Herbs for Anxiety
Many of the distressing symptoms of anxiety can be naturally eased with the use of herbs. Herbal remedies for anxiety work similarly to some medications prescribed today. It is possibly more correct to say that some synthetic medicines try to replicate the behavior of herbal medicines that have worked well for centuries.
If you are looking for a natural solution to dealing with anxiety symptoms, you may find these herbs provide relieve with less side effects.
A team of experts conducted a study which compared the effectiveness of passionflower and a benzodiazepine drug in relieving the symptoms of anxiety.
The results showed that Oxazepam, a benzodiazepine drug used for anxiety, was found to be quicker at providing relief, however towards the end of the study passionflower and Oxazepam were found to be equally effective at addressing the symptoms of anxiety.
Passionflower was a little slower initially but just as effective as a remedy over the course of the treatment. Additionally, passionflower was a clear winner when it came to side effects, as it doesn’t have any, unlike benzo drugs.
A separate study showed that patients who took passionflower before undergoing surgery were less anxious than patients who did not take passionflower.
Passionflower extract has shown no adverse effects on either muscle activity or mental processes.
Lavender is prescribed by many natural health professionals for treating anxiety. Research on lavender reveals that lavender works just as effectively as Lorazepam for providing relief from anxiety.
It also shows no potential for being addictive and is useful for many other health problems arising from an anxiety disorder, such as insomnia, migraine, nervousness and restlessness.
Valerian is commonly prescribed as a sedative. It is a popular herbal supplement for providing relief from anxiety symptoms. Valerian can help reduce physical and mental tension.
Valerian root contains valerenic acid which enhances the effects of GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid, a naturally occurring hormone. GABA can help promote feelings of relaxation which reduces and alleviates stress and anxiety levels. These are the same effects that are experienced after taking prescription benzodiazepine drugs.
St. John’s Wort
Most people with an anxiety disorder would have heard about the benefits of St. John’s Wort. The active elements of this herb are found to work effectively in treating the symptoms of depression. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand and the two disorders have overlapping symptoms. Taking St. John’s Wort can be helpful in providing symptom relief for both conditions.
St. John’s Wort has active compounds that are helpful in prolonging the action of serotonin in order to improve an individual’s mood. This is why this herb is used as an anti-depressant and for overcoming low moods.
Chamomile is another herb used for anxiety relief. It is used to treat anxiety, stress and depression. Chamomile is known as the relaxation herb. It soothes and relaxes the troubled mind.
The effectiveness of chamomile in treating the symptoms of anxiety was studied by experts from the University of Pennsylvania. They found study participants taking chamomile for eight weeks reduced their symptoms of anxiety whereas those participants in the placebo group experienced no reduction in their symptoms.
Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology also showed that chamomile extract therapy can be helpful for mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder or GAD.
Lemon balm can be helpful for alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and stress. It is most commonly used for relaxation and easing sleep problems.
Herbal medicine experts say that lemon balm is more effective when used with other herbal agents. There are many anxiety supplements available which contain combinations of herbs that work well together to increase their effectiveness for providing anxiety relief.
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