Chinese Tea and Herbs for Anxiety: Licorice Root, Ginseng and More

Chinese herbs for anxiety are being used for centuries, managing to find plants and create mixtures that effectively address the ailments they’re supposed to treat. Modern medicine may have slightly shifted the focus but with current concerns on natural approaches, Chinese herbs are making a quick and very convincing comeback. Add the fact that studies have verified their usefulness and it’s not really surprising that the Chinese herb market is thriving. My three personal favorite Chinese herbs for anxiety are licorice root, schisandra and panax ginseng.

Chinese Herbs and Anxiety

Anxiety is just one condition treated through Chinese herbs. One thing to keep in mind is that there is no single herb solution. Chinese medicine usually incorporates two or more herbs, making good use of individual characteristics to better address the main problem. In this article, you’ll find out the different herb combinations typically used:

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This is the name given to a combination of herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, supposedly addressing not just anxiety but also irritability, insomnia and restlessness. Chinese medicine operates on the belief that there’s an imbalance in the Qi and the herbs essentially restore balance by addressing the problem. In this case, the diagnosis would be a Disturbed Shen caused by Heart Fire. The herbs used for this ingredient include:

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Calm Spirit

Diagnosed as Disturbed Shen from Deficient Blood or Yin, the Calm Spirit is usually offered to take care of PMS, weepiness and anxiety. It contains the following ingredients:

  • Weatberries
  • Sour Date
  • Lily
  • Mimosa Bark
  • Licorice Root
  • Poria
  • Polygonum

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Diagnosed as Liver Qi Stagnation with Heart Fire, this is often prescribed for patients showing signs of depression and irritability.

This traditional TCM mix includes:

  • Poria
  • Ginger
  • Licorice Root
  • White peony
  • Tree peony root bark
  • Gardenia
  • Atractylodes
  • Bupleurum
  • Mint
  • Dang Gui

Single Herb Solutions

Of course, chances are you’ll have a hard time mixing these different TCM herbs for anxiety: not to mention actually finding them from your local store. Some of this traditional Chinese medicine is pre-mixed and available in capsule format, allowing for easy intake. If you’ll notice though, many of the mixes contain common ingredients.

If you’re inclined, you can also use these single Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs for anxiety. Here are some of the herbs you can try and ways to prepare them:

Licorice Root

The root of licorice can help reduce stress and fatigue: two common triggers of anxiety. They promote the function of the adrenal gland, therefore resulting to a more relaxed feeling. You can take this in capsule or powder format. If you wish, you can also prepare your own tea with the plant.

Ginseng

Known for reducing stress, increasing mental function and generally increasing the metabolism and energy of individuals, ginseng is a wonderful one-ingredient solution for anxiety. You can purchase these in capsules or make your own fluid extract, consuming around 4 ml after every meal. I prefer Korean Panax Ginseng.

Peppermint

Chinese herbs for anxiety are best taken as a tea. In this case, peppermint is a good choice. Peppermint offers a very relaxing effect on the mind and body. It’s perfect for individuals who feel anxious during work and would like to take a 5-minute break before jumping back in the fray. Unlike other anti-anxiety drugs, peppermint shouldn’t cause drowsiness.

Remember: always consult your doctor before taking any Chinese herbs for anxiety, especially if you’re also on medications for pre-existing conditions.


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