Natural Remedies For Anxiety
Renata Trister DO
Chronic stress and anxiety affects millions of people. Nervousness, agitation, tension, racing heart, chest pain are just some of the overt symptoms these people experience. Anxiety is among the most common mental health issues. It has become an epidemic in the United States, so much so that it has overtaken depression as the leading mental health disorder. It is estimated that 40 million Americans struggle with anxiety.
Although there are many prescription medications that help treat the symptoms of anxiety, we may want to consider more natural remedies if a long-term solution is needed.
Exercise and Meditation
Exercise is a great way to burn off anxious energy, research and experience has demonstrated the effectiveness of exercise for many years. Talking walks in nature, gentle yoga and Qi Gong are all great ways to help manage anxiety symptoms long term.
Meditation is very effective in decreasing anxiety symptoms over time. Meditation can help to slow racing thoughts, making it easier to manage stress and anxiety. A meta-analysis combining the results of 163 different studies had an overall conclusion that practicing meditation produced beneficial results with significant improvement in anxiety. The easiest way to start is with guided meditations, which are available on YouTube and podcasts. A 5-minute daily meditation can have a profound effect with continued practice.
Lower sugar and processed food intake
Refined carbohydrates found in processed foods can create sugar highs and lows throughout the day. These highs and lows can trigger symptoms of anxiety. Processed foods can also cause mood swings and altered energy levels, making it potentially harder to manage anxiety symptoms. It is critical to avoid foods such as cakes, cookies, soda, fast foods, fried foods, processed meat, and refined grains when dealing anxiety.
This is one of the most revered herbs in Ayurvedic healing and is frequently referred to as the “Indian ginseng.” This is a rejuvenating herb that reduces anxiety without causing drowsiness, and helps stabilize the body’s response to stress.
Valerian naturally increases the amount of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which can calm anxiety. In fact, benzodiazepine medications work in a similar way.
Magnesium has many important roles in maintaining a healthy body, including calming the nervous system. It is also vital for GABA function. Interestingly, magnesium deficiency is a common deficiency in adults, so consider this supplement when recommending anti-anxiety treatment options. Magnesium glycinate is the best-absorbed form of magnesium and is the gentlest on the stomach. Topical magnesium preparations and Epsom salt baths are also a great option.
B vitamins help reduce stress and stabilize moods. Vitamin B6 should specifically be considered as a natural remedy for anxiety symptoms, because one of the signs of B6 deficiency is anxiety itself. Vitamin B6 helps to boost mood, balance blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy nervous system.
Fragrant plant oils can help with stress and anxiety. Lavender essential oil is very helpful. A 2012 study tested the effects of aromatherapy with lavender on insomnia in 67 women aged 45–55. Results suggest that the aromatherapy may reduce the heart rate in the short term and help to ease sleep issues in the long term. To relieve stress, inhale 100% pure lavender essential oil straight from the bottle or apply it topically behind the ears, on the temples, and on the back of the neck. It is also safe to combine lavender essential oil with vetiver oil.
For stressful situations:
Rescue Remedy Gummies – take the heat off mild anxiety.
Lemon Balm Tincture (alcohol-free) knocks down anxiety. 3-4 droppers are great when you are up against confrontation.
Foods for healing Anxiety & Depression
Our diet can have a tremendous impact on our mental health. Try to incorporate a few of the following foods into your daily routine.
Lemon or Lime Water –great for electrolytes and neurotransmitters
Celery Juice –do it straight if you are dealing with anxiety and depression –gives mineral salts to build up electrolytes (16 ounces a day)
Wild Blueberries 1-2 cups daily. These are available frozen.
Cilantro ½ cup daily
Spirulina 1-2 teaspoons daily
Apples –an apple a day is great to alleviate anxiety & depression.
Information from Kerry Bone Principles of Phytotherapy
And Anthony William Medical Medium books.