Herbal remedies have been around for centuries and there is a big upsurge in the going back to the natural way of healing the body.
Pharmaceutical companies are not very happy about that but Herbal store's and Homeopathic physicians are much happier and so are their clients.
Below are six herbs that have been found effective in helping to naturally treat anxiety symptoms. This is not the complete list by any means. There are many others including Lavender, Motherwort, Licorice Root, Skullcap, and Oat Straw, just to name a few.
Kava Root – Native to the South Pacific Kava has been shown to greatly reduce the symptoms of anxiety and has been successful as an alternative to using pharmaceutical drugs in treating anxiety disorders. Dr. Jerome Sarris, from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne in Australia has said that based on his current study that Kava has been extremely effective in reducing the symptoms in 26% of those treated with the herb. The root is the safest part of the plant to use. Use of the stems or leaves may cause liver damage. Read the labels thoroughly before taking and be sure it is only the Kava root.
Passionflower – Similar to Kava but with less side affects it is considered to be one of the best natural herbs to treat mild to moderate anxiety. Passionflower has a calming affect that helps to reduce muscle tension, sleep problems such as insomnia, moon swings, and even hot flashes. Passionflower is not recommended if you are taking MAOI's (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors, prescription medications for depression or anxiety) .
St. Johns Wort – This versatile herb is used for many different ailments. St. Johns Wort has been used to treat menopause, ADHD, moodiness, and of course anxiety, and depression. This herb also grows wild in the US. It is native to Europe and dates back to the ancient Greeks.
Valerian/Valerian Root – This herb has more commonly been used as an extremely effective sleep aid and therefore the sedative qualities assist with soothing and relaxing the muscles and relieving mental tension. This in turn helps reduce anxiety. Due to the strength and potency of this herb it is not recommended for pregnant women, children under the age of 12, or for anyone who may be taking other herbal supplements or prescribed anti-anxiety/anti-depressant medication.
Lemon Balm – Lemon Balm has, for hundreds of years been widely used throughout folk medicine. Aside from helping to treat anxiety this herb has also shown results in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s due to it's calming affect. Doctors from the University of Maryland Medical Center have recommended a 600mg dose of Lemon Balm with Valerian as the most effective. Anything above that is not recommended. Lemon Balm is also an excellent source of anxiety relief in the form of essential oil and as a tea.
Chamomile – A natural sedative, Chamomile is best used for mild to moderate anxiety. Nervousness both mentally and in relation to nausea can be soothed and calmed with Chamomile. This herb that grows wild has been linked to relieving headaches and is safe for children. For centuries Chamomile has been used to treat various ailments either by brewing as a tea or by using the oil as an ingredient in perfumes. The National Institute of Mental Health has stated that almost 40 million Americans may be affected by anxiety every year. Thought to be primarily an herb used for promoting sleep, Chamomile is now effective in treating stress and anxiety. As with many other herbs this herb may also be used in various other ways such as ointments, creams, extracts and essential oils.
Important Note: As with any medications whether they be natural or prescribed always consult your physician before taking them. Some herbal supplements may interact with prescribed medications and/or over the counter drugs as well as cause allergic reactions. If you are taking blood thinners or heart medications be sure to consult with your family physician or herbalist before taking any herbal supplements.