Top 6 Calming Herbs for Relaxation & Anxiety
Anxiety affects all of us, and we all have different ways of dealing with it. Whether from hobbies and social time to medication or botanicals like CBD, it's important to find the tools that work best for managing your stress.
And for many, naturally calming herbs and their gentle sedative effects may be just the ticket to relief from the stress and anxiety that plague your days!
In this article, we sing the praises of some of our favorite calming herbs, giving you the run-down on how they work and where they're from. We'll even include shoutouts to some of the CBD products made with each calming herb so that you can double-down on stress relief with some of the CBD industry's most effective offerings.
So if you're looking to unlock the very best stress-relief that Mother Nature has to offer, read on! Let's dive into the most relaxing and calming herbs out there.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although these herbal remedies are generally considered safe for regular use, you should consider talking to your doctor before adding any new supplement to your regimen. Much like CBD itself, other herbs can interact with certain common medications, so it's always best to keep your physician in on the conversation.
A mainstay of tea shelves throughout the world, chamomile is a calming herb with two common varietals: Roman chamomile and German chamomile.
While tea is the most common way to take chamomile, tablets and even skin creams have been made from it. It's one of the most common and popular calming herbs out there — and might be the one on this list you're most likely to have already tried!
There's good reason for chamomile's reputation as a night-time calming tea: it works. In this 2016 clinical study, for instance, people with generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile had significantly reduced the severity of their anxiety attacks.
Ashwagandha comes from an evergreen shrub that grows throughout India, the Middle East, and certain parts of Africa. Its roots and fruit are prized for offering a host of health benefits.
Long used in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is what's known as an adaptogen, a class of herbs cherished for offering a myriad of health benefits, including — you guessed it — for stress and relaxation.
Ashwagandha's stress-fighting benefits are well established and backed by solid clinical research. For instance, two 2019 studies (this one and this one) found that ashwagandha users had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and experienced better sleep by the studies' end!
Valerian, native to many areas of Asia and Europe, is another calming herb with a long history of use for stress and anxiety. In some medical traditions, it's also been used for treating depression.
Many valerian root users report that it has a more significant sleep-inducing effect than many other herbs on this list. Therefore, it's generally not advised to take valerian alongside alcohol or other sedatives.
While valerian is a mainstay of many traditional medicines, its purported effects have not been well studied. However, valerian is considered safe for short term use, and many users have reported great results with this common herbal stress reliever.
Lavender might be the trendiest calming herb on this list. Whether in aromatherapy oils, tea, bath bombs, or foods (the list goes on and on), lavender and its calming, floral scent are virtually omnipresent.
And for good reason! Lavender is not only soothing and calming, but it's also generally considered to have one of the most enjoyable scents in town. This combination has made lavender extremely popular throughout a stunning number of diverse industries and practices.
The key to lavender's relaxing effects comes from two terpenes found in its essential oil: linalool and linalyl. Many users find great calming relief with lavender, whether it's taken in tea or food or through aromatherapy.
Passionflower is actually a family of plants with hundreds of different species that grow across the globe. But in the world of calming herbal remedies, one varietal, known as Passiflora incarnata, stands above the rest.
Passiflora incarnata, commonly called maypop, purple passionflower, or true passionflower, is used in many traditional remedies for stress, anxiety, and more, passionflower's reputation for relief is among the greatest in the world of calming herbs. It's commonly taken in a powder, capsules, or brewed into a tea.
P. incarnata may be one of the most potent calming herbs out there. According to a 2010 medical review, there's some evidence that it may be as effective as some common anti-anxiety prescriptions!
And, of course, we arrive at our very favorite herb: the hemp plant. Many of the compounds in cannabidiol have therapeutic uses, including relieving stress and anxiety.
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is arguably the most famous and well-researched of these compounds, and a growing body of research supports its use for many forms of moderate to severe stress and anxiety.
In fact, much of the CBD industry is based on offering therapeutic products that combine CBD with other calming herbs and botanicals. The results can be impressive, with a wide variety of CBD-infused products for many different use cases.
CBD and Other Calming Herbs: A Recipe for Bliss
Here are a few of our favorite CBD products that incorporate other natural stress-relieving herbal supplements, including those on this list!
Looking for a night-time stress reliever? Lazarus Naturals Lemon Mango "Sleep" Tricannabinoid Gummies combine CBD with passionflower, chamomile, and more to create one of the most naturally soothing CBD experiences out there, all with a tasty lemon mango flavor.
For an aromatherapeutic, utterly relaxing bath experience, we stand by Joy Organics Lavender Refresh Bath Bombs. They harness the aromatherapeutic power of lavender with topical CBD to create one of the most relaxing baths of your life.
CBD oils are the most popular CBD products by far, offering great control and convenience. Pachamama has upped the game by infusing this one with both valerian root and kava kava, another world-class calming herb. The result is a favorite here at the office and for Pachamama fans everywhere.
Medterra offers a specialized "wellness" line of products tailored to naturally powerful solutions for many of life's stressors. The Wellness Stress Support Capsules are a prime example, combining CBD and ashwagandha for a one-of-a-kind, all-in-one wellness boost that fights stress naturally.