Out of the 15 randomised clinical trials that matched inclusion criteria, seven appeared to show beneficial effects of lavender. The researchers concluded that oral lavender intake does have a therapeutic effect on anxiety. Lavender tea can be taken as a remedy for anxiety.
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.
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 and body products will reduce anxiety as well as improve the quality of your daily life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) comes from the highlands of Peru. Maca root is an important ingredient in traditional medicine in the Andes. The country exports maca in the form of powder, capsules, pills, flour, liquor, and extracts.
Evidence from experimental studies reveal it’s positive impact on nutrition, fertility, memory, and mood. A review on randomised clinical trials reported that maca powder improved mood and reduced anxiety in people.
People’s perspective on cannabis intake has been changing drastically over the years. What was earlier considered a drug abused by lowlifes is now seen as an important medicine for various health conditions.
This transition stems from numerous research studies that have found many health benefits of CBD oil. A 2015 article reports that cannabidiol is a potential treatment for anxiety disorders.
Rhodiola rosea is a flowering plant found in arctic regions. Parts of this plant have been used in alternative healing treatment plans for depression and anxiety. A pilot study examined the effect of rhodiola on the symptoms of general anxiety disorder (GAD).
The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale was used to measure symptoms. The findings suggested that rhodiola improved these symptoms significantly. Thus, rhodiola can serve as an excellent adaptogen for anxiety.
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.
Here was a helpful list of natural herbs that help with anxiety and can be easily found. Our blog also included links to herbal products that provide users with the medicinal benefits of these healing plants. Use them to lower the severity and frequency of anxiety symptoms.
Herbs listed here were Ashwagandha, Kava, Ginseng, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Passion Flower, Chamomile, Ginkgo, Valerian Root, Turmeric, Astragalus, St. John’s Wort, Holy Basil, Maca, Cannabis, and Rhodiola rosea.
FAQs (Best Natural Herbs for Anxiety)
What is the best natural remedy for anxiety?
There are many natural remedies for anxiety that are organic, safe, non-addictive, and effective. These are in the form of dietary supplements, adaptogens, essential oils, and natural medicines. Common plants used to make these products are ashwagandha, chamomile, lavender, alfalfa, cannabis, milk thistle, Rhodiola rosea, and many more.
What is the most calming herb?
The most calming herb used in natural treatment for anxiety is passion flower. This can be consumed as extracts in the form of oral capsules or oil. It can also be applied through body products or aromatherapy. Another highly effective herb for anxiety treatment is valerian root.
Is there any herbal medicine for anxiety?
There are plenty of herbal medicines available for anxiety. These are much safer than traditional prescription drugs used for treating anxiety disorders.
That’s because they don’t lead to dependency, have no serious side effects, and can be bought without a prescription. Some examples are chamomile, amino acids, vitamins, Bacopa monnieri, Bach flower, and St. John’s wort.