Herbal teas have long been used to treat man’s many different afflictions. The Chinese, Native American, Indian, and even American people (to name only a few) have relied on herbs and their uses for many years. Herbs have slowly fallen by the wayside since the advent of modern medicine. Modern medicine has brought us many options for over-the-counter and prescribed medicines to help us with stress and anxiety, but there are some of us who are still intrigued with learning how to calm nerves with herbal teas.
All information given on this site is for educational purposes ad should not take the place of your own research, and a doctor’s care. I am not a doctor, but rather, an aspiring herbalist who has been studying and using herbs for 25+ years. Please research beyond this site to determine if herbal and natural remedies found on this site are right for you.
Wellness through herbs and herbal support has been an ongoing pet topic for me. Because I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder a few years ago, but I have been studying specific herbs and supplements for my issues for probably 27 years now. I have managed it mostly for those years, but upon my diagnosis, I began taking a prescribed anti-depressant. I stopped after two years and opted to work my issues through with herbs instead. You can read more about that here.
I have to admit that I’ve struggled a whole lot since I got off anti-depressants. At first I was still able to manage without much of a dip in my moods. However, as I progress closer to menopause (and further from my experience using anti-depressants), the mood swings are harder to navigate.
While on anti-depressants, I fancied myself a “strong woman”, and honestly, I still do. But anti-depressants helped this person who keenly feels everything to basically not feel anything. I have come to believe that even though it feels great to be free of despairing, anxious, and doubtful feelings, they are just a part of my life.
Even still, there are ways to move through those feelings more easily with some support from our herb allies. It’s not hard at all to get started, and I have a free mini eBook available at the end of this post that can help you with that.
Understanding Herbs and Their Uses
Here’s the thing with using herbs over prescription, or even over-the-counter medications: they work differently. Some can work as quickly as modern medicine, but most of the time, they take a little longer to see benefits. This is because while modern medicine seeks to alleviate the symptom at hand, herbs work to support the body’s own healing process.
I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s a long game, using herbs. However, herbs are gentler and can be just as effective as modern medicines for minor ailments if used correctly.
Medicinal Plants List for Calming Nerves
These are some common herbs that are used for calming nerves. They are all used a little differently, and some wouldn’t be as pleasant as others in a tea, but they certainly can be used that way. I share in my free Herbal Preparations mini eBook four different ways herbs can be used. It’s in my resource library, and you can get the password for that at the end of this article.
Each of the following herbs have many different uses and support the body in so many healthy ways. For this article, however, I will only be mentioning what they can do for us in regards to how to calm your nerves.
Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) – relaxes to promote sleep, relaxes the muscles; used for stress, insomnia, anxiety
Blue vervain (Verbena hastata) – calms and diffuses stress, eases impatience and irritability, eases tension headaches; eases insomnia and other nervous disorders
Ashwaghanda (Withania somnifera) – helps moderate stress in the body, revitalizes, protects and supports nervous system, helps with anxiety, calming/very gentle sedating, eases panic attacks; promotes peaceful sleep
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) – eases nervous excitement, restlessness, headaches, nervous indigestion/gas/bloating; helps with mild depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other nervous disorders; promotes restful sleep; protects and supports nervous system
Kava (Piper methysticum) – releases tension in the mind and body, helps with social anxiety, alleviates insomnia, calms nervousness, relaxes muscle tension
Skullcap (Sculletaria) – eases tension headaches, eases tension, anger, irritability, impatience, and “looping” thoughts; helps with disturbed sleep and calms and diffuses stress; helps with focus; eases anxiety, insomnia, and other nervous conditions
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) – calms the nerves, eases insomnia and nervousness
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) – nervine herb which is sedative in nature, gentle enough to use with children, encourages a good night’s sleep
How to Calm Nerves Using Teas
Before we get into the fun part of making herbal teas, I need to cover some safety things and give a disclaimer. First, I am not a doctor, I am simply an aspiring herbalist with some knowledge to share from her own journey with anxiety, depression, and panic issues.
I have used both herbal and prescription means to control my issues over the span of about 27 years, and so I’ve done a lot of the research on this topic. Still, I cannot give you medical advice, and I am by no means recommending that you replace a doctor’s care or your prescription medications with what I share here on my website.
Second, if you feel confident and plan to use herbs regularly, you need to do your research as well. There are sometimes interactions between OTC/prescription drugs and herbs that can be very harmful to your health if not heeded. Please make sure to research if there are any interactions between the herb you would like to try and the medication you are currently taking. (I like to use Drugs.com for my research.)
A Note About Herbal Tea and Pregnancy
Regarding herbal tea and pregnancy, there are few herbs that are safe in medicinal doses during this lovely period of a woman’s life. When using herbs, please make sure to double check that the ones you would like to try are safe for you during pregnancy.
Choose Your Herbs
There is a method in choosing herbs that involves a lot more than I will be sharing here. But to get you started with learning to calm your nerves, I’ll share a very simple method of choosing herbs that you will use to create your teas and other herbal preparations.
When choosing which herbs to use, you will want to ask yourself, “What is the primary reason for making this herbal tea?” If you are reading this article, I’m guessing that you are wanting to calm your nerves, or ease anxiety and/or panic issues. But you would ask yourself this question when addressing any issue you have with herbs.
Next, you would choose herbs that are best for easing the issues you are addressing. Start with just three: a primary herb you will be using, a complimentary herb, and then a catalyst herb. Below is a very general guideline for making a simple herbal blend for yourself. As you will notice, there is some wiggle room to adjust your herbs in a way that works best for you.
Primary herbs – these herbs will be the ones that will specifically address your issue, and will make up about 60-70% of your blend
Secondary/complimentary herbs – would make up about 10-20% of your blend
Catalyst/transporter herbs – act as carriers to put the herbal benefits into the body quickly and optimally; they make up about 5-10% of the formula
If you’d like a handy-dandy diagram with similar information to download and put into your materia medica journal, my herbalist friend Heidi over at Healing Harvest Homestead has one for you. Check out this article for her “Three Point Method of Making an Herbal Preparation” (scroll all the way down to get it).
Kristi’s “Feel-Good” Tea Recipe
This is my favorite herbal tea of late. Brewed for a short time, it is a pleasant-tasting tea that I enjoy daily. On nervous days, I brew my batch for longer and drink it over the course of the whole day. Made with dried herbs.
Brew in 1 quart hot water for 3-5 minutes for a regular tea; or 30-40 minutes (or even overnight) for medicinal use*. Drink over the course of the day, reheating or drinking it cold.
*medicinal use will yield a more potent, bitter tea