By: Nicole Axworthy

Your heart is beating fast; your chest is tight; your breathing is shallow and rapid, and your mind is sensing impending doom. You’re nervous, worried, anxious, maybe even on the verge of freaking out, and you wish you could get yourself to calm down. Whether you experience anxiety on a regular basis or just when life gets the best of you, there are natural ways to calm your nerves and mind. Herbal supplements—which typically come in tincture, extract, tea, or capsule forms—can be an effective way to reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote overall well-being because of the bioactive phytochemicals they contain. 

Mab & Stoke has invented a simpler (and fun) way to pack all you need into one gorgeous package called a Mab Tab. These highly concentrated and potent herbal super tabs do the hard work for you, and they are personalized especially for you based on your own needs. Customize Mab Tabs put you back on the path to feeling absolutely amazing.

Natural Ways To Reduce Anxiety

Herbs have been used to promote calm and relaxation for centuries, both as an alternative to prescription medication and as complementary medicine. Working with a health professional, such as an herbalist, can ensure you won’t have adverse reactions between other herbs or medications you’re taking. The following eight herbs could help reel in your anxiety and get your life back.

1. Ashwagandha

This adaptogenic herb is best known for protecting the body’s ability to manage internal and external stressors by lowering blood sugar and cortisol levels. The herb is said to help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as the likelihood of insomnia in people with stress and anxiety disorders. Now a cornerstone of Western Herbalism, Ashwagandha has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine for rejuvenation and promoting longevity. 

2. Chamomile

The most well-known calming herb, chamomile promotes mental and physical relaxation. Widely available in tea form, this daisy-like plant has been used for its soothing effects for thousands of years because of its high level of a flavonoid compound known as apigenin, which exerts anxiety-reducing effects. In traditional Chinese medicine, chamomile is helpful in treating stagnation or stuck energy. In Ayurvedic medicine, it’s used to help calm the nervous system. 

3. Hops

You may be familiar with hops as a key ingredient in beer, but it has also been used for centuries as an herbal remedy to address insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness. In years past, hops was known to be used by royal families, Arabic scientists and physicians, and Native Indian tribes for a range of ailments. Part of a group of nervines, or nerve tonics, hops is mainly used to support the nervous system and target common stressors associated with modern living. 

4. Lemon Balm

Best known as a common culinary herb, lemon balm is also a mood-elevating and calming remedy because it soothes and supports the nervous system. The use of lemon balm stretches back thousands of years—the Hippocrates, Roman Emperor Charlemagne, and English poet William Shakespeare all spoke of its medicinal properties. Researchers today believe the herb makes the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)—which helps regulate the body’s stress response—more readily accessible to the brain.

5. Magnolia

With a long history as a stress-reliever and anxiety-soother, magnolia is a powerhouse herb in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean medicine. Filled with bioactive compounds such as honokiol and magnolol that can address conditions from anxiety to inflammation, this pretty plant is still used by modern herbalists to support healthy stress response, calm the nerves, and support sleep. Both the bark of the magnolia tree and its flowers are used therapeutically. 

6. Tulsi

A calming, balancing adaptogen used for stress, tulsi also goes by the name “holy basil” and is a plant in the mint family. For over 3,000 years, people in India and China have revered tulsi as a tonic for the mind, body, and spirit. It is also considered a sacred plant in the Hindu religion. Much like other adaptogenic herbs, tulsi is used to support the nervous system, helping it function optimally during times of internal and external stress. 

7. Passion Flower

While there are more than 500 known species of passion flower, studies suggest that certain species may have medicinal benefits, such as Passiflora incarnata (also known as purple passion flower or maypop) for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. It appears to boost the level of GABA in the brain, lowering brain activity and helping you relax and sleep better. Passion flower has been shown to be an effective treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, as it calms symptoms of anxiety without causing drowsiness. 

8. Rhodiola

This bright-yellow and green plant (also known as golden root or roseroot) is a commonly used herb in traditional medicine. Its root contains more than 140 active ingredients, the two most potent of which are rosavin and salidroside, thought to be responsible for the antidepressant and anxiety-reducing actions of the plant. As an adaptogen, it can affect stress levels as well as your ability to control and manage stress. The herb has been shown to have beneficial qualities in the relief of anxiety symptoms, encouraging calmness and relaxation.

Nicole Axworthy is a Toronto-based writer and author of the vegan cookbook DIY Vegan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.