Herbal treatment for anxiety – a healthy alternative
Anxiety is a normal response to stress or a dangerous situation which everyone experiences. But persistent and unreasonable fear or worry about things, people or places can be a disabling condition. When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, anti-anxiety medications along with behavioral therapies have been found to be the most effective options. While medication helps address the symptoms of the illness, therapy helps one uncover the underlying causes of worry and fear and change response to situations.
However, prescription medications may not always work. It cannot be prescribed to everyone and also has side effects in the form of drug dependence and addiction. In such a case, natural remedies may bring some relief. Listed below are some effective herbal remedies to overcome anxiety and lead a normal life:
- Passion flower: Generally considered safe when taken as directed, passion flower (passiflora incarnata) is often combined with other herbs to treat anxiety. The plant is used for sleep problems, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as well as gastrointestinal distress related to anxiety or nervousness. While there is some evidence that the herb can help reduce anxiety symptoms, some studies have found that it can cause confusion, drowsiness and dizziness among its users.
- Chamomile – It is a non-pharmacological way to treat anxiety and one of the most widely used herbal treatments in the world. According to a research, long-term chamomile (matricaria recutita) treatment is effective in treating symptoms of GAD that affects 8 million American adults. However, chamomile may cause a reaction in people allergic to family of plants like marigolds, chrysanthemums and daisies, and can even increase the risk of bleeding when used with blood-thinning medications. It is also not advised for individuals suffering from asthma or those about to have a surgery.
- Lavender – For centuries, both lavender and its extracts have been used as a natural treatment for anxiety and depression. In fact, lavender oil has been shown to be just as effective as pharmaceutical drugs used to treat anxiety. Though the herb has positive effects especially on women, oral lavender can cause constipation, headache, low blood pressure, and increased appetite and sedative effects of other drugs.
- Kava – One of the most potent herbal remedies for treating anxiety symptoms, kava (piper methysticum) is valued for its ability to induce a state of relaxation and mental clarity. It’s also effective in increasing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels in the brain. However, the herb is also associated with serious liver damage. Therefore, for those considering to use products containing kava, it is recommended to seek the opinion of a health care professional.
- Lemon balm – Lemon balm (melissa officinalis) can be used in the form of tea, capsules, oil as well as creams to ease anxiety, improve sleep and treat wounds or insect bites. While the herb has calming effects, it can cause nausea and abdominal pain.
Although several herbal remedies have been studied as an effective, alternative treatment for anxiety, more research is needed to understand their complete risks and benefits. Moreover, the herbal supplements are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, it is recommended to seek professional medical opinion prior to taking any of these.
Holistic anxiety disorder treatment
Anxiety disorders can keep people away from daily life activities. Anxiety comes in many forms such as phobias, panic attacks and social anxiety and the symptoms differ on a case-by-case basis. However, irrespective of the symptoms, residential anxiety disorder treatment is considered most effective as it offers patients timely intervention and medication, tailor-made therapy sessions including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and 24-hour care in a safe, comfortable and trigger-free environment.
One of the leading residential treatment centers, Sovereign Health offers top-notch treatment for a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety. Our anxiety treatment program for women is considered among the best in the U.S. Our services are at par with the best women’s anxiety treatment centers and we ensure recovery by combining clinical treatments with evidence-based experiential therapies. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with a representative.