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9 Calming Herbs For Anxiety, According To An Expert

calming herbs for anxiety

IN THIS ARTICLE

I never really put much stock into the use of herbs until someone mentioned they could help with my endometriosis. I tried a few, as directed by a complementary and integrative health provider, and was surprised that they made quite a difference after several weeks.

This piqued my curiosity about other herbs that may be able to help improve someone’s overall well-being. It is both a pro and a con that there are so many different herbs. This can make it overwhelming to choose the one that’s right for your needs, but this large selection also means there are many types with various benefits. Herbs can also help with a range of issues, one of which is anxiety disorders.

Any herbal supplement that is intended to lower symptoms associated with anxiety disorders is classified as an anxiolytic herb. They can potentially even assist with managing depression or difficulty in social situations. Let’s take a look at some calming herbs for anxiety:

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

lemon balm

Lemon may be commonly regarded as an energizing scent, but the herb itself has historically been used for sleep problems and as a digestive aid.

Lemon balm is one the natural remedies that have been known to assist in easing some symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and depression. Lemon balm is in the mint family and is known to have a somewhat similar taste and feel.

HOW TO USE IT

  • Best for: Lemon balm has many documented uses. Most research focuses on its utility for decreasing anxiety symptoms. But other early studies show it can potentially boost cognitive function, ease insomnia, relieve stomach discomfort, and lessen menstrual cramps.
  • How to use: For those with digestive issues who enjoy the taste of lemon, you can add dried lemon balm to food by sprinkling a small handful on top.

If you experience anxiety, it may be more beneficial to take up to 600 milligrams of dried lemon balm in the form of a liquid extract (also known as a tincture) or capsule. People with nausea may benefit from making tea by adding 6-12 grams of dried lemon balm to hot water.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

ginger to calm anxiety

Ginger is one of many herbal remedies that is also an antioxidant. It has long been used to season foods, particularly in Asian cuisine. It’s most well-known for its ability to assist with nausea.

But it’s bioactive components make it a potential remedy for anxiety. Ginger can be used fresh or as a powder, oil, spice, or juice, making it highly versatile.

HOW TO USE IT

  • Best for: Some research has shown that ginger can improve cognitive function, which can increase alertness while improving mood. Several studies suggest it can boost serotonin levels, which serves to reduce stress and reduce anxiety symptoms. Another trial posits ginger may be a more effective anxiety remedy than some other medications such as prescription drugs.
  • How to use: One teaspoon of ground ginger can be added to smoothies or other food to potentially assist with lowering anxiety.

Some people may find it easier and more cost-effective to take ginger capsules, which are safe to take up to two times daily. Be mindful of your dosage, as more than 4 grams of ginger can cause stomach discomfort.