Anxiety Herbal Remedies: Effective Natural Treatment Options
Anxiety is a type of emotional disorder that could significantly affect our perception of many aspects. As a part of its treatment regimen, prescription medications are necessary. However, some of these drugs can produce unwanted side effects. In response to this concern, experts are considering using anxiety herbal remedies as a treatment option. The use of natural, alternative remedies might help patients find relief and take control of their condition. This article will discuss the different types of herbal medications that can help treat anxiety disorders.
Overview of Anxiety Disorders
During stressful situations, our body naturally responds with apprehension. As our mind senses fear, a feeling of uncontrollable nervousness will start to take over. This condition is what we know today as anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are known to be one of the most common forms of mental condition that can affect anyone at any age. Moreover, the American Psychiatric Association considers women to be more likely to be diagnosed than men.
Identifying Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
Manifestations of anxiety disorders can happen in an instant. However, it can also slowly build up and develop through time. Sometimes, anxiety occurs out of nowhere and with no definite reason. If you happen to realise that something is wrong, it is best to talk to a professional. Seeking medical advice is necessary to diagnose your condition clinically.
Anxiety disorders can come in many forms, each having a unique set of symptoms. It mainly includes the following:
Generalised anxiety is the most common type of anxiety disorder. It encompasses symptoms of excessive worry about many things. Some people with generalised anxiety experience a series of fight-or-flight response from their nervous system. Because of this condition, they constantly notice even the slightest details and always think about the worst that could happen.
In time, intense thoughts and worries can become out of control and cause a person to lose touch with reality. Along with its mental effects, the nervous system of an anxious person promotes a series of health concerns. Chest pain, tiredness, headache, and other symptoms may develop.
Anxiety can take the form of obsessive behaviour combined with compulsive actions. For someone suffering an OCD, there is an irresistible urge to relieve anxiousness. Compelling oneself towards something that is not bad is a serious concern, especially if it causes a distraction on a person’s daily life.
Phobias are intense fears towards specific things or situations. Sometimes, a person can develop unexplainable fear of certain details and conditions. Their mind creates a false sense of threat and can emanate a feeling of danger even at an impossibly dangerous event. This disorder can cause a person to avoid things that they fear.
For instance, some people have coulrophobia or the fear of clowns. A person might not attend birthday parties because they are anxious that a clown may show up. Because of this fear, he or she overthinks this possibility and chooses to miss out.
On a more serious note, panic attacks are sudden outbursts of anxiousness over no apparent reason. A person having a panic attack can experience physical symptoms in response to fear. It manifests as overactivity of fear response and nervousness. Some symptoms include pounding of the heart, dizziness, shortness of breath, and numbness.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
As its name suggests, PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that results from a traumatic experience. A person who previously had terrifying situations may experience random recall about their past encounters. Therefore, the unconscious mind can cause nightmares and flashbacks, leading to a constant fear that the event might happen again.
Management of Anxiety Disorders
According to some studies, anxiety disorders serve as our body’s primary survival function. It alarms our nervous system to activate during situations that come as a threat or danger. While it is entirely normal to worry when things start to become complicated, it can sometimes evolve into something much more profound.
As our brain is the primary regulator of our organs, it can create a false signal to the autonomic nervous system. When this reaction happens, feelings of worry can turn out to be too overwhelming. In return, we can develop an uncontrollable urge to spend more time thinking and paying attention to what might happen.
Anxiety Herbal Remedies
Anxiety can become so intense that it could affect a person’s quality of life and overall well-being. However, taking matters into your own hands can help you rise above anxiety disorders. Trying out the different treatment options to improve your health is more than essential to regain control over your body.
Here are some natural remedies that you can do to prevent anxiety disorders:
Researches have shown the effectiveness of lemon balms as natural remedies for anxiety disorders. While lemon balm does not directly cure anxiety, it can reduce the symptoms that come along with it. The lemon balm contains medicinal properties that can control excitability and nervousness. Generally, it is safe for short-term use. However, there are no studies yet that show if it can be well-tolerated as a long-term remedy.
Some pieces of evidence suggest aromatherapy as successful natural remedies for anxiety. In particular, lavender aroma provides a soothing atmosphere. Additionally, its scent can calm the nervous system and generate a calm state of mind. This state conditions the mind and prevents a sudden fight-or-flight response. Moreover, there are oral lavender preparations that can help relax a person having constant anxiety attacks.
Short-term use of chamomile is safe and effective as a preventive agent for most types of anxiety. However, as a long-term herbal medicine, it can be pretty dangerous. Chamomile is known to increase the risk of bleeding when the person uses blood-thinning drugs. There are also cases where chamomile and its family of plants cause allergic reactions. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider first to ensure no unnecessary health concerns when taking chamomile.
In some studies, valerian herbs are natural remedies for concerns affecting the nervous system. These include sleep and anxiety disorders. Since ancient times, valerian root has been a valuable alternative to promote relaxation and sedation. Other than curing nervous tension, researchers claim that many of its components can reduce acute stress and improve symptoms of compulsiveness. As there are limited studies that show the effects of its long-term use, consider asking your doctor for the recommended dose and timeframe to avoid side effects.
Passionflower is the most common herbal constituent for many commercial products. Clinical trials suggest the effectiveness of passion flowers to reduce episodes of anxiety. It appears to help boost GABA levels in the nervous system, the acid responsible for controlling brain activity. Therefore, passion flowers are popular for lowering hyperactivity, inducing relaxation, and promoting sleep.
Among other natural remedies, kava-kava is a promising herbal alternative for anxiety disorders. Most dietary supplements contain this ingredient because of its ability to reduce anxiety and stress. In small doses, it can cause relaxation and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. If you find yourself having trouble sleeping because of anxiety, doctors suggest taking it at higher doses to induce sleep.
However, some reports show a serious concern with kava intake. Some trials show that kava can cause liver toxicity and damage. Thus, the Food and Drug Administration advises individuals to take extra precaution when considering kava as a treatment alternative. To prevent these risks, ask for your doctor’s approval before taking kava.
There is nothing wrong with making a switch to natural treatment alternatives. If you consider taking herbal supplements as a part of your treatment regimen, consult with your doctor first. Overall, weighing up the benefits and risks of anxiety treatment depends on several considerations.
- Drug-herb interaction. Like prescription medicines, anxiety herbal remedies can cause side effects, especially when taken with other drugs. Some herbal components can interact with other medications and could either increase or reduce their medicinal outcomes. Let your physician know if you are taking other medicines to avoid potentially severe health concerns.
- Effectivity period. Although scientific studies confirm the effectiveness of herbal remedies for anxiety disorders, their medicinal effects would take longer than prescription medicines. This factor is also essential, especially when dealing with severe anxiety attacks.
- Long-term effects. Some studies show long-term concerns about taking anti-anxiety herbal medicines. While there is a visible reduction of anxiety and hyperactivity episodes, complete inversion can happen. Overuse of herbal remedies can cause sedative effects. This effect can lead to periodic sleepiness and slower function of the nervous system.
- Safety. Since herbal medicines are not regulated, safety concerns are often not established. It is best to do some research or consult with a qualified herbal professional for more advice. They are experts that should know more about the recommended strength and quantity that is safe for your treatment.
- Other natural remedies. If your anxiety is significantly interfering with your daily tasks, there might be a more severe form of stress that requires intensive treatment. Other natural remedies involve psychological counselling and meditation therapies to help improve the symptoms.