Every year, millions of prescriptions are written for anti-anxiety medications, making them some of the most commonly prescribed drugs. But these medications don’t always work, can’t be used by everyone, and have a multitude of unacceptable side effects (including being highly addictive).
For reasons like these, more people are turning to natural remedies to control their anxiety instead. Natural, traditional remedies have long histories of safe and effective use. Science has shown that many of them work even better than anti-anxiety drugs.
Herbal Remedies for Anxiety
Plants parts — seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, and flowers — have been used medicinally by every culture.
Archaeologists have found evidence that we’ve been using plants medicinally for at least 60,000 years!
Eighty percent of the world’s population still rely on herbal remedies as part of their primary health care. These are our favorite herbal remedies for anxiety that have been proven both safe and effective
Is used to calm nervousness, both in the mind and in the stomach. It can reduce digestive discomforts and improve appetite in those with a great deal of stress.It has also been linked to reducing headaches and improving liver and lung health. Most experts recommend that chamomile only be used as a temporary treatment, not a long term solution. Chamomile is also popular for anxiety in children.
isn’t for anxiety specifically, but it is linked to treating some of the most common symptoms of anxiety, including digestion, coughing (many with anxiety have a nervous cough), and asthma (anxiety can exacerbate asthma symptoms). It may also act as an analgesic, diuretic, and antispasmodic – the latter being useful for some types of anxiety.
- Kava KavaKava (also known as Kava Kava)
is possibly the most effective herbal supplement for moderate and severe anxiety. The Kava root has been extensively researched for its effects on stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Unlike other herbal anxiety supplements, kava is not only effective for anxiety symptoms – it’s effective for anxious thoughts as well. However, kava has been linked to a few health scares, so it’s advised to talk to your doctor before taking kava, especially if you drink alcohol, take any other medicines, or have any liver problems.
is useful for more than just beer. Hops has a long history of medicinal applications. It’s used to fight insomnia, stress, and headaches. It’s also beneficial for indigestion, general nervousness, and may help reduce fever.Hops has also been used for lowering uric acid levels in the body, treating infections and skin disorders, and provide some relief from rheumatism, though these are often unrelated to anxiety.
is considered best for mild to moderate anxiety, although it may still be valuable for severe anxiety. It works by reducing muscle tension and insomnia, calming the nerves to prevent agitation, mood swings, headaches, and hot flashes from anxiety. It’s not recommended to take passionflower if you are using any MAOIs.
has sedative, tonic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Skullcap may be used to sooth overly twitching muscles, and may help manage both epilepsy and restless leg syndrome (RLS). Many people use the natural sedative properties of skullcap to fight insomnia, restlessness, rapid heartbeat, and even depression. It should be taken as directed, and should not be used by pregnant women
- St. John‘s Wort
St. John’s Wort is not designed for anxiety specifically, but it is very effective for fighting depression, which is often comorbid with anxiety symptoms. St. John’s Wort is also an effective mood lifter. It has also been used for diarrhea, gastroenteritis, viral infections of the chest, lungs, and genitals, and many other valuable medicinal uses.Valerian RootValerian Root is an incredible effective sedative. It’s used primarily as a sleep aid, but the sedative qualities of valerian are effective at soothing muscles and reducing mental and physical tension so that you can easily relax. It may also be used to relieve uterine cramps, persistent coughs, and bronchial spasms. It is not recommended for children under 12, pregnant women, or anyone taking other antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs.
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