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Natural Remedies for Anxiety: What are the most common, and will they work for you?

Written by: Melissa Hart



Mind/Body Techniques
There are several mind and body techniques that prove beneficial for many people seeking natural remedies for anxiety disorders, as methods of stress reduction, and to improve their overall health.

Some of these techniques or methods include:

- Biofeedback
- Deep breathing exercises
- Hypnosis
- Massage therapy
- Meditation
- Self-hypnosis
- Shiatsu
- Tai chi
- Yoga


Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has long been used as a way of relieving anxiety, stress, and tension using a variety of mediums. Essential oils, which are in fact the "lifeblood" of plant life, along with other extracts, while very fragrant, offer more than just their aromatic benefits. For countless years, essential oils have been used for treating infection and bacterium, and aiding in the regeneration of skin cells.

Aromatic oils that are used as natural remedies for anxiety may include:

- Bergamot
- Cypress
- Geranium
- Jasmine
- Lavender
- Rose
- Sandalwood
- Ylang-ylang


Vitamin Therapy
Some of the vitamins or minerals that may be beneficial for reducing levels of anxiety include:

- B vitamins
- Calcium
- Magnesium
- Pantothenic acid


Passionflower
The herb passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is often used in natural or folk remedies as a treatment for both anxiety and insomnia. However, the safety or efficacy of the herb has not yet been established, particularly in pregnant or nursing women, young children, or those with kidney or liver conditions. Passionflower should also not be taken with sedatives or with medications used to treat seizure or sleep disorders. If in doubt, it's wise to check with your own healthcare professional to be sure that none of your medications will adversely react with any natural remedies for anxiety that you may be interested in trying.

Some side effects of passionflower may include nausea or vomiting, drowsiness, or a rapid heartbeat.

Valerian
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is another herb that's most often used for treating insomnia, but recently has gained more attention as a potential use for people with milder cases of anxiety. Taken in capsule form, as a liquid extract, or as tea, valerian should be taken before bed, and usually for no more than three consecutive months.

Some side effects of valerian may include headaches, indigestion, dizziness, or heart palpitations and shouldn't be taken with certain types of medications.

Chamomile
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a flowering plant akin to the daisy that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries throughout the continents of Europe and Asia. Often used to treat stomach ailments and ease digestive upset, chamomile is usually taken in tea form with one tablespoon of flowers per cup of hot water, and then steeped for at least 10 minutes. Chamomile, sometimes called true, German, or Hungarian chamomile may also be taken in capsule or liquid form.

Useful for relieving symptoms of anxiety as well as many other conditions such as insomnia, menstrual difficulties, and digestive disorders, chamomile may cause an allergic reaction in some people, especially those who are sensitive to plants such as chrysanthemums or ragweed, and should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women.

Chamomile is a natural anticoagulant or blood-thinner and shouldn't be combined with certain medications. Skin irritation, rashes, hives, wheezing or vomiting all indicate a possible allergic reaction to the flower.

 

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