Using Herbs for Stress & Anxiety

Hello Beautiful Souls,


It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog. So welcome back, and if you’re new here, welcome in. We are visiting with our herbal friends today and will be talking about some old tried and true familiar favorites, as well as some friends you may not have met yet. So brew up your favorite tea and settle in for some herbal talk.

Some herbs are the types of plants that have been used to aid in healing people for centuries, using it in its base form for natural wellness. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the tiny lady’s slipper to the towering poplar tree. One thing the herbs we are talking about today have in common is, they all have some ability to reduce stress and anxiety and or help with sleeping issues. They can provide relief from both physical and mental ailments and even be beneficial on a more spiritual level. ** People have often used herbal remedies as an alternative or complementary therapy to Western medicine, in some cases when they can’t afford medicine or want a more natural way of healing themselves. Sometimes they can work better than traditional medicines because they are in a more natural form and in many cases may contain fewer side-effects. **

What is there not to love about herbs? They are full of flavor, aromatic, and have a long history in medicinal uses. Our ancestors knew well that herbs could be used for both cooking and medicine, and we should take that wisdom and carry it on, especially because many scientific studies have proven some of the herbs’ effectiveness. With so much potential through, and the current state of the world, it’s no wonder that herbal remedies are coming back into popularity!

In this blog post we will explore some of the well known herbs, like lavender and chamomile, but we will also talk about some you may or may not be as familiar with, like Lady’s slipper and Motherwort. We’ll talk about some of their amazing benefits so you know what they do, and include a couple of tea recipes at the end. So, if you’re looking for some herbal ideas that are sure to bring serenity back into your life, then read on below!

So where does anxiety come from? Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness and unease about the future. It can be debilitating and make day to day life difficult. There is a quote I like that sums up 3 stages of emotions, “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” -Lao Tzu

People have been using herbs for centuries. They use them to heal, for use in many beauty products and to complement their healthy routines in general, such as vitamins or tea. Despite the many benefits of herbs, they are not as popular as pharmaceutical drugs with Western doctors today. However, there is a shift happening once again where more people want natural remedies rather than chemical ones because they know that science cannot account for all healing.

What are herbs?

Herbalists have been using herbs to calm anxiety for centuries with some of the most popular around the world being Lavender, Chamomile, and Valerian Root. There are many different ways these herbs and the others we’ll be going over can be used, but this post will focus on how they can help you calm your thoughts before bedtime to help you sleep better and ease your anxiousness.

Nervine herbs are a group of herbs which primarily affect the central nervous system. 

Nutritive herbs provide the body with a rich supply of vitamins and minerals.

Adaptogens help the body resist stressors of all kinds, whether physical, chemical or biological.


The 2 most common varieties are Roman chamomile or German chamomile. It was originally cultivated in Egypt but now grows all over Europe, Australia, Asia and North America. A member of the Asteraceae family, these aromatic herbaceous plants have white daisy-like flowers and scent reminiscent of apples or pineapple. Chamomile has been utilized extensively in Europe as a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases. Native Americans have used this and related species since their introduction to the Americas, often utilizing the entire plant. Spiritually chamomile has magical implications for use in love, healing and has been used for attracting money. 


Preparations: Teas, baths, compresses, essential oil and steam inhalation. It is also commonly used in skin care products.


Uses for stress and anxiety: 

  • Chamomile is a medicinal herb that can help to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. 
  • A few small studies have supported the use of German chamomile for anxiety and insomnia. 
  • This is a nervine herb.


Contraindications: Chamomile contains coumarin, a naturally-occurring compound with anticoagulant or blood-thinning effects. It should not be combined with Coumadin (warfarin) or other medications or supplements that have the same effect or be used by people with bleeding disorders without a doctor’s supervision. You’ll want to stay away from chamomile if you’re allergic to flowers in the daisy family.



Lavender is an aromatic perennial evergreen shrub. Its woody stems bear lavender or purple flowers from late spring to early autumn. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, but now cultivated in cool-winter, dry-summer areas in Europe and the Western United States. The use of Lavender goes back thousands of years, with the first recorded uses by the Egyptians during the mummification process. Both the Greeks and the Romans had many uses for it, the most popular being for bathing, cooking, and as an ingredient in perfume. Lavandula angustifolia is the classic lavender that most people are familiar with. It can also be found on the market as Common Lavender, French Lavender (when it comes from France). You may also see it labeled as Lavandula officinalis. It’s known for its sweet floral aroma. The genus Lavandula is in the mint family. Spiritually lavender flowers are commonly used for seeking love, healing, and inner calm.


