Millions of Americans suffer from anxiety, and too often, pharmaceutical intervention is considered the first step in treatment. More and more people, however, are choosing to take control of their own health and wellness by choosing more natural remedies.
Non-drug anxiety interventions like yoga, meditation, and herbs can offer you effective anxiety management more holistically to leave you feeling less unbalanced and ready to face life’s trials.
What anxiety really is–or isn’t.
For a condition that so many people struggle with, there’s a lot of misinformation about what anxiety actually feels like. It is not, necessarily, a feeling of fear or fright as some people believe. In fact, it can look like a range of actions and emotions, from mild but constant trepidation to irrational anger and overwhelming feelings of dread. In addition, anxiety is often associated with depression, creating an even trickier mental health issue to manage.
Why People Choose Herbs To Manage Their Anxiety
In addition to nutrition, our ancestors found that some plants offered certain properties that were beneficial to their health and well-being, making plants humanity’s first medicines. These plants have enjoyed use for centuries, without the addictive properties or intense psychoactive experiences offered by many anxiety drugs. People who choose to use herbs to support their body’s needs do so for a more holistic answer to wellness or in addition to the treatments offered by modern medicine.
Herbal Anxiety Remedies
It’s important to understand that there is no single “right way” to manage anxiety, especially with herbal remedies. While one popular herb may do nothing for you, another choice which others feel is ineffective could be your ticket to better mental wellness. The following, in no particular order, are some of the most often cited and most commonly available natural, plant-based remedies for anxiety.
- Kava Kava – The Kava plant comes from the Polynesian Islands area of the Pacific Ocean. There, it has been used for its ability to calm and sedate users for centuries. Limited studies have indicated that it can help treat anxiety, aid sleep, ease pain, and promote a more positive demeanor. Available in most health food stores in both the capsule form and as raw roots, it’s also a popular tea additive found in regular grocery stores. While limited use is generally considered safe, heavy use kava that has been refined with organic solvents could pose a risk to your liver.
- Kratom – Sometimes compared to Kava, but actually quite different, Kratom is gaining a loyal following for a variety of conditions. If you’ve heard of Kratom, it was most likely for its potential to aid those seeking to break the cycle of opioid addiction. Native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree are used by locals as a pain reliever, to calm the mind, and as a stimulant to help them get through the day. Those who use it to support the treatment of their anxiety cite its ability to help them feel both energetic and calmly positive as the keys to their success.
- Cannabis – More and more people are turning to legal cannabis to manage the symptoms of their anxiety and a host of other conditions. While its reputation has taken a hit the past hundred years, for thousands of years before that humans have used hemp for a variety of health conditions. More and more states are choosing to let their residents take advantage of legal marijuana. Meanwhile, the US federal government legalized industrial hemp and derivative products like high-quality CBD with the 2018 Farm Bill, following the footsteps of other countries around the world.
- Valerian – Valerian flowers are small, sweet-smelling pink and white blooms, whereas the root of the plant smells like used sweatsocks you forgot about in your gym bag. The root has also proven itself as a reliable sedative and anxiolytic. You’ll find valerian in the ingredients lists of many bedtime teas, sleep supplements, and calming blends wherever you buy vitamins. It helps promote relaxation and calmness, making it the right daily support for those suffering from regular anxiety.
- Chamomile – These small daisy-like blossoms are a staple of herbal remedies. Chamomile tea is frequently cited as a sleep aid because it relaxes and soothes, the same properties you want when fighting anxiety. If you’re on blood thinners, you’ll want to avoid this flower as a natural remedy, but otherwise, it presents a generally safe, mild starting point to treating your anxiety holistically.
Retaking Control Of Your Life
Managing anxiety can be a complicated and draining experience. It’s important to give yourself not just the herbal support but the holistic wellness support you need to break free of its clutches. That means self-care. While that includes interventions, such as these herbal remedies, don’t discount the importance of your regular maintenance. A balanced diet, exercise, and keeping up with daily personal hygiene will all help you get back on track.
Treating anxiety is not a destination but a journey for many people, and herbal remedies can be just what’s needed to help you on your way.
About the Author:
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry, collaborating with industry insiders and designers, getting insight on the latest trends.