Anxiety Remedies

Bacopa:  Bacopa monniera

Bacopa, also known as Brahmi, is a traditional Indian herb and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Its most notable effect is on the brain and nervous system where it is both a nervine (has a calming and soothing effect on the nerves) and a sedative (reduces nervousness, distress and irritation). 

The active constituents Bacoside A and B are known to allow relaxation of the aorta and veins allowing the blood to flow more smoothly throughout the body, nourishing nerve cells to the brain, and acting as a brain tonic.  Bacopa is therefore able soothe anxiety and tension, relieve insomnia and depression, calm the mind and body, and promote relaxation.  It is also beneficial for promoting mental clarity, alertness and short and long term memory whilst relieving mental fatigue.  Bacopa improves mental capacities after anxiety or nervous breakdown.

It is recommended for use in both adults and children as it is mild and gentle and appropriate for any age.


Kava:  Piper methysticum

Studies suggest that Kava directly influences the limbic system, the part of the brain associated with emotions and other brain activities. It is a non-addictive anti-anxiety herb that is as effective at alleviating anxiety as diazepam and valium.

Kava will not cause lethargy or mental impairment, in fact, will improve concentration, memory and reaction time for people suffering from anxiety.

Kava is also a sedative herb, reducing nervousness, distress, irritation and insomnia.

Contraindications:  Kava should not be taken in combination with anti-anxiety prescription medication, or for more than 3 months continuously.  Kava should only be taken under the supervision of a qualified Herbal Practitioner.


Lavender:  Lavendula angustifolia

Lavender flowers have been used for centuries as a treatment for anxiety and depression.  It is the high concentration of volatile oils that gives Lavender is distinctive fragrance.

Lavender is known for its peaceful, soothing and calming qualities. It helps with insomnia, headaches, and irritability as it is calming to the mind.

Lavender is also gentle and soothing to the nervous system, calming and balancing excessive nervousness and states of anxiety.  It is also an exceptional tonic that strengthens and invigorates the entire body system.

Contraindications:  When taken with drugs such as asprin, warfarin and ibuprofen, lavender may increase the risk of bleeding.


Motherwort:  Leonurus cardiaca

Motherwort has a long history as a herbal remedy for all sorts of nervous disorders including anxiety, stress and insomnia. In low to moderate doses, Motherwort acts as a relaxant rather than sedative, and so is useful to those suffering from daytime anxiety.

It is also a mood enhancer, helping not only to ease anxiety but depression as well. Higher doses can be used to treat insomnia as well as quelling panic attacks caused by trauma and extreme anxiety.

Motherwort is a most effective remedy to ease the tachycardia (racing heart) so typical in an anxiety attack.

Contraindications:   Motherwort should be avoided during pregnancy and breast feeding.


Passionflower:  Passiflora incarnata

Passionflower has a depressant effect on central nervous system activity, and is hypotensive.  It is used for its sedative and soothing properties, to lower blood pressure, prevent tachycardia (racing heart) and for insomnia.  

Passionflower also helps the transition into a restful sleep without any ‘narcotic’ hangover. It may be used wherever an anti-spasmodic is required, e.g. in Parkinson’s disease, seizures, hysteria and anxiety.   It may be used in breathing difficulties where there is spasmodic activity associated tension and panic attacks.

The alkaloids in passionflower act as natural MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors. MAO inhibitors aid in the metabolism of feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine.

This produces a state of calm, as well as a sense of well being. It helps reduce feelings of anxiety and lessen the symptoms of stress by elevating the circulation of happiness-promoting chemicals.

Contraindications:  Passionflower should be avoided during pregnancy due to its possible stimulating effects on the womb.


Make Your Own Anxiety Tincture

  1. Finely chop equal parts of fresh lavender, bacopa, motherwort and passionflower.
  2. Place the material in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
  3. Cover plant material with 100% alcohol.  If you wish to avoid alcohol, then use glycerine diluted with an equal amount of filtered water.
  4. Cover with a tight fitting lid, shake well, and place the jar in a dark place.
  5. Allow the mixture to sit for 4 -6 weeks, shaking every few days.
  6.  After 4 to 6 weeks strain the herbs and re bottle.
  7. Take 1 teaspoon in a little warm water with honey added, three times per day.