Preparations: Teas, baths, essential oil and steam inhalation. It is also commonly used in skin care products. 


Uses for stress and anxiety:

  • Lavender tea, on its own or with other calming herbs, will help with achieving a sense of calm.
  • Lavender flowers can be used in neck pillows, herbal steams, and herbal baths. Lavender infused steam will help with relaxation and the respiratory system.
  • It is also a nervine herb.


Contraindications: No known contraindications, but lavender essential oil is not meant to be ingested. Still test a small patch of skin if you plan to use it topically. Use caution if you are allergic to flowers, as lavender can irritate allergies, it is a flower after all.



Valerian is a perennial plant, native to Europe and parts of Asia. It grows in meadows and woodlands within moist, temperate climates and has since been naturalized in North America. Valeriana officinalis is a member of the Caprifoliaceae family. It has pleasant, sweet smelling flowers and pungently aromatic roots. Despite the strong odor, valerian root has been used since the times of ancient Greece and in traditional European folk practices. Commonly infused as valerian tea, the roots can also be mixed into herbal tea blends or tinctured. The tea is famous for its sleep-inducing effects. Spiritually it’s been used for reconciliation, love, and harmony. It is said that having Valerian nearby will settle an argument between a couple.

Preparations: Teas, tinctures, or supplement pill form. 

Uses for stress and anxiety: 

  • It’s known for its sedative and antispasmodic effects worldwide.
  • It acts more as a nervous system depressant than as a muscle relaxant to cause its sedative effect.
  • This is also a nervine herb.

Contraindications: Although side effects are uncommon, valerian has been reported to cause headaches, stomach pain and dizziness in a few cases. Ironically, even insomnia has been reported, although this is rare. Use caution if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, consult with your healthcare provider. Valerian can interfere with some prescription medications.

Less-known Herbs for Stress and Anxiety

Everyone is aware of lavender, chamomile and valerian as being the common relaxing herbs but there are lots of people out there who are allergic to them. So we’re going to talk about some alternative herbs that you can use for easing anxiety and relieving stress. 

These next three herbs may be helpful for a variety of health issues. All three herbs can help with anxiety, depression, and stress but they have other qualities as well. Agrimony has been used to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis, and helps when you’re feeling down or depressed, while hawthorn is great for heart related problems like irregular heartbeat or chest pain due to angina. It can also increase blood flow to the brain and decrease blood pressure too! Motherwort is one of the most common remedies for menopause symptoms such as hot flashes or nervousness during this time in life when your hormones get thrown off balance, it’s also been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety, tension headaches, insomnia and restlessness.


Agrimonia eupatoria, also called church steeples, cocklebur, sticklewort. It is an herbaceous member of the rose family with a slender spike of yellow, sweetly scented flowers that turn into burr-like seed pods in the autumn. It’s a simple well known herb to all country folk, and abundant throughout England in the fields and woods, as a popular domestic medicinal herb. The Anglo-Saxons, who called it garclive, identified its healing properties and used it extensively for wounds, snake bites and warts. In later times it was used to treat gunshot wounds due to its coagulant effect. Also known as the “gunshot herb”, Agrimony has been used since medieval times to speed up wound healing and staunch bleeding. It is an excellent coagulant (a substance that causes blood or another liquid to coagulate), and as such was used to treat battlefield wounds. This effect makes Agrimony useful for reducing bleeding in the body, including heavy menstrual bleeding. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help to alleviate menstrual discomfort caused by heavy periods. Spiritually it is used for overcoming fear & inner blockages; dispelling negative emotions.

Preparations: Teas, tinctures, infusions, extracts, and topical applications. 

Uses for stress and anxiety:  

  • It is helpful for those who are inwardly troubled by fear and anxiety, and who may worry excessively about illness, finances, or problems with work or life, yet present a cheerful, carefree face. 
  • It reduces sympathetic dominance. Agrimony can help those who hold emotions in their tummies or who habitually hold their breath when dealing with extreme stress or pain. Holding your breath during pain causes the release of natural endorphins that help suppress the pain; however, the repetitive patterning of such behavior results in a cascade of negative physical effects, including the inability to oxygenate the body fully, leading to more tension. 
  • It is an astringent which improves tissue tone, but has also been used to relieve tension. One would think that as an astringent agrimony was purely for relaxation, and hence for diarrhea and excessive urination, as it has been traditionally used. However, for example, agrimony is suited to problems when they arise in children who are having trouble with toilet training. So there is tension combined with symptoms of relaxation. 

