7 Powerful Herbs to Relieve Anxiety
by Ryan Rivera
We live in a generation where everyone seeks wellness. People these days are more aware, and they go for healthier and more natural options. This applies to the management of anxiety as well. Rather than filling the body with drugs, which are known to have serious adverse effects, they prefer herbs. Herbs have little or no side effects. They do not further aggravate the body, and they’re absolutely cheaper. You can even grow them in your own backyard!
Here are 7 herbs that a person can try when anxiety and its symptoms kick in. They are considered miracle herbs by those whose condition was alleviated. However, as a fair warning, not all respond positively to these herbs. Some might be allergic, so caution is always advised.
1. Passion flower
Also known scientifically as Passiflora incarnata, the passion flower is a perennial plant known to have a calming effect when taken in as tea or an infusion. Because of this, it is known to be a big help in relieving anxiety insomnia and high blood pressure. Scientists believe that it increases levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. It was first traditionally used in the Americas and later introduced to Europe. Native in the southeastern part of America, it is now grown all across Europe.
The valerian, also known as Valeriana officinalis of the Valerianaceae, is an herb with sweetly scented white or pink flowers that bloom in the summer. Historically, this plant is used as a sedative, an anticonvulsant, and as a pain reliever. Now because of this long history as a relief for anxiety symptoms especially insomnia, scientists are betting that it has an effect on GABA levels which promotes rest and relaxation, thus induces sleep. Some who withdraw from sleeping pills use this as an alternative to avoid symptoms that come with reducing one’s intake of the pills. The effects of this herb have been dubbed safe for continuous use, although studies have not yet concluded if it is as safe for pregnant women, thus caution is still advised.
Another potent herb to ease anxiety is the Humulus lupulus or commonly known as hops. Originally, hops were used to bitter ale in the late thirteenth century. So it is not a surprise why this plant can’t cloud alertness that will result in relaxation. When combined with the valerian, it can be a potent and effective alternative to benzodiazepines. That is, with the doctor’s supervision, of course.
4. Kava kava
The kava kava is a plant that is known to target stress and anxiety by imitating the effects of valium and the valerian, making it a very potent sleep inducer. However, unlike the valerian, this plant has no recorded side effects. It is, however, advised that when taking this, driving should be avoided to prevent life-threatening situations.
5. Gingko biloba
This plant is quite popular all over Asia and most parts of the West. It can increase circulation that allows good brain and cell oxygenation. With this, toxins caused by stress and diet are flushed out by natural circulatory processes that goes hand -in-hand with oxygenation during the gas exchange cycle. However, if circulatory bleeding problems are present, it is best to consult a doctor before using.
6. Meadow Sweet
Most experts would like to think that it does not directly affect anxiety levels, but it can alleviate the byproducts of stress such as headaches. It can be a good alternative to aspirin as long as there is no sensitivity towards aspirin as it has almost the same chemical components.
7. St. John’s wort
It may not occur to everybody, but St. John’s wort is an herb that is quite effective in anxiety relief. Known as Hypericum perforatum , studies of this plant show that it can stop the reuptake of neurotransmitters thus helping diminish brain hyperactivity that would result to relaxation. It is also known to have hypericin, hyperforin, and flavenoid glycosides that are mood lifters. Not only that, it is also a powerful sedative. But because of these components, one should understand that there are some medications that are not to be taken together with this herb because of conflicting effects, such as HIV drugs, digoxin, warfarin, antihistamins, benzodiazepines, and chemotherapy drugs. So it is best to check with the doctor especially when planning to have surgery.
Keep wellness as your priority. Be mindful of whatever you take. Remember, it is always best to consult with experts before medicating to avoid regrettable outcomes. After all, health is wealth, so we have to take care of our bodies and try to achieve health in the most inartificial way we can.