Why Your Hands Shake and What You Can Do About It

Shaky hands are a very common problem affecting adults.

The most common cause of shaking hands is a condition called essential tremor, which occurs due to a disruption in normal brain function of the cerebellum. Essential tremor tends to run in families.

Other common causes of shaky hands include:

  • Medical conditions, such as overactive thyroid, cerebellar disorders and Huntington’s disease.
  • Medication side effects. In particular, some asthma medications, some antidepressants, lithium and some tranquillizers can cause shakiness if you stop taking them suddenly.
  • Caffeine overdose, which can affect the nervous system.
  • Low blood sugar, which causes shakiness because the nerves and muscles are deprived of fuel. Low blood sugar can also occur after excessive exercise.
  • Withdrawal from alcohol or other substances on which your body has become dependent.
  • Certain nutritional deficiencies.
  • Stress, anxiety and nervousness that triggers an episode of shaky hands.

Though not a life-threatening problem, shaky hands can make daily tasks difficult. If the problem becomes severe, one can have difficulty holding a cup or glass without spilling, eating normally, shaving and writing legibly.

It is important to take this problem seriously, as it can be an early warning sign of some neurological and degenerative conditions.

Before trying a treatment option, it is important to determine the cause of shaky hands. If the problem is due to an underlying medical condition, treating that condition may reduce or eliminate the tremors.

Some simply lifestyle changes and home remedies can also help improve your symptoms.

Here are some of the ways to treat shaky hands.

1. Control Your Stress Level

Stress is one of the main or contributing factors behind shaky hands.

In fact, stress, anxiety and nervousness can trigger episodes of shaky hands. Hence, you should try to relax and reduce stress and tension in your life, as much as you can.

To reduce stress, meditation is one of the best options that you should try. Meditation brings clarity to your mind and relaxes the nerves.

Deep breathing is another good technique to fight stress. Just 10 minutes of deep breathing through your diaphragm can greatly benefit your nervous system and induce relaxation.

2. Drink Chamomile Tea or Use Chamomile Oil

Chamomile is an herb that has soothing and calming properties. It can help calm the nervous system as well as eliminate stress and anxiety.

It is also an effective antispasmodic herb that helps relax muscle spasms, which can cause hand tremors.

  • Drink 2 to 3 cups of chamomile tea daily. To make the tea, steep a chamomile tea bag or 1 tablespoon of chamomile flowers in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and drink the tea while it is still warm.
  • You can also add a few drops of chamomile oil to your bathwater to relax your nerves.

Note: Those taking diabetic medications should take chamomile in moderation and under the guidance of a doctor.

3. Do Hand Exercises

Hand exercises can strengthen your hands and prevent or reduce the severity of shaky hands.

  1. Put a stress ball in the palm of your hand.
  2. Squeeze it as tightly as you can.
  3. Keep this position for about 5 seconds, then slowly relax.
  4. Repeat 10 times.
  5. Do this exercise a few times each day.

Along with hand exercises, incorporate yoga in your life. Yoga is effective in reducing stress and helping you sleep better. Stress and poor sleep are two factors that can trigger shaky hands.

Spend between 10 and 15 minutes per day doing yoga to notice a difference in your health.

4. Drink Lavender Tea or Use Lavender Oil

Lavender is an effective natural remedy for managing shaky hands. This herb is very good for the nervous system, which plays a crucial role in treating this problem.

In addition, lavender helps people beat anxiety and stress that usually triggers this problem. Its soothing smell can enhance brain levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a widely circulated neurotransmitter with proven stress-fighting effects.

The calming effect of lavender can uplift your mood, no matter how stressed or nervous you may be.

  • Lavender essential oil can be added to pillowcases or bathwater to relax tensed muscles.
  • You can also drink a few cups of lavender tea daily for added benefit. To prepare the tea, add 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender flowers or 1½ tablespoon of dried lavender to 2 cups of hot water and allow it to steep for about 5 minutes.

5. Consume Valerian Tea or Extract

Valerian has been used for years to relax muscles and ease tension, which is important for treating hand tremors.

Plus, its sedative effect helps relieve stress and promotes sleep, two important factors that can trigger this annoying problem.

