Although it is normal to feel restless from time to time, you may also have generalized anxiety disorder if you have uncontrolled anxiety, panic attacks, and depression for no reason. Herbal remedies for anxiety and anxiety can help you regain control of your life.
Herbal remedies for anxiety and panic
Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include restlessness, nervousness, irritability, impatience, or poor concentration. People may also notice changes in their physical health, such as jaw pain, muscle tension, difficulty falling asleep (insomnia), dry mouth, fatigue, chest tightness, indigestion, gas, excessive sweating, and headaches.
Although some research suggests that certain natural remedies can be helpful for anxiety and panic, it is important to speak to your doctor before using alternative medicine. Remember that certain dietary supplements should be used in addition to standard treatment. Here are 10 of the best herbal remedies for depression, anxiety, and restlessness.
Despite the name, this beautiful climber will not help you in love. The passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) has long been used as a folk remedy for anxiety, panic attacks and nervous restlessness. It is often used for insomnia. Some studies show that it can be just as effective at reducing anxiety symptoms as prescription drugs.
In two studies with a total of 198 people, the effectiveness of passionflower was investigated in anxiety. One study found that Passiflora is comparable to benzodiazepine drugs. Less sleepiness was also noted compared to the drug mexazolam, however the study results were not statistically significant.
Possible side effects of passion flower include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and rapid heartbeat. The safe use of passionflower in pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, or people with kidney or liver disease has not been proven. In Norway there were five case reports of people who were temporarily mentally impaired after using a combination product with passionflower. It is not known whether the other ingredients in the dietary supplement were considered.
The usual dosage as a dietary supplement is approx. 500 mg daily or 250 mg twice. One should be passion flower no more than a month take in. Passion flower can lead to drowsiness and should therefore only be taken with other sedatives under medical supervision. For example, it can increase the effect of the sleeping pill pentobarbital.
The herb valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is best known as a herbal remedy for insomnia and anxiety. Unfortunately, research supporting the use of valerian for mild anxiety is limited.
For example, researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed several studies on valerian for anxiety. Only one of them met their quality criteria. It was a four-week study that compared the effects of valerian, the drug diazepam (Valium), and a placebo in 36 people with generalized anxiety disorder. No statistically significant differences between the groups were found, possibly due to the small size of the case study.
The usual dosage of valerian as a dietary supplement is around 500 mg once a day or 250 mg twice. Valerian is usually taken an hour before bedtime. Treatment lasts around two to three weeks and should no longer than three months at a time be applied. Possible side effects of valerian include mild indigestion, headache, palpitations, and dizziness. Although valerian tea and liquid extracts are available, most people don’t like the scent of valerian and prefer to take the natural remedy in capsule form.
Valerian should not be taken in combination with many other drugs, especially those that suppress the central nervous system, such as sedatives and antihistamines. Valerian should not be taken with alcohol, before or after surgery, or by people with liver disease. Do not drive or operate machinery after ingestion. Valerian can also cause vivid dreams. In this case, it is recommended that you seek advice from a qualified doctor.
Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) is a plant from the Pacific Islands that is used as a soothing tonic. A 2016 study found that it targets the GABA receptors in the brain that are responsible for the symptoms of anxiety. In this way, it improves the body’s natural responses to anxiety. The usual dosage as a dietary supplement is 250 mg per day. Treatment should do not exceed four weeks.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given consumers a warning about the potential risk of serious liver damage from the use of kava-containing supplements. To date, there have been more than 25 reports of serious side effects from kava use in other countries, including four patients who required a liver transplant.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), still known as sleeping berry, is an Ayurvedic remedy that is considered a natural adaptogen. Adaptogens are known to help the body with stress and at the same time have a vitalizing effect. Some research suggests that it can be as effective as certain medications for anxiety and panic attacks. The usual dosage is 900 mg once a day or 450 mg twice a day.
Bacopa extracts (Bacopa monnieri) protect neurons from damage and promote blood flow to the brain. A 2013 study found that Bacopa can also reduce the stress hormone cortisol. In traditional Indian medicine, ashagandha and bacopa are often used together because that way they are much more effective. The usual dosage of Bacopa as a dietary supplement is around 500 mg per day. This can be split into two tablets or taken as one tablet once a day.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is widely recognized as a natural remedy for anxiety and panic. When you’re having a stressful moment, a cup of chamomile tea can help calm you down. Some compounds in chamomile bind to the same brain receptors as drugs such as Valium. In a study at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia, patients with generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks showed a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms compared to those who took placebo.
You can also take chamomile as a dietary supplement, which is usually standardized and contains 1.2% apigenin (a flavonoid). The usual dosage of chamomile as a dietary supplement can be between 350 and 500 mg per day. Chamomile should not be used with blood-thinning medication.
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) has long been known as a calming remedy for stress. It has a subtle calming effect on the central nervous system and can also help with anxiety and depression. Lavender is usually combined with other herbs. When used alone, the average daily dose is around 400 mg. However, fragrance therapy with lavender is recommended, as oral ingestion can cause constipation and headaches. It can also increase appetite, increase the sedative effects of other drugs and supplements, and cause low blood pressure.
A close relative of lavender, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), is also said to have sedative properties. Named after the Greek word for “honey bee”, lemon balm has been used since at least the Middle Ages to relieve stress and anxiety and to help people fall asleep. In a study with healthy volunteers, those who took standardized lemon balm extracts (600 mg) were calmer and more alert than those who took a placebo. The average dose in adults is around 500 mg.
While lemon balm is generally safe to use as a dietary supplement, some studies have found that overdosing it can make you even more restless. So follow the directions and start with the smallest dose. Lemon balm is sold as a tea, capsule, and tincture. It is often combined with other soothing herbs such as hops, chamomile, and valerian.
The classic herb for depression, St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), is also used against anxiety and panic. Recent research suggests that it is better suited for depression-related anxiety. How St. John’s wort can help with other forms of anxiety requires more research.
The usual dosage is around 300 mg daily. You should not take the herb with anti-anxiety and panic attack medications. So speak to your doctor about how or if this should be added to your treatment regimen.
Rose root (Rhodiola rosea) is a plant that is native to Scandinavia and high alpine regions. It has been used as a remedy for nervousness and restlessness for hundreds of years. Rose root extracts have an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect. The usual dosage is around 500 mg daily. The ideal time to take it is in the morning.