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Herbs for PTSD
There are several herbs that have been traditionally used to help alleviate some of the symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
My favorite way to receive the anxiety-reducing, depression-lifting benefits of herbs is to consume them through the way of tea.
How to Use Herbs for Emotional Healing
Plants have medicinal properties that have been used to treat various ailments for centuries.
Ways to use herbs for PTSD:
➡️ Drink them in tea
➡️ Taking them as a supplement
➡️ Using as an essential oil
➡️ Smoke cleansing
One of the easiest, most effective ways to receive the most benefits from these herbs is by drinking tea.
Tea and PTSD
While tea alone cannot cure PTSD, certain types of tea may help alleviate some of its symptoms.
Examples of teas treating PTSD symptoms:
1️⃣ Chamomile tea: Chamomile has a calming effect and can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
2️⃣ Green tea: Green tea has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood.
3️⃣ Lavender tea: Lavender can aid in promoting restful sleep.
It’s important to note that tea should not be used as the sole treatment for PTSD.
But tea can be used in conjunction with professional help from a mental health provider.
Some herbs may have adverse reactions to medications and supplements you’re taking as well as certain medical conditions, so be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming any herbs.
And now onto the best herbs to help with emotional healing ⤵️
13 Teas for PTSD
Speaking of trauma, have you downloaded your free inner child healing workbook yet? 👇
Ashwagandha has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to help reduce stress and anxiety.
It’s believed to help regulate the body’s stress response and improve overall mood, which can be helpful for people dealing with emotional trauma.
Studies on ashwagandha and stress and anxiety:
➡️ One study found that taking ashwagandha for 60 days significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with moderate to severe anxiety.
➡️ Another study found that those who took 250 or 600 mg of ashwagandha extract for 8 weeks had notably reduced perceived stress and levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared with those who took a placebo.
If you’re looking forward to trying ashwagandha, be prepared for a strong horse-like odor.
More ways to help anxiety:
The herb has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system and may help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Studies on passionflower and anxiety:
➡️ In one clinical trial, researchers found that passionflower had results similar to anti-anxiety medication with its anxiety-calming (anxiolytic) effects.
➡️ Another study found that passionflower decreased anxiety and improved memory in rats.
There are about 500 known species of passionflower, but expect an earthy and mildly sweet flavor, with a subtle grassy undertone.
Chamomile has a calming effect and can help relieve anxiety and induce relaxation.
This floral herb is commonly used to help alleviate symptoms of stress and emotional tension.
Studies on chamomile and mental health:
➡️ One study found that chamomile showed significant improvement in anxiety after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment.
➡️ Another study of 179 people with generalized anxiety disorder showed antidepressant effects upon chamomile treatments.
On top of that, chamomile can aid in inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids.
4. ST. JOHN’S WORT
It’s believed to work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can help improve mood and reduce feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Studies on St. John’s Wort and depression:
➡️ One study found that St. John’s Wort is not significantly different from antidepressant medication when given as monotherapy for mild and moderate depression, and it’s superior to placebo in improving symptoms.
➡️ Another study noted that fewer people stopped taking St. John’s Wort compared to those who stopped taking their antidepressants.
It’s worth noting that although St. John’s Wort can be super beneficial in treating depression, there are possible side effects, such as anxiety, panic attacks, aggression, vomiting, dizziness, and amnesia.
There are also serious concerns about drug interactions.
Lavender is known for its relaxing and calming properties.
This fragrant herb can help reduce anxiety and promote restful sleep — which can be helpful for individuals dealing with emotional trauma.
Studies on lavender and PTSD:
➡️ One study discovered that people with anxiety disorders who took 160-milligram lavender oil capsules experienced a significant decrease in anxiety.
➡️ Another small study concluded that elderly adults who drank lavender tea twice a day for two weeks experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression.
When used as an essential oil, lavender can also provide a sense of calm and be used for an improved quality of sleep.
More essential oils to treat trauma:
Not only does rose have a calming effect on the mind and body, but it can also help promote feelings of love and compassion.
Rose is also commonly used to help heal emotional wounds and promote emotional wellbeing.
Studies on rose and mental health:
➡️ This study found that the extract of rose petals can relax the central nervous system and provide antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.
➡️ Another trial concluded that rose oil caused significant decreases in breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation, and systolic blood pressure. At an emotional level, people in the rose oil group rated themselves as more calm, more relaxed, and less alert than those in the control group.
If you struggle with terrible menstrual symptoms, rose can also help alleviate your period pain.
