Q & A: Fear of flying

“I am terrified of flying. Are there any natural remedies that can help?”

Medical herbalist Gabriella Clarke provides some answers.

Firstly, you are not alone. Many of us suffer some degree of anxiety when it comes to flying. For some, the anxiety can be severe, even to the point of choosing to never to set foot on an aircraft at all.  Luckily there are ways to help manage this phobia and there are some great herbs available to help us to relax before and during our travels.


Camomile is a wonderful gentle remedy that helps us relax.


Passion flower can help alleviate some of the physical symptoms of anxiety such as butterfly stomach and palpitations. Higher doses can help to induce sleep.


Rhodiola is a fantastic adaptogenic herb and helps us to cope better with stressful situations without feeling drowsy.


It may be tempting to have an alcoholic drink on the plane and while one drink may help, too many may actually increase anxiety. It is far better to stick with water or soft drinks.


For severe cases of fear of flying, I would recommend a few sessions of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) in the months before you set off. You can get a referral from your GP and private courses are also available – don’t let your phobia stop you visiting some amazing destinations.

For more information and advice check out the Anxiety UK website.