12 Herbs for Managing Anxiety Naturally

How to use herbal remedies to relieve anxiety

Herbal tinctures, tablets and tea can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.

In this article I’ve compiled a list of 12 of the best herbs for managing anxiety naturally.

Important Note: These herbs can be helpful for relieving anxiety symptoms but they’re not a cure for anxiety. Please talk to your doctor about treatment options for anxiety.

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Best herbs for anxiety

I’ve suffered from anxiety since childhood but I only discovered the benefits of herbs for anxiety in my first year of studying Western Herbal Medicine.

One of the first herbal supplements I tried was Valerian and it was amazing for helping me to get a good night’s sleep.

I still use Valerian now and then when I’m having trouble sleeping.

Ashwagandha and Rhodiola have also been really helpful for supporting my adrenals and dealing with stress.

For some people herbs are enough to control their anxiety but for others prescription medication is necessary. If you’re suffering from acute anxiety, please see your doctor for treatment and management.

12 Best Herbs for Anxiety

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha is a calming herb that has anti-inflammatory and mild sedative actions.

It’s helpful for anxiety, insomnia, excessive thinking and worrying. [1]

Ashwagandha increases the body’s tolerance to stress and helps with nervous exhaustion.

It also supports thyroid and adrenal health and helps with recovery from chronic illnesses.

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

Rhodiola is a popular adaptogenic herb that increases the body’s resistance to stress.

Rhodiola also enhances the transport of serotonin precursors into the brain and studies have shown that it can increase serotonin by up to 30%.

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Bacopa is used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

Bacopa has been shown to improve mental function, enhance memory and assist with learning.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

Valerian helps to sedate and calm the central nervous system.

Valerian is used mostly for insomnia, but its sedative qualities are also effective for soothing tired muscles and reducing mental and physical tension.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile is a natural sedative that is best for mild anxiety. [2]

It helps to calm nervousness, both in the mind and in the stomach.

Chamomile is helpful for reducing digestive discomfort and improving appetite when suffering from stress.

Kava (Piper methysticum)

Kava is a powerful Fijian remedy for reducing anxiety.

It has a long tradition of use in Polynesia for its sedative and pain-relieving properties. 

Over-consumption of kava may damage the liver, so it should not be used by anyone with liver problems.

Kava is also not recommended to be used alongside alcohol or acetaminophen (paracetamol).

Magnolia (Magnolia officinialis)

Magnolia is an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for anxiety, stress and memory problems.

Magnolia helps to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with weight gain, particularly in the abdominal region.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Passionflower is helpful for insomnia, headaches and nervous irritability.  

It is especially helpful in cases where anxiety leads to diarrhea.

Passionflower also helps to reduce muscle tension and mood swings.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary is a common kitchen herb that has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.

It can also improve memory, mental performance and concentration.

Rosemary is also available in capsules.

Saffron (Crocus sativus)

Saffron is a brightly colored spice that helps to reduce anxiety, depression and insomnia. [3]

Saffron also helps to relax the muscles of the digestive tract to reduce spasms and assist with digestion.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

Skullcap is a helpful herb for anxiety, muscle tension, restlessness and jaw clenching.

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

St. John’s Wort is most commonly used for depression but it’s also effective for relieving anxiety.

It works by optimising serotonin levels, but it usually needs to be taken for a few weeks before its effects are felt.

St. John’s Wort is not to be used with anti-depressants, blood thinners or birth control pills.

Here are two recommended supplements for managing anxiety naturally:

Nooflux Zen helps to support mood, stress relief and adrenal health.

It contains Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, L Theanine, Kava Kava Extract, Saffron Extract and Black Pepper Extract.

Now Foods True Calm helps with neurotransmitter production, reduces anxiety symptoms and encourages a calm response to stress.

It contains Niacin, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, GABA, Glycine, Taurine, Inositol and Valerian.

It’s a good idea to discuss any nutritional supplements or herbal remedies for anxiety with your healthcare provider because some supplements and herbs can interact with prescription medications.

I hope these herbs will help you to reduce the symptoms of anxiety naturally.


Have you tried any herbal remedies for anxiety? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Natural Treatments for Anxiety and Anxiety & Stress Relief that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

Best herbs to relieve anxiety

Herbs for anxiety and stress

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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a qualified Nutritionist and Herbal Medicine Practitioner. I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. I created this blog to share my knowledge and inspire women who are looking for natural health solutions. Read more

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