If you’re one of the 40 million adults in the U.S. dealing with anxiety, you may already know that certain substances like caffeine and sugar can exacerbate anxiety symptoms.1,2 In addition to modifying your lifestyle to cut out things that make you feel worse, adding herbs to your daily regimen can also make a difference in managing your anxiety. From lavender to valerian, explore the eight best herbal remedies for adults with anxiety. These herbs can be great supplements to support Brillia’s holistic approach, which combines healthy lifestyle practices with non-prescription, homeopathic medication to help you feel like yourself again.
What Is a Herbal Remedy?
Herbal remedies consist of natural plants or plant extracts that are used medicinally. It is estimated that 80 percent of people worldwide rely on herbal remedies for some part of primary healthcare.3 People use them to cure or prevent certain ailments, to increase energy, relax, lose weight, and more. While Brillia for Adults has allowed many individuals to avoid or stop using prescribed anxiety medication teeming with harsh chemicals, some people like to supplement their regimen with herbs for extra support.
Best Herbs for Stress and Anxiety
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Americans are taking 34 percent more anxiety medications.4 These prescription drugs typically consist of benzodiazepines like Xanax or Klonopin, which can be effective at relieving anxiety but come with a lengthy list of potential side effects like drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, dry mouth, and nausea.5 Seeking a gentler alternative to such drugs, around 21 percent of people with anxiety disorders choose to address their symptoms with herbal remedies.6
Herbs and other supplements can help support a holistic approach to reducing these symptoms. If you’re considering taking herbs to reduce stress and anxiety, try one of these eight herbs and find out what experts have to say about their efficacy.
In Native American folk medicine, passion flower has been used to ease a variety of conditions, including boils, wounds, earaches, and liver problems. But research shows that passionflower may also be useful in reducing anxiety because it boosts the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, helping users to relax and sleep better.7 In one study of 36 out-patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), passionflower was just as effective at reducing anxiety as the benzodiazepine oxazepam with a lower incidence of job performance impairment.8
Often used in aromatherapy, lavender has a long history of medicinal use as an anxiolytic, mood stabilizer, sedative, analgesic, and neuroprotectant as verified in numerous studies.9 Lavender was found to be superior to placebo in a study of 221 patients suffering from anxiety disorder, not only in reducing anxiety, but also in improving associated symptoms such as restlessness, disturbed sleep, and somatic complaints while improving general well-being and quality of life.10
Chamomile isn’t just effective at easing a sore throat due to its anti-inflammatory properties; it can also ease anxiety by binding to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain and reducing GABA-activated activity in cultured nerve cells.11 In one five-year study of chamomile treatment for individuals with GAD, researchers found that long-term chamomile was safe and significantly reduced moderate-to-severe GAD symptoms.12
No harmful side effects.
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This lemon-scented herb that comes from the same family as mint has been used to improve mood and cognitive function for over 2,000 years.13 When it comes to stress and anxiety, researchers have found that lemon balm effectively reduces anxiety and also helps users sleep better.14 One 2020 study showed that when participants combined lemon balm with lavender, the medicinal effects were similar to that of fluoxetine, the drug sold under the brand name Prozac.15
With a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it has a unique ability to regulate a person’s stress response by interacting with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and hormones. In a 2019 study, researchers found that users who took ashwagandha experienced reduced cortisol levels and better sleep when compared to placebo.16 Other studies have shown that ashwagandha’s effects are similar to that of lorazepam (Ativan).17
Traditionally used in the South Pacific to mark important social events or to welcome guests, kava kava is also said to have relaxing and even sedative effects, which can be useful in reducing anxiety. In one Australian study, anxiety was “significantly reduced” in users taking kava kava. Post-study, 26 percent of participants were classified as in remission from symptoms, compared to just six percent from the placebo group.18
Often used as an energy booster, ginkgo biloba may also help ease anxiety according to some studies. In one study, extracts from the ginkgo biloba were said to improve cognitive abilities in patients with Alzheimer’s while reducing anxiety due to the plant’s antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.19 Another study showed that when ginkgo biloba was combined with psychotherapy, users experienced “a significant reduction in mental, physical, activity fatigue and anxiety.”20
Typically used to induce sleep, valerian has also been shown to improve anxiety symptoms. Studies show that valerian reduced anxiety in patients undergoing dental procedures, women dealing with premenstrual anxiety, and HIV positive patients taking antiretroviral medication that typically causes anxiety.21
As part of Brillia’s holistic approach in recommending healthier lifestyle choices, such as proper nutrition, adequate sleep, limited screen time, and mindfulness practices, you can add these herbs to your regimen to help reduce your symptoms. And if you need more support, you can try Brillia for Adults. Brillia is supported by clinical data as a gentle and impactful medication designed to reduce irritability and restlessness while improving focus. Using targeted antibodies to the SB100 protein, which is increased in those with mood disorders, Brillia supports a more stable mood and has no harmful side effects or contraindications with other medications or herbal supplements. Brillia will not make you drowsy, affect your appetite, or change your personality.22
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.