Anti anxiety herbs

Anti anxiety herbs can work wonders for people who suffer with panic attacks and stress. If you do not know what the symptoms of a panic attack are, let me explain the process so you can see if you are suffering from this condition:

Usually the first sign of a panic attack is a rapid heartbeat, accompanied by a general nervous, almost nauseous feeling. Then your muscles become slightly tense and your breathing may become rapid and even labored. You may get a feeling of claustrophobia as well, or even a numb feeling. You may also experience chest pains and dizziness, and some people even die from these panic attacks! Stress and anxiety are the cause of many preventable illnesses, so it is important that you limit your anxiety as much as possible through meditation and the use of the following anti-anxiety herbs. Let me first explain a little bit more about anxiety and how these herbs work before I give you a list of anti anxiety herbs.

The herbs we will be discussing fall under a class of herbs known as nervines. These nervines serve to disable your sympathetic nervous system by slightly enabling healthy activity in your parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that sends signals to the brain to become stressed or anxious. While this part of your nervous system is crucial for survival in emergency situations (where fear and stress is needed to produce life-saving adrenaline), this is also the part of the nervous system you will need to ‘calm down’. Your parasympathetic nervous system, is the part of your nervous system that is responsible for sending relaxing messages to the brain, and this is the part of your nervous system that needs to be strengthened. The following herbs will strengthen your parasympathetic nervous system while relaxing your sympathetic nervous system.

German Chamomile – Chamomile improves the health of the nervous system, and is a muscle relaxer. It has mild sedating qualities yet is not as strong as an herbal sedative as passionflower or valerian. Chamomile is also a great cure for anxiety in younger people like children and teens, and it works well with anxiety related to sleeping problems. If you are allergic to asters, ragweed, or chrysanthemums you are better off choosing another anti-anxiety herb.

Oatstraw – Oatstraw has a replenishing effect on a fatigued nervous system and dependably strengthens the entire nervous system after long periods of stress. Aside from it’s long term effects, oatstraw has been known to provide immediate relief from anxiety in emergency situations. Another good thing about this herb is that even the most allergen-sensitive people are not allergic to it! Oatstraw is used for a number of problems including fatigue, depression, anxiety and stress related issues.

Lemon Balm – This herb is good for people with sleeping problems and digestion problems. Lemon balm is also particularly useful in treating anxiety that causes digestive problems. Lemon balm is a relaxing herb used for restlessness, anxiety, mild depression, and irritability. If you have any thyroid problems then you may want to avoid this herb.

Valerian – Valerian is one of the most used anti-anxiety herbs. The active ingredients of valerian are valepotriates. These valepotriates bind to the brain’s benzodiazepine receptors. Some people call this herb the herbal version of valium, because valium works on this same principle. Unlike valium though, valerian does not cause addiction. Valerian can be used to improve the sleep quality and relax both the skeletal and smooth muscles. If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, chronic exhaustion, thyroid disorders or depression you should not use valerian as it may increase anxiety/restlessness and exacerbate present symptoms.

Passionflower – Passionflower is good for people who suffer from daytime anxiety, as well as people who suffer from horrible dreams and mid-night anxiety. It is an effective depressant of the central nervous system that has relaxing anti-anxiety effects. Passionflower is specifically useful for people who suffer from anxiety related to muscle tension, insomnia, restlessness, and nervousness caused by stressful environments. People taking an MAO inhibitor should not take passionflower.

Skullcap – This herb relaxes the nervous system and is useful for anxiety of all types especially anxiety and irritability that is caused by hormonal imbalances such as premenstrual syndrome. This herb is loved by many by people and has few side effects. It is best used in people who have problems with a racing mind that is constantly worrying.

The above herbs are perfect for combating anxiety, and when used correctly can offer complete relief from the symptoms of anxiety.

Last updated on Mar 16th, 2010 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses for “Anti anxiety herbs”

  1. Colin Hall says:

    Hi, We have designed many recipes based around their anti-anxiety properties and find that they are a great hit with our stressed out clientel. We have found that Sweet Marjoram is an excellent stress buster, helping to reduce indigestion and thus relieving the internal pressures that make your heart rate more obvious after meals (I speak as someone whose anxiety attacks were instigated this way). We design puddings with Chamomile and also offer Chamomile teas instead of the usual Coffee, that often un-does all of the good work provided by a relaxing meal.

  2. Steve Hall says:

    There are a lot of great herbs that help to keep anxiety symptoms under control. St Johns Wort is probably about the most well known and commonly used in my practical experience. There are also a number of NLP techniques (Neuro Linguistic Programming) that are effective in helping people break through fear patterns and anxiety situations.

    • Sebastian says:

      I don’t really know much about anti-anxiety HERBS, but I do know that EFT (= Emotional Freedom Technique) is used frequently to treat anxieties.
      It’s basically a technique that uses the nerve centers of the body and by tapping them and saying a certain sentence over and over, you relieve yourself from the anxiety.

      I have to agree with Steve Hall too, NLP is also a very viable technique in these cases.

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