Anxiety is a frightening and real feeling that is no stranger to those aging, dying, or losing independence. Sometimes anxiety is triggered by life events or specific moments, other times it is a diagnosed chronic disorder. Antidepressants or other alternative drugs are often necessarily prescribed to treat anxiety disorders; medications have proven to significantly decrease symptoms. There is also a whole world of herbal anxiety remedies. Herbal remedies are not for everybody; but, many people claim that natural substances have helped them cope with their anxiety.
What are various types of herbal anxiety treatments?
1) Chamomile is an herb said to aid in relaxation and anxiety. A 2016 studied showed that, “long-term chamomile use ‘significantly’ reduces moderate-to-severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.”* More commonly taken as a tea, chamomile is safe to drink daily. It is also available in a cream or tablet form. In addition to anxiety, chamomile is proven to help people fall asleep.
2) Lavender is another plant that can be used as a short-term treatment for anxiety. It has a similar soothing quality to chamomile. A study showed that lavender contains chemicals that are proven to have calming effects. * Lavender can be used as an essential oil, tea, or even bath soak.
3) Galphimia Glauca is a traditional Latin American medicine that has been used to treat asthma and allergies. On the contrary, Mexico has used this herb as a treatment for anxiety. A 2007 U.S. study tested 152 people with an anxiety disorder. The participants took, “…either galphimia extract or the commonly-prescribed anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (brand name Ativan) every day for four weeks. The study results revealed that the anxiety-reducing effect of galphimia extract was similar to that of lorazepam.”* Thus, the herb is said to reduce symptoms of anxiety!
4) Kava Kava – originally grown as a shrub – is known to have major calming and anxiety-reducing effects. According to WebMD, kava contains kavapyrones, a substance that acts “… like alcohol on your brain, making you feel calm, relaxed, and happy.”* Pacific Islanders have used kava for thousands of years to promote relaxation. It can be taken in many ways including as a capsule, tea, powder, or liquid.
5) Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has recently become a popular way to manage anxiety. It is an essential ingredient in the cannabis plant but does not give you the same “high” feeling that marijuana does. It has helped people with chronic pain, insomnia, child epilepsy, and anxiety.* To assist in soothing anxiety, CBD is used by vaping, orally (sprays/oils), or in the form of a candy gummy. Studies and anecdotal evidence prove CBD is an effective herbal remedy for many people with anxiety.
There are many other types of natural substances that can aid in anxiety. But, it is important to note that these remedies are not for everyone. One must always consult their physician before experimenting with anything to alleviate anxiety. In addition, it is possible that none of these substances will be effective for certain individuals. Prescription medication is helpful. There is not always a substitute for the effect of a prescription medicine.