DIY Herbal Blends for Soothing Nerves and Anxiety: Feel the Serenity

20 March 2024

Happiness in a cup ….. there is something so calming about the whole act of making tea. Add the aromatics of herbals and tea can transport you to another world.

Maybe you live with the symptoms of anxiety. These recipes can add another layer of chill to your other practices. Or if you’re helping out a friend or family member, nothing says ‘I care‘ more than a gift crafted with your own hands.

If you’ve never made your own infusions or teas or simply looking for new inspo, this blog is perfect for you. With easily sourced herbs, teas and infusions are easy to prepare with basic steps. You can add extra touches with reusable tea bags and dried whole herbs. Have fun with it!

The bonus is that they taste great and can be enjoyed throughout your day.

Ancient wisdom

Herbal remedies, with their gentle yet effective properties, have been cherished for centuries for their ability to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation. Probably the earlier known use of herbs for anxiety and jangling nerves is the ancient Egyptian’s use of chamomile. Different cultures have added to create an amazing pharmacopoeia of herbs that can offer a solution or complement another treatment.

Derived from plants and their extracts, each possesses unique properties that can positively impact mental and physical well-being. These remedies work in harmony with the body, offering a holistic approach to healing. When it comes to calming nerves, certain herbs stand out for their calming and stress-relieving properties.

Popular herbs for calming nerves

Nowhere near comprehensive, these are four herbs that you will find at most health food stores. Reliable and with enjoyable flavours, I’d suggest that you start here. Future blogs will introduce some of the more exotic combos and herbs.

  • Lavender: It does remind me of my Nana, it is such an ‘old’ smell. But, I can’t go past lavender as one of those soft primal aromas. Lavender has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Its calming effects are attributed to compounds like linalool and linalyl acetate, which act on the nervous system to induce tranquility.
  • Chamomile: Chamomile to me is one of those hippy-la-la herbs. Yet the science is really strong. Don’t be deceived by its gentle sedative properties. That’s what makes it a popular choice for calming nerves and promoting sleep. It contains flavonoids including apigenin, which binds to receptors in the brain, producing a calming effect.
  • Passionflower: Passionflower is renowned for its ability to ease nervous tension and promote relaxation. It contains compounds flavonoids and alkaloids, which exert anxiolytic effects by modulating neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Valerian: I call valerian root the snoozy herb. It is one of those go-to herbs that reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Containing valerenic acid, valerian enhances the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that calms the nervous system.

Crafting your perfect potion

Now that we’ve explored some of the key herbs for calming nerves, let’s dive into how you can incorporate them into homemade remedies:

1. Lavender Infused Oil

  • Ingredients:
    • Dried lavender flowers
    • Carrier oil (such as olive oil or almond oil)
  • Instructions:
    1. Fill a clean glass jar halfway with dried lavender flowers.
    2. Pour the carrier oil over the flowers, ensuring they are fully submerged.
    3. Seal the jar tightly and place it in a warm, sunny spot for 2-4 weeks, shaking it gently every day.
    4. After the infusion period, strain the oil using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
    5. Transfer the infused oil to a clean glass bottle and store it in a cool, dark place. Use it as a massage oil or add a few drops to your bath for a relaxing soak.

2. Chamomile Tea

  • Ingredients:
    • Dried chamomile flowers
    • Hot water
  • Instructions:
    1. Place 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in a teapot or mug.
    2. Pour hot water over the flowers and cover the pot or mug with a lid or saucer.
    3. Let the tea steep for 5-10 minutes.
    4. Strain the tea and sweeten with honey if desired. Enjoy it hot or chilled throughout the day to promote relaxation and ease anxiety.

3. Passionflower Tincture

  • Ingredients:
    • Dried passionflower
    • Vodka or other high-proof alcohol
  • Instructions:
    1. Fill a clean glass jar halfway with dried passionflower.
    2. Pour enough alcohol over the herb to cover it completely.
    3. Seal the jar tightly and shake it well.
    4. Place the jar in a dark, cool place and let it steep for 4-6 weeks, shaking it daily.
    5. After the steeping period, strain the tincture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
    6. Transfer the liquid to a clean glass bottle with a dropper. Take 1-2 droppers full as needed to calm nerves and reduce anxiety.

4. Valerian Sleep Pillow

  • Ingredients:
    • Dried valerian root
    • Other calming herbs like lavender and chamomile
    • Fabric for the pillowcase
  • Instructions:
    1. Mix dried valerian root with other calming herbs in a bowl.
    2. Fill a small pouch made of fabric with the herb mixture.
    3. Place the pouch inside your pillowcase or under your pillow.
    4. Allow the aromas to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality throughout the night.

Last thoughts

There are so many options out there.

If DIY feels a bit much, there are always amazing herbal remedies to explore. A few proprietary products that are popular at the moment are Natura Life Labs Ashwagandha, Olly Goodbye Stress Ultra-strength Soft Gels, and LES Labs Cortisol Health.

One big caveat.  It’s important to treat herbal remedies with respect and awareness. Do not underestimate their effect, especially if you’re taking other medications.  And remember, different types of anxiety and stress respond best to different approaches.

Don’t be a goose – you can have too much of a good thing. Be moderate. Check out the chemical pathway of the herb before you use it and make sure it complements not complicates your life!

Be happy. Be healthy.

Calm a Calm