We can’t always control the things that cause stress in our lives, but we can change how we respond to them. Stress and anxiety are all too common these days as we face mounting responsibilities, environmental stressors, and depleted nutrients from food supplies. There are many powerful herbs that can help reduce stress and anxiety, without causing as many (if any) side effects as compared to pharmaceuticals. Herbal stress and anxiety supplements, based on ancient medicinal knowledge, can be invaluable in offering support. Additionally, proper supplementation with a quality water soluble magnesium citrate, omega 3’s, vitamin D, b-complex, and zinc are essential. Plenty of clean drinking water, meditation, acupuncture, spending time in nature, and yoga can also be beneficial in maintaining overall wellness.
Below are 7 of our favorites herbs for anxiety and stress with explanations of their health benefits;
Astragalus is widely used for a variety of ailments and functions. It is typically valued for supporting healthy immune function but being an adaptogen it also helps protect the body from physical, mental, or emotional stress. It increases the amount of anti-stress compounds our bodies use to repair and prevent stress-related damage. Astragalus is available in the form of dried whole root, dried sliced root, root powder, which can be encapsulated, and tincture.
Ashwaganda is a highly revered medicinal herb used in Ayurveda for millennia and praised as a longevity and vitality tonic. Its herbal actions benefits you by replacing your body’s vital reserves, helping your body adapt to stress, and strengthening your body’s systems, such as the nervous system and the adrenals. Many of the ashwagandha benefits are thought to come from the extract’s ability to lower the stress hormone, cortisol. When you’re under chronic stress and your cortisol levels creep up, your body’s other hormones and neurotransmitters become unbalanced, leading to symptoms like anxiety, depression, and poor sleep.
Jatamansi as a plant has a great history of medicinal use. It has been valued for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine because it has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety. It works by balancing the secretion of neurotransmitters in the nervous system and controlling the biochemical reactions occurring in the body. It keeps the mind calm and relaxed thus improving mental health. Because it is an effective rejuvenator for the mind, it prevents the wavering of thoughts and brings in a sense of serenity. This action is helpful for the prevention of depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorders. It also comfortable and restful sleep to those who have a stressful routine.
Valerian has been used for 1000 years as a sedative and calming agent. Its modern day uses include; treatment for anxiety, promoting sleep, controlling panic attacks, relieving headaches, menstrual cramps, digestive cramping and relax the body. By reducing anxiety and improving the length and quality of sleep, Valerian root can significantly help with daily stress management. Chronic stress can make you feel anxious, but anxiety can also make you feel more stressed out.
By improving GABA levels, Valerian makes it easier for both the mind and body to relax. Since relaxation is the antithesis of stress, Valerian root is an excellent natural way to help keep your stress down and your quality of life up.
Skullcap is a very popular herb that helps to balance the hormones in your body, as it stimulates the release of endorphins, and generally balances your mood. It works well in acute situations and can be taken over time to decrease chronic stress, along with lifestyle modifications. It can also be taken over time as a nerve tonic to support nervous system health in people who have been through prolonged periods of stress and feel like their nerves are constantly on edge. It is especially helpful for relieving neck and shoulder tension brought on by mental or emotional stress. Some people find that skullcap can also help reduce mild stress induced insomnia.
Passion flower is a first-rate sedative, a nerve calming agent and a sleep aid. Its properties are well know to help you relax, unwind and enjoy a decent night’s sleep. It is classified as a nervine relaxant herb that is beneficial for anxiety, insomnia, tension headaches and irritability.
Holy basil has a natural ability to relieve anxiety and stress, it’s most enjoyed benefit is that it has a calming, tranquil, stress-reducing effect. Holy basil is able to enhance the body’s natural response to any type of stress because it is an adaptogen, which helps decrease the stress hormone levels that are pumped through our bodies.