04 May Natural Anxiety Remedies
Written by: Enozia Vakil
Although you may be anxious from time to time, which is completely normal, being anxiety is a bit different, as you keep feeling anxious without any reason which disturbs you both mentally (headaches, tension, emotional imbalance) and physically (chest pain, dry mouth, insomnia, fatigue). Even though standard remedy is a must and there is no getting away from it, these natural remedies to treat anxiety can help a little, or provide a boost to the standard treatment to make your recovery quick. So, without further ado, let’s check them out:
1. Aromatherapy: Massage oil, infusers, or even essential oils can be added into baths which are known for reducing anxiety. Some of the essential oils among them are: cypress, bergamot, geranium, lavender, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, and melissa. Among these, the one use the most commonly as an anxiety-relieving agent is lavender.
2. Passionflower: The herb passionflower, scientifically termed Passiflora incarnata has been used as a folk remedy for insomnia and anxiety since ages. This is backed up by scientific studies as well. In two studies, 198 people were used as test subjects to test the effective power of passionflower against anxiety. It was found that there was an improvement in job performance with passionflower and people felt less drowsy. Another study has claimed that its effectiveness power is almost equal to that of benzodiazepine drugs.
However, one must be cautious when making use of passionflower, as there are many side effects associated with it as well such as vomiting, nausea and rapid heartbeat. Since there is no safety guarantee for passionflower use on children, people with kidney or heart disorder or pregnant women, it’s best that you look for other alternatives or consult your doctor before trying anything out.
3. Valerian: Valerian, or Valeriana officinalis is a widely known herb used in treating insomnia. Although research suggests limiting its use towards treating anxiety, it has nevertheless effective against mild anxiety. One four-week study comparing valerian, the medication diazepam (Valium), and a placebo in 36 people with generalized anxiety disorder found no statistically signficant differences were found between the groups, perhaps due to the small size of the study.
Commonly, Valerian is consumed one hour prior to bedtime. To show its effect, it takes around 2-3 weeks and should not be used for more than three months at a time. It has some side effects too, which include headaches, dizziness and palpitations. Valerian shouldn’t be taken with alcohol, before or after surgery, or by people with liver disease. It should not be used before driving or operating machinery. Consultation with a qualified health practitioner is recommended. So, it is now clear that one must exercise complete caution or opt for a better alternative when choosing to have Valerian to treat anxiety.
4. Kava: Native to Polynesia, the herb kava is shown to have some anti-anxiety effects on humans. However, it is worth mentioning that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory to consumers stating the risk that comes along with having kava, such as risk of serious liver injury. It’s best to consult your doctor before having Kava.