Anyone who is currently suffering from anxiety, knows how crippling it can make you feel. It is one of those disorders that people can not physically see, but you can strongly feel. There are all kinds of anxiety disorders, as well as varying degrees.
If you approach a doctor, they will more than likely prescribe you the most current anxiety medication. There are many reasons why someone with anxiety would want to stay away from taking anti-anxiety drugs:
- Drugs of any kind often yield multiple physical side effects (e.g. stomach aches, headaches, etc.)
- You may find that it effects your mood and energy levels
- Medications can be hard on your internal organs
- You may be self conscious about taking medication at work, or in front of loved ones
These are just some of the reasons why anxiety medication is not for everyone. Approaching ailments in a more natural manner is becoming more and more apparent. In order to target your anxiety, you may be interested to know that herbs can have a positive effect. Let's explore this notion further.
What is Anxiety?
First, let's focus on anxiety itself, then we'll look how herbs can target these disorders. Anxiety is actually a normal reaction within all humans. Think about your first day at a new school, or when you first entered your career; you may have felt nervous and anxious. The feeling associated with these nerve racking events is a normal level of anxiety.
When it comes to anxiety disorders, the overwhelming fear that a person experiences can be truly crippling. As mentioned, there are varying degrees of these disorders. Some may only experience anxiety under specific conditions, while others may experience a constant battle. In order to better understand anxiety disorders, we need to focus on the different types.
- Panic Disorder: People whom suffer from a panic disorder, will experience episodes of fear and panic without any warning. This is associated with panic attacks, where individuals may sweat, choke, have a rapid heartbeat, and more.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD occurs after a significant, traumatic event. This may occur after physical/sexual abuse, experiencing a loved one die, participating in a war, experiencing a natural disaster, etc. These events will leave an individual with flashbacks, and traumatic memories. It is not uncommon for these individuals to have episodes where they feel as though they're back in that traumatic incident.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: OCD forces individuals to perform certain rituals or routines. If these routines are not carried out, these individuals will begin to experience immense anxiety. OCD comes in many forms, but is commonly seen regarding germs. These individuals will need to wash their hands an excessive amount of times.
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder: This will cause an individual to experience a constant feeling of anxiousness and worry. Although there will be nothing specific provoking these feelings, the individual cannot help but constantly feel tense and overwhelmed.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: This will cause individuals to become extremely anxious around other people. They are highly self-conscious, and fear social settings. There is a belief that they may be embarrassed, which makes them feel highly nervous when around others.
- Specific Phobias: We all know someone who doesn't like spiders. For those individuals who suffer from a specific phobia, it is much more complex. It is not just a slight fear, it is an overwhelmingly frightening experience. These individuals will truly fear that their life will end due to their phobia.
Health Effects Associated With Anxiety
Whether you suffer from PTSD, or you're constantly worrying about your mortgage; excessive amounts of anxiety are hard on your body. Some of the associated risks of anxiety are:
- Heart complications
- Cognitive Impairment
Not only is anxiety harsh on your body; it's hard on relationships, and your overall quality of life.
Why Use Herbs?
There are so many reasons to switch to natural means of healing. Herbs provides numerous benefits:
- Not only do anti-anxiety medications have side effects, there's addition risks associated with them. Using herbs will not put you at risk for dependency.
- Herbs are safer overall. With any prescription medication, you need to be extremely conscious of your dosage. As well, they contain many ingredients that are not beneficial to your body. Herbs on the other hand provide numerous health benefits.
- Herbs can be administered various different ways (e.g. tea or through an extract).
- Decrease financial costs. Prescription drugs in America for instance, can cost a lot. Herbs are a much more cost effective method.
- They've got history. The use off herbs dates back to 3000 BC.
- You can sip on herb infused teas at work all day.
- Provide some of the same benefits that prescription medication does.
Herbs You Can Use
Although more severe cases of anxiety may need to be worked on at a psychological level, there is no need to continually take harsh medications. In order to ease symptoms, explore the idea of natural herbs. Here are some of the herbs that can fight off anxiety symptoms.
- Lemon Balm: This herb has been used since ancient Greek. It is known to decrease levels of anxiety, while promoting sleep. Within a recent double-blind study, 20 individuals who suffer from anxiety and insomnia participated. Some were given lemon balm, twice daily; while the others were given a placebo. After fifteen days, the participants who consumed lemon balm reported a 49% decrease in their anxiety, a reduction of 72% in terms of symptoms associated with anxiety, and a 39% decrease in their insomnia. Those who received the placebo did not improve. These results were seen after two weeks, so you can imagine how beneficial this herb is.
- Passionflower: This calming herb is currently being used for anxiety and insomnia symptoms. Passionflower is believed to increase GABA levels within the brain. This brain chemical tends to lower the activity in certain parts of the brain, making you feel more relaxed. Basically, this herb will help you restrain high levels of emotion.
- Kava Kava: This herb (more specifically the root) is offered as an alternative treatment for those who suffer from generalised anxiety disorder. It has been shown to be highly effective, but can take up to eight weeks to show improvements. It is also used in order to treat individuals who are withdrawing from anti-anxiety medication.
- St. Johns Wort: Although this herb is most commonly used to battle depression, it is also used in treating anxiety. This herb has been used for over 2000 years in order to treat anxiety. Chemicals found within this herb are believed to increase serotonin and dopamine levels.
Ways to Take These Herbs
- Teas: Steep herbs to make tea. You should steep at least 1 tsp of dried herbs, per 1 cup of boiling water. Drink this tea 3-4 times a day to treat anxiety.
- Liquid extracts: 10-20 drops, up to three times a day.
- Tincture: This concentrated herb extract can be taken via 10-45 drops, three times a day.
If you are suffering from anxiety, start to explore your natural options. There are various natural substances that have been used for thousands of years. We have become very focused on modern medicine, but there are natural healing techniques that are great options. With anything, make sure you thoroughly research what you take. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
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