Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia, with one in four people suffering from anxiety, causing a 13% increase in anxiety medication prescriptions. Therefore, using natural remedies such as lemon balm can be good for anxiety and avoid adverse drug effects.
Lemon balm contains natural properties that effectively reduce anxiety and help stop panic attacks. It can also help to settle your stomach, help you focus, lower your heart rate, and keep your brain clear in stressful or overwhelming situations.
Read on to find out why lemon balm could be the best natural remedy for anxiety and to discover other tips to help you deal with anxiety naturally.
Lemon balm can help reduce feelings of anxiety
One of the key ways Lemon Balm can help you tackle anxiety is because it prevents the nerves in your brain from overfiring and making you anxious.
The rosmarinic acid found in lemon balm binds with nerve receptors in your brain to stop them from firing and sending messages too fast. This slows down signals in your brain and stops you from feeling overwhelmed, and reduces feelings of anxiety.
More specifically, GABA is a nerve inhibitory because it slows down your nerves, stops brain signals from passing and decreases overall brain activity.
The rosmarinic acid in lemon balm can bind with gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) nerve receptors in your brain. It reacts with these nerve receptors the same way GABA does, thereby having the same calming effect.
Furthermore, lemon balm can also raise GABA levels naturally. This two-fold effect of mimicking GABA and increasing the amount of GABA helps you calm down. This 2014 study further proves that lemon balm can naturally reduce anxiety and help you relax.
So, if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, consuming lemon balm is an effective way to trick your brain into relaxing.
Perhaps work may be making you feel anxious. Check out this article to learn more about work-based anxiety and other natural remedies for work-related anxiety.
Lemon balm contains rosmarinic acid, which binds with GABA nerve receptors in your brain, forcing your brain to slow down and relax, thereby making you feel relaxed. As well as mimicking GABA, lemon balm can actively increase levels of GABA in your brain for a more potent effect.
Use lemon balm to clear your mind
When you feel anxious, your brain works overtime to send panic signals making it hard to think straight. Lemon balm can improve your focus, clear your mind during stressful situations and when you feel anxious.
Lemon balm can boost the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in your brain. BDNF helps keep the cells in your brain healthy and functioning correctly, so when you drink lemon balm tea and increase the amount of BDNF, your brain can work more effectively. This may help clear your mind, help you make rational choices and improve your memory.
Anxiety can make your brain confused because your nerves fire signals too fast for you to understand.
The GABA-promoting properties of lemon balm slow these signals while boosting cognitive function by passing messages around your brain correctly.
Hence, the mental fog clears and you will feel attentive and have a straightforward thought process.
Additionally, lemon balm is considered a nootropic, which means it can help improve how your brain functions. It’s excellent at doing this for everybody, so even if you aren’t anxious, your brain could benefit from some lemon balm.
Lemon balm boosts cognitive function by helping your brain cells function more efficiently and keeping your brain healthy. If you suffer from anxiety, it also helps slow brain signals and improves your thought process, so you can think clearly and don’t feel overwhelmed.
Lemon balm can help boost your mood
There is further evidence that lemon balm can be used to tackle anxiety because it can naturally boost your mood.
As well as reducing feelings of anxiety, lemon balm can actively promote positive thoughts to put you in a better mood by encouraging the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone.
One study found that even small amounts of lemon balm can effectively stimulate your thyroid to produce more serotonin. The effects of increased serotonin last for up to three hours, leaving you feeling happier, more content and calmer.
The same study found that lemon balm was so effective at boosting serotonin levels that it can even do this while you sleep, so you can take lemon balm at any time of the day to be in a better mood.
If you often feel anxiety at night or find your anxiety manifests in the form of nightmares, you can take lemon balm before bed to sleep better.
By increasing serotonin production, lemon balm can also be used to treat depression. As anxiety and depression often occur together, using the plant as an antidepressant may help you feel better without using prescribed medications.
Lemon balm stimulates your thyroid to produce more serotonin. This is the feel-good hormone that boosts your mood and makes you feel happier. Because of this, lemon balm is an effective antidepressant as well as effective against anxiety.
Stop your heart racing with lemon balm
Another great way lemon balm can help with anxiety is that it can help to lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
When you feel anxious, your body automatically raises your heart and your blood pressure increases. Lemon balm helps stop your heart from racing and lowers your blood pressure by balancing the redox signals in your body, so you don’t get heart palpitations when anxious.
Your redox system is the system in your cells that send messages telling your body how to relax. When you feel anxious, your fight or flight reaction tells everything to get faster, so your redox system tells your heart to beat faster.
So, when you feel anxious, and your heart is racing, or it feels like your heart is in your mouth, lemon balm can help stop this from happening.
