by Jade Small
As someone who struggles with Anxiety, I am always looking for new ways to help myself have less attacks and to remain calm. Taking prescription medication is not something I do very often, and I personally choose to combat my anxiety with a more natural holistic approach.
Modern medicine most certainly does have a place in the world, a very important one at that, but where possible, a natural alternative usually works incredibly well, if you are willing to give it a try!
That said, herbs are potent too, just like pharmaceutical medication, you need to take care when using them, some can be highly toxic in large doses and many people are sensitive to certain herbs. If in doubt, consult your medical professional before trying any treatment, even natural ones!
Many herbs that are good for anxiety have a sedative effect, so please be cautious when you need to be alert and awake, like when driving.
While using your herbs to treats your symptoms, it is still important to find the crux of the problem, what causes your anxiety? Avoiding and removing the cause is important, otherwise you will never fully get rid of the issue. Sometimes situations that cause an anxiety spike are unavoidable, but if they are, remove yourself from the situation!
Lemon Balm has been found to reduce anxiety and increase calmness. In the middle ages, it was used for just that!
Lemon Balm increases stimulation of the GABA receptors which produce a sedative and calming effect, which is what makes it so great for those suffering from anxiety!
While Kava is not really known to us in the Western World, South Pacific cultures have been using it extensively to help ease anxiety, some claiming it to be more effective than regular medication. Just like Lemon Balm, Kava increases GABA, producing a calming effect resulting in reduced anxiety and related symptoms such as rapid heart rate, sweating and shaking.
An Ancient medicinal herb, The Chamomile flower is very often used as herbal tea. It’s incredibly helpful if you have trouble sleeping.
The compounds in Chamomile are also useful for anxiety.
Inhaling a spray of chamomile essential oil is a fantastic way to help alleviate both anxiety and depression symptoms.
According to this research, The German Chamomile variety is one of the most potent and beneficial for those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
This is one of my favourites! Lavender is calming and helps with sleeping problems.
When under heavy stress, Lavender can be more effective than prescribed drugs!
There are even hospitals who use lavender oil diffusers in maternity wards and they have noticed that when used, women in child birth are actually less likely to ask for pain medication!
Green tea has been found to be incredibly beneficial for anxiety problems. Researchers on the effects of the active compound in green tea, l-theanine show ‘Results evidently demonstrated that l-theanine clearly has a pronounced effect on attention performance and reaction time response in normal healthy subjects prone to have high anxiety.’
Used for centuries to help combat anxiety. Valerian is widely known as an effective herb for anxiety, insomnia and restlessness. Drowsiness can be expected so make sure you don’t need to be alert when using it!
The University of Maryland Medical Center conducted studies on people with generalized anxiety order, these studies show that ‘passionflower is as effective as the drug oxazepam (Serax) for treating symptoms.’
While passion flower did not produce results as fast as the medication, those who took it had less side effects relating to job performance than those who used Passion Flower.