It’s normal to feel anxious about certain moments in everyday life, such as the first day of school or a job interview. However, when you begin to worry to the point that you’re panicking, or if it is affecting your health and quality of life, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Conventional medicine has treatments for anxiety; however, these often require taking synthetic drugs, which can have side effects. As the most common mental disorder that affects all ages, potential natural treatments for anxiety are of great interest to many.
Herbal supplements for anxiety relief
Some people still prefer natural remedies over modern medicine and studies have found that they are likely to react positively to herbal remedies. Here are some herbal supplements that help relieve anxiety symptoms.
Among the many kinds of passionflower, Passiflora incarnata has a long history of use as an anxiolytic? remedy, as well as a remedy for pain relief and treatment for sleep problems. Today, it is still used as a natural remedy for nervousness and anxiety.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics showed the efficacy of passionflower against a prescription anxiolytic medication, benzodiazepine oxazepam, and found them equally effective in eliminating the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
2. Kava kava
Kava is a traditional drink made from Piper methysticum, a medicinal plant used by many cultures for centuries for its anxiolytic properties. Kava kava is also consumed to help improve sleep.
Kava kava is known for its efficacy in relieving anxiety symptoms without sedation, meaning it can calm you without being mentally impairing. It’s active ingredients, kavalactones, work in many ways such as reducing inflammation and increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This neurotransmitter is normally present in the brain but decreases due to certain brain disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder.
Note that kava can be harmful to the liver if consumed in large amounts, so consult your natural health practitioner on the adequate amount of kava kava to take for anxiety relief.
Withania somnifera, or ashwagandha, is an Ayurvedic herb that has been getting increasingly popular in recent years as a treatment for stress and anxiety.
Ashwagandha has been studied numerous times for its efficacy on relieving anxiety and has been shown to be as effective as benzodiazepines, a class of prescription medications for anxiety – but without the harmful effects for one’s health.
4. CBD oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has been reported as an effective natural remedy for a number of conditions, particularly anxiety, pain, depression and sleep disorders.
CBD is an active ingredient in the Cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as marijuana. Due to marijuana’s reputation as a psychoactive drug, many people are concerned about CBD as a natural therapy.
However, the psychoactive properties of marijuana come from its other active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – not CBD. The latter is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it does not produce the “high” associated with THC. Despite this, medical and recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in many parts of the world.
5. St. John’s wort
In some parts of the world, however, it is used as a natural remedy for anxiety and sleep disorders.
While many studies have established the efficiency of St. John’s wort in the treatment of depression, several studies on its anxiolytic effects have shown varying results.
Herbal supplements have been proven time and again to be effective therapies with little to no adverse effects. However, regardless of their efficacy, and the level of your anxiety, always consult your natural health practitioner first before trying any supplements.