Anxiety disorders are more common than you think. The anxiety spectrum of disorders is the most common mental illness in the United States. It affects 18.1% of adults. Unfortunately, only around a third of people suffering from anxiety seek treatment. Some reasons given for not seeking treatment are the social stigma of seeing a doctor and the myriad of side effects associated with prescription anti-anxiety medications. Fortunately, there are more natural alternatives.
CBD Oil and Tinctures
CBD oil is relatively new to the anti-anxiety market. These potent, natural CBD tinctures seem to be making considerable headway in the fight against anxiety. Many people who have tried this cannabinoid derivative claim that it significantly reduces anxiety. Although it is currently being studied, many scientists agree that it works by modifying the serotonin levels in your brain. CBD is relatively easy to find, although it is best to get CBD tinctures from a reliable retailer.
Kava is an older remedy for anxiety. It produces an overall feeling of wellbeing and sometimes safety. You do have to be extremely cautious when using kava because it has been shown to produce liver toxicity similar to the effects of alcohol, even in small amounts. If you have a liver disorder or drink a lot of kava, you should consult a doctor and have regular liver enzyme tests done. Drinking too much kava can also cause symptoms similar to those experienced with alcohol, such as impaired judgment and reaction time.
Although many herbals have been touted as cure-alls for mental anxiety and illness, lavender is one that actually works, for a short time at least. Lavender oil showed promising results in a six-week study on anxiety-reducing herbal medications. When those in the study took 80mg a day, it produced a noticeable difference in those with anxiety against a placebo. It reduces sleep disturbances, restlessness and other symptoms associated with this illness. It is also said that the scent of lavender can help to reduce anxiety as well. It has been used to treat a variety of disorders for centuries by almost every culture. Lavender can be a tea, tincture or introduced in pill form without serious side effects.
Valerian is a popular sleep herbal medication, but it can be effective in treating anxiety disorder when combined with passionflower and other relaxants. When brewed into a tea, this root reduces stress, decreases the incidence of insomnia due to anxiety, and decreases panic disorder risks. Although no long-term studies have been approved, it is important to note that valerian root has been used for anxiety and relaxation for well over 1000 years. It is available in tea, tincture, oil and as a raw herb.
Valerian is extremely promising for short-term relief of anxiety. Most studies conclude that it should only be taken regularly for a few weeks at a time until more data is available.
Taking Herbal Remedies Safely
It is exceedingly important to remember that herbal remedies are not always approved by the FDA, nor are they evaluated and tested like prescription medications. If you are considering an herbal remedy for anxiety, do not simply stop taking your prescription. It can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. Many doctors recommend herbal medications along with prescription medication but not as a substitute for prescription medication.
When you take a herbal remedy for a condition as serious as anxiety, keep in mind that natural doesn’t mean safe. Like the case of kava for anxiety, they can cause more issues than they resolve. Common herbal medications such as St. Johns Wart are now not being recommended for anxiety because upon further study, other dangerous issues such as raised blood pressure, depression and psychosis have been noted.
No matter what, always tell your doctor or emergency room professionals what herbal remedies that you are taking along with your prescriptions. This can save your life if there is a deadly interaction. As with all medications, herbal medications have the same contraindications and issues as prescriptions do.
As the United States population struggles with anxiety, herbal medications may provide a better answer. It is known that treatment with some herbal remedies for anxiety is better than no treatment at all. As with any medication, speak to your doctor if you have any health issues or experience any reactions.