How to Control Anxiety With Herbs


When you suffer from anxiety, you may have uncomfortable feelings that often include tension and excessive worry. The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) says generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes symptoms severe enough to disrupt your normal day to day functioning. Anxiety can cause a racing heart rate, fatigue, headaches, irritability and insomnia. Several herbs may help control anxiety.

Lemon Balm and Lavender

Step 1

Place several drops of lemon balm oil into your bath water to help calm anxiety. Lemon balm has been used for hundreds of years to diminish nervousness and unease.

Step 2

Take 300 to 500mg of dried lemon balm in capsule form three times per day to relieve tension and diminish stress. Lemon balm may also help induce sleep.

Step 3

Breathe in, slowly, the soothing scent of lavender oil. Lavender is commonly used to help relieve anxiety and its accompanying feelings of restlessness.

Valerian, Kava and Passion Flower

Step 1

Take valerian capsules to relieve anxiety and insomnia. Dosages range from 300 to 1,800mg. The National Institutes of Health says valerian extracts gained widespread popularity as a sedative long before prescription sedatives were available.

Step 2

Calm your nerves with Kava. It may help you feel less anxious without becoming sedated. The University of Maryland Medical Center says standardized dosages range from 150 to 300mg, one to three times per day as needed for anxiety or nervousness.

Step 3

Take passion flower to relieve sleep disorders and nervous exhaustion. Take one 200mg capsule daily or as needed to relieve symptoms.

Tips and Warnings

  • Talk to your doctor before you take herbs to relieve anxiety. If your symptoms of anxiety persist, you may need to discuss medications or therapy options with your doctor.
  • Lavender oil may irritate the skin and can be poisonous if taken by mouth.
    Kava has been associated with liver problems in some people.
    Possible side effects of valerian include irregular heartbeat, headache and restlessness.
    Passion flower may cause dizziness sedation and impaired cognitive function.

About this Author

Karen Jean Gaskell is a broadcast journalist with 25 years’ experience. Gaskell has written hundreds of articles relating to health, fitness and personal growth. Her work has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine” and “Essential Wellness.” Gaskell studied journalism and broadcasting at both the University of Wisconsin and Brown College.