Everyone experiences anxiety at some time in their life. Some people only experience it situationally – before a public speech or when they have to see their family, for example. However, many people experience chronic anxiety, and this can be debilitating to the quality of their lives.
Symptoms of anxiety include an elevated heart beat, nervousness, a feeling of needing to leave the situation, and worrying about things that may or may not happen. Living in a state like this all the time is not only not fun, but makes it hard to hold down a serious job and maintaining great relationships.
Many people go to the doctor right away when they realize that they have an anxiety disorder. Doctors can certainly prescribe medication to help with anxiety, like benzodiazepines. Unfortunately, benzodiazepines are notoriously addictive and can actually take lives due to the nature of their severe withdrawal symptoms.
That sounds like a bit of a gamble. So I don’t blame you for wondering whether or not there are any natural remedies for anxiety. I used to be prescribed serious anxiety medication, and I have used many of the methods listed in this article for helping to regulate my anxiety. Hopefully some of this information can help you, as well.
You might not want to hear it, but exercise is one of the best ways to help people overcome anxiety. If your anxiety is so debilitating that it makes it difficult to get out of the house, don’t worry – you can exercise right in the safety of your own home.
Studies have been done that have proved anxiety to be very useful for helping to manage anxiety.
Exercise causes the body to release endorphins or ‘endogenous morphines’ which are hormones that make us feel happy and content. Regular exercise can help to jumpstart the body’s endorphin system, which can help people manage anxiety.
If you’ve never experienced the runner’s high, then that’s all the more reason to exercise regularly. This runner’s high is one of the main reasons that some people exercise, as it puts them into a state of calm, collected excitement.
2. Passion Flower
Passion flower is one of the best herbs that you can consume for helping to regulate anxiety. Passion flower can be purchased in loose-leaf form and made into tea, and there are also many different types of tinctures that you can find in health food stores or pharmacies.
If you don’t have access to a stove or a tincture, passion flower can also be smoked for its benefits. It’s a very relaxing herb, and if you use a lot of it you’ll probably quickly fall asleep.
Meditation is well-known for being one of the most beneficial things a person can do to help them manage stress and anxiety. By helping to slow the speed of thinking, meditation allows you to identify thoughts that can cause worry and avoid them before they cause you to have a negative reaction.
There are many different types of meditation, ranging from breathing exercises to yoga to mindful living. A simple method of meditation involves just counting your breaths. Inhale slowly and follow the motion as your abdomen fills up with air. Pause for a second after inhaling, then exhale slowly and pause afterwards. This will be a count of one breath.
Long-term meditation practice is incredibly useful for helping people manage chronic stress and can even be helpful for helping to fight off the illnesses that are associated with long-term stress and anxiety.
4. Relaxation Techniques
While meditation might be considered a certain type of relaxation technique, not all relaxation techniques are meditation. Relaxation techniques can be useful for helping to fight off the physical symptoms of stress and worry, such as tight muscles or a clenched jaw.
The simplest way to do a relaxation exercise is to sit or lie down in a comfortable position and check in with your body. Find out which parts of your body are holding tension and relax them. You’ll find that you’re better able to focus and feel good after.
5. Gotu Kola
Gotu kola is one of the most powerful Ayurvedic herbs on the planet. Its health benefits are immense, and it can be used for everything from helping to heal wounds, to fighting illness, to fighting anxiety.
Gotu kola is one of the few herbs that has effects so powerful for fighting anxiety that it rivals pharmaceutical medication. I prefer to make the loose leaf into my own tea because then it’s easier to regulate how much you’re taking. If you have stuff to do, you won’t want to take too much because you’ll just fall asleep.
It’s also available in supplement form and can be found in pharmacies and health food stores. I can’t recommend this herb enough.
There have been a number of studies done that have linked writing with a reduction in stress, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
This works because it helps you understand your own issues. By writing freely with no concern about what’s going to come out on the paper, a person is often able to identify and understand their deeper thoughts and feelings.
This puts them in a position to understand their problems and the way that they’re feeling. A good writing exercise is to simply sit down, pick up a pen, and write whatever comes to mind. Don’t think – this will interfere with the flow of consciousness. Just get out whatever you happen to be thinking of and read it later.
