Do you get anxious?
There are a lot of us who do and there are many reasons for it. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental ailment affecting almost 40 million people (18% of the population).
We live in a fast paced culture. There is so much pressure to succeed. We drive too fast, we eat the wrong foods, we rarely take time to decompress, and this can easily lead to a pressure cooker that can cause some serious anxiety.
Here are some of the herbs we have at our disposal when anxiety is temporary and not part of a more serious disorder requiring in-depth counseling and medication.
Six Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
We LOVE this smell. It seems it’s in just about every body care product on the shelf. This is no coincidence. Lavender has a calming effect on our nervous system. It has been used successfully in teas or tinctures for anxiety. Find organic lavender flowers here. Learn how to make a tincture using these directions.
Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
This is my favorite anxiety solution. The root of this tropical vine has been used for ceremonial purposes, relaxing and calming everyone who drinks it. I used a tincture to calm myself when I struggled with post partum anxiety. This plant has a long history of use and is safe to use if you are assured of the quality of your source. Find a high quality kava kava source here.
Spice Bush (Lindera benzoin)
An Ohio native, this shrub smells a lot like a lemon when you bruise the leaves. I have long loved spice bush for its smell and its fall color, but a recent trip to the Goldenseal Sanctuary of the United Plant Savers taught me something new. We don’t need to source our anxiety support from the tropics, it can be obtained from the bark of the spice bush in our own forests. This is yet another reason why I need to grow my own. A quick chew of a stem as I walk through the yard and all of my troubles can melt away.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
The longer we use the small, white chamomile flower, the more it impacts our nervous system in a positive way. Some of the most laid back folks I know enjoy a cup of chamomile tea as a daily routine. The plant has a sedative effect on the nervous system and can calm a nervous stomach that often comes in the mix when we are overwrought. Find dried organic chamomile flowers here.
Bugleweed (Lycopus virginicus)
If you are dealing with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) it is common to struggle with bouts of anxiety. While it can be helpful to use the nervines that I am listing here in this post, bugleweed can also head off the anxiety attack at the source to support a balanced thyroid. Bugleweed is one of the herbs that is used with much success with an overactive thyroid. Find dried organic bugleweed here.
California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
Most of the poppy family has a reputation for providing pain relief and heavy sedation. California poppy contains a lower amount of the compounds that make this family so famous, but it is still capable of gently calming overexcitement. This flower can be a great choice for a child suffering from occasional anxiety and can be made into a tea or summer time popsicle treat. Find dried organic California poppy here.
While plants aren’t the only solution to the anxiety puzzle, diet and emotional health should be addressed as well, they can certainly be a part of the plan to begin to feel comfortable again.