  • Take ½ teaspoon of valerian liquid extract daily to control shaky hands.
  • Another option is to drink valerian tea a few times a week. Prepare the tea by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried valerian root in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink the tea.

Note: This herb is not safe during pregnancy, while breastfeeding or if you take narcotic pain relievers or prescribed sleep medications.

6. Take a Balanced B-Complex

To treat hand tremors, it is essential to take a balanced B-complex.

There are different types of B vitamins that help maintain healthy nerves and strong muscles. For instance, vitamins B12, B1 and B6 are essential to maintain healthy nerves and protect them from damage.

Deficiency of these B vitamins may lead to loss of coordination and balance between different organs, which in turn may cause shaky hands. It can also cause muscle weakness.

  • To ensure your body is getting the correct dose of all these B vitamins, take a good quality balanced B-complex supplement. Always consult your doctor before starting a supplement regimen.
  • Also, eat B vitamin-rich foods like whole grains, egg yolks, peas, beans, leafy green vegetables, dairy products (organic milk and cheeses) and poultry. At the same time, stay away from processed foods as they very minimal or almost no nutritional value.

7. Eat a Diet Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are highly beneficial for the nervous system. These fatty acids lend a protective coating to the nerves’ myelin, which is important for preserving the health of neurons and in eliminating inflammation. Even mild inflammation can worsen the condition of people suffering from shaky hands.

  • Include fish oil and cod liver in your diet to get a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Also, eat cold-water fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines.
  • People following a vegetarian diet can get omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed, flaxseed oil, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

8. Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods

Electrolytes like magnesium aid in transmitting electrical impulses from nerves to muscles. Hence, when the body lacks this important mineral, it may cause muscle spasms that can lead to shaky hands and tremors.

  • Include magnesium-rich foods like sesame seeds, beans, nuts and seeds, and leafy green vegetables in your diet.
  • Taking a magnesium supplement can also correct a deficiency of this important mineral. Consult your doctor first.

9. Avoid Caffeine

If you suffer from shaky hands, it’s time to cut your caffeine intake to a minimum or eliminate it completely.

High caffeine intake can stimulate the central nervous system, and it can trigger episodes of shaky hands. Along with shaky hands, high caffeine intake may also lead to headaches, dizziness, anxiety and serious heart palpitations, which can make it difficult for you to carry out daily activities with ease.

Not just coffee, you must also avoid all caffeine-containing drinks and foods.

10. Say No to Drinking and Smoking

When it comes to lifestyle changes that can help control shaky hands, quitting drinking and smoking are very important.

Excess alcohol consumption has a direct effect on the nervous system. In fact, it can weaken the nervous system severely and cause serious episodes of shaky hands as well as tremors. If you cannot quit drinking, seek professional help. With proper support and guidance from an expert, it is possible to quit drinking, no matter how heavy a drinker you are.

However, bear in mind that shaky hands is an alcohol withdrawal symptom, too. But as soon as your body adjusts to the new change, episodes of shaky hands will go away.

Along with drinking, you must quit smoking. Too much nicotine in the body can cause shaky hands, getting worse overtime.

Additional Tips

  • Eat carbohydrates that are digested slowly, such as porridge, to avoid low blood sugar.
  • As extremely low calcium levels can cause muscle weakness, make sure to eat calcium as well as foods rich in vitamin D.
  • Replace lightweight or delicate objects with heavier versions to avoid accidents.
  • Use specially designed utensils and tools to overcome gripping and controlling issues.
  • Wear wrist weights. The extra weight can make it easier for you to control objects.
  • If you think medications are the reason behind your hand tremors, immediately consult your doctor.

View Comments



  • Thanks for this very useful information. If you have something more effective about reducing hand shakiness speedily, please include the same in your next post so that I can get speedy relief from my increasing uncontrollable hand shakiness. May God shower HIS choicest blessings on you and your family for serving mankind.

    B K DHIR
    aged over 82 years

  • A thyroid imbalance caused tremor in my right hand. I had been using lots of medications all this while. Good thing is that the problem has not spread to other parts of the body yet. The natural tips outlined here seems encouraging.

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