If you suffer from brain fog, anxiety, nervousness or sleepless nights, why not consider herbs to treat your symptoms naturally? Natural herbs have minimal or no side effects and most are not habit forming. They offer additional health benefits while doing their work to calm your system. Read on for details about ten herbs that help you to overcome brain fog and or treat anxiety naturally.
There are some amazing healing herbs that do wonders for relieving brain fog and anxiety. Anxiety can take many forms, so you need to choose herbal remedies that address your specific issues. For example, if you’re in the midst of a panic attack, for quick relief, try breathing in some soothing essential oils. They will cross the blood-brain barrier almost immediately and you’ll be on your way to calming down quickly. I wrote an entire article about how essential oils can alleviate anxiety attacks effectively.
But if you need a long term plan for anxiety that doesn’t necessarily manifest as an anxiety attack, here are 10 herbs that treat brain fog and anxiety naturally. One or more of them will probably be perfect for you! Brain fog, or the inability to think clearly, can accompany anxiety, and can also cause anxiety, due to a lack of sharpness or clarity in thinking. Experiencing brain fog can even bring on a panic attack! It is important to note that some of the herbs listed below are especially effective for aiding in mental clarity and reducing brain fog, while calming the nerves.
Like other medicines, herbs taken internally have to pass through your digestion to be absorbed into your blood stream. Only then can they disperse their healing mojo. Herbs are not instantly effective, so you should consider herbs as a part of your ongoing health routine if you suffer from ongoing brain fog or anxiety.
Let’s Talk About Herbs
Before talking about specific herbs for anxiety, we should talk about taking herbal remedies, in general.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient natural healing system of India, herbs should be taken to correct imbalances in our bodies. The inherent intelligence in the herb will seek out debility or imbalance in the body. The healing properties of the herb “remind” the body how to function properly. We should not become dependent on taking herbs. Rather, herbs should be taken to “jump-start” the system into “remembering” its proper functioning.
For that reason, Ayurveda suggests that we take herbs for a short period of time and then stop taking them for a while. This allows the system to restart its own natural functioning. If the imbalance has not been fully resolved, then again, the herb can be taken for another short period of time. That way, we don’t become dependent on herbs. Our goal is to be self sufficient, with our bodies performing their functions as designed.
Ayurveda also provides some amazing traditional recipes that combine several herbs together for a synergistic effect, so I’ve included some suggestions for Ayurvedic herbal blends below, where applicable.
From time to time, we might need a little help when we are under unusual stress or strain. In this case, we can turn to herbs to help us out. This is so much better than turning to pharmaceutical drugs, as most herbs don’t have dangerous side effects. Plus, bonus point! Herbs that relieve anxiety also have many other healthful benefits.
First, let’s focus on herbs that have relaxing qualities and can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Herbs Specifically for Tension with Insomnia
Valerian is probably the most well known herbal remedy for calming insomnia. Western Europeans and earlier cultures all recorded their use of taking valerian for better rest.
Valerian is a great herb to take if you are under stress and having trouble getting to sleep at night. We all know about thoughts whirling around in the head and not letting you get your well needed beauty rest. (Everyone needs beauty rest!)
Valerian has a gentle sedative effect and promotes calmness. It is also useful in relaxing the part of the brain that deals with emotions, which will help in relieving anxiety. Valerian can be taken right before bed or even if you are trying to sleep and can’t. You can also take valerian if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep. Valerian capsules ✓ are easy to take at night time. Some herbalists suggest taking valerian along with hops, another safe and mild herbal sedative. Valerian and hops complement each other in treating the various aspects of anxiety. This great herbal supplement blend contains valerian and hops ✓ together, along with other supporting herbs.
Interestingly, beer was originally formulated using hops, along with other herbs, as more of a medicinal tonic than just a thirst-quenching beverage. Even today people enjoy having a beer after a stressful day’s work or at a sporting event where they have expended a lot of energy, although today’s beer is not effective for relaxation as it used to be.
2. Passion Flower
This beautiful and exotic tropical flower has been known for centuries as a relaxing herb, with calming and sedative effects.
Excellent for insomnia and depression, passion flower relieves anxiety, nervousness and muscle tension, while bringing about peace of mind. Passion flower is often cited as being just as effective as anti-anxiety prescription drugs for bringing on sleep. Plus, it is so much better for your health, because it’s not habit forming and has no negative side effects.
