Top 12 Herbs Known to Relieve Anxiety

Herb Garten

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Anxiety: everyone has felt this from time to time, but what do you do when feelings of anxiety simply won’t go away? Anxiety is a general feeling of dread, worry, fear, or apprehension. If you feel on edge, restless, nervous, or impatient, then you have experienced anxiety. Chronic, ongoing anxiety can bring on fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, a feeling of tightness in the chest, bloating, insomnia, dry mouth, and indigestion.

Although most people experience periods of anxiety, for others anxiety is something they feel on a regular basis, sometimes daily. Anxiety can be caused by many life situations, such as a job interview, but it can also be caused by medical conditions or even medications. Some people turn to alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription medications, however these do not always solve the problem.

If you experience more than your fair share of anxiety or anxiety attacks but are seeking alternative or more natural methods, then keep reading. There are numerous herbal remedies which are well-known for calming the nerves, lowering stress levels, and reducing the severity or the number of anxiety attacks. Herbal remedies are often recommended by practitioners of natural medicine. As with any medication, herbal or otherwise, you should always talk to your doctor first, especially if you are pregnant, breast feeding, or if you are taking prescription medications. Although most herbs are completely safe, there have been reports of drug interactions.

Keep reading for the top 12 herbs that are proven to help reduce anxiety.


1. Kava

This plant, native to the Western Pacific, is sometimes referred to as kava-kava. It has a long history of use among the native Polynesian people. Kava (piper methysticum) has mild relaxing compounds and when used in higher doses, has an almost intoxicating effect. Kava is comparable to prescription medications in the benzodiazepine class for treating anxiety disorders, according to studies. However, unlike prescription sedatives, kava is known for its calming effect without the typical cognitive fuzziness or impairment.

Kava is generally extracted only from the root of the plant; the active compounds are also present in the leaves and stems of this plant. A double blind study done in 1996 treated 29 subjects who had been diagnosed as having a general anxiety disorder with a kava extract three times per day for a period of 4 weeks (100 mg doses given 3 times each day). When compared to the placebo group, those who took kava found that their anxiety symptoms were significantly reduced, and there were no adverse side effects reported or noted. In fact, adverse reactions to kava are rare, so you can take kava with confidence.

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