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 Anxiety  Holistic-online.com

Herbal Medicine

In combination with stress-reducing techniques, herbal remedies offer calming relief of anxiety.

Kava kava (Piper methysticum)

Kava kava is used for treating anxiety, promoting sleep

Recommended dosage:

The standardized extract potency of its active ingredient, kavalactone, should be 30 percent (15 mg per capsule). For daytime relief of anxiety, take 250 mg (one capsule or one-half dropperful), three times daily with meals.

You can take four to six capsules for sleep (up to 1,500 mg). Do not take it continuously for a prolonged period of time (over four months).


The extract of valerian has been the treatment of choice for anxiety and insomnia throughout the world. It is a sedative and painkiller. Helpful in treating insomnia. Valerian root taken at bedtime aids in preventing panic attacks at night.

Valerian is quite safe to take for short periods of time. However, its long-term effects are not known.

Recommended dosage:

For daytime anxiety, take 150 mg (standardized extract of 0.8 percent valeric acid) three times daily.

For difficulty with sleep, start with 150 mg, 45 minutes before bed. If that dose is insufficient, gradually increase to 600 mg.

If you are using the herb, use one teaspoon of powdered valerian root in one pint of boiling water for ten minutes in a covered pot. Strain and add honey to taste. Drink one cup per day before bed.

For severe anxiety, add 1 drop of valerian oil to bath water. 
Intervals of two-to-four week breaks are recommended, to avoid habituation.

Other Herbs For Anxiety Disorders

Ashwaganda: Ashwaganda is the primary strengthening tonic in Ayurvedic medicine. Take one capsule or teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.

Borage juice exerts a specific, stimulating effect on the glandular system. It also acts as a general tonic and purifies the blood. Take 1 tbsp. with water daily for two weeks.

Bugleweed: Soothes your nerves. Make an infusion using one teaspoon of herb and one cup boiling water. You can also add lime or linden flowers to the infusion.

California poppy: Strong herbal tranquilizer. Take teaspoon of tincture or two capsules 3-4 times a day or as directed in the product label.

Catnip: Soothes upset stomach. A nervine. Make an infusion using one ounce of herbs and one pint of boiling water. Cool before drinking.

Chamomile: A gentle nervine. Also helps settle an upset stomach. Boil one ounce of blossoms in one pint of water for fifteen minutes; strain and add honey to taste.

Fennel: Fennel relieves anxiety-related gastrointestinal upsets, reduces flatulence, and abdominal tension, and relaxes the large intestine. For best results take it as a tea before or after meals. It has no known side effects. It is a popular tea in Oriental countries such as India.

Feverfew: Calms your nerves. Relieves migraines. Feverfew can help with anxiety-induced headaches. Infuse one ounce of herb in one pint of boiling water. Cool before drinking.

Ginkgo biloba - improves circulation to the brain. It elevates the mood for those depressed.

Ginseng: Taken in combination with royal jelly, ginseng is a great energy booster and lifts the spirits. Take 1 tsp. of royal jelly in a cup of ginseng tea twice daily.

Hops: Relieves insomnia and encourages sleep. To make a tea boil one teaspoon of herb in one cup of water in a covered pot for ten minutes. Strain and flavor with honey and lemon to taste.

Hops is very popular in making sleep pillow. To make a sleep pillow, stuff a small pouch or pillow with hop flowers. Sprinkle a little alcohol on the herb to release the essential oils.

Lemon balm is a mild relaxant.

Meadowsweet: Relieves headaches related to anxiety and stress. Drink meadowsweet tea or extract.

Mullein: Soothes anxiety. Drink two cups of mullein tea each day. Add an aromatic such as clover or cinnamon to overcome the pungent odor.

Motherwort is useful in cases when anxiety is associated with palpitations. If the anxiety is connected to high blood pressure, use cramp bark and linden blossoms.

Oats: Oats strengthens and relaxes the nervous system. Look for preparations that contain the oat seed along with the straw. Take teaspoon of tincture, three times daily. 

Passion Flower: A gentle sedative that soothes nervous tension and alleviates insomnia. Use half to one teaspoon of herb in one cup of boiling water. Drink the infusion every three to four hours.

Peppermint: Excellent for an upset stomach or frazzled nerves. Use equal parts of peppermint, caraway seed, and wood betony to total one teaspoon. Infuse in one cup of boiling water for fifteen minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste.

St. John's Wort, a popular herb for low depression is also good for controlling stress.

Skullcap: Skullcap is valuable in combating anxiety, stress and tension. It is one of the best nerviness. Skullcap can be taken at bedtime to promote sleep. It aids in preventing panic attacks at night. Boil one teaspoon of the herb in one cup of water for ten minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste. Drink two cups each day in half-cup doses.

To treat tension headaches, combine one part each of skullcap, sage, and peppermint; boil one teaspoon of the mixture in one cup of water for ten minutes. Drink one warm cup as often as needed.

Verbena: Sedative. Infuse one teaspoon of the herb in one cup of boiling water for fifteen minutes.

Willow bark soothes stomach distress.

Herbal Combinations

A body under stress is more vulnerable to free radical damage. Bilberry, ginkgo biloba, and milk thistle are rich in flavonoids that neutralize free radicals. Milk thistle also protects the liver.

Catnip, chamomile, cramp bark, kava kava, hops, linden flower, motherwort, passionflower, and skullcap promote relaxation and aid in preventing panic attacks.

Soothing Tea

Blend lavender, oats, linden flower, catnip, and lemon balm (equal quantities). Use four teaspoons of this mixture per quart of boiling water. Pour the water over the herbs and steep for about ten minutes. Strain and drink while the tea is still warm. Drink a cup after each meal, up to six cups a day if necessary.

Nervine Tonic

Here is an excellent nervine that will relax your mind and encourage mental harmony.

4 parts rosemary leaves 
2 parts sage 
1 part goldenseal powdered root 
3 parts skullcap powdered herb 
2 parts valerian powdered root

Each part equals one-twelfth of a teaspoon. Make an infusion using one teaspoon of the herbal mixture with one cup of boiling water.

Take a relaxing bath of a combination of herbs like lavender, thyme, lemon balm and camomile followed by a peppermint and lemon balm tea before going to bed for a restful, healthy sleep. 


bulletDo not use chamomile on an ongoing basis, as ragweed allergy may result. Avoid it completely if you are allergic to ragweed. 
bullet Kava kava can cause drowsiness. If this occurs, discontinue use or reduce the dosage.
bulletA few people may develop mouth sores and experience nausea after taking feverfew. If that happens, stop taking it. Do not take feverfew during pregnancy.
bulletConsuming more valerian than recommended can cause headaches, nervousness, and vertigo.
bulletAvoid ephedra (ma huang), as it can aggravate anxiety. 

See Also: 

Herbs for Managing Stress

Herbal Medicine Infocenter in Holisticonline.com

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