Anxiety is a part of many people’s lives. It is characterized by nervousness and worry that can produce physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, sweating, heart palpitations, a feeling of claustrophobia and hot flashes. There are many natural ways of managing this condition, including using herbal supplements. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any natural treatments you use, especially if you are taking any prescription medicine for anxiety.
Many herbal treatments produce similar results, so it is not necessary to use every treatment listed here. For example, if you are looking to relieve muscle tension resulting from anxiety, taking only one of the herbs listed for this symptom is sufficient. Unless a specific dose is indicated, take as directed on the product label.
California poppy with cordyalis treats anxiety without causing drowsiness. Do not use it if you are pregnant. Fennel tea alleviates gastrointestinal upset that often accompanies anxiety. Drink one cup as desired. Kava is well known for its ability to relax muscles and relieve pain, but do not use it if you have liver problems. Also, this herb should not be used for more than a few days at a time. It can increase the effects of alcohol and sedatives. Passionflower is one of the best known herbs for reducing mental distress. Drink one cup up to three times a day. If depression is an issue, St. John’s wort can be of help, but do not use it if you are already taking pharmaceutical antidepressants, hormonal birth control or any medicines that interact with MAO inhibitors. Women who are pregnant or nursing should also refrain from using this treatment. Valerian is a natural sleep aid. Take 40 milligrams three times daily, but do not use it if you have any liver problems, or if you are pregnant or nursing.
A study led by L. Guizhen that was published in a 1998 edition of “The American Journal of Acupuncture” found that acupuncture combined with psychotherapy was effective in relieving anxiety. Benefits lasted as long as one year after treatment. Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine based on the belief that energy blockages in certain parts of the body cause specific health problems. Acupuncture attempts to clear these energy blockages to alleviate the condition.
Other Natural Methods
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, there are many natural methods that are very successful in treating anxiety. Physical exercise and yoga are great for clearing the mind and relieving tension in the body. Meditation, which is focused concentration, is an effective way to slow down and take control of the mind. By gaining clarity in your thinking, you are able to respond better to outside stressors without getting overwhelmed with negative reactions like anxiousness. Sound has a significant influence on the central nervous system. Listen to relaxing music to help calm the mind and body. Deep breathing is also very effective for calming the central nervous system. Dr. Weil recommends an exercise in which you employ conscious regulation of breath. To begin, exhale completely through your mouth, making a loud whoosh sound. Next, inhale quietly through your nose while mentally counting to four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Lastly, exhale loudly through the mouth to a count of eight. Do this a total of four times.