Herbs have played a significant role in both traditional and modern forms of medicine since 5000 years ago. They have been used by healers and physicians of various civilizations and cultures to calm the nervous system and protect the body from stress and anxiety.
Living with constant distress and tension can be detrimental to your quality of life. Therefore, the need for effective herbal supplements to ease anxiety symptoms is greater than ever. Along with alleviating anxiety, such herbs can offer many other positive benefits. Here is a list of five herbs that help in calming the mind and body.
1. Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids derived from Cannabis Sativa. It gets isolated and extracted from the mother plant. Although cannabis is illegal, CBD is completely legal in many countries due to its non-psychoactive status. There are different forms of CBD products available at online weed stores.
CBD activates receptors that play a major role in keeping your mind calm (1). It acts on GABA neurotransmission, the chemical messenger activity that calms the nervous system. CBD inhibits an enzyme that breaks down GABA, leaving us more calm and relaxed. It also affects serotonin neurotransmission, which impacts our feelings of stress and happiness at la-dieta-chetogenica.it.
2. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has been used as a nervine for centuries. It has a long history of soothing not just the mind and the body but also digestion. It can be an effective sedative that helps in alleviating anxiety and aiding sleep.
A research experiment (2) found that 600 mg of lemon balm can improve adverse mood effects due to stress. If you’re looking for a great herb to calm your mind and body, lemon balm may be a good choice! It not only helps to relieve anxiety but can also improve mood and reduce stress.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is another useful herb that helps calm the mind and ease body tension. It is also beneficial for those who experience anger and inflammation when under stress.
A 2009 study (3) concluded that chamomile could have a relaxing and calming effect on patients with anxiety issues. It is also known to ease digestion issues and encourage sleep, helping many people with insomnia. Nowadays, it is used extensively in aromatherapy and cosmetics, but it is also popular as a herbal tea. More than one million cups are consumed per day!
4. Kava Kava
Kava Kava (Piper Methysticum) is best known as ‘the root of happiness’. It addresses nervous issues, social anxiety, acute stress responses, and even insomnia. The key benefits of this herb are muscle relaxation and improved cognitive ability. Today, it is mostly consumed in pill form.
Kava Kava can help you alleviate social anxiety or stage fright by letting down social barriers. It soothes the mind and promotes relaxation by binding with the GABA receptors in the body. It works like the neurotransmitter GABA to alleviate anxiety (4) almost immediately. It is also a natural alternative to prescription sleep medications.
Widely used in aromatherapy, the lavender plant’s fragrance can help promote wellness and calmness. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, and even mild pain. Lavender is available in pill form and alone as an essential oil.
Further, lavender is recommended for people who have insomnia or other sleep disorders. A study (5) revealed that lavender essential oil could increase sleep quality and reduce anxiety in coronary artery disease patients. Today, aromatherapists use lavender to treat headaches and restlessness or nervousness.
Herbs have several healing properties for the mind and body; however, one should always consult a healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplement. As with all-natural products, choose herb sources that are high-quality, organic, and sustainable.
- Esther M. Blessing, Maria M. Steenkamp, et al. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders, 2015 Sep 4. doi: 10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
- David O Kennedy, Wendy Little, et al. Attenuation of laboratory-induced stress in humans after acute administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm), Jul-Aug 2004;66(4):607-13. doi: 10.1097/01.psy.0000132877.72833.71
- Jay D. Amsterdam, MD, Yimei Li, MS,et al. A RANDOMIZED, DOUBLE-BLIND, PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TRIAL OF ORAL MATRICARIA RECUTITA(CHAMOMILE) EXTRACT THERAPY OF GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER, 2009 Aug; 29(4): 378–382. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e3181ac935c
- Karen M. Savage, Con K. Stough, et al. Kava for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (K-GAD): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial, 2015 Nov 2. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-0986-5
- Ezgi Karadag PhD, RN Sevgin Samancioglu PhD, RN, et al. Effects of aromatherapy on sleep quality and anxiety of patients, 27 July 2015. https://doi.org/10.1111/nicc.12198