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The 10 Herbal and Natural Treatment for Anxiety Disorder

Updated on November 24, 2015

Do you always feel anxious, worried and freaked? Are you upset when talking about money, health, family, love and work? Do you feel that your heart is beating fast without any reason? You don't know what to do and feel afraid?

If your answer is yes, then you are suffering from anxiety. No need to worry if you don't want to take pharmaceutical drugs because there are herbal remedies for anxieties. Inhale, exhale, relax and find out the different natural remedies for anxiety proven by experts.

What is anxiety?

According to J. Paul Caldwell, MD, author of "Anxiety Disorders: Everything You Need To Know," and family practitioner for more than 25 years, he describes anxiety as having two dimensions: the inner feeling of distress and the physiological changes of alertness. It is an unpleasant state of the inner turmoil, that is often accompanied by nervous behaviour such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is something like unpleasant feelings of dread over something that is unlikely to happen, e.g. the feeling of imminent death.

One should remember that anxiety is different from fear, fear is responsible to a real or perceived immediate threat whereas anxiety is the expectation of future threat. Example, when you are walking in the street alone and suddenly someone pointed a gun on you. You will feel that your body is shaking, your knees is weak and you can't run. And that is fear, when you response to a real threat.

On the next day, you are walking with your friends. But as you stepped in the same place you feel that your heart is beating faster and you think you are in dangerous place. Your mouth is dry, you couldn't talked and you feel dizzy. This is anxiety, your body experiences the symptoms of fear but there is no danger coming.

What Are the Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:

  • Nightmares
  • Repeated thought or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Feelings of panic, fear and uneasiness
  • Ritualistic behaviors, such as repeated hand washing
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry Mouth
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Palpitations
  • Muscle Tension
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Nausea


Herbal and Natural Remedies for Anxiety Disorder

Passion Flower
Passion Flower

1. Passion flower

Passion flower has been used to treat sleep disorders and historically in homeopathic medicine to treat pain, insomnia related to neurasthenia. According to some research passionflower is as effective as its prescription counterpart. It is shown to have calming effects on the central nervous system. Because of this, it should not be used within two weeks of being put under general anesthetic because it can amplify the effect of the anesthesia. Common side effects include nausea and vomiting, drowsiness and rapid heartbeat.

According to some research passion flower is possibly effective for

  • Anxiety. Many research prove the effectiveness of passion flower in reducing anxiety and sometimes as effective as some of the medical prescription.
  • Relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal, when used in combination with a medication called clonidine.
  • Relieving symptoms of a psychiatric disorder known as “adjustment disorder with anxious mood” when used in a multi-ingredient product (Euphytose, EUP).

On the other hand there is un insufficient evidence that passion flower treat for the following

  • Trouble sleeping. Some preliminary research suggests that drinking a passionflower tea an hour before bedtime might help improve feelings of sleep quality. However, this did not seem to improve the time it takes to fall asleep, the number of awakenings at night, or refreshed feelings upon awakening in the morning.
  • Nervous stomach
  • Burns
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Asthma
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Other conditions

St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort

2. St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort is often called the "herbal prozac" because of its antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. The two active chemicals in St. John's Wort, hypericin and hyperforin, work on chemical receptors in the brain that control mood. St. John's Wort can interfere with some medications, either by decreasing their effectiveness or increasing it, so it's important to talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking it to ensure safety. It can be taken in capsule form or in tea form.

3. Valerian

Valerian has been used for generations to treat insomnia and anxiety. It is available in pill form or can be steeped in a tea, but it does have a rather strong odor, so most people prefer to take it in pill form. It does cause drowsiness and is usually taken within an hour of bedtime. It can take some time for it to become effective and should not be used for more than three months at a time. Some side effects include indigestion, headache, heart palpitations and dizziness.

4. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha; as a word means which smells like horse and it is renowned for imparting vigor and vitality like that of a horse. As because of its vast area of application, ayurvedic physicians have used it extensively in curing people from their ailments.

Ashwagandha is biologically known as Withania somnifera. It is a shrub, normally found everywhere in India especially in northwestern part of the sub continent, but is now a days cultivated in fields because of its great commercial demand.There are so many uses for Ashwagandha that it would be nearly impossible to list them all. however, some of the most common uses are:

  • Premature aging
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Rheumatism
  • Neurodegenerative diseases/disorders
  • Constipation
  • Ashwagandha is well known for its aphrodisiac property.
  • Ashwagandha is used in semen disorders and lucorrhoea caused due to endometeritis.
  • Ashwagandha is a sedative and nervine tonic, it helps in atonic nerves, faniting, giddiness and insomnia.
  • Ashwagandha is bark powder is appetizer, carminative and anthelmintic and hence is used in abdominal pain, constipation and worms.
  • Ashwagandha has an effect on the heart, purifies blood and reduces oedema.
  • Ashwagandha decoction is used in reheumatoid arthritis.
  • Ashwagandha is an expectorant and antiasthmatic property, due to which it is useful in cough.
  • Ashwagandha powder mixed with ghee, sugar and milk is good tonic.
  • Ashwagandha is diuretic and so used in oliguria or anurea.
  • Ashwagandha increases weight, improves immunity. Used in debilitating diseases and marasmus in children.

5. Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, also known as English or garden lavender, is an herb native to the Mediterranean region. Historically, lavender was used to mummify bodies in Egypt, in baths in Greece and Rome, and for antiseptic and mental health purposes. Today lavender is used for relaxation, to alleviate insomnia anxiety, and depression, as well as for physical ailments such as stomach upset and headaches.

6. SAM-e

SAM-e works with other chemicals in the body to help regulate mood. It is found naturally in all living creatures. Because it naturally occurs in the body, there is the potential for it to run low, causing all sorts of mood problems. It is considered safe, with no known side effects and positive effects can be seen in as little as 1-2 weeks. Those with bipolar disorder shouldn't take SAM-e without talking to their doctor first as this can cause some interactions with their medication.

7. L-Theanine

Theanine is derived from tea leaves. An amino acid that has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety. It is found in green tea as well as mushrooms. It is also available as a supplement in pill form. It works by altering the chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. It should not be used by those who are undergoing chemotherapy as there is the possibility for adverse affects.

8. Kava

Kava is an herb that is native to Polynesia and has been used by the natives for hundreds of years to treat anxiety. It has been shown to be just as effective as prescription medications, but unlike prescriptions medications, it does not dull cognitive function, rather it enhances it. There is some concern that kava can cause liver damage, though more research is needed to examine how exactly the damage occurs.

9. Chamomile

Chamomile has been used for its calming effects for generations. It is primarily consumed as a tea, but is available in capsule form as well. One study out of the University of Pennsylvania found that chamomile significantly reduces anxiety. People should not use chamomile if they have an allergy to ragweed or any other plant in the daisy family, as chamomile is part of the daisy family and a life threatening reaction could result.

10. Aromatherapy

Aromatheraphy works on the limbic system in the brain to affect mood. It is especially effective for treating anxiety. Many different essential oils can be combined in an oil burner to diffuse into the surrounding environment. Oils like bergamot, cypress, geranium, frankincense, and clary sage. Essential oils should never be consumed as most of them are toxic if taken internally.


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