When anxiety starts to increase in the body, it can feel like world is closing in on you. Your breath comes in the short guzzle, your pulse speeds up, and your mind starts to race. 3 Herbs To Relieve Anxiety
Whether your anxiety is the uncommon visitor who only shows up when you have got an important meeting in morning, or a more consistent companion that is been with you for years, there are natural herbal therapies that are safe, effectual and non-habit forming.
Of course, lifestyle practices like aware breathing, exercise, and make sure that you are eating a mineral-rich diet can make the big difference in dealing with the anxiety. But when I was struggling with harsh anxiety, it could seem like those common suggestions did not even put a hollow in my suffering. My clients tell me similar stories That they really do not want to take medication, because I know a lot of anti-anxiety meds are addictive. Then they sit for a moment and confess, But it really feels like they need more than just the breathing exercises.
The good news is that there are lots of amazing herbs that are strongly effectual against anxiety, and they do not share same risk of addiction and dependence that come with the pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines. Like all medicinals, these herbs are not right for everyone, but they can be tremendously helpful when they are used at correct dose and are correctly matched to your requirement.
Here is the lowdown on three herbs that can help you dance more gracefully with anxiety. It is very important to remember that herbs are not like drugs; there is no anxiety herb. You are looking for the herb that is the best match for you.
Avoid taking any of these herbs unless otherwise directed by the qualified practitioner if you are taking prescription medication for sleep, anxiety, or depression, or if you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin or Warfarin.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Skullcap is anxiety remedy for people who experience anxiety along with the restlessness, muscle tension, and jaw compressing. If you tend to toss and turn in bed, or if you feel like you can only relax when you are out walking but sitting still makes you want to jump out of the skin, or if you feel like ‘climbing the walls’ when you are stuck inside during about of anxiety, skullcap can help you to unwind not only the anxiety, but also accompanying muscular tension and restlessness. Skullcap is effectual in tea or tincture, a tincture is an herb extracted in alcohol form, but if you can stand small amounts of alcohol I think 20 to 40 drops of the tincture (for a 150-pound person) is the most effectual form.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Frequently mistaken for an aphrodisiac because of its seductive name, passionflower is actually the remedy for people who are so burned out and exhausted that all that is left is anxiety. This is remedy for people who give and give until they have nothing left for themselves. The tips of their tongues are usually bright red, and they feel the sense of being fatigued but unable to rest because the thoughts in their head keep spinning out of control. They might have heart palpitations or a racing heartbeat during bouts of the anxiety.
This plant is effectual in both tea and tincture form, but like skullcap, I tend to prefer tinctures for the anxiety remedies because they are easy to use and ready in an immediate. Use 20 to 40 drops of tincture in the little bit of water for a 150-pound person and improve the dose by 10 drops at the time if you do not feel relief after 15 minutes.
Kava kava (Piper methysticum)
Kava kava is most famous anti-anxiety herb, and with good reason. It is a powerful remedy that is been shown to be effectual in reducing anxiety, as compared to the placebo. Kava kava is more sedating and hypnotic than passionflower and skullcap, and some people find that it creates a blissed-out feeling. It has an intriguing taste that almost numbs your mouth, and has the long tradition of ritual use in Polynesia as well as medicinal use for its sedative and pain-relieving properties.
In recent years there is been some research to suggest that over-consumption of kava kava might damage the liver, so I caution clients not to use this herb if they have liver problems, if they consume alcohol regularly, or concurrently with the acetaminophen. That said, there is the very long history of safe use of this herb, so as long as you do not have any liver issues, you can feel confident using this herb up to 3 to 4 times per week to help relieve your anxiety. It is effectual as a tea, tincture, or capsule, but I think tea or tincture is best.
Remember, these herbs are helpers on your journey to healing your anxiety. All of your other lifestyle practices, like breath work, exercise, journal writing, a healthy diet, and reaching out for support from friends, family, and practitioners are still important — but there’s no question that life with anxiety is a lot easier with safe and effective herbal remedies in your back pocket.
Photo credit: Scot Nelson / Foter / CC BY-SA