Herb

How To Take It

Chamomile
(Chamaemelum nobile,
syn. Anthemis nobilis)

Steep 1 ounce dried chamomile flowers in 1 quart boiling water, covered, for 20 minutes. Drink 3 to 4 cups per day, or as needed.

Kava
(Piper methysticum)

Tinctures are effective for quick relaxation; capsules are best for treating long-term anxiety. Also available as an extract. Do not drink to the point of intoxication.

St. John's wort
(Hypericum perforatum)

Available in capsule form; best used with other therapies, such as counseling and massage. May cause photosensitivity in some people.

Scullcap
(Scutellaria lateriflora)

Available in tincture, tea, and capsule form. For tea, steep 1 teaspoon scullcap in 1 cup boiling water, covered, for 20 minutes. Drink 2 to 3 cups per day, or dilute one-quarter teaspoon tincture in one-half cup warm water and drink three times daily.

Valerian
(Valeriana officinalis)

Most prefer tincture or capsule form. For tinctures, dilute 1 to 2 teaspoons in warm water or tea three times daily, or as needed. If you become further agitated, discontinue use.

—K.R.

Caution: If you're pregnant or taking other prescription medication, please check with your health care practitioner before taking any herbs.

Source: Rosemary Gladstar's Herbs for Reducing Stress & Anxiety by Rosemary Gladstar (Storey Publishing, 1999).