Kratom is a herb that’s been the subject of much controversy in the United States. It’s a very powerful plant medicine that can be useful for fighting pain and anxiety. However, some officials in the United States are worried about it because it can be addictive when used in excess.
However, kratom is by far the most powerful anxiety-fighting herb that I’ve seen in my entire life. It not only eliminates anxiety but helps to promote sociability and mood. If you have an addictive personality, you probably want to avoid kratom, but otherwise, it’s definitely worth checking into.
Kratom can be found online and in many smoke shops.
8. Practicing Time Management
Having too many things to do is one of the leading causes of stress. Thus, learning to manage your time better can help you fight off anxieties.
One of the simplest ways to do this is start planning your days. Once you’re comfortable planning the next day, you can work on planning the next week. Then, you can work to plan entire months.
Doing this takes a lot of strain off the body and can help a person manage the anxiety associated with having too many meetings or obligations scheduled. You can even break down bigger projects into smaller pieces to tackle the whole thing more effectively.
Many of us have had chamomile in the form of sleepytime tea, and are aware of how powerful its relaxant effects can be. However, it’s not only useful for people who are trying to get to sleep. Chamomile can be incredibly useful for helping to manage anxiety. It does this by reducing the amount of cortisol produced in the body.
While it might make you a little sleepy if you use it during the day, sometimes it’s better to be sleepy and level-headed than paranoid and anxious. Chamomile can be found at pretty much any grocery store. Some health food stores also have the loose-leaf form available.
10. Hanging Out With Cats
There has been quite a bit of research done that shows that spending time with animals is a great way to reduce anxiety. Since pets can be there for you and provide companionship and unconditional love in a way that some people have trouble with, they can be great for helping to manage stress and anxiety.
There are a number of reasons for this. The psychological impact of loving and caring for something has profound effects on a person’s mental health. Being able to snuggle up with something warm and furry is also incredibly beneficial.
L-theanine is an amino acid that’s found in green tea. It’s chiefly responsible for the way that green tea tends to be somewhat relaxing compared to coffee, which is just aggressively stimulating.
L-theanine can be found in green tea, but the extracted amino acid can also be found in many forms. It can be purchased as a powder so you can dose yourself, and is also available in capsules at many health food stores and pharmacies.
12. Yerba Mate
If you’re looking for a source of caffeine that can help reduce your anxiety instead of promoting it, consider working with yerba mate. This powerful South American plant is one of the healthiest sources of caffeine that provides your body with all sorts of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that work to create harmony in your body.
Yerba also contains theobromine, a sister compound of caffeine. Theobromine is less likely to cause the jitters than coffee and can even be seen to help reduce the hyperstimulation caused by certain sources of caffeine.
13. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is more often used for improving cognitive ability than for treating anxiety. However, by improving the blood flow throughout the body and to the brain, ginkgo can help people see things more clearly.
This allows them to evaluate their worries and anxieties so they can overcome them.
Ginkgo biloba has also been used to help people overcome sexual anxiety, particularly men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. This is because ginkgo helps increase blood flow to the genitals, as well, and can help men perform better in bed.
While beer is certainly good for relieving anxiety, it’s not necessarily one of the healthiest options. However, you can still experience some of the relaxing and anxiety-fighting effects by simply using hops.
Hops contain a sedative compound that can be consumed by making hops into tea. There are also supplements and tinctures that you can find in health food stores. Hops are very bitter, and making a tea from them is not always pleasant. However, the benefits are impressive and it’s well worth the flavor.
15. Valerian Root
Valerian root is one of the smelliest plants around. If anyone’s ever offered it to you, you were probably put off at first by the strong odor that’s reminiscent of dirty feet.
However, those who have managed to look past the potent odor of valerian are probably aware of how powerful of a plant it is for fighting anxiety. Valerian is one of the best relaxants and can be useful for treating insomnia, stress, and other problems associated with an overactive mind.
Valerian can be purchased from health food stores in loose form or in tinctures or supplements. Some people prefer the tinctures solely because they are less smelly.
16. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is another herb that’s not only useful for fighting anxiety, but delicious. It has been used for centuries for its ability to help manage stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Studies have revealed that it has a unique ability to make a person more alert while also more relaxed.
On the flip side, some people have reported that taking excessive doses of lemon balm can actually promote anxiety. For this reason, especially for people who are sensitive, you might want to get your own loose lemon balm from the health store and use that to make your own tea.
However, capsules and tinctures are also available. Many of them are made with other relaxing herbs to enhance the benefits.
17. A Proper Diet
There are a few things that are important regarding eating.
First off, people tend to get more irritable and stressed out when they’re not eating enough. If you’re hungry, chances are that it’s having a negative influence on your state of mind. This can happen because your blood sugar is dropping. Make sure to eat a healthy snack and see if you feel better.
Secondly, diet has a tremendous impact on our ability to feel well. If we’re not eating properly, we can be deficient in any number of nutrients. This can lead to mental instability. Make sure that you eat a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Research also eats that long-term consumption of farmed red meat can lead to anxiety.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for regulating anxiety, and one of the only ones that can have an acute effect on your anxiety levels. Magnesium is known to lower blood pressure and can help to promote feelings of calm and relaxation.
Getting enough magnesium in your diet will have far-reaching effects on your anxiety levels. However, even taking a magnesium supplement can help reduce mild anxiety. Find magnesium supplements in your health food store. Get it in your diet through whole grains, legumes, quinoa, and nuts.
Zinc is another nutrient that’s important for the regulation of anxiety. For this reason, it’s included along with magnesium in a number of supplements.
Studies have shown that people who are deficient in zinc are more likely to be anxious. For this reason it’s important to make sure that you get enough zinc in your diet, either through supplements or from foods like shellfish, nuts, seeds and greens.
20. The B Vitamin Complex
The B complex vitamins are important for a number of things. One of the things that they are responsible for is helping your brain get the energy that it needs by converting glucose into usable fuel.
On the other hand, people with a B vitamin deficiency are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. B vitamins are found in a variety of healthy foods, however, vegetarians and vegans are often deficient in vitamin B12 because it is usually found in animal sources.
Vegans and vegetarians can get their vitamin B12 from supplements or from fortified foods like nutritional yeast.
Some research has shown that people who skip breakfast are more likely to have anxiety. For this reason, it’s important to eat a healthy breakfast filled with complex carbohydrates, protein, and various vitamins and minerals.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body cannot make it. This means that you must get your tryptophan from your diet. Tryptophan has some impressive effect on regulating anxiety and depression. It is responsible for the body’s production of serotonin and can be immensely useful for avoiding anxiety.
Turkey is one of the highest food sources of tryptophan and is one can actually have a tangible effect on your anxiety levels. Because of the high levels of tryptophan, eating turkey can cause you to feel relaxed and elated.
Naturally, you will want to catch organic, free range raised turkey. Turkeys that are raised in farms often absorb the fear and discomfort that they must deal with. This can affect the nutritional quality of the meat and the energetics of the food once it’s absorbed into your body.
Turkey is also one of the best foods to eat before bed. Once the tryptophan is absorbed into your body, it will make you feel relaxed. This is great for helping you fall asleep.
Eggs are another great food source that contain a lot of tryptophan. This is one of the reasons that eggs are great in the morning. They don’t contain enough tryptophan to make you fall asleep, but they will help perk you up for the rest of the day.
Eggs are also a rich source of choline. Choline is the neurotransmitter that is mainly responsible for your cognitive abilities. Making sure that you get enough choline ensures that you’ll have a good memory and can think well. For many people, this can help to reduce their anxiety.
Again, it is important to get organic, free-range eggs. Not only are these more healthy for you, but they will contain more nutrients and they are more sustainable for the planet.
Chocolate is one of the best food sources that contains theobromine. As we mentioned earlier, theobromine is a compound that is similar to caffeine. However, it tends to be much more relaxed and is less likely to make people anxious than caffeine.
Many people actually report that theobromine makes them feel less anxious. It also promotes feelings of empathy and compassion. This is more apparent if you are eating raw cacao.