Contraindications: Because agrimony opens elimination pathways in the body and relaxes the sympathetic nervous system, taking it orally may increase the efficacy of prescribed medication. Consult with your doctor before using agrimony.


Also called English hawthorn, haw, May blossom, Maybush, quick-set, whitethorn family. It’s one of the most beloved herbs for cardiovascular support. A member of the rose family, hawthorn is a small tree with thorny branches that produces fragrant white flowers in late spring, followed by a bright red fleshy berry. The flowers, leaves and berries are all used medicinally. Energetically, hawthorn is cooling and moistening; the berries are slightly sweet while the leaves are slightly bitter. Hawthorn has been used since the Middle ages, with some accounts going back as far as the first century to Greek herbalist Dioscorides. It was later used by Swiss physician Paracelsus. Considered to be a particularly symbolic tree with many folktales and magical myths surrounding it, hawthorn was “sacred tree medicine” to the ancient Druids, and was said to house fairies, specifically when growing with oak and ash trees. However, it was unlucky to bring the flowers into the house, quite possibly because they would bring the fairy folk with them. Spiritually it’s associated with the fae and is considered a sacred herb to them. An infusion of the herb used to wash floors will remove negative vibrations.


Preparations: Tea, tinctures. 


Uses for stress and anxiety: 

  • It helps relieve anxiety. 
  • Consider using hawthorn any time mental stress, anxiety, or fear upsets the heart. 
  • It calms the central nervous system, decreases agitation, and soothes heart palpitations.
  • This is also a nervine herb.
  • It soothes nervous tension that manifests as heart strain. 
  • It calms palpitations that arise during acute stress, such as during the fight or flight response. In this vein, hawthorn promotes resilience and acts like a balm for anxiety, irritability, malaise and disturbed sleep.


Contraindications: Generally regarded as safe. Use caution during pregnancy because of potential uterine stimulation. Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for further information.


Also called lion’s tail, Roman motherwort, lion’s ear, throwwort family. A member of the mint family, Leonurus cardiaca is an herbaceous perennial native to central Asia and southeast Europe. Now naturalized around the world. It has been used in traditional herbalism for its beneficial properties and is considered cooling and drying. These benefits have been confirmed by pharmacological studies, along with the antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory capabilities of motherwort. Call on motherwort as a plant ally in instances where anxiety and/or tension are creating stagnancy in the menstrual cycle. Bring her in to consult on matters of the heart when strength and steadiness are needed. When you are feeling unsettled in your intuitive connection, or are having difficulty digesting the events of life, motherwort will soothe you and brighten your spirit. Spiritually it’s associated with building confidence. Keep some in a jar by family pictures to keep the family safe.


Preparations: Tea, tincture.

Uses for stress and anxiety: 

  • Its calming properties can do much to strengthen both the physical and energetic heart. 
  • Considered a tonic for both the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. 
  • Can strengthen and steady the heart.

Contraindications: It is contraindicated for those taking pharmaceutical sedative prescriptions or heart medications. Not for use in pregnancy except under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner. As a note: The tincture of motherwort, both alcohol and glycerin, should be avoided during pregnancy, pregnant women can safely use the tea to treat anxiety.

Honorable Mention Herbs for Stress and Anxiety

I could go on forever talking about herbs, but we will get into more herbs in future blogs. I want to make a few more notable mentions before we finish up here. 

