Chamomile teaShare on Pinterest
Cavan Images/Getty Images

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. Whether temporary or constant, anxiety can affect your quality of life, and finding relief can be a challenge.

It’s always best to talk with your doctor or a mental health professional as a first line of defense. But sometimes, you may need or want to seek alternative therapies in addition to more traditional therapies, like counseling and medication.

Read on to learn about a few research-backed natural remedies for anxiety. They may help you find relief for anxious feelings.

You probably know that chamomile is a common herbal tea ingredient. Some people drink chamomile tea because of the taste. Others may find it helps soothe and calm the mind.

According to one 2016 study, regularly drinking chamomile tea may reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Sipping on chamomile every morning won’t prevent future bouts of anxiety, though. And there’s conflicting research regarding chamomile’s anxiety-reducing powers.

Given that, should you try it out? It may be worth a shot. A chamomile tea drinking ritual is unlikely to have any side effects, so you don’t have to worry about it doing more harm than good.

Shop for chamomile tea online.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming increasingly popular, in part due to emerging research suggesting that it can help lower anxiety levels. While researchers don’t totally understand the link between CBD and anxiety, what we do know is promising.

Animal studies suggest that CBD may help counteract stress in rats. There are also human studies that point to CBD’s ability to help with the following anxiety disorders:

Research suggests that CBD is mostly considered safe. And unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, it won’t leave you feeling “high.” However, taking too much can still cause side effects — though they’re usually mild.

CBD can also interact with medications, so talk with your doctor before you start taking it.

A popular herbal supplement for anxiety is valerian root. There’s some evidence that this perennial plant’s herbal preparation can help with anxiety, but it’s not conclusive.

For example, a small 2002 study found that taking 50 milligrams of valerian root 3 times a day for 4 weeks had a slight impact on anxiety levels in people with GAD. Another 2011 study found that valerian root helped reduce symptoms of OCD with minimal side effects in participants.

However, supplements aren’t monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and they may have side effects. That said, they may be a suitable option for treating mild anxiety symptoms.

It’s critical that you check with your doctor before taking supplements since they can interact with certain medications. It’s also possible to take too much of certain supplements.

Gail Trauco, RN, BSN-OCN, suggests researching herbal supplement companies to determine whether they have any manufacturing violations listed on the FDA’s website.

Writing down your thoughts can help you process your emotions and sort your thoughts. There’s something cathartic about pouring your heart and soul onto the page.

According to a 2011 study, journaling may help teens with test anxiety. The students who wrote about their emotions performed better on test day than those who kept their writing strictly test related.

Other mindfulness practices, like meditation, can also help reduce stress and anxiety.

One systematic review from 2014 concluded that meditation has some ability to reduce psychological stress. However, meditation isn’t a substitute for other treatments like medications and therapy.

Read our review of Headspace versus Calm.

If you’re already into the fitness scene, chances are you’ve spotted a T-shirt at some point that proudly states, “[insert fitness activity] is my therapy.”

While exercise isn’t the same thing as therapy, research suggests that it can play a significant role in reducing anxiety.

There’s some evidence that working out might help people who perpetually feel anxious better adapt to stress-inducing situations.

Like the other remedies listed here, exercise isn’t a magic bullet. It’s often most effective when paired with other treatments.

Similarly, “dosage” might vary from person to person. There isn’t any research that quantifies the ideal amount of exercise to combat anxiety.

Get started with these at-home exercises.

Natural treatments won’t work for everyone. If you have severe anxiety that affects your day-to-day life, talk with your doctor about the following treatment options:

Combining natural treatments with mechanical therapies, like breathing exercises and physical activity, is safe.

However, combining natural supplements with prescription medications is risky, explains Trauco.

It’s best to check with your doctor before combining supplements with prescription medication — even if you’ve been using the supplements for a long time without negative effects.

It can be really difficult to live with anxiety, but there are ways to cope. People with mild symptoms may be able to manage their anxiety with natural remedies, like CBD, exercise, and herbal supplements.

Not everyone will find relief with natural therapies, though.

If you have high anxiety levels and feel overwhelmed, talk with a mental health professional. CBT and other psychotherapies are proven strategies for combatting anxiety.


Steph Coelho is a freelance writer with chronic migraine who has a particular interest in health and wellness. When she’s not click-clacking away on her keyboard, she’s probably nose-deep in a good book.