List of Calming Herbs

This is a list of calming herbs posted by BAP on Twatter on October 20, 2019. (Archived on page 281, tweets #3-4.)

Calming Herbs/Supplements

Theanine most essential. Two good brands Country Life is more effective than others for some reason, but contains also a B vitamin. Sports Research is cheaper and is suspended in coconut oil (pills). I use latter now. 200 mg in morning on empty stomach/with coffee is best. Can take up to 5x/day if necessary. Most important anti-anxiety supplement imo.

Glycine you all know about. Best brand is Micro Ingredients made in USA. Best slep aid will almost make you pass out if taken at night and give deep sleep. Taken in morning or through day with coffee (add malk + sugar for Ray Peat style) will give relaxed surfer composure. Negative stimuli won't affect you as much.

Ashwagandha is most effective anti-anxiety herb. It also boosts test, strength, feelings of well-being; will modulate cortisol. Cons: you will build tolerance and then going off it will give you more anxiety than usual. It affects GABA so in theory withdrawal could be fatal like for alcohol or benzos. But probably not in concentrations you'd get commercially. I use Gaia brand, it's best for such herbs.

Rhodiola is another good herb (Gaia brand best), it will give feelings of well-being and will lower cortisol (unlike ashwagandha that modulates it). But lowering cortisol may not be good. Rhodiola can also have stimulant effects, so although it lowers anxiety, it may not be what you're looking for.

Eleuthero is another herb, Siberian "ginseng” (again Gaia brand best and in fact other companies don't make an effective tincture; needs to be black in color for potency). It's anti-inflammatory and will give you great strength. I find very useful, others less so. It was used in combination with rhodiola by the Soviet space program. Because of its strength-giving powers it may also have stimulant effect, be careful.

Relora is a proprietary blend of magnolia bark and phellodendron amurense (Amur cork tree) that has proven numerous studies for lowering anxiety and cortisol. I think is effective, many different companies make different blends, you have to study what is best. I've used Thorne in the past and it works, but it also has many B vitamins.

Passionflower, Lemon Balm, and Holy Basil are all very effective herbs to lower anxiety and promote feelings of calm. I don't have any brand I can recommend and the best way is if you can grow them yourself and make a tea out of them. There are good brands that sell them in pill form though, I just haven't studied it enough to know what's best. Passionflower is probably better as a sleep aid than the other two, and will give you strange but light-filled dreams. It also has some kind of effect on DMT production b careful. Holy Basil has no such effects and is an amazing all- around wellness herb. Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis) is the best of the best in terms of having No negative side effects, giving you calm FOCUS, and has many positive side effects besides (antiviral, improves digestion, strong antioxidant proven to counter effects of radiation, etc.). You can look up studies on it in pubmed. It grows easily and you can grow it yourself “superorganic” or otherwise take pills.

Chamomile and Lavender are calming teas and anxiolytics that are especially useful at sleeptime. Chamomile is however a mild laxative. Lavender has estrogenic effects long term, but it does work.

Valerian is an important an unique anxiolytic and sleep aid. It will often work when nothing else does. You have to take enough of it though—Whole Foods makes an OK version, but often only if you take at least 2-3 pills. It's also a mild anti-inflammatory. Warning: it will give you very twisted and often dark and violent dreams. For this last reason I only rarely ever use it.


As these aren't standardized meds and everyone's body as well as cause of anxiety is somewhat different, some herbs will work for some more than for others. Also brand and sourcing is important; using ineffective brand or concentration is bad, go for reputable brands, read reviews etc.

This covers only the main herbs and supplements that will help. Anxiety is promoted by modern conditions in too many ways to count and big problem for many. The people I know who have best control over it have practiced Yoga for a long time. I don't myself practice it but wish I did. There are many varieties that aren't "whyte gril” yoga but very alfa and rigorous, you have to study. Same with meditation. This is best learned directly from someone who knows how to practice it. Lifting, exercise, or a combat sport can work in similar way.

Often anxiety is caused by a low-grade infection that won't be diagnosed. This can even be e.g., a tooth infection, but is most often intestinal. That is another subject altogether, but you can get a mastery over modern poisoning by managing your diet. PUFAs/vegetable oils and especially STARCHES (especially processed ones), NOT sugars are the most frequent culprits. In fact a little bit of honey or (natty) sugar with milk + coffee can counter stress, and coconut oil has often worked to treat jitters caused by endotoxin poisoning. See also Ray Peat “carrot salad” treatment and his other advice about all this. Starches, PUFA and poisonous “soft drinks” will infect intestines and blood with bacterial and mycotoxins that will exacerbate anxiety and stress. That's subject for another time though.

Note to calming herbs: maybe I didn't make clear enough, but Valerian among all the ones I listed DOES have a soporific effect, and if you take glycine at night you'll likely pass out.

The probiotic Gastrus, taken continually for a month, will give sustained feelings of elation.