Natural Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

People often ask me "What exactly is Anxiety?" Well the answer is that anxiety is one of the many normal states of mind. Everybody feels anxious from time to time. However, if you feel anxious without good reason and if this state of mind persists and affects your everyday life, you have a condition known as generalized anxiety disorder. There are, fortunately, many natural remedies for anxiety, no matter what form it takes.

Suffers from generalized anxiety disorder undergo restlessness, apprehension, stress, touchiness, impatience and poor concentration. You might even experience deterioration in your physical health with symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, insomnia, jaw pain, a dry mouth, a feeling of tightness around the chest, excessive fatigue, indigestion, or excessive sweating. If you have more than one of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor at once. The doctor will be able to tell you if you suffer from generalized anxiety disorder or if you have other medical problems that may resemble it.

Doctors sometimes prescribe pharmaceutical products to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. Unfortunately, these preparations only relieve the symptoms and do not tackle the root cause of the problem. Also they have numerous adverse side affects such as nausea, dizziness, confusion, partial amnesia, hangover effects, impaired balance and coordination, and muscle cramps. Paradoxically, these so called cures can cause nervousness, irritability, excitement, and insomnia, the very ailments they purport to cure. Synthetic drugs are best avoided. Instead, I recommend that you try natural remedies for anxiety. Here are just a few of them.

The passion flower, Passiflora incarnate, has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for anxiety, insomnia, seizures and hysteria. A perennial climbing vine native to south eastern North America, passion flower is now grown in the UK and throughout Europe. The herbal supplement comprises the flowers, leaves and stems of the plant. This aromatic plant not only relieves anxiety but has been shown to improve job performance. Passion flower is available as an infusion, tincture or liquid extract. For tea, use 2.5 grams of the dried herm, 4 times daily. The dose for liquid extract is 10 to 30 drops, 3 times daily and for tincture, 10 to 60 drops, 3 times daily. Do not take passionflower if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also passionflower can be dangerous if taken with antihistamines, barbiturates, narcotics or antidepressants, so donít take any of those things!

Another highly recommended natural remedy for anxiety is the herb kava (Piper methysticum). Kava, sometimes known as  kava-kava, is a plant native to the islands of the South Pacific, a member of the pepper family. The root of the kava plant is used to prepare natural remedies for insomnia, anxiety, and menopausal symptoms. It is available from health food shops, readily prepared in the form of beverages, extracts, capsules and tablets. Do not take kava if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is not recommended for those with liver disease as tests show that it might exacerbate this problem.

There are hundreds of medicinal cures for anxiety on the market but many of them have terrible side effects and do not get to the root of the problem. The best method is to use natural remedies which have been tried and tested over centuries. There are many other natural herbal remedies for the treatment of anxiety.

Before we look at more of them, remember anxiety is normal. It is a regular commonplace emotion that all humans experience from time to time. But when it becomes persistent and occurs for no good reason, it is far from normal. Symptoms include tension, irritability, impatience, lack of concentration, headaches, muscle tension, insomnia, fatigue, chest tightness, indigestion and indeed many others. And it tears you away from your family and friends, interferes with your work and social life and destroys relationships. But you can overcome anxiety disorder by facing up to the problem and dealing with it in a positive way. There are many healthy, positive natural remedies for anxiety. Here are a few more of them.

Valerian is a herb (Valeriana officinalis) best known as a remedy for insomnia. Valerian is also used for patients with anxiety disorder and can be used for digestive problems, disorders of the nervous system, headaches, and arthritis. The healing part of the plant is the root which is available as a capsule, tea, tablet or liquid extract. It has mild sedative and tranquilizing properties, which help to calm the nervous system. The recommended dosage for the treatment of anxiety disorder is 300 to 600 mg of liquid root extract, or 2 grams of dried valerian root. It should be taken half an hour before bedtime. Valerian should not be by pregnant or nursing mothers, or sufferers from liver disease.

Chamomile is a dietary supplement popular for use in the fight against anxiety disorder. It can also be used for sleeping problems, digestive upset, skin infections, wound healing and colic. German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is available in Europe, but in the UK and North America, a more potent variety, English chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) grows naturally. Chamomile is available as capsules, liquid extracts, tinctures, teas, and topical creams used for skin complaints. This is an excellent natural remedy for all kinds of conditions, including anxiety! The herbal tea is preferred as it has a fine taste and a soothing effect. For adults, the recommended dose is 1 to 4 cups of tea per day.

Winter cherry (Withania somnifera) also known as ashwagandha or Indian ginseng, has been used in India for centuries as part of the traditional system of holistic medicine known as Ayurveda. The healing supplement is produced from the root and is available in capsule form or as a tincture or tea. Winter cherry is an adaptogen, that is a herbal product which increases resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. It is used to promote emotional balance in cases of anxiety, depression or mental or physical fatigue. It also has many preventative uses, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The recommended adult dosage in capsule form is 50 to 250 mg daily.

St. Johnís Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a herbal medicine that has historically been used for treating various mental problems and physical disorders. Its medicinal uses were first recorded in ancient Greece. It is particularly useful as one of the natural remedies for anxiety and depression. It works by increasing levels of the mood-enhancing brain chemical Serotonin, and therefore is effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression. The healing parts of the plant are the bright yellow flowers, which are used to prepare teas, tablets, and capsules of concentrated extracts. As St. Johnís Wort can have a bitter taste, it is usually taken in pill or capsule form. The typical dosage ranges from 600 to 1800 milligrams daily. It should not be taken by pregnant or nursing mothers or those taking birth control pills.

Golden Root (Rhodiola rosea) is a medicinal plant that thrives in dry and cold arctic climates, particularly Siberia. The healing part, as the name suggests, is the root which is usually taken in capsule form, but is also available as extracts or teas. It is an adaptogen which is used as a natural remedy for anxiety, mental and physical fatigue, and depression. It works by stimulating the activity of serotonin and dopamine, naturally occurring brain substances, and therefore promotes healthy emotional and neurological function. The recommended adult dosage for capsule form is 100 to 300 mg daily. It should not be used for children or if you are pregnant or nursing.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a plant of the mint family that has been used throughout history for healing people and animals. It is well known as a magical stimulant for cats as when they eat it, as it excites their senses and sends them in a frisky mood. Humans can also use catnip for medicinal purposes especially as a natural remedy for anxiety, depression, and many psychological imbalances. It can also cure nausea, headaches, and insomnia. Catnip is native to the temperate areas of Europe, Asia, and North America, and blooms during the summer. Catnip works to rejuvenate and stimulate the brainís activity, while also relaxing nerves so that the brain can function better in its natural task of sending and receiving biological messages from all parts of the body. In this way it actively reduces the negative effects of stress in our lives and leaves the body feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It is available in a variety of forms including tinctures, capsules or as dried herbs for use in making tea.

As you will see, there are many and various herbal natural remedies for anxiety. It is important to note that no herb or therapy works the same in everyoneís body, and so its effects may depend on your bodyís natural sensitivity. So if one particular herb does not work for you, keep trying until you find one that is right for you.

 

Next: Specific anxiety states and what to do about them

Next: The effects of anxiety


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