A quick temper may stem from the inability to deal with stress or anxiety. A class of herbs called nervines may take the edge off anxiety, but clinical studies confirming their benefits are lacking. Because anger management may require more than just herbal remedies, seek treatment from a professional, and use nervine herbs only under the direction of a doctor as part of an overall program to reduce anger. The FDA does not oversee the production of herbal remedies, so there is no guarantee of their effectiveness, quality or safety.
Widely available as an herbal tea or in capsule or extract forms, German chamomile, or Matricaria recutita, was sacred to ancient Saxons. The aromatic flowers contain flavonoids, coumarins, cyanogenic glycosides and choline. A tea made from this herb may have a calming effect, according to the “Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicines.”
A tincture made from oat seeds, or Avena sativa, contains flavonoids, silicic acid, polysaccharides and steroid saponins, which may be beneficial in calming mild anxiety that can lead to angry outbursts. This herb may be especially beneficial for easing stress related to tobacco withdrawal symptoms, according to the “PDR for Herbal Medicines.”
An herbal tea made from the leaves and flowers of the skullcap plant, or Scutellaria lateriflora, contains flavonoids, volatile oils, tannins, and iridoids. Sipping the tea may act as a sedative and, according to the “PDR,” may be helpful in reducing nervous tension and hysteria, although these benefits are clinically unproven.
St. John’s Wort
The bright yellow flowers and the leaves of St. John’s wort, or Hypericum perforatum, may balance moods and ease tension. The herb contains flavonoids, anthracene derivatives, xanthones and volatile oils, and may be beneficial in treating mild or moderate depression, which may be associated with some anger issues.
Considered a sacred herb by ancient Druids, verbena, also called vervain, or Verbena officinalis, contains flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, and iridoide monoterpenes. The herb may be calming to some, although there is insufficient evidence to confirm these benefits.
While nervine herbs may be beneficial in treating some conditions related to anger, they may also have side effects. Because herbal remedies are not regulated, products may contain adulterated components, such as herbicides or pesticides. Use herbs under the supervision of a doctor.
- “Alternative and Complementary Therapies: Nervine Herbs for Treating Anxiety”; Kathy Abascal, B.S., J.D., R.H, December 2004
- “Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, Volume 2”; Jacqueline L. Longe; 2005
- “PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd Edition”; Joerg Gruenwald, Ph.D., 2000