If you have anxiety, any day has the potential to turn into a panicked state of unrest. With all that is going on nowadays, it’s easy for internal emotions to run amok and cause you to spiral out of control. It’s easy to label these times as “stressful,” and that people live in a uniform state of stress. This leads to adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance, which is a recipe for disaster if you are prone to anxiety or depression.
There’s no way to magically escape the times we live in, but you do have the opportunity to take control of your own life. When you make a constant effort to control your stress and the way you handle things, it’s much easier to manage anxiety levels. Don’t let the world dictate your life. You have the power to direct your focus wherever you want. Instead of focusing on the negatives, change your outlook to focus on the positives in your life.
For those times when willpower is not strong enough to manage stress, you can turn to herbs to help calm your anxious mind. This article explores six different herbs that can help ease your anxiety. We detail the herbs below, so keep reading to learn more about how they can benefit your anxiety.
6 Herbs To Calm An Anxious Mind
The valerian plant is native to Asia and Europe, and it has historical use as a sleep remedy. Some cultures used valerian teas or tinctures to help reduce depression and anxiety systems. Because there are very few studies on valerian, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) concluded that more research is necessary to determine if it can alleviate anxiety symptoms. That said, it does have mild sedative properties that make it beneficial for healthier sleep. The NCCIH notes that pregnant women and nursing mothers avoid this herb.
Similar to rose, hawthorn is a calming herb that comes in handy if you experience high stress levels. Many cultures use hawthorn to help manage sadness, depression, or general grief. A 2004 study found that that combining hawthorn, California, poppy, and magnesium helped to treat mild anxiety disorders. Hawthorn helps to relieve emotional and physical stress because it has a relaxing effect on the central nervous system.
There are about 550 species of passionflower, but the P. incarnata species proves to be most effective against nervousness and anxiety. The flavonoids and alkaloids in passionflower actually interact with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a naturally occurring amino acid that regulates fear response. This interaction helps to dampen your body’s alarm system, helping it relax the body as opposed to heightening the senses. In one study, researchers monitored 40 dental patients prior to surgery. They all took 260 milligrams (mg) of passionflower a half-hour prior to surgery. The herb helped to reduce anxiety and heart rate as effectively as a pharmaceutical sedative.
Adaptogens are very special because they affect the body’s hormones and systems to regulate stress response. Ashwagandha has a long history of use in Ayurvedic healing practices, but it has become popular in recent years. A 2019 clinical study examined ashwagandha’s effects on stress and anxiety. This eight-week study monitored 58 participants with stress. Each patient randomly took either a placebo, a 250 mg dose of ashwagandha, or a 600 mg dose of ashwagandha. The group that took the 600 mg dose reported a significant decrease in stress levels, while the other two groups didn’t notice a difference.
Did you know that about one million cups of chamomile tea get consumed worldwide every day? Chamomile is a popular herb that has undergone extensive studies to observe its health benefits. Chamomile contains flavonoids that work to influence GABA, but it also has other calming compounds like apigenen. You can consume chamomile tea to help calm moderate stress, but recent research suggests it may help to relieve higher stress and anxiety levels. In 2016, people with general anxiety disorder took 500 mg of chamomile three times daily for two months. More than 50% of the group reported a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms.
Native to Mexico, Galphina glauca is a plant species that has been traditionally used as a mild tranquilizer. A clinical trial in 2012 examined Galphina glauca for it’s potential to become a treatment for general anxiety disorder. Participants in the trial randomly received either Galphina glauca or prescription anti-anxiety medication, lorazepam, for 12 weeks. The findings indicated that Galphina glauca helped reduce anxiety symptoms better than lorazepam.