Natural Herbs For Anxiety
Consult your doctor before taking any type of natural herb for anxiety. Some natural herbs could react with any medications that you may be taking. Pregnant and nursing mothers must consult their doctor first to make sure their child won’t be harmed. Some of the herbs listed below have potentially harmful side effects, especially if mixed with prescription medications. ALWAYS consult your doctor before taking any type of natural herb or drug.
Saint John's Wort
Saint John’s Wort has been used to help treat mild depression and is actually prescribed by doctors in countries like Germany. The herb may also be helpful in relieving symptoms of anxiety. In some countries like Ireland a prescription is required to purchase Saint John’s Wort. The herb is available over the counter in most countries including the US.
Saint John’s Wort may react with other drugs so it is critical that you speak with your doctor before consuming the herb. Reported side effects include confusion, a general feeling of being tired, sedation, confusion, and gastrointestinal trouble. There have also been reports that the herb may cause photosensitivity in some individuals.
Valerian has been reported to act as a mild sedative similar to Valium. It may also act as a muscle relaxer. Because the herb may cause drowsiness, many people take it to help them sleep. A positive note on Valerian is that it doesn’t cause grogginess the next morning as over the counter and prescription sleep drugs tend to do.
Valerian can be found both online and in convenience stores across the US. It’s normally taken in pill form in dosages of two to ten grams per day. Few side effects have been reported but as always, consult your doctor before taking any herb to treat anxiety.
The herb kava reportedly produces a calming effect that can help in the treatment of anxiety. In the US kava is normally ingested in pill form. Traditionally kava is served as a drink throughout the Pacific Ocean. Kava root powder is soaked in water and then blended and strained to produce a beverage. Ingredients such as coconut milk, lemon grass, sugar, and other items may be added to improve the flavor. Kava has been used for religious, cultural, and medicinal purposes throughout the Pacific for 3000 years.
There have been reports of serious liver toxicity in people that have ingested kava. Kava has been banned in some countries. There have also been reports of allergic reactions to the herb including skin rashes, hives, and itchy throats.
The consumption of kava may not be legal where you live. Be sure to check the legality of the herb in your area before attempting to make a purchase.
It is absolutely imperative that you consult your doctor before taking kava. The herb may adversely react not only with alcohol but with benzodiazepines and sleeping pills. It may also adversely react with some medical conditions.
Considering the allegations of liver toxicity, please see a doctor before taking kava.
Chamomile is often brewed as a tea and has been reported to produce a calming effect. Many people consume chamomile tea before bedtime to help them sleep. Chamomile traditionally has been used in Europe to help alleviate digestive problems.
Similar to chamomile, passionflower is often brewed as a tea. It’s
known for producing a similar effect to that of chamomile and has been
used to treat insomnia. It may also help alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
If you’re considering taking any natural herb or alternative medicine, please consult your doctor first. This is especially important for pregnant and nursing mothers.