Are you overloaded with stress, and does worry keep you up late at night? Are bills piling up or challenges sprouting up in your job, family, and home? If so, you may have suffered from anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety can include fatigue, heart palpitations, shaky, a sensation of a knot in the stomach, cold/clammy hands and many others. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. and it affects approximately 40 million adults. Generalized anxiety disorder, on its own, affects 6.8 million adults, with women twice as likely to be affected as men.
What Can Be Done to ease anxiety?
Herbal remedies have been used for hundreds of years by various indigenous communities globally for overall health and wellbeing. Here are five herbs that I recommend to combat stress and anxiety naturally:
Studies have shown that passionflower helped ease symptoms like anxiety, irritability, agitation, and depression in participants going through withdrawal from an opiate drug addiction.
A 2010 multi-center, double-blind, randomized study of lavender oil compared to the anti-anxiety medication lorazepam found that both were effective against generalized and persistent anxiety. Bonus — lavender had no sedative side effects.
Research published in 2004, for instance, gave participants a single dose of lemon balm extract (300 mg or 600 mg) or a placebo, then measured their mood after one hour. The higher dose resulted in reduced stress and improved calmness and alertness. Even the lower dose helped participants do math problems more quickly.
A 2012 double-blind, placebo-controlled study gave participants either a placebo or a capsule containing 300 mg of high-concentration, full-spectrum ashwagandha extract, twice a day. The study lasted for 60 days. Those taking the ashwagandha showed significant improvements. Even the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were substantially reduced in those taking the extract. And there were no serious side effects.
This one isn’t really a herb — it’s a water-soluble amino acid, but it’s gotten such good research behind it that we had to include it here. It’s found mainly in green tea and black tea and is also available as a supplement. Studies have found that it acts directly on the brain, helping to reduce stress and anxiety—without causing drowsiness