Alternative Medicine Treatments for Anxiety
There are many situations where some level of anxiety is perfectly normal, and a natural response to a stressful situation. It only becomes a problem when the degree of anxiety is out of proportion to the problem, or indeed when there is no objective, external reason for it. Symptoms might include constant feelings of tension, sweating, palpitations, hyper-ventilating and a lack of sleep.
There are several oils which have a relaxing, calming effects on the nervous system; probably the nicest way to use them is in the bath, where the warm water aids relaxation and helps the oils to be absorbed.
- Clary Sage: a relaxing, warming and almost euphoric effect, especially helpful where anxiety leads to exhaustion.
- Lavender: calming, helping to balance the mind and emotions, it is one of the gentlest oil to use.
- Melissa: very soothing and like Lavender, gentle to the skin. It is useful where anxiety affects the digestion, and also where hormone imbalnce creates tension.
- Rose: it is wonderfully relaxing and is also considered one of the finest hormone regulators.
- Ylang-Ylang: almost sedating, it slows the heart-rate and excessively rapid breathing. Do not overdo it; as large amounts or prolonged usage can result in a headache.
- Chamomile: relaxing and good for the digestion; teas bags of it are sold everywhere.
- Lemon Balm: this can be safely taken over quite a time for mile anxiety; the fresh herb is much nicer tasting, just gather a few springs and take a tea morning and night.
- Lime Blossom: a very good evening drink, to soothe the mind and calm the digestion and heart-rate.
- Skullcap: more strongly relaxing, this herb may be easier to find in a tablet form.
- Valerian: a powerful relaxant, relieving mental and physical tension. Better to take in tablet form, or up to 5 ml (1 tsp) of the tincture, as the tea tastes disgusting!
Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Soak Away Your Cares
A warm bath is one of the most pleasant and reliable ways to soothe your senses. For an even better balm, add some lavender oil (or dried flowers if you have them) to the tub and soak to your heart's content. Although no one knows what gives this wonderfully scented herb its calming effect, lavender has a 2,000-year-old reputation as a calmative that soothes the nerves. No time for a bath? Dab a bit of lavender oil on your temples and forehead and sit quietly for a few minutes.
Suck It In…Deeply
Regulating your breath can help bring your anxiety under quick control. To slow and deepen your breathing, sit down, put one hand over your abdomen, and slowly inhale so that your belly expands under your hand but your shoulders do not rise. Hold your breath for four or five seconds, then slowly exhale. Repeat until you feel calmer.
Sip Your Way to Serenity
- Warm Milk– An old-time home remedy for insomnia, drinking a glass of warm milk, can tame tension any time of day. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is needed for the production of the brain chemical serotonin, which enhances feelings of well-being.
- Catnip– the dried herb that makes cats bizarrely hyperactive, has the opposite effect on humans. it contains chemicals that act as a mild sedative. Simply purchase catnip tea bags and enjoy a cup as often as you like.
- Hops, which give beer its distinctive bitter flavor, have a long history as a sedative. in fact, workers who picked hops in the fields were known to suffer from unexplained sleepiness known as hop-picker fatigue. Place 2 teaspoons of the dried herb in a cup of very hot water. Drink up to three cups of this "anti-anxiety tea" a day.
- Limit yourself to a single cup of coffee, tea, or cola drink per day. Studies suggest that people with anxiety symptoms may be more sensitive to caffeine than most people.
- Watch your intake of wine, beer, and other alcoholic drinks. While they seem to subdue anxiety at first, when the alcohol wears off, anxiety can actually heighten.
- A pleasant smell isn't something you can expect from the herb valerian, but if you want relief from anxiety, you might forgive the odor. Research suggests that the active ingredients in valerian attach to the same receptors in the brain that are affected by the anti anxiety drug Valium. Take 250 milligrams twice a day and 250 to 500 milligrams before bedtime.
- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) can replenish your supply of serotonin, an anxiety-calming brain chemical. The 5-HTP in your body comes from the amino acid tryptophan, but small quantities are also found in the seeds of griffonia, a tree grown mostly in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, Supplements of 5HTP are made from extracts of Griffonia or produced synthetically. Take 50 milligrams three times daily with meals. But consult your doctor if you're also taking an anti-depressant such as Prozac, Paxil, or Zoloft. These drugs also affect serotonin receptors, and the combined effect could be dangerous.
- Swallow a B-complex multi-vitamin each day. Studies show that the B's are natural stress- reducers-the body requires vitamin b6 to make serotonin, for example-and not getting enough of them can contribute to anxiety.