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Plants for Anxiety: 4 Ways to Use Plants to Manage Stress

While we’re all familiar with anxiety, you may be surprised to hear that plants for anxiety can be a huge help!

While there are many ways for reducing and coping with anxiety, some of the best support can come from our plant allies.

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Plants are simply miraculous, magical, and intelligent beings who’ve been serving humankind since the very beginning. Life on earth wouldn’t be possible without their presence in our lives.

Understanding your particular breed of anxiety can be helpful when turning to a plant ally for help.

 
Think about it. From shelter and clothing, food and breathable air, plants are here to help us not only survive, but thrive.
 

How Do Plants Help Reduce Anxiety?

I like to categorize plants and their medicine into four main forms from the most tangible to the most subtle: foods, herbs, essential oils, and flower essences (or plant spirits).

Each of these categories offers unique avenues for supporting our systems on all levels – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually – and helping us to reduce anxiety.

Anxiety isn’t created equally and can show up in many flavors for different people. Some experience feelings of dread and fear, while others feel incredibly scattered and ungrounded.

Plants for anxiety can be classified into four main forms: foods, herbs, essential oils, and flower essences (or plant spirits).

 
Understanding your particular breed of anxiety can be helpful when turning to a plant ally for help.

For example, if your expressions of anxiety are feeling ungrounded and scattered, finding ways to bring heaviness and comfort will be more productive than ways that bring more lightness and airy energies.
 

Plants for Anxiety – Here Are 4 Ways to Use Plants to Reduce Anxiety:

1. Plant Foods

Stress and anxiety take a toll on the system. It takes an incredible amount of energy to be in a state of “fight-or-flight” and the body needs replenishment in the form of quality minerals (namely vitamin C and zinc) and an assortment of phytonutrient antioxidants.

Phytonutrients come from fresh fruits and veggies – the more colorful the better! Think berries, avocados, pumpkin seeds, melons, spinach, and more.

Interestingly enough, those same foods also impart a sense of peace and joy. Yes, from their nutritional compounds, and more so from the energetic connection to Mama Earth. It’s really challenging to feel anxious when you are eating fruits and vegetables. Try it.

 

2. Herbs

A class of herbal medicines known as “adaptogens” are powerful plants that help the system not only adapt to an ever-changing world, but also to combat the impact of stress and anxiety.

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When a system is more resilient, it isn’t as susceptible to anxiety. When a system is more resilient, finding the deeper sense of stability necessary to address the underlying factors of the anxiety is easier, as well.

Herbs are the perfect plants for anxiety. While getting more subtle on the scale of the four forms of plant medicine, herbs work on our physical body, as well as more nuanced, intangible parts of our system.

Certain mushrooms such as reishi and cordyceps, as well as an herb called ashwagandha are some of my favorites. Creating a tonic with powdered herbs in your milk of choice with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon for extra anxiety-reducing power is delicious!

Want to learn more about mushrooms? Here Are 5 Secret Health Benefits of Mushrooms You Need to Know

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils are the pure, raw intelligence of a plant, likened to our own cerebral spinal fluid. The raw codes, memories, and language of a plant are here, and they communicate with us through the olfactory region of the brain – the part that is responsible for smell.

Smell is a very under-appreciated sense, yet one that has the power to impact us quite quickly on all levels. Scent can conjure memories, shift our perspective, change our emotional state, and more all with a single inhale!

When it comes to anxiety, again, understanding your particular manifestation of it is key in identifying supportive allies. For more grounding to combat scattered spaciness, turn to scents such as patchouli, spikenard, sandalwood, cinnamon, and/or frankincense.

Want to learn more about the healing properties of essential oils? Read: FINALLY! A Fact-Based Guide to Essential Oils: Expert Jennifer Pansa Shares Everything You Need to Know

To combat heavy feelings of dread and fear, turn to more airy signatures to impart a sense of lightness and joy. Jasmine, chamomile, rose, clary sage, and/or geranium are fantastic for reducing anxiety!

 

4. Flower Essences

Flower essences are a way of working with the spirit of a plant and are an energetic modality. There isn’t actually any plant matter ingested when using flower essences.

Much in a way herbs or foods work primarily on our physical body, flower essences work on our intangible, subtle realms – our emotional, mental, and spiritual or energetic bodies.

This is exceedingly important and vital when working with reducing anxiety, as the roots of our anxiety can live in our subtle bodies. Yes, our physical environment is a big contributing factor, but understanding our inner world is crucial.

For a sense of grounding to counter feeling scattered, wild potato is simply divine. For a sense of lightness and ease to counter fear and dread, dandelion is one of the best plants for anxiety of this kind. For anxiety that shows up with feelings of guilt or shame, pine has your back.

Curious to learn more? Here’s How to Use the Healing Power of Flower Essences to Reduce Stress
 

Try Plants for Anxiety to Combat Even the Worst of Stress

When it comes to anxiety, ensure that you’re taking exquisite care of your sacred self on all levels.

From surrounding yourself with caring loved ones, talking about your challenges with trusted people, exercising and doing yoga and turning to the support of the plant world – there are many ways that you can naturally and effectively help reduce your anxiety.

If you experience feelings of unease or being ungrounded, scattered, fearful, and the like, turn to plants for anxiety to help you return to that stable center within.

What are your favorite ways to use plants for anxiety? Let us know in the comments below!

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