Salvia officinalis (Sage) has been used since the time of ancient Greeks for its medicinal properties. It has traditionally been used to calm overly excited states such as nervousness, anxiety, and tremors. It promotes a calming sensation to the brain, which is particularly helpful for overthinkers. Prunus serotina (Wild cherry) leaves were brewed into tea by Native Americans to treat coughs and colds. It also is good for cases of anxiety and nervous heart palpitations. Humulus lupulus (Hops) calms and relaxes nerves and organs. It’s a strong sedative that can calm an overactive central nervous system, symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, overthinking, and body twitches and depression. (Lady’s slipper) is used to treat anxiety and depression, and helps with insomnia. It possesses natural pain relieving properties, particularly when tension is causing obstruction through vessels and tissues. (Passionflower) is cooling to the body, calming to the mind, and soothing to the spirit. It quells disquietude, calms the ruminating mind, and can promote natural relaxation and helps in coping with stress. (Poplar) has been shown to help with respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis, and has a calming effect when the sympathetic nervous system is on overdrive, resulting in changes in physical function. (Cowslip) helps relax the tensions held in the central nervous system, heart, vascular system, and lungs, and can be helpful in treating skin infections and acne breakouts. These are just some of the benefits herbalists say that these plants provide!

I hope you learned about a new herb today and it sparks you to dive into the wonderful world of healing plants and herbs. Now let’s get into some tea!

Teas Using Herbs for Stress and Anxiety

A quick and easy way to relieve anxiety is herbal tea. Here are a couple of recipes you can try.

Sleep Tea

This is a valerian based sleep tea for people who experience insomnia and restless sleep. This powerful blend calms skeletal muscles and the nervous system to help you get the sleep you need and deserve. Valerian is considered a relaxing herb; some studies show that with prolonged use, it greatly reduces the time it take to fall asleep. Like most sleep teas, this blend combines several relaxing herbs to reduce physical and mental tension and help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. 


2 parts valerian

1 part kava

1 part linden

1 part mint

1 part passionflower

0.25 part hops

0.25 part nutmeg


Hot infusion: Pour 1.5 cups hot water over 1 – 2 tablespoons over the dried tea. Steep for 5 – 10 min.

Cold Infusion – Combine 2 cups of cold water and 1 -2 tablespoons of the tea in a lidded jar. Shake the jar ro make sure all the tea is saturated. Place in the refrigerator or a cool place for at least 2hrs. 

Taste: Slightly bitter, spicy, minty, this tea is a little stinky, and the kava has a tendency to slightly numb the lips and tongue if you drink a lot of it.

Herbal Actions: Relaxing, sleep inducing, reduces incidence of restless sleep.

Systems Affected: Muscular, nervous. 

Excerpt From

Healing Herbal Teas

By Sarah Farr

Respite Tea

Like with many tonic teas, this blend has a pleasant taste and promotes general wellness. It also has slight calming properties, making it a great option when you feel stressed and depleted. To bring out the sweetness of these herbs, add one teaspoon of honey per cup.


1 part milky oat tops

1 part oat straw

1 part nettle leaf

1 part finger

1 part rose hips

0.5 part chamomile

0.5 part lemongrass

0.25 part rosemary


Hot infusion-  Pour 1.5 cups hot water over 2 tablespoons of the dried tea. Steep for 10 – 15min. 

Cold Infusion – Combine 2 cups of cold water and 1 -2 tablespoons of the tea in a lidded jar. Shake the jar ro make sure all the tea is saturated. Place in the refrigerator or a cool place for at least 2hrs. 

Taste: Earthy, sweet, spicy. 

Herbal Actions: General nutritive tonic, nervine.

Systems Affected: General nutritive tonic.

Excerpt From

Healing Herbal Teas

By Sarah Farr

We all know that living a healthy life is an ongoing process. There are so many aspects of our lives to consider, from the food we eat and how much exercise we do to what herbs or natural remedies we take for anxiety, stress relief, relaxation and more. The blog post has given you some great tea recipes with ingredients like chamomile, and valerian which can be used in your own kitchen at home. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed and want to take your wellness into your own hands by using natural remedies like herbs, we’ve included some book recommendations in our affiliate links below.

What other ways have you found relief from stress? What herbs have you tried in the past?  Share in the comments below so others can benefit too! I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post. If so, please share it with your friends and family on social media! Pair these herbs with a healthy lifestyle and it’ll be easier than ever before to stay calm in any situation! 

Be well on your journey,


** You should always consult with a medical professional before adding in new herbs to your diet or trying herbal remedies. Doses can vary between each individual. All herbs should still be used with caution. Some herbs can neutralize prescription medications. Some should not be used if you are pregnant. etc. Although herbs and plants have been around for centuries, there isn’t a lot of scientific research to support their benefits, in some cases yes, others no. Some great studies have been done with some valid evidence proven with many of the benefits, but there are others that are reported and not researched ones. There is still much to learn from our plant allies.**

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