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Natural Home Remedies for Anxiety

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more


Anxiety is often described as the feeling of constant worry that prevents an individual from relaxing. From the point of view of evolution, anxiety is a normal emotion as it has helped humans avoid dangerous situations and eventually adapt, evolve and survive. A thin line exists between this anxiety at the level of just adaptation and a distressful morbid anxiety, which requires clinical judgement to diagnose.1,2 

anxiety treatment at home

The level at which a person experiences anxiety can range from just a fleeting anxiety as one feels before any surgery, to a constant feeling of nervousness that defines an anxiety disorder.1 

A person is said to have anxiety disorder when the constant feeling of worry just doesn’t go away. Instead, it gets worse as time passes and interferes with routine life.  

Anxiety disorders can be of many types, particularly panic disorders, generalised anxiety disorder and phobias.3 

Consultation with a psychiatrist, psychologist, management with allopathic medicines, mind body techniques and exercise are well known to help reduce anxiety.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

What Causes Anxiety? 

The exact cause of anxiety is not known. But there are many reasons: 

  • Heredity: Anxiety disorders do have a genetic origin. 
  • Environmental distress: Facing stressful life events can cause an individual to be more prone to develop anxiety disorders. 
  • Stress during pregnancy: Taking lot of stress during pregnancy can have long term effects on the child. The exact process how anxiety develops involves physiological, environmental and emotional factors and the intricate interactions between them is not yet known though.3,4 

Anxiety can be of various types: 

  • Panic disorder: Individuals suffering from this type of anxiety disorder develop panic attacks. These panic attacks are repetitive episodes of extreme fear and panic, in the absence of danger, which develop suddenly and last for periods of several minutes. 
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Those who suffer from GAD experience anxiety about common problems like family concerns, workplace problems and health and financial issues. However, their anxiety is beyond proportion. A person experiencing excess anxiety almost every day for a minimum duration of six months is said to have GAD. 
  • Phobia: Phobia means having extreme dread or fear of something which can cause either minimal or no harm at all. For example: Fear of being in social events or fear of flying.3 

Daily intake of Ashwagandha also reduces anxiety and findings suggest that high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Symptoms of Anxiety:  

While anxiety can manifest in various ways depending on the type, there are certain symptoms which can overlap and are commonly seen in all the types:  

  • Physical symptoms like headache, perspiration, palpitations, muscle aches, light-headedness, difficulty in breathing 
  • Behavioural changes like evading routine activities. 
  • Emotional symptoms like uncontrollable worrisome thoughts that interfere with the individual’s regular activities and anxiety that worsens as time passes.1,3 

Home Remedies for Anxiety: 

Natural remedies for anxiety have fewer side effects than conventional medicines used to treat anxiety. Read along to know about some natural home remedies to combat anxiety.5 

1. Kava:    

Kava is known to be an anxiety reliever since many years. It is a drink that is prepared from the Piper methysticum plant. Though it relives anxiety, it does not cause a sedative effect. But one must exercise caution while consuming it, as liver poisoning is one of its rare, but serious side effects.1 

How to use it? 

  • Make a paste out of a small quantity of the plant roots 
  • Boil it with a cup of water to make a tea 
  • Cool and consume 

2. Passiflora Incarnata  

It is commonly known as Passionflower. Its anxiolytic effect is attributed to its aerial sections, that is the flowers, fruit and the bark. It works by modifying the GABA system.6 GABA is an amino acid present in our nervous system and is responsible for neural relaxation7. No side effects have been reported on passionflower consumption.6 

How to use it? 

  • Dry the herb  
  • Make a powder out of a small quantity of the dried herb  
  • Take a few tablespoons of this dried powder and add it to a cup of boiling water  
  • Let it steep for a few minutes  
  • Filter and enjoy the cup of tea  

Try Aroma Magic Passion Flower Massage Cream to relax yourself!

3. Lavender  

Lavender has been used traditionally to relieve anxiety. It has over 100 active ingredients, but it’s linalool and linalyl acetate that give lavender the anxiolytic quality. Consult your healthcare provider before you consume lavender as research also shows that use of lavender has many side effects like throbbing heartbeats, headaches and gastric issues like diarrhoea, stomach upsets, belching and foul breath.8 

How to use it? 

  • Add a few drops of lavender oil in a diffuser to inhale the aroma  
  • Alternatively, you may massage a few drops onto the inner aspect of the wrist so as inhale the aroma  

4. Chamomile  

Studies have shown chamomile tea to be effective even in cases of generalised anxiety disorder. It is said that the flavonoids present in Chamomile give a calming effect by influencing the transmission of GABA , dopamine, noradrenalin and serotonin or by modifying the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in the body, which is integral to the way one reacts to stress.9,10  

How to use it? 

  • Take a few tablespoons of dried whole chamomile 
  • Add it to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for a couple of minutes 
  • Filter and enjoy the relaxing benefits of the tea 

5. Saffron  

Saffron contains Safranal, the chief bioactive constituent which imparts anxiety relieving properties to saffron. It also gives the saffron its typical fragrance.11 

How to use it? 

  • Take saffron strands and add it to a cup of boiling water  
  • Let it steep for some minutes  
  • Filter and consume this fragrant drink as you relax  

6. Valerian  

The valerian root has anti-anxiety properties. It contains valerenic acid and valepotriates which imparts anxiolytic and sedative properties to the root.12 

How to use it? 

