Looking For Natural Anxiety Relief? Try These 5 Effective Remedies

In a day of age of information overload, being constantly bombarded by news, ads, social media, multi-tasking and busy city lives, it’s not shocking that anxiety is on the rise.

Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States alone, which is about 18% of the population.

While anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue and are highly treatable, less than 40% of those suffering receive any treatment at all.

Although there is absolutely a place for pharmaceutical intervention in some cases, there is also a wide array of natural remedies that can help with anxiety. Some natural remedies for anxiety have even shown to be equally or more effective than leading first line pharmaceutical interventions for anxiety, and have far less side effects.

While anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue and are highly treatable, less than 40% of those suffering receive any treatment at all.

Anxiety is experienced differently by everyone; from sweating palms, loss of appetite and shortness of breath, to dizziness, restlessness and insomnia. As a result, what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.

Trying out natural remedies for anxiety and lifestyle changes should be approached with curiosity. If you enjoy it and it seems to be working for you, great! If not, try something else out to see if it’s a better fit.

Let’s dive right in.

Here Are 5 Natural Remedies for Anxiety:


1. Botanical Medicine (AKA Plants)

Botanicals are one of the most powerful yet underused natural remedies for anxiety. Certain plants have specific actions that are effective at reducing anxiety.

Some of these specific anxiety reducing reactions consist of:

1. Nervines: Strengthens the functional activity of the nervous system (this can be soothing, nourishing or stimulating)
2. Adaptogens: Increases resistance and resilience of stress, both physically and psychologically
3. Anxiolytic: A type of nervine relaxant that decreases the symptoms of anxiety
4. Hypnotic: A sedating quality that produces a state clinically identical to sleep, by acting on the central nervous system

Some examples of plants that contain these properties are Humulus Lupulus (hops), Lavandula officinalis (Lavender), matricaria recutita (chamomile), passiflora incarnata (passion flower), and valeriana officinalis (valerian).

Botanicals are one of the most powerful yet underused natural remedies for anxiety.

Humulus Lupulus (Hops) is most recommended for anxiety accompanied by nervous tension, restlessness and trouble falling asleep.

Lavandula Officinalis (Lavender) is especially helpful for anxiety that creates digestive dysfunction, headaches and insomnia. Lavender is also used effectively for aromatherapy to decrease anxiety.

Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile) is ideal for anxiety that accompanies restlessness, insomnia, nervousness and digestive disturbances. As it is a mild sedative/hypnotic, chamomile is best taken in the evening before bed.

Passiflora Incarnata (Passion Flower) is a nervine relaxant that is helpful for general anxiety, as well as decreasing racing thoughts, and also helps with falling asleep.

Valeriana Officinalis (Valerian) is one of the strongest sedating herbs and reduces insomnia, nervous tension and excitability. As this is one of the stronger sedatives, valerian is best consumed in the evening before bed.

Depending on the plant, some can consumed as teas, tables or tinctures (which are liquid extracts made from herbs that are taken orally). Be sure to speak to a qualified health-care provider to find the appropriate dosage.

2. Amino Acids

L-theanine and GABA are natural amino acids that help decrease anxiety, promote relaxation and facilitate sleep. These amino acids can help buffer the effects of both psychological and physiological effects of stress through assisting in the breakdown of the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) we produce.

L-theanine and GABA are taken in acute situations in moments of heightened stress. GABA typically has a stronger acute effect, therefore should be taken in the evening as it can make some people tired or drowsy.

GABA has been my go-to remedy for years for those nights when I wake up in the middle of the night with my mind racing about my next day’s to-do list.

3. Limit Caffeine Intake

The most widely used central nervous system stimulant is caffeine. Caffeine itself is not necessarily bad; it really comes down to risk versus benefits for each individual.

Decreasing or avoiding caffeine completely is one of the quickest ways to reduce the experience of anxiety.

Everyone metabolizes caffeine differently, which is the reason some people can drink a few cups and not feel a thing, while others can have half a cup of coffee and be wired all day.

For those experiencing anxiety, decreasing or avoiding caffeine completely is one of the quickest ways to reduce the experience of anxiety.

You don’t necessarily have to go cold turkey on all caffeine. Even reducing intake by a cup, or switching to a lower caffeine alternative like green or black tea can have a substantial beneficial effect.

4. Limit Sugar Intake

Consuming sugar spikes blood sugar levels (the sugar high), which leads to a major drop in blood sugar levels (that well-known sugar crash), which leads to craving more sugar to get back to baseline energy.

Reducing your sugar intake creates natural anxiety relief because it will help keep you closer to that baseline, where you feel balanced at ease, and will therefore help overall mood and reduction in anxiety.

Get Healthy and Ditch the Sugar! Follow These 10 Tips to Do a Sugar Detox

5. Daily Routine Overhaul

It’s not always what we do, but how we do it.

Whether we wake up and roll over and check our phones first thing in the morning, or take some time to simply breathe, connect, and gently ease into the day makes a world of a difference for our mood.

If it works for your daily life to carve out time for yoga, meditation and breathwork in the morning, that’s fantastic and keep it up. But sometimes there simply isn’t enough time and we have to make do with what we have.

Some quick and easy activities to incorporate are:

  • Deep belly breathing (take 10 deep breaths before getting out of bed, in the shower, before getting in the car to drive, or while in line at a store)
  • Decrease or eliminate multitasking throughout your day
  • Turn all phone notifications off
  • Batch emails (programming emails to only arrive at select hours of the day)
  • Take a break from social media for a few days up to a full week and see how it affects your mood, the busyness of the mind and emotions


Too Much Screen Time? Go Unplugged With a Digital Cleanse – Here’s How In 6 Simple Steps

The above suggestions are each an effective anxiety remedy. Incorporating multiple (or even all of them!) is a simple yet powerful way to experience natural anxiety relief.

Try These Natural Remedies for Anxiety So You Can Find Relief

Anxiety is a complex, multi-faceted and highly individual experience.

Experimenting with different daily habits and natural anxiety remedies can truly make a world of difference in our lives. More often than not, there isn’t one perfect botanical medicine, supplement, or daily habit.

Reducing anxiety is a culmination of choices throughout our day that will inch us closer to feeling more at peace and deeply at ease.

This article and all included information is not intended as medical advice and does not treat or diagnose. Please consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating any botanical medicines or supplements, as interactions and contraindications do exist with natural products.


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Alexa Torontow

Alexa Torontow is a naturopathic medical student, prenatal/postnatal yoga instructor, nutritionist, and new mama. Her mission is empowering women to enhance their vitality, health and overall wellness through regular movement, proper nourishment, and education on how to take the best care of their unique self. Connect with Alexa on social or through her website.

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