More ways to help period cramps:
7. LEMON BALM
Lemon balm is often used to provide relaxation and improve sleep quality that’s so needed when you carry the weight of PTSD.
Because this herb has a calming effect on the nervous system, it can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Studies on St. John’s Wort and PTSD:
➡️One study reported lemon balm provides improvements in various aspects of mood and cognitive performance.
➡️ Another trial discovered that a combination of lemon balm and valerian root may help relieve restlessness and sleep disorders.
As the name implies, lemon balm offers a delicious lemony scent and flavor that’s easy to digest.
8. VALERIAN ROOT
Valerian root offers a sedative effect that can aid in relaxation and reduce the stressful symptoms of trauma.
This strong herb is also commonly used to help improve sleep quality.
Studies on valerian root and emotional healing:
➡️ This trial reported valerian root shows an improvement in sleep quality, depression, and anxiety in hemodialysis patients.
➡️In this trial, evidence suggests valerian root may help with chronic anxious conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
It’s important to note that valerian root should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.
9. HOLY BASIL
Holy basil, also known as Tulsi, is an herb that has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Some studies have suggested that it may be helpful in reducing symptoms of PTSD.
Studies on holy basil and PTSD:
➡️ One study found holy basil significantly improves general stress scores, sexual and sleep problems, and symptoms such as forgetfulness and exhaustion.
➡️ The study also concluded that holy basil has anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties comparable to antidepressants.
That said, holy basil can be incredibly helpful for people coping with emotional trauma.
Pacific Islanders have used Kava (or kava kava) for hundreds of years as a ceremonial drink to promote a state of relaxation.
Because this tropical evergreen shrub has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, it’s been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Studies on kava and anxiety:
➡️ This study found that people with various anxiety disorders saw improvement in anxiety symptoms when taking kava during the 25-week trial.
➡️ Another study suggests that kava significantly reduces stress-induced insomnia.
As with every herb on this list, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider to see if Kava is safe for you.
Rhodiola is known for its adaptogenic properties — which means it helps the body adapt to stress.
This powerful herb has been shown to help reduce anxiety, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function.
Studies on rhodiola and PTSD:
➡️ One study found that rhodiola significantly improves chronic fatigue symptoms.
➡️ This study suggests that rhodiola can be used to alleviate symptoms of burnout symptoms
With that, rhodiola can be extremely beneficial for calming the side effects of PTSD and emotional trauma.
12. GREEN TEA
Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood.
This herb can be helpful for people dealing with emotional trauma to improve their overall mood.
Studies on green tea and mental wellness:
➡️ One study found green tea positively affects cognition, mood, and human brain function.
➡️ The study discovered that green tea shows an improvement in anxiety symptoms.
It’s not surprising that green tea has been used all throughout history.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.
This versatile plant is also commonly used to help improve mood and promote emotional wellbeing.
Studies on ginger and mental health:
➡️ This study showed that ginger increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are two of the most important mood-boosting neurotransmitters.
➡️ Another study concluded that ginger may help reduce oxidative stress, which results from having too many free radicals in the body.
Ginger may also help you manage arthritis, reduce menstrual symptoms, and fight nausea.
More inner child healing posts:
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- 17 Magical Crystals for Healing Childhood Trauma (and Emotional Pain)
- 101 Healing Inner Child Affirmations (to Reparent Yourself)
- 70 Healing Inner Child Quotes (to Help Overcome Childhood Trauma)
- 40 Child Abuse Songs (When You Had a Bad Childhood)
- 13 Nostalgic Activities to Reconnect with Your Inner Child
- 107 Toxic Parents Quotes (When Mother and Father Are Abusive AF)
- 22 Powerful Inner Child Healing Meditations (Guided and Unguided)
- 23 Heartbreaking Movies About Childhood Trauma (That are Therapeutic)
- 17 Must-Have Healing Gifts for Your Inner Child
- 11 Ways to Heal Childhood Trauma Spiritually (and Awaken Your Inner Child)
- 23 Inner Child Oracle Cards (for Deep Shadow Work)
- 23 Tarot Decks (for Intense Inner Child Work)
Herbs for Healing Emotional Trauma
It’s vital that you consult with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements, because herbs may interact with other medications or have potential side effects.
It’s also important to note that while these herbs and teas may be helpful in alleviating some of the symptoms of PTSD and emotional trauma, they should not be used as the sole treatment for the disorder.
If you’re ready to heal from your trauma, you should seek professional help from a mental health provider.
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