Individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders sometimes turn to home remedies like herbal remedies as a complement to cognitive behavioral therapy and prescription medication substitute. This might be because some medicines, like benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or beta-blockers, can produce unpleasant side effects.
While prescription medications can be effective in managing depression and anxiety, they may come with unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, or dependency. Herbal remedies, on the other hand, are often seen as a more natural and potentially gentler option. It is often a great complement to cognitive behavioral therapy. However, it’s important to note that herbal remedies are not regulated in the same way as prescription medications, and their efficacy and safety may vary.
Anxiety Alternative Treatments
Several herbal remedies have undergone randomized controlled trials as a treatment for anxiety and other mental health disorders. Among the most commonly preferred herbs that people use to help reduce anxiety symptoms are chamomile, lavender, and St. John’s Wort.
Chamomile – Anxiety Treatment
It is a flowering plant that looks like a daisy. Chamomile comes in two forms – the German chamomile and the Roman chamomile. People use these two forms medicinally by making them into tea, extracting them, using them as a tablet, dietary supplements, or topically as skin creams. Chamomile is widely utilized in relieving generalized anxiety and stress.
On the other hand, chamomile may not be suitable to use if you are taking other drugs, such as warfarin (a blood thinner) and cyclosporine (an anti-rejection drug). Ultimately, a person who is taking any form of medication must consult with their doctor for more information before consuming chamomile supplements.
Lavender is also a flowering herb that belongs to the family of mints. Randomized controlled trial shows that lavender can improve generalized anxiety disorder and other mental health problems like depression. A lot of people choose lavender as a complementary and alternative medicine to help them calm their nerves, reduce stress, and relieve anxiety symptoms. It can also help people who are undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders. They use the herb in the following methods:
- Using them as aromatherapy oil
- Concocting a tea from its leaves
- Adding the flowers and oils to their baths
- Mixing its oils with other essential massage oils
The Lavender essential oil is composed of chemicals known as terpenes. One particular study done in 2017 suggested that two types of terpenes – linalyl acetate and linalool – have been shown to produce a calming effect on some of the brain’s chemical receptors, meaning it can possibly help if you have anxiety disorder.
Mind-Body Practices For Anxiety
Anxiety is a common mental health disorder that can cause a range of symptoms, such as excessive worry, irritability, and physical tension. While medical treatment and therapy with a mental health provider are commonly used to treat anxiety, some people do complementary and alternative therapies. Mind-body practices are among the complementary and alternative treatments for anxiety that can be effective in reducing symptoms and improving overall well-being. Here are some mind-body anxiety practices:
- Yoga: Yoga is a mind-body practice that involves physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Research has shown that practicing yoga can reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress, as well as improve overall mood and well-being.
- Meditation: Meditation involves focusing on the present moment and quieting the mind. There are many types of meditation, such as mindfulness meditation and guided imagery. Research has shown that regular meditation practice can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as improve overall mental health.
- Tai chi: Tai chi is a gentle form of physical exercise that involves slow movements and deep breathing. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as improve balance and overall physical health.
- Progressive muscle relaxation: Progressive muscle relaxation techniques involve tensing and then relaxing each muscle group in the body, one at a time. It can help reduce physical tension and promote relaxation.
- Breathing exercises: Breathing exercises involve slowing down the breath and focusing on deep, diaphragmatic breathing. Besides promoting relaxation, reduced anxiety is one of the benefits of breathing exercises.
Overall, mind-body practices can be a useful addition to traditional anxiety treatments and other mental health issues. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment and to find the practice that works best for each individual.
Acupuncture For Anxiety
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that comprises using thin needles to be inserted into specific points on the body to stimulate and increase energy flow and promote healing. While it may not be the first treatment that comes to mind for anxiety, research has shown that acupuncture can be an effective alternative therapy for reducing symptoms of anxiety. Here are some ways acupuncture can help with anxiety:
- Reducing physical symptoms: Acupuncture can help reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, such as tension headaches, muscle tension, and gastrointestinal problems. By targeting specific points in the body, acupuncture can promote relaxation and decrease physical tension.
- Regulating neurotransmitters: Acupuncture has been shown to regulate neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in anxiety and mood disorders. By regulating these neurotransmitters, acupuncture can improve overall mental health and reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Reducing stress hormones: Acupuncture can reduce the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, in the body. High levels of cortisol can lead to feelings of anxiety and tension, and reducing these levels can promote relaxation and reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Improving overall well-being: Acupuncture can also improve overall well-being and quality of life, which can reduce feelings of anxiety and promote overall mental health.
Acupuncture should not be used as a substitute for anxiety treatment, such as medication and therapy. However, it can be a useful addition to a comprehensive treatment plan. It is important to consult with a licensed acupuncturist and healthcare professional before starting any new treatment.
Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about St. John’s Wort and its effects on anxiety.
