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Herbal/plant-based remedies

These are remedies that are found naturally in plants, herbs or flowers. They can come in different forms, such as teas, oils, and supplements. Many people find them relaxing or soothing or feel that they can be helpful in treating some symptoms of mental ill-health. Examples include: St John’s-wort, valerian, passion flower, roseroot, sage, chamomile, kava,  lemon balm, clove, milk thistle, ginseng, hawthorn and saffron.

It is worth noting that while some people find these remedies very effective, others do not, and it is always worth telling a doctor or health practitioner if you intend to try them out. In particular, St John’s-wort should not be taken at the same time as any prescription antidepressants as this can increase the risk of dangerous side effects.  Find more information on the NHS website or on the image below.

If you want to try running an aromatherapy bath, it’s best to add a few drops of your chosen essential oils (such as lavender oil or lemon oil) to a ‘carrier’, like olive or coconut oil, so they don’t irritate your skin. You can also try adding this mixture to some Epsom Salts to make natural, scented bath salts.


There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.