  • Take some dried valerian root 
  • Add it to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for a few minutes 
  • Filter and consume at bedtime 

Also Read: Essential Oils for Anxiety: A Research-Based Holistic Approach

When to Seek Medical Help: 

If you feel your anxiety might be connected to some physical problems, get in touch with your physician who will help you cure the physical issue. 

 If you experience severe anxiety, seek out a mental health expert who will evaluate your symptoms and treat you accordingly.13 

Also Read: How to Reduce Anxiety Immediately: Quick and Effective Techniques


Home remedies for anxiety are good nonpharmacological therapies to try out at home. However, one must exercise caution and inform your physician before consuming any of the herbal medicines for anxiety as some of them do cause side effects. 

Symptoms of extreme anxiety require treatment by a mental health professional and one must not hesitate to seek help if required.13  

Also Read: 6 Effective Home Remedies For High Blood Pressure!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Apart from consuming herbs, is there anything else that can be done at home to tackle anxiety?  

Yes, lifestyle changes also have a significant impact on anxiety levels. Few things that you can do at home to manage anxiety are: 

  • Get enough sleep 
  • Avoid leisure drugs and alcohol 
  • Stop smoking and cut back on the intake of caffeinated drinks 
  • Learn healthy techniques of managing stress 
  • Have a healthy, balanced diet13 

How does a mental health expert treat anxiety?  

Treatment for anxiety involves both medications and psychotherapy. Depending on your symptoms, a mental health expert may use either one or a combination of both of the above options. Medications involve anxiolytics, sedatives or anti-depressant drugs.  

In psychotherapy, you will be working actively along with a professional to manage your anxiety symptoms. Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most effective type of psychotherapy to manage anxiety.13 

Your mental health professional will best know what therapies to use to treat your anxiety. 

What are the risk factors for developing anxiety disorders?  

While the risk factors for each type of anxiety disorder are different, there are some risk factors that are common to all types: 

  • Persons who are reserved in nature, especially when meeting strangers or facing an unfamiliar situation. 
  • Distressing incidences in childhood or after growing up. 
  • History of anxiety or other mental issues in the family. 
  • Physical problems like irregular heartbeats or thyroid issues.3 

Are there any self-coping techniques for anxiety?  


  • Keeping a diary of your symptoms and what provokes your anxiety helps.  
  • Work with your therapist to know all the techniques of managing anxiety and practice them diligently.  
  • Be consistent with your treatment protocol.  
  • Do not hesitate to ask for the support of your friends and family. You may also join any local anxiety support group.13  

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies for Body Pain


  1. Lakhan S, Vieira K. Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. Nutrition Journal. 2010 Dec;9(1):1-4. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20929532/ 
  1. Crocq MA. A history of anxiety: from Hippocrates to DSM. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience. 2022 Apr 1. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marc-Antoine-Crocq/publication/284936134_A_history_of_anxiety_From_Hippocrates_to_DSM/links/59a7dfa50f7e9b41b78b3f38/A-history-of-anxiety-From-Hippocrates-to-DSM.pdf 
  1. Topics H. Anxiety: MedlinePlus [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2022 [cited 13 May 2022]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html 
  1. Schiele MA, Domschke K. Epigenetics at the crossroads between genes, environment and resilience in anxiety disorders. Genes, Brain and Behavior. 2018 Mar;17(3):e12423.Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gbb.12423 
  1. Kinrys G, Coleman E, Rothstein E. Natural remedies for anxiety disorders: potential use and clinical applications. Depression and Anxiety;26(3):259-265. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19123457/ 
  1. Ngo D, Vo T. An Updated Review on Pharmaceutical Properties of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. Molecules;24(15):2678. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6696076/ 
  1. Janda K, Wojtkowska K, Jakubczyk K, Antoniewicz J, Skonieczna-Å»ydecka K. Passiflora incarnata in Neuropsychiatric Disorders-A Systematic Review. Nutrients; 2020 Dec;12(12):3894. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766837/ 
  1. Donelli D, Antonelli M, Bellinazzi C, Gensini GF, Firenzuoli F. Effects of lavender on anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology. 2019 Sep 26;65:153099-.Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31655395/ 
  1. Keefe J, Mao J, Soeller I, Li Q, Amsterdam J. Short-term open-label chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) therapy of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine 2016 Dec 15;23(14):1699-705. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5589135/ 
  1. Miller W. The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis: A Brief History. Hormone Research in Paediatrics.2018;;89(4):212-223. Available from: https://europepmc.org/article/med/29719288
  1. Bian Y, Zhao C, Lee S. Neuroprotective Potency of Saffron Against Neuropsychiatric Diseases, Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Other Brain Disorders: From Bench to Bedside. Frontiers in Pharmacology;2020:1602. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7573929/ 
  1. Tammadon M, Nobahar M, Hydarinia-Naieni Z, Ebrahimian A, Ghorbani R, Vafaei A. The Effects of Valerian on Sleep Quality, Depression, and State Anxiety in Hemodialysis Patients: A Randomized, Double-blind, Crossover Clinical Trial. Oman Medical Journal.2021 Mar;36(2):e255. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8077445/ 
  1. Anxiety disorders – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic [Internet]. Mayoclinic.org. 2022 [cited 14 May 2022]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350967 

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