Assuaging Anxiety with Herbal Remedies

Hundreds of herbal remedies have been studied as treatments for anxiety, but some rise above the rest as more useful or popular than others. Here are a few popular herbal anxiety treatments and what you need to know before trying them out.

Kava

While kava appeared to be a fairly promising treatment for anxiety, reports of serious liver damage cause the FDA to issue warnings about the use of dietary supplements containing the substance. While the initial reports have been questioned, use caution and involve your doctor if you are considering kava products.

Passion Flower

Several small clinical trials suggest that passion flower may help with anxiety. In many commercial products, passion flower is combined with other herbs, making it difficult to distinguish the unique qualities of each herb. The flower itself is generally considered safe—mild side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.

Valerian

In some studies, those who used valerian reported less anxiety and stress. In other studies, people reported no benefit. The substance is generally considered to be safe, so give it a go if you’re curious.

Chamomile

Limited data show that short-term chamomile use is generally considered to be safe and effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety. However, use this substance with caution if you are on blood-thinning drugs.

Lavender

Some evidence suggests that oral lavender or lavender aromatherapy can reduce anxiety, but this evidence is preliminary and limited.