September 26, 2011

What is Anxiety and How Herbal Remedies Calm it Down

Herbal remedies for anxiety and stress have been used for centuries.  Many people choose some form of herbal remedy as a calming or reviving supplement; here I would like to mention only popular natural herbal remedies for Anxiety.

It's normal to feel anxious, but if you feel anxious without reason and it tends to persist as well as affect your life, you may have general anxiety disorder. You can notice the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder from feeling tense or on edge, restlessness, irritability, impatience, and poor concentration.  Some people may have changes in their physical health such as headaches, jaw pain, bloating, excessive sweating, muscle tension, difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia), dry mouth, fatigue, chest tightness, and indigestion.

These are some of the herbal remedies that are being used for anxiety.

Green Tea has L-theanine which is believed to be very effective medication to cure anxiety. It is not a compound on which anyone can become easily addicted to. It even consists of antioxidants that help flush out harmful toxins from body and also reduce aging effects.

Chamomile has properties that help reduce anxiety and promote sleep. Unfortunately, the National Institutes of Health warn that its reputation as a gentle medicinal plant is not entirely warranted. They point out that many people have allergic reactions after coming into contact with chamomile preparations and a few have even been life threatening. Anyway, you may like its taste and need a cup of chamomile tea.

Valerian is a perennial flowering plant found in Europe and Asia with pink or white trumpet-shape and used in both western herbalism and Chinese medicne. The roots are the part of the plant that is used medicinally. This herb provides you quick relief from anxiety as it helps reduce the stress within one hour of its intake.
Scientists believe that Valerian acts on neurotransmitters in the brain in a manner similar to benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, but valerian appears to have a prolonged effect. In clinical trials, patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) who took valerian regularly have reported lower levels of anxiety and stress

It has been theorized that valerian compounds block the enzyme that breaks down gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that controls mood, relaxation, and sleep.  However, there are also possible side effect such as stomach problems, headache, restlessness and, in rare cases, overstimulation. 

Passionflower extract is highly useful to treat panic attacks or stress which can easily be combined with other natural herbs like valerian to help you get relief from anxiety.
tIt was once used in over-the-counter sedatives and sleep aids.  But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned these herbal anxiety remedies in 1978, citing a lack of studies confirming their effectiveness. However, the herbalists have continued to use passionflower in natural herbal remedies for anxiety due to its calming effect and low incidence of side effects.

Passionflower may increase the effects of other sedatives, and it should not be taken with antidepressants in the MAO-inhibitor category without first consulting your doctor. In most cases, however, passionflower is well tolerated. 

To integrate herbal remedies for anxiety with other alternative knowledge such as massage therapy,  aromatherapy , yoga, and meditation may help you get better result of  treatment.  Overall, natural remedies for anxiety are safe alternatives to prescription drugs. But as with any herb, it’s important to monitor for side effects or allergic reactions.  It's still important to be evaluated by your doctor for a proper diagnosis and to rule out other medical problems that may resemble anxiety.

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