Raw cacao nibs can be found in many health food stores. These can be chewed, or made into a hot cacao beverage. Many holistic health centers also offer cacao ceremonies, which are a great way to open up the heart and feel at one with yourself and those around you.
If you have ever noticed that you tend to get sleepy when it’s really warm out too, then you already understand the powerful effect that temperature can have on our nervous system and our muscles.
One of the best ways to cope with immediate anxiety is to get very warm. This can be done in a number of ways, but two of the most attractive ideas are sitting in a hot tub or in a sauna. Both of these can probably be found at your local pool.
Sensations of warmth have been shown to actually change the way that the brain works. By altering the way that our brains connections work, being warm can actually rewire us to feel happier. This is also a factor that contributes to seasonal depressive disorder.
Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to ground yourself. Unfortunately, if you live in an urban environment, chances are you don’t get enough nature time.
The therapeutic benefits of spending several hours in a forest The therapeutic benefits of spending several hours in a forest are immense. This has been known for thousands of years, but nowadays, even modern studies are beginning to catch up to the powerful effect that nature has on our mental health.
If you do live in the city, make sure you spend at least one day making a trip somewhere where you can experience nature. Go to the beach, get lost in the forest, or go spend some time on some sprawling fields.
Human beings are a part of nature, and we are naturally wired to feel connected to it. Connecting to nature also helps us connect to ourselves, and this can help reduce anxiety.
Rhodiola is a powerful adaptogenic herb that has been used in Chinese medicine for many thousands of years. It is known to promote energy and reduce stress levels.
Some people who are sensitive to rhodiola may find that it is actually too powerful to reduce their anxiety. If taken in very high doses, rhodiola can be an incredibly powerful source of energy. However, functioning as an adaptogen, it can help you reduce the impact that stress has on the body.
Rhodiola can and found in many health food stores and is available in capsules, tinctures, or powder.
29. Kava Kava
Kava kava is a powerful herb that’s native to Hawaii. Here, the locals drink a brew made from kava kava because of its powerful ability to help reduce anxiety and promote sociability.
Kava is a unique plant in the sense that it has a reverse tolerance. Many people report no effects the first time that they use it, even at relatively high doses. However, the longer that you use it, the more your brain becomes accustomed to the effects.
When using kava, make sure that you stay hydrated because it can really dry you out. Also, taking too high of a dose can lead to feelings of intoxication. If this happens, try to simply get some rest.
Kava kava can be found in some health food stores and in some pharmacies in the form of capsules. The best way to use it is by grinding up the dried root yourself and blending it in with a fat source to extract the active kavalactones.
Ashwagandha is a powerful herb that has been used in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It remains one of the most powerful herbs for helping people manage long-term anxiety.
Ashwagandha is known to lower cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that’s associated with stress. People who have high levels of stress.often have high levels of cortisol as well.
Ashwagandha also functions as an adaptogen. In addition to altering the physical production of hormones in your body, it helps you adjust to stress. This means that, when used in the long-term, ashwagandha can help people manage stress problems that they have carried within their entire lives.
Ashwagandha can be purchased from health food stores. It can be found in capsule form, or in tinctures. Some place is also carry the raw root, which can be chewed or made into tea.
Kanna, also known as sceletium tortuosum, is a powerful herb that grows in South Africa. It functions as a SSRI or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which is the same mechanism by which many popular antidepressants work.
Kanna has a powerful acute effect on anxiety and energy. It is one of the interesting herbs that is able to boost energy by stimulating the brain and body while lowering anxiety at the same time. Kanna can be consumed in a number of ways – chewed, smoked, eaten, and even insufflated.
Kanna is usually found easiest online, but some health food stores and head shops sell it. It is almost exclusively sold in powdered form, but some places carry an extract.
32. St John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is one of the most popular herbs for treating anxiety and depression and probably the most well-known. It is actually used clinically in Germany to help people manage depression.
Like kanna, St John’s Wort functions as an SSRI. However, its effects are not acute and it has to be taken for a few days to a few weeks for its effects sto really be observed. St John’s Wort can be useful for treating mild to moderate forms of depression.
St John’s Wort can be found in health food stores and pharmacies, often in the form of capsules. It’s not recommended to take much more than 450 mg, twice a day, when you’re first starting to use it.
