top of page

Stress-Busting Toolkit: 5 Herbs to Build Resilience

Humankind has been blessed with a huge array of plants that can be used to support our ability to cope with stress and adapt to change. Some plants are especially effective at this due to specific nutrients and natural plant compounds that promote relaxation and help reduce reactivity to stress.

Here are 5 herbs that I have found to be especially helpful for developing resilience to stress. They calm nerves, help relieve anxiety, tension and irritability and promote restful sleep.

Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera) the root


· Helps calm nerves to promote relaxation and balance mood

· Reduces anxiety, relieves insomnia and helps with difficulty concentrating due to physical or mental exhaustion and burnout

The brands I trust include:

· Ashwaganda Root vegan liquid capsules by Gaia Herbs

· Ashwaganda liquid (nonalcoholic) glycerin extract by Vimergy

o Follow the directions on the bottles for dosage

Note: Ashwaganda needs to be taken daily and may take 2-3 weeks before an effect is noticed. Often it is only when you stop taking a supplement or herb that you have been taking for a while that you notice the effects when you start feeling worse after stopping it.


· Cautious use with pregnancy or lactation (see your doctor). Should not be taken with sedatives, such as Xanax or Lorazepam

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) the flowers


· Calms nerves, relieves stress, irritability, "nervous" stomach issues, anxiety from teething pain in children

· Gentle and safe for all age groups, including children

The brands I trust include:

o Organic Chamomile tea by Traditional Medicinals

o Organic Chamomile with Lavender by Traditional Medicinals

o An herbal tea blend that includes chamomile and passion flower called Calm Team by Traditional Medicinals

Note: For all teas, put tea bag in cup. Pour boiling water into cup. Cover cup and let soak for 10-15 minutes. Take out tea bag. Add 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey if desired and stir until dissolved. Do not use raw honey for children less than a year old.


o Do not use if allergy to any plants in the daisy family. If itching of eyes, ears, nose, occurs, discontinue use.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) herb


· Relieves anxiety, depression, nervous/tension headaches, nervous exhaustion, stress, insomnia and nerve pain

· Calms nerves and decreases inflammation; very helpful for “nervous stomach” issues

· Great for kids when they are irritable during teething and helps prevent nightmares

The brands I trust include:

o Lemon Balm liquid (nonalcoholic) extract by Vimergy and Organic Lemon Balm tea by Traditional Medicinals

o I have also been able to find high quality and less expensive lemon balm in bulk from local herbal suppliers and in some co-op stores. I recommend organic teas to avoid pesticides and herbicides.


· Check with your doctor for use during pregnancy

Passion Flower (Passifora incarnata) fresh leaf


· Helps relieve nervous tension, anxiety, tension headaches, agitation

· Relieves insomnia caused by worrying

The brands I trust include:

· Passion Flower glycerin extract from Nature’s Answer

· Organic Passion Flower tea from Alvita.

· An herbal tea blend that includes passion flower and chamomile called Calm Team by Traditional Medicinals


· Do not use with pregnancy, depression, liver or pancreas disease, bradycardia (slow heart rate), while taking other sedatives such as Xanax or Valium.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) herb


· Supports and calms the nervous system

· Used for chronic anxiety or worry and difficulty concentrating due to exhaustion

· Supports restful sleep

The brand I trust is:

o Skullcap glycerin (alcohol-free) extract by Nature’s Answer


· Check with your doctor for use during pregnancy

Knowledge is power when organized and directed towards a goal. Here’s to empowering your health.

Karen M. Gutierrez, PhD, RN, Advanced Holistic Nurse-Board Certified


bottom of page