Herbal Medicines For Anxiety and Insomnia

Anxiety and worry are facts of life. Most people will feel worried if they are about to take an exam, start a new job, or have an operation. The anxiety normally goes away after the stressful event, especially if all has gone well. But sometimes anxious feelings feed on themselves and start to inter­fere with everyday life. Anxiety can often lead to other symptoms, such as insomnia or panic.


Symptoms of anxiety include difficulty in concentrating, irritability, tense muscles, aches and pains, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, sleep problems, dry mouth, decreased or increased appetite.


Diet and Nutrition Caffeine, alcohol, and smoking can all contribute to anxiety states and so are best avoided. Magnesium supplements may be helpful.

Aromatherapy Lavender and camomile oils are relaxing and calming. Use them in a relaxing bath or in a burner to scent a room.

Visualization Practice imagining situations where you feel peaceful and relaxed and “go there” when you start to feel anxious. Relaxation tapes and classes can help you learn how to do this.

Bach Flower Remedies Agrimony, Rock Rose, and Red Chestnut are possible choices.

Counseling and Talking Treatments Behavioral psychotherapy aims to help you unlearn problem behavior. Cognitive therapy can help you recognize and change patterns of thinking that reinforce your anxiety.

Homeopathy A homeopath will tailor remedies to the individual case, but Aconite and Argentum nit are recommended for the physical effects of anxiety.

Herbal Medicine A herbalist may prescribe sedatives such as passiflora, camomile, or valerian as infusions.


Insomnia (sleeplessness) is a common symptom of anxiety and stress. If the underlying problems are dealt with, the insomnia usually clears up.


Aromatherapy A bath with a few drops of essential oil of meadowsweet and orange blossom will soothe.

Relaxation Therapies Yoga and meditation can help you to relax and free your mind from worry and stress.

Herbal Medicine Infusions of lime blossom, hops, or Californian poppy all have a sedative effect.

Consult a practitioner/therapist for:

Homeopathy Depending on the case, a homeopath may choose from Aconite for insomnia caused by fear, Arnica for the overtired, Coffea for the racing mind, Phosphorus for nightmares that wake you, Ignatia for the fear that you will never sleep again, and Nux vomica for insomnia caused by heavy drinking.