This 2016 found that lemon balm extract helps rebalance the redox system, effectively slowing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure to stop your heart racing when anxiety hits.
As your heart slows and your blood pressure drops, your rebalanced redox system starts to send signals to the rest of your body to slow down. When this happens, you will begin to feel less anxious and more relaxed.
Lemon balm can help regulate your redox system. This system sends messages to speed up your heart rate when you are anxious, so ingesting lemon balm helps slow your racing heart and lower your blood pressure, so you feel less anxious.
Lemon balm can help with nausea
Anxiety can also make you nauseous as panic, and anxious thoughts disrupt your digestive system’s careful balance. Lemon balm can help soothe your digestion so you won’t feel sick when anxiety hits.
Nausea is often associated with anxiety because the neurotransmitters released in your brain when you feel anxious travel around the body and end up in your gut, where they disrupt your digestive system. The environment of your stomach and digestive tract is a precise balance of bacteria; when this is disrupted, you feel sick.
Lemon balm helps with anxiety-induced nausea by restoring your gut’s delicate microbiome. The herb is antimicrobial and can help improve digestion and encourage the spread of bacteria in the stomach to stop nausea caused by anxiety.
Lemon balm contains compounds called Terpenes like citronellal, citronellol, citral, and geraniol, all of which help soothe bad digestion. These compounds help relax your stomach muscles and stop the churning feeling most people experience with anxiety.
In addition, lemon balm is mildly antibacterial. When you consume lemon balm, it can help regulate the growth of bacteria in your gut preventing sickness and restoring your digestive system.
This study concluded that lemon balm could be used to help treat many digestive aids caused by an unbalanced gut, including nausea caused by anxiety.
If you experience nausea when you feel anxious or stressed, it is a sign your anxiety is upsetting your gut. This can lead to another health problem which is constipation caused by stress. For more information on this topic, check out this article about stress and pooping.
Chronic anxiety can upset the delicate environment in your digestive system, making you feel nauseous. Lemon balm helps soothe your digestion, stops you from feeling sick and restores your gut’s natural bacteria balance.
What to do when you feel overwhelmed
If you frequently feel overwhelmed, alongside drinking lemon balm tea, you can try other natural ways to help you calm down and increase the chances of relaxing naturally.
Sometimes the anxiety can also be caused by your period, read more here:
Finding more natural ways to relax can mean you don’t have to rely on prescribed medications.
Here are some more recommended ways to relax naturally when you feel stressed.
Deep breaths to calm breathing
Anxiety and panic attacks can cause breathing difficulties, most commonly, hyperventilation. This happens when your brain panics and thinks you don’t have enough oxygen, and you feel like you can’t breathe.
To combat this and help your brain relax, try taking several deep breaths.
Count up to four while slowly breathing in, hold your breath for another count of four and then breathe out through your mouth slowly for a count of six. Repeat this until you feel calmer.
Listen to music to distract senses
Listening to music can help distract your brain and will literally take your mind off your anxiety.
Stimulating your senses by listening to music forces your brain to send different signals rather than focusing on panic and stress.
Try creating a playlist of your favourite songs or songs that help you relax, and listen to them when you feel overwhelmed. Headphones can also help block out other noise if you feel overwhelmed.
Pressure points to slow heart rate
Using pressure points is a very effective way to help you calm down. Specific pressure points can help relax your cardiovascular system, slow your heart rate and tell your brain to slow down.
The best pressure points to relax are the Union valley point, situated on the web between your thumb and forefinger, and the Hall of impression point, found between your eyebrows.
Place your thumb on the point (for the union valley point, hold the webbing between thumb and forefinger with the opposite hand) and gently place pressure for around 30 seconds while breathing deeply, and you will feel yourself relax.
Wall push to focus emotions
Another way to help regulate your emotions when you feel anxious is to do a wall push.
Find a firm, flat wall and place your palms flat against it. With your feet flat on the floor, gently push against the wall while focusing on how the wall feels against your hands.
This stimulates your touch sense which your brain prioritises instead of focusing on emotions, thereby relaxing you in seconds.
If you would like to discover more, this article contains more tips and advice about other ways to reduce anxiety and deal with stress naturally.
When you feel anxious, you can try many different ways to relax. You can push on your pressure points, try breathing exercises, or stimulate your sense by listening to music or pushing your hands against a wall.
Lemon balm can be an effective natural treatment for anxiety because it helps calm your brain and increase the production of serotonin, the happy hormone.
Lemon balm increases the amount of GABA in your brain, which effectively stops you from overthinking, calms you down and stops anxious thoughts from spreading. Furthermore, it can boost your mood and can be used to help settle your stomach and prevent you from feeling nauseous. It may also help to lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
If you want to consider other natural teas to help with your anxiety, you can discover more about how valerian root can help with anxiety in this article.