If you live in this modern western world, it is likely you have experienced anxiety at some point or another. As a culture, us humans have been more and more about the go-go-go, and seem to honour the hustle more than the peace. Society sometimes looks at people who are working so hard that they are sleep deprived and not eating enough as warriors and heroes, rather than someone who might be pushing themselves too far. Along with this, I feel as though the increasing use of technology and social media can have something to do with the widespread anxiety people are starting to have. I know that, personally, I have been experiencing anxiety for most of my life–even in childhood!
I know it can be hard, but we don’t have to live with anxiety. If we take care of our mind, our bodies, and our spirit, we can follow our dreams and do amazing things, while still nurturing ourselves! I’d like to do more posts about anxiety in the future, because as it is something I have experienced for myself, I know how tough it can be and I really want to be there for you as much as I can. But today, I’ll be talking about some herbs you can have that will help your anxiety. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’ve become very interested in herbalism and natural health. So I am pretty new with all of this still, but I did want to share my learning process and journey with you. Please let me know if you try any of these herbs and if they help at all! And just a little note: make sure you do your own research on each herb to make sure it’s safe for you to try 🙂
Many of you have likely heard of lavender and how it is a common herb/flower used for stress relief. Maybe you have use lotions with the scent, diffused lavender essential oil, or even sprayed it onto your pillow! I know from personal experience that lavender is really such a lovely scent and helps me relax. Many studies show just how much lavender can help us with anxiety, and I am soo grateful for it. My favourite way to use it is as essential oils to put on my pulse points, or as a tea.
Ashwagandha has been a popularly used herb in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Traditionally is has been used to treat anxiety, low energy, and even just as a general wellness herb for everyone. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which is a substance used to help the body balance itself out. I take ashwagandha in a capsule, but you can also put the powder in smoothies if you’d like!
To me, chamomile is like a hug in a mug. It has a very gentle, soft, floral-like flavour, and is really good for kids as well as adults. It’s naturally low in caffeine and can help you get to sleep, or even just relax. When I was little, I remember having chamomile tea with honey before bed, and it’s still a nice tradition I like to do every so often. It is such a gentle herb that you can really do so much with it, but my favourite ways to use it is in tea or as a tincture.
Lemon balm is a very gentle herb with many uses. It is used for digestion, sleep aid, autoimmune disease, aromatherapy, as well as for anxiety. It is really just an all round nurturing herb that you can enjoy. You can cook with it, use essential oils from it, or–my favourite– make a tea with it. It tastes gentle, like a nice green tea.
Passion flower has been used historically for treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, seizures, and general well being. Not only is it a beautiful flower, but it has many healing uses. I think it is most often used in teas, however, you can make tinctures and tonics with it as well!
St. Johns wort
Many studies have found St. Johns Wort helpful for both anxiety and depression. Apparently it is even used in some antidepressants. You can use it from tinctures, capsules, teas, oils, and more!
Valerian is a flower native to Europe and parts of Asia. The medicine, made from the root, is often used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Valerian has been used for centuries, dating back to even ancient Greece and Rome to help anixety and insomnia. You can make tinctures, teas, oils, and so much more with it!
Plants are really so magical, and when respected, can be used for such healing properties. I hope maybe this inspired you to look more into herbalism and what plants can help you, or at least gave you some ideas for teas that can help with your anxiety. When paired with a healthy lifestyle and mindfulness, plants can do sooo much to nurture you.