Relieve Stress and Anxiety Naturally
The stress. The anxiety. It hangs over you like a dark cloud. Little things seem to nearly push you over the edge. Some days are better than others. Most days you hate how you feel but you don’t know how to change it.
I know, I’ve been there. I didn’t even realize just how bad I felt until I got better. Then it was like the cloud was lifted and I could see and think clearly again.
There is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. It’s the world we live in, and until we start to feel better, we won’t be able to find a better way to move through life without feeling like a wreck.
Three years ago I underwent a transformation. With the daily addition of stress-relieving herbs, I was able to drastically reduce my stress and anxiety. Using a combination of daily herbal infusions and tinctures, I quickly found relief. I was able to sleep better, manage my anxiety, and think more clearly.
Disclaimer: the information provided here is not intended to replace professional medical advice and care. It is simply my perspective for you to consider as you make good choices for you and your family’s health. The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and maintaining health. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care.
The information provided has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not meant to diagnose any disease, nor is it intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Seek the support and care of a physician and/or complementary care practitioner you trust, and above all, listen to and trust in yourself. Be well!
Stress and Anxiety-Relieving Herbs
It seems hard to believe simple herbal remedies can offer so many benefits. But herbal remedies for stress and anxiety are powerfully effective and the science is catching up to the folklore.
For example, there are studies showing Passionflower, a perennial plant traditionally used to treat anxiety, is as effective as the anti-anxiety drug Oxazepam, without the side-effects. *See references at the end of this article for more on the research for stress-relieving herbs.
There are a number of herbs traditionally used to relieve stress and anxiety naturally. Some herbs work in a very subtle way, like chamomile and lavender, while others provide stronger effects like valerian and kava. Keep in mind many of the herbs work slowly and their benefits are cumulative over time.
These herbs offer us deep healing and a greater sense of well-being. Unlike manufactured medications, these plants work with the body and offer so much more than simply relieving our symptoms.
You can read more about these and other herbs and how they support the body in 4 Herbal Remedies for Stress. And the good news is, many of these herbs are easy to grow as perennial or annuals. Growing your own herbs is easier than you think – Starting Your Medicinal Herb Garden, 5 Herbs to Grow in Containers and Gardens.
The following five herbs were chosen for their history of use, research supporting their benefits, as well as recommendations from herbal teachers and my personal experience.
Keep in mind everyone has individual responses to the different herbs, and like medications, not all herbs work the same for everyone. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you.
My Favorite Herbs to Relieve Stress and Anxiety Naturally
- Motherwort – Leonardus cardiaca
- Blue Vervain – Verbena hastata
- Holy Basil/Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum
- Passionflower – Passiflora incarnata
- Milky Oats – Avena sativa
You can experiment with one, or all of these herbs. I enjoy a combination tincture with motherwort, blue vervain, holy basil, passionflower, and milky oats.
How to Make a Stress-Relief Tincture
Using any combination of the above herbs, fresh or dried, we will create an alcohol-based tincture. Alcohol is a simple way to extract the beneficial compounds from the plants, and is a strong preservative. If you prefer a non-alcoholic tincture, the Herbal Academy Blog has a simple tutorial on making an herbal glycerite.
- Combination of fresh or dried herbs
- 80-proof alcohol like vodka or brandy
- Combine equal parts of your dried herbs in a pint-sized jar. The herbs should almost fill the jar, but not be crammed too tightly.
- Add enough alcohol to fill the jar and cover your herbs completely. Put the top on the jar and give a shake to help settle the herbs. Add more alcohol if needed to cover all the herbs.
- I like to use these plastic canning jar lids to prevent corrosion of the metal lids from the alcohol.
- Label and date your tincture and let it sit for four-to-six weeks.
- Strain the herbs using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and bottle your tincture.
I purchased a 12 pack of 4-ounce amber tincture bottles, and these tiny funnels for filling them. Having a dropper bottle makes taking the tincture much easier, and I can wash and reuse the bottles as needed.
How to Use Your Stress-Relief Tincture
Dosing is such an individual thing when it comes to herbs, and a good herbalist recommends doses based on their assessment of the individual, the particular herbs used, and their personal experience.
I suggest starting with a smaller dose – 1/2 dropperful on the tongue or added to a small glass of water, 3 times a day to relieve stress and anxiety. Work your way up to 2 dropperfuls, four times daily as needed.
These wonderful plants won’t take the stress from your life, but they will help you gain some peace. Unlike medications, the herbs don’t simply treat or mask the symptoms (stress and anxiety), the plants work with the body on a deeper level to help us achieve long-lasting health and well-being.
Wishing you peace and comfort!
- University of Maryland Medical Center – Passionflower
- Herbal Academy – Milky Oats
- University of Maryland Medical Center – Holy Basil in the Treatment of PTSD
- National Institute of Health – Therapeutic Value of Holy Basil
- National Institute of Health – Study of Blue Vervain