Stress and anxiety can be described as an unstable state of emotion that elicits psycho-physiological responses. The physiological and psychological concomitants of stress include irregular respiration rate, fatigue, arrhythmia, tension and apprehension.
Although all people experience anxiety at one time or the other; in extreme cases, these conditions can wreck havoc to one’s health and wellbeing by contributing to illnesses such as cognitive impairment, cardiac diseases and diabetes. There are many drugs manufactured to treat the symptoms of anxiety, but there are growing fears that some of these drugs can lead to serious side effects and addiction. This is the reason why many people are turning to natural herbs and techniques to relieve stress and anxiety:
1. Lemon balm – Lemon balm is an ancient remedy whose usage can be traced back to 300BC. In ancient Roman and Greek healing, lemon balm was used to dress wounds and treat life threatening stings and bites. In the middle ages, the herb was employed to ease indigestion and relieve anxiety and stress. Much recently, a volunteer study on lemon balm showed that a dose of 600mgs can increase the levels of alertness, cause calmness and improve mood swings, 7 days after use.
2. Kava root – Clinical studies on this root has demonstrated its efficiency in suppressing mild and moderate social anxiety. Many people also use this herb as a non-sleep disruptive sedative. Kara root is best used as a concentrated extract in tablet or capsule form. The herb works in a similar manner as Valium and other benzodiazepine class of drugs. Kava contains very minimal side effects and is safe for the liver.
3. Chamomile – There is a growing number of people using chamomile tea to calm down the nerves and decrease the symptoms of anxiety because it contains active ingredients such as apigenin that binds brain receptors. The herb works the same way as drugs such as Valium.
4. Lavender– This herb has anti-inflammatory effects right from its aroma. A study done on the Lavender pill in Europe revealed that the herb was just as effective as lorazepam in reducing symptoms of anxiety, especially in people suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GERD).
5. Valerian – the herbal supplement derived from Valerian have been shown to reduce anxiety without causing sleeplessness. Since the herb contains numerous sedative compounds, it is often prescribe as a cure for sleeping problems. The herb can be taken as tea or tincture. Valerian can also be used in conjunction with other common sedatives like lemon balm and chamomile to enhance its potency.
6. Ashwagandha – The history of using Ashwagandha or the winter cherry, as a remedy for agitation dates back thousands of years. Indeed, the wisdom of using Ashwagandha can be traced to the Ayurvedic belief. The root of this herb contains ingredients of withanolide and flavonoids, which act by calming the nerves to relief stress.
7. Passionflower herb – this popular herb is often used to calm the nerves and protect the body at the cellular level. The plant contains a host of protective antioxidants, including rutin, isovitexin, luteolin and kaempferol. The other useful compounds include phytosterols, fatty acids and indole alkanoids. Studies conducted on passion flower herbs have shown its effectiveness as antispasmodic, sedative and anxiolytic medicine.
The other herbal remedies used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety include; rosemary tea, elderberry flower tea and spiced apples. Rosemary tea is effective in alleviating depression while a tea made from elderberry flower has been shown to an effective sleep inducer and nerve relaxant. People suffering from insomnia can also take mandarin oranges and drink bee balm to suppress the condition.