Passion flower is available in capsules, as a liquid tincture or as tea. Here is a really nice passion flower capsules blend ✓ that includes guduchi and ashwagandha, other herbs that are great for the brain.
Chamomile is probably the mildest yet highly effective herb that treats anxiety naturally. It is most effective for getting a good night’s sleep. Easy to find and inexpensive, chamomile is soothing and sweet tasting, especially when taken as a tea before bed.
Chamomile promotes restful sleep by relieving anxiety and by lowering the heart rate. Taking chamomile at night also results in less fatigue experienced during the day. Chamomile tea isalways popular, like this herbal chamomile tea blend for sleep ✓ (from Traditional Medicinals, a company that I love!) or you can take chamomile liquid extract ✓, or chamomile capsules or tablets, such as this chamomile blend especially for sleep ✓, that includes jujube (next on our list), hops, other supporting herbs.
4. Jatamansi (Spikenard)
Jatamansi, (Nardostachys Jatamansi) also known as Spikenard, is another member of the Valerian family to try if you want to improve your sleep. Jatamansi grows at high altitude in the Himalayan mountains. Widely acclaimed in Ayurveda, the traditional medicinal system of India, jatamansi is a natural cure for those who can’t get good rest.
This plant, whose roots are used for healing purposes, contains a high level of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter. The synergy of GABA, along with other phyto-nutrients, makes jatamansi a powerful tonic for reducing anxiety, depression and stress – all of which contribute to insomnia.
With its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, jatamansi root tablets ✓ provide rejuvenation for the brain, preventing cell damage and helping overall brain function.
Jatamansi’s relaxing properties help those who suffer from lack of good sleep by allowing them relief from stressful anxiety. This in turn, helps them to fall asleep more easily.
5. Jujube or Ziziphus
This herbal remedy has been well known in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as the best remedy for restful sleep. It is actually a fruit, also known as sour date. Jujube is good for enhancing the quality of sleep, giving more restful sleep. It’s especially effective when sleep patterns have been disturbed and you’re finding it hard to get back on track.
Jujube is a bit different from other herbs that help sleep because it works to provide deeper sleep, rather than helping you to fall asleep.
Therefore, Jujube would be a good choice if you sleep during the night, but your sleep is restless and you don’t feel refreshed in the morning. It has excellent sedative properties, without being habit forming.
Here is a wonderful jujube seed tablet blend ✓ that also includes hops, chamomile, wood betony, skullcap and other nervine and tonic herbs, in easy to take tablets. Or, you could try these tablets that combine jujube seed and magnolia bark extracts ✓ to calm the central nervous system for better sleep.
If you have intermittent insomnia and want to take a natural remedy or supplement off and on as needed, you can also check out this article for additional options:
Herbs for Treating Brain Fog And Anxiety
Now I will list several top herb choices for treating the various other forms of anxiety. Depending on how anxiety affects you, there should be at least one of the herbs listed below that is a good fit. The goal is to relieve your symptoms of brain fog and/or anxiety, while correcting the imbalance that is causing the problem.
Ashwagandha is one of the most useful adaptogenic herbs available to treat anxiety naturally, while promoting restful sleep. Adaptogenic means that the herb has the ability to relieve stress, while promoting or restoring natural functioning.
Ashwagandha root has thousands of years of proven use in Ayurveda. Not only was it eaten as a food, but, it also balances cortisol hormone production in people who are under stress. This is great news for women who are suffering from PCOS, as stress is one of the main causes of increased cortisol levels that are responsible for many PCOS symptoms..
Additionally, ashwagandha has a unique ability to promote healthier sleep patterns and also relieve brain fog by boosting mental clarity and memory.
It fortifies the immune system, (great in winter!) and ashwagandha tablets ✓ can be taken year-round to balance out the body’s response to anxiety.
John Douillard of LifeSpa is a strong proponent of ashwagandha for relieving stress and promoting healthy sleep. You can read more about it in his article on ashwagandha that also cites studies about its benefits.
2. Rhodiola Rosea
This wonderful herb is an adaptogenic herb that effectively regulates the hormones that cause anxiety. Rhodiola also has the added benefit of working very quickly to calm anxiety, even within a few hours (in addition to benefits seen over extended period of use).
