The 7 Best Herbs for Relaxation

We live in a culture of chronic stress culture, where we’re expected to hold multiple roles and multitask every day.

On top of that, it’s harder than ever to get down time and take care of ourselves.

Yet, we have more power over our stress and how we react and handle it than you may realize.

The key lies in not simply reacting to whatever happens to us, but controlling how we respond.

Along with other ways to bring inner peace and relaxation, you can take herbal supplements to aid in your stress response.

The right herbs are a potent tool for fighting the effects of stress, helping you respond better, and having more resiliency.

An herb is simply a plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers that people have used for centuries as medicine or to flavor food. Today we often think of an herb as a plant with healing medicinal uses.

Some herbs are adaptogens, which means they promote balance, calm us, and boost energy without over stimulating.

Some adaptogens work quickly while others take more time for their cumulative benefits—and you can speed that process up by taking a daily supplement with multiple herbs.

Let’s look at seven herbs that would make a healthy addition to your diet or supplements for daily relaxation.

1. Passion Flower

It’s scientific name is Passiflora, but it’s also known as the passion flower or passion vine.

It’s a vine native to the tropics and sub-tropics that promotes restful sleep and relaxation.

Many people know it to be a calming herb, and now science backs that up as well.

A 2010 study in Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology found that passion flower affects gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors and other neurotransmitters in the central nervous system to calm us.

It’s a very powerful herbal sedative, some saying it’s as effective as valium. So it’s very popular as a remedy for insomnia.

2. Ashwagandha

This herb is known as Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry, while its scientific name is Withania somnifera .

This adaptogenic can be brewed as a tea for morning or evening, or taken in a capsule.

Ashwagandha helps regulate cortisol levels, reduces inflammation, repairs oxidative damage to cells, and promotes restful sleep. 

So it fights disease like cancer as well as bringing inner peace.

It’s beneficial for anyone overwhelmed by stress who feels exhausted or agitated. It also boosts the immune system, and its antioxidant properties destroy free radicals, making it a great anti-aging formula and disease preventative.

3. Chamomile

Matricaria chamomilla is also known as Matricaria recutita, German chamomile or wild chamomile. It’s the most famous of calming herbs, and many people drink it as a sleepy time tea.

It’s been used since the beginning of time, and for some surprising reasons.

The Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians used it to treat wounds and promote healing. Chamomile tea is derived from Matricaria chamomilla L, which has anti inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

The plant’s delicate flower has a mild scent and pleasant taste, and can be used to calm an upset stomach. So chamomile tea will calm you down, settle your stomach, and help you sleep.

Chamomile even helps with period-related symptoms. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry said that Chamomile tea has pain-relieving and antispasmodic properties. It relaxes the uterus and decreases the production of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation and pain.

4. Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis, known as lemon balm, balm, common balm, or balm mint, is native to south-central Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean region, and Central Asia.

As the name implies, it has a lemony scent and produces pale-lemon colored flowers.

Lemon Balm is a nervine herb, meaning it supports the nervous system.

That means it’s highly beneficial for sufferers of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by reducing agitation in patients.

It’s actually used in treatment for hyperthyroidism, but that means it shouldn’t be taken if you have hypothyroidism.

Lemon balm is also a digestive aid, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety, so it’s a powerful addition to other calming herbs.

5. Lavender

Like Lemon Balm, Lavender is one of those herbs with a distinctive smell.

Lavandula is a genus of 39 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae.

Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, and used for its calming and soothing effects. Some inhale it as an essential oil to relieve pain and reduce anxiety.

The plant is well known for its calming effect on the brain, helping with anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

A study by the European Neurology found lavender essential oil significantly reduces the severity of migraine headaches.

Another study showed that using lavender oil in aromatherapy decreases agitation in patients in nursing homes.

Many people will attest to the calming affects of smelling lavender, so it’s a must-have herb for your calming supplement.

6. St. John’s Wort

Hypericum perforatum, known as Perforate St John’s-wort, Common Saint John’s wort and St John’s wort, is a flowering plant in the family Hypericaceae.  

This herb is known as the bright yellow antidepressant because some people prefer it over prescription drugs. It’s all natural and doesn’t have the side effects of prescription meds.

St. John’s Wort is a known mood lifter and mild sedative. It relaxes the body and mind and yet it actually fights fatigue.

It’s used to treat:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Chronic Fatigue Disorder

This is a powerful herb, so check with your doctor about drug interactions—it can reduce the effectiveness of birth control.

7. Hawthorn

Crataegus, commonly called hawthorn, quickthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America.

Hawthorn, a beautiful shrub with dark green leaves and small red berries, is hugely beneficial for our heart.

An article in the Pharmacognosy Review shared that the leaves, flowers, and fruit can strengthen the cardiovascular system and relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.

Hawthron is known as the heart herb because it’s also used to strengthen the heart muscle, normalize heart rhythms, act as an antioxidant to reduce and prevent plaque build-up in the arteries, and increase circulation to the extremities. 

These seven herbs have calming effects for natural relaxation.

You can make your own mixtures and teas of these herbs for a powerful relaxation tonic, and you can find them in supplements.

Nutrition Blends Inner Peace Formula uses these seven herbs along with hops for ultimate relaxation, plus other herbs and natural ingredients for energy, digestion, mood, and well-being.

In addition, Inner Peace Formula contains ingredients that are scientifically proven to lift mood, improve sleep, support immunity and relieve the negative effects of stress.

Learn more about the Inner Peace Formula at, where you’ll also find a long list of studies to support the benefits of each ingredient.


School of Natural Health Courses

Massage Magazine

“Eight Herbs for Calm” The Alchemists Kitchen.

“Natural Sleep Supplements.”

Lemon Balm.

Gyllenhaal C, Merritt SL, Peterson SD, Block KI, Gochenour T. Efficacy and safety of herbal stimulants and sedatives in sleep disorders. Sleep Med Rev. 2000 Jun;4(3):229-51.

Kennedy DO, Little W, Haskell CF, Scholey AB. Anxiolytic effects of a combination of Melissa officinalis and Valeriana officinalis during laboratory induced stress. Phytother Res. 2006 Feb;20(2):96-102.

Dimpfel W, Pischel I, Lehnfeld R. Effects of lozenge containing lavender oil, extracts from hops, lemon balm and oat on electrical brain activity of volunteers. Eur J Med Res. 2004 Sep 29;9(9):423-31.