Rosemary, and its essential oils, can be used as a fairly powerful form of anxiety relief. Rosemary contains a compound known as rosmarino, which has shown potential as an anxiolytic.
It’s best to use an extract of the herb if you’re going to experience any powerful effects. However, you can also get some of the benefits by making a powerful rosemary tea. Rosemary can be found in any grocery store, however, if you want the most of benefits, you should get some organic rosemary from the health food store.
Shilajit is a form of mountain resin that’s found in the Himalayan mountains. It’s incredibly dense in terms of its mineral content, and can help to restore the body from many nutritional deficiencies in a fairly short time.
The first time I used shilajit, I felt several years worth of anxiety washed away immediately. I’m not sure what I was deficient in, but shilajit definitely helped to restore me to proper health. I felt social for the first time in several months, and I was ready to tackle all sorts of obstacles.
Shilajit can be found in some health food stores. However, since it is so rare and in high demand, it is often easier to find it online.
Bacopa is another potent ayurvedic herb that’s used for treating anxiety and depression. Many people have reported that is just one of the most powerful herbs that they have ever used.
The effects of bacopa often take a while to kick in. Most people report that they need to take it for at least 3 days before experiencing anything. Many people have needed to wait even longer.
It’s important to note that bacopa has a tendency to make some people feel very tired and sluggish. I personally could not use it because it made it impossible to get out of bed in the day. However, many people do not experience this and have had great experiences using it.
Health food stores carry bacopa and it can also be purchased online from various vendors.
How many different types of ginseng are there? Too many to list. There are also many herbs that are considered ginseng in certain areas but not officially known as such.
The two main types of ginseng, Chinese ginseng and Panax ginseng, are known to be very effective at for helping to fight anxiety. Just like rhodiola, these herbs are adaptogens, and help the body produce energy while managing its response to stress.
Ginseng can be used safely over the long term without any adverse health effects. Ginseng can be found at most health food stores.
Mimosa is most commonly known as being the root that’s used for making ayahuasca brews. However, it also has been shown to have some anxiolytic effects on its own.
Mimosa can be a bit tough to find, but it can be bought online with relative ease. Some head shops also carry it.
Saffron is another herb that’s very useful for fighting anxiety. It works by agonizing the GABA system. The GABA system is the main inhibitory system in our brains. That means that it prevents us from becoming, thus helping to limit any anxiety we might feel as a result of overstimulation.
Saffron can be purchased from any health food stores, some grocery stores, and even some pharmacies in the form of capsules and tinctures.
Skullcap is another herb that works well for fighting anxiety, especially when made into a tea with other herbs like passion flower and valerian root. It’s very relaxing and can be great for helping to promote sleep in someone suffering from insomnia.
If you can’t find the loose leaf skullcap, many health food stores sell tinctures and capsules which can be just as effective.
Damiana is a great herbal anxiety remedy. It’s found in a number of different herbal mixtures, like smoking blends and teas, and it’s widely known for its ability to promote relaxation, fight anxiety, and even improve libido.
Damiana is quite popular in the herbal world and can likely be found at any health food store. It’s even available at many head shops and some grocery stores are starting to stock it.
41. California Poppy (Caution)
Poppy seeds are definitely among the most powerful anxiety relievers on the planet. However, the reasons for this are controversial. Poppy seeds contain opioids, such as morphine and codeine, that saturate the body’s opioid system.
This causes an immediate and powerful relief of anxiety. However, these plants should be used with immense caution because the compounds that they contain are quite addictive. The best way to avoid addiction is to only use the poppy seeds during the season that they grow. If they don’t grow in your area, this herb is probably best avoided.
Anxiety is a consistent and pervasive problem that affects many people in this day and age. However, there are many remedies for anxiety that don’t require you going to the doctor and getting dangerous prescription medication.
Hopefully the information that we provided in this article is useful to you. You can stock your medicine cabinet with these herbs and follow the exercises included in this article to keep yourself free from anxiety without having to change yourself to pharmaceuticals.
Nigel enjoys sharing wisdom regarding nutrition and health when he’s not playing music, loving nature, and being at one with the world.