Does St John’s Wort Help with Stress?
St. John’s Wort is an herbal supplement that has been known for centuries as a treatment for several mental health illnesses. Up until today, it is primarily utilized as an over-the-counter solution to treat mild to moderate depression, mild anxiety, sleep deprivation, and occasionally seasonal affective disorder.
How Long Does St. John’s Wort Take To Work On Stress?
It usually takes three to six weeks to experience the effects of St. John’s Wort. It would help if you did not abruptly stop taking it, as it may produce negative side effects.
How Much St. John’s Wort Should I Take To Alleviate Stress?
The usual dosage would range between 600 and 1800 mg of St. John’s Wort every day for social anxiety disorder.
Can St John’s Wort Cause Panic Attacks?
The most significant risk that is linked to the hypericum extract is said to be its interactions with other medicines. But a single dosage of St. John’s Wort extract may evoke a panic episode. It is vital to have sufficient knowledge of the herbal supplement, especially for patients with psychiatric issues.
Can St John’s Wort Damage The Liver?
John’s Wort has not been associated with any serum enzyme elevation or any reported liver injury. But because it has several interactions with other drugs and has reported effects on drug transportation and excretion, St. John’s Wort may cause a decreased or increased risk of drug-induced liver injury as an effect of other medications.
Can You Stop St John’s Wort Suddenly?
Some individuals complain of symptoms such as dizziness, sickness, and anxiety after they abruptly stop taking St. John’s Wort. To be safe, it is suggested to gradually decrease your dosage before stopping your use of the herbal remedy.
Is St John’s Wort Worth Taking?
Numerous studies back the therapeutic benefits of St. John’s Wort in managing mild to moderate anxiety and depression. As a matter of fact, researchers agree that the supplement is as potent as other known antidepressants.
Is it OK to take St John’s Wort long term?
St. John’s Wort ZE 117 is a safe and potent means of treating mild to moderate depression over long durations. Hence, it is also a suitable choice for relapse prevention.
What can you not take with St John’s Wort?
You must not take this herbal remedy together with any antidepressant. Consuming these two medications could worsen your depression and may even cause serotonin syndrome. St. John’s Wort is also not to be combined with anesthetics and sleeping pills.
Can you drink alcohol with St John’s Wort?
Limit or avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking St. John’s Wort. Alcohol can aggravate the side effects of St. John’s Wort like drowsiness, trouble focusing, and dizziness.
How long does it take for St John’s Wort to leave the system?
St. John’s Wort is said to be a long-acting agent. Its active ingredients, pseudohypericin, and hypericin, have a plasma half-life of 24 hours.
Does St John’s Wort increase estrogen?
St. John’s Wort could cause a rise in the breakdown of estrogen. Additionally, if you take it together with birth control tablets, this may reduce the birth control tablets’ potency.
When should I take St John’s Wort, morning or night?
Taking St. John’s Wort can cause side effects like vivid dreams, anxiety, stomach problems, dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, skin rash, tingling, diarrhea, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. You should take it during the mornings or preferably at lower doses if you have trouble sleeping.
Does St John’s Wort make you gain weight?
St. John’s Wort is known as a solution for mild to moderate depression. Apparently, depression can often cause weight gain, and since medicines with the same actions as John’s Wort have been utilized for weight loss, some individuals have suggested that this herbal remedy be used for weight loss.
Does St John’s Wort balance hormones?
St. John’s Wort affects our immune system. Here, the substance called IL-6 functions to communicate between cells, which causes an increase in the adrenal regulatory hormones, which consequently amplifies depression. John’s Wort has been found to decrease this regulatory hormone’s levels to reduce depression.
Alternative Anxiety Treatment Considerations
Several herbs interact with over-the-counter as well as prescription medications. Others can decrease or increase the effects of particular drugs, possibly leading to more grave health outcomes.
Individuals taking any form of medication must consult with their physician or pharmacist before starting herbal supplementation. They should remember that herbal remedies do not work quicker than medications and may start working later than the usual medications they have taken for their anxiety.
The Food and Drug Administration does not keep track of these herbal treatments, so there are possible safety considerations for these herbs with contamination with certain heavy metals.
How can I cure anxiety naturally?
Managing anxiety naturally involves adopting various strategies and making lifestyle changes. One approach is to practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation, which can help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Engaging in regular exercises, such as walking, jogging, or yoga, for at least 30 minutes most days of the week can release endorphins, the body’s natural mood boosters. Getting enough quality sleep is crucial for mental well-being, so establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment is important.
Limiting or avoiding stimulants like caffeine, as well as excessive alcohol intake, can also help manage anxiety levels. A healthy diet, consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids, can support overall well-being and impact mood.
Which Alternative Foods Calm Anxiety?
What vitamins help with anxiety?
What is the 3-3-3 rule of managing anxiety?
What do holistic doctors prescribe to address anxiety?