Natural Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
Tantrums. Meltdowns. Agitation. Crying. Behaviors that on the surface may make it seem as if your child just isn't listening to you could actually be symptoms of anxiety. A child suffering from anxiety may be prescribed harsh medication at the first sign, however these drugs often come with a variety of harmful side effects like drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, dry mouth, and nausea.1 At Brillia we recommend more gentle options, such as our non-prescription homeopathic medication, and using a holistic approach to see if you can get the relief and support you are seeking. This may also include adding an assortment of herbs in your food and beverages or through aromatherapy. Below are some top choices for herbs that can help reduce anxiety in children.
Best Herbal Remedies For Ages 5-7
While herbs are generally safe for all ages, the research shows that these remedies are most beneficial for younger children up to seven years old.
One of the safest and gentlest essential oils, lavender is familiar to most of us as one of the most common herbs used in the bath and body world for relaxation. Lavender reduces anxiety in children by calming the nervous system. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, lavender is one of four aromatherapy oils that have been determined to be both safe and effective for use with children over age five (in addition to peppermint, orange and ginger).2 If your child wants to meditate — which we believe is the second pillar of stronger focus — but has a difficult time with the relaxation required, lavender may improve their ability to find that flow state. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety in hospital patients.3
If chamomile worked wonders for Peter Rabbit, it will likely be just as beneficial for your young child. Historically, chamomile has been used to treat an array of ailments in children, ranging from fevers to croup. It can also alleviate anxiety and is useful for inducing sleep — what we consider the third pillar for stronger focus in children. According to Dr. Michelle Haff, a Naturopathic Doctor at Lilac Natural Medicine in Manchester, New Hampshire, Chamomile interacts with the GABA-system and decreases the stress hormone cortisol.4 It can ease an upset stomach or diarrhea triggered by nervousness, reduce stress headaches, and help children calm down for bedtime. Conveniently, the taste of chamomile tea is quite pleasant. You can even keep it in the fridge as an iced tea, if your child prefers cold beverages.
3. Lemon Balm
This herb packs quite a punch in terms of its varied benefits: lemon balm has been shown to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, improve mood, and increase cognitive performance.5 This ability to improve both attention disorder symptoms and anxiety in one herb makes lemon balm a powerful tool! It smells and tastes similar to lemon, making it easy to incorporate into lemony drinks or even desserts. Lemon balm has been deemed safe even for young children and is considered a “must have” for kids by naturopath doctor Maggie Luther.6
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Best Herbal remedies for Ages 10-12 & Teens
With hormonal changes and social pressures, adolescence can be a turbulent time for kids, ushering in new and more complex anxieties. Try these herbs when addressing anxiety in older children and teens.
4. St. John’s Wort
Long known for being a mood booster, St. John's wort has been shown to reduce both anxiety and attention disorder in children up to 12 years old when combined with passionflower and valerian root.7 It can also be used for depression in adolescents, which is often present when other mental health issues are at play.8 If your child is taking any prescription medications, be sure to ask your doctor about possible interactions with this herb.
Note: Brillia does not have interactions with this herb. Please check for interactions with other prescription medications your child may be taking.
Unlike St. John's wort, which does not work well alone against attention disorder in children, passionflower does hold up in studies on reducing attention disorder symptoms in kids up to 13 years old.9 While you can increase your child's focus with Brillia — pillar five to stronger focus — having additional modalities can only benefit you more! Passionflower does not have the stimulant properties of attention disorder medications, and because it also helps with anxiety, you don't need to worry about it keeping your child up at night. Like lavender, passionflower has also been reported to ease anxiety in hospital patients about to undergo surgery.10
Valerian root is taken most frequently for sleep and has proved effective at improving sleep in children as well as adults.11 Adequate sleep is important for attention span and a good mindset. Because valerian root has a somewhat sedating effect, if your child is anxious it can calm him or her down and make them more able to relax. Valerian is not recommended for very young children.12
Combining herbal remedies with non-prescription homeopathic medications like Brillia offers a multi-pronged, holistic approach to reducing anxiety in children. With a unique targeted ingredient composed of antibodies to the brain-specific S100B protein, which is an important regulator of various different intracellular and extracellular brain processes, Brillia eases feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and irritability while improving attention and focus. Because there are no harsh chemicals used in the formulation, Brillia does not cause any harmful side effects and has no contraindications with other medications or supplements.
Additional Non-Clinical Options
In addition to trying herbal supplements and Brillia, implementing healthy lifestyle choices as outlined in Brillia’s 5-Pillar approach can benefit your child even more. Healthy nutrition, adequate sleep, controlled screen time, and mindfulness techniques can all make a dramatic difference in easing your child’s anxiety and setting them up with emotional regulation tools they can use throughout their lives. Learn more about Brillia’s 5-Pillars and find more resources on supporting your children at home if they struggle with stress and anxiety.
When beginning any new regime with your child, start slowly: this is a journey, not a race, so there is no need to try multiple new herbs at once. You'll be best able to track your child's reaction to each by introducing one herb at a time, and administering it for several days before trying a different one. Combined with a holistic approach like Brillia, your child's anxiety may become more manageable sooner than you'd think.
- Through aromatherapy, implementing herbs in food and beverages can reduce anxiety in your child
- Herbal remedies have little to no side effects
- Being all natural, risks of dependance are lower
- Lavender calms the nervous system, being incredibly anxiety-reducing
- St. John's Wort is a mood booster, decreasing symptoms of anxiety, attention deficiency, and depression in children
- Chamomile has been used for ailments. As well, it is great for anxiety and help induce sleep
- Passionflower alone helps with attention disorders in children while also reducing anxiety
- Valerian root improves sleep for both adults and children
- Lemon balm relieve stress, reduce anxiety, improve mood, and increase cognitive performance
- Combining the herbs with Brillia can provide an immense amount of help with your child's anxiety
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