Taking rhodiola also balances reactions to stressful input, which could actually help you to avoid a future anxiety attack.
Rhodiola has a long history of use in northern countries (Nordic, Russia and China) where it grows. It is famous for treating mild to mid-range depression that can be caused by brain fog, among other reasons. It is excellent for increasing energy, mental clarity and stamina.
As with all herbs, it is important to use only as much as recommended, as more is not always better. Rhodiola boosts energy and stamina, but too much rhodiola taken at one time could cause a spike in beta brain wave activity.
This could signal to the body that there is stressful input and bring on flight or flight syndrome. Therefore, a minimal dosage over time is most beneficial for increasing seratonin, which promotes calming alpha brain wave activity and reduces anxiety symptoms.
Consider taking these rhodiola tablets ✓ that include calcium, as a strengthening and tonic remedy for anxiety.
3. Tulsi (Holy Basil)
One of the best herbs for combating brain fog that manifests in mental fatigue, stress and anxiety is Holy Basil, known in India as Tulsi. More poetically, it is also called The Queen of Herbs. Ayurveda records thousands of years of history featuring tulsi, (a close relative of Thai basil used in cooking), as a balancing adaptogenic herb.
Tulsi is not only an herb that treats anxiety naturally, but it also increases mental focus to combat brain fog and is a powerful antioxidant. Tulsi reduces cortisol, helping to promote sleep, while counteracting depression. As such, its nerve-calming properties also help to lower blood pressure.
After thousands of years of use in India, tulsi tea has become quite popular recently around the world. That’s no surprise, due to its delightful flavor and numerous health benefits. It’s highly aromatic and can be taken as a tea regularly, with no restrictions. If you drink a lot of tea, the most economical way to take tulsi tea is by purchasing organic dried tulsi leaves ✓ in bulk – then you’ll always have some on hand! Tulsi can also be taken as an extract ✓ or capsule form ✓ for more serious symptom relief.
Shilajit is not actually an herb, but rather an extremely unique mineral pitch substance that is formed naturally at high altitudes. This happens when plant matter is compressed into rock over thousands of years.
A most interesting and useful substance, shilajit promotes mental clarity, energy and stamina, and helps to release natural dopamine. Dopamine is one of our brain chemicals responsible for increasing calmness and good moods, thus relieving anxiety.
Taken over time, shilajit helps those who suffer from lack of sleep that results in fatigue during the day. You can also take shilajit when facing a situation that you know will be stressful – the type of situation where you know you will need lots of stamina and energy.
For example, athletes are known to use shilajit in the time they are practicing before an event. Likewise, shilajit can relieve the stress of studying for exams, extended travel or other situations requiring expenditure of mental or physical energy. Shilajit is not an immediate quick fix. But is highly effective if taken over a specific period of time in the lead-up to, and during a time of stress. And you can take shilajit easily in capsule form, like these pure shilajit capsules ✓.
Anti-inflammatory shilajit also helps to repair the cells of the brain and body and helps in diminishing brain fog, and the effects of mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
For more information about this amazing substance, you can read my full article about shilajit.
This post originally included a section on black seed oil for anxiety that can now be found by clicking this box.
5. Kava or Kava-Kava
Kava has a long history of medicinal use in its native West Pacific island area. In the last ten years or so, people all around the world have discovered that kava really treats anxiety naturally. Kava root also improves mental clarity and improves awareness, which is useful to counteract the effects of brain fog.
Kava root is anti-inflammatory and is a known natural anxiolytic, that is, an agent that prevents or reduces anxiety. The active chemical components in kava that prevent anxiety are known as “kavalactones.”
Therefore, it is important to note that not all kava is equal in kavalactone content. So, you should always purchase from a reputable supplier who guarantees a significant kavalactone content in their product.
Another benefit of using kava is that it is non-addictive, with virtually no side effects. It is useful for those who suffer from social anxiety and tension because it acts quickly with regular use.
Kava has a mild taste, or you can opt for this kava blend in capsule form ✓ – a combo of kava and ashwagandha, GABA, theobromine and L-Theanine. Most people experience results very quickly on the first day of taking this anxiety-relieving blend.
Now you have the list of 10 herbs that can help you to overcome brain fog and anxiety. With this information in your natural health care arsenal, you can try the herbs that treat your specific issues. I truly hope that you benefit from using these beautiful gifts of nature!
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