Many people suffer from anxiety in The United States, but the drugs to treat anxiety are often dangerous. Here are some natural remedies that may be beneficial.
At first glance, it seems like anxiety is the norm in today’s culture; anxiety seems to afflict more people in this country than it does not. Many have speculated as to why this might be the case. Of course, we as a society are chronically overstressed, overstimulated, too busy and sleep too little. These things alone are enough to put anybody on edge. However, if you combine these things with poor diet, lack of exercise and a 24 hour news cycle that always seems to beam bad news right into your living room or on the screen of your mobile device, it’s a miracle anxiety hasn’t killed us all.
However, to that end, many people do suffer with anxiety in our culture. It is important to understand that anxiety, itself, is not an unusual response to many sets of circumstances; certainly, it is a natural response to acute, high stress situations. It is something virtually everyone experiences at likely many points during our lives. This is natural. But for many, it is a constant problem, to the point that it interferes with every day life.
To that end, if you are one of the millions of people who suffer from chronic, debilitating anxiety, your doctor will likely recommend a combination of drugs and psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy has many benefits, and anyone suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental problems should welcome the aid of a qualified, mental health expert. Fortunately, the stigma that was once associated with going to “therapy” has largely been lifted as people have seen the benefits that such treatments confer.
Drugs too may have their place in your treatment––we always recommend taking your doctor’s advice in these situations, and if he or she says that drugs are a worthwhile option, you should heed their advice. However, drugs for depression and anxiety are not without risks, and that should be considered too. It might be worth asking if you can try something more natural first.
Supplements always work best in conjunction with a unilateral health plan that includes diet, exercise and plenty of rest. To that end, some of these supplements listed below might be useful in treating anxiety. However, some of these can interfere with other medicines, so you should talk to you doctor about including any of these supplements in your regimen, or making any dramatic changes to your diet or exercise regimen.
CBD oil is one of the most popular new supplements in America, largely because it is only recently available. Among its legion of benefits, CBD is thought to have benefits for depression and anxiety. CBD is widely available following the Farm Bill, but it is important to make sure you are getting CBD from a high quality purveyor that ideally has independent lab verification of what is in their products. Because of it’s popularity and the glaring lack of regulation, many CBD products do not contain any CBD at all. Do your research on the products you use. Read more about CBD Oil in another article of ours.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in The United States, particularly in areas that have low sunlight during parts of the year. (Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight.) Vitamin D is important for mood regulation, among many other bodily processes. A blood test can confirm if you are deficient; if your levels are low, it might be worth considering supplementing with 1000 IUs daily. The goal is to have your vitamin D levels in the proper range, so more is not always better––vitamin D supplementation is something to discuss with your doctor. Read more about Vitamin D in another article of ours.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3s, found in fatty fish, flax seeds and other sources have innumerable benefits, but among those is assistance with mood. Likely most people should be taking omega 3s regardless, simply because they are so good for you, but a 2018 study deduced that these healthy fats might might provide some much needed relief for those suffering from anxiety. More about Omega 3 Fatty Acids in another article of ours.
Your body makes melatonin, which is a hormone that helps you get to sleep. Some people do not make enough naturally, but supplemental melatonin is readily available. Particularly if your anxiety keeps you from falling asleep, melatonin is a good option.
This important mineral performs a number of roles in the body, and deficiency of it can lead to any number of problems and can even be dangerous. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer and eases the nervous system as well. Too much isn’t necessarily better; it is best to start with around 100mg and possibly work up to 350mg. Read more about Magnesium in another article of ours.
L-theanine (Green Tea)
L-theanine is found in green and black tea, and some studies suggest that it might be beneficial against anxiety. 400mg is the most L-theanine you should take without consulting your doctor first. Read more about Green Tea benefits in another article of ours.
Ashwaganda is an herb that has been used since antiquity in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of depression and anxiety. It is thought to boost mood and promote restful sleep. It is an adaptogenic herb, which means it can help mediate your body’s response to stress. In studies, ashwaganda has been shown to have positive effects on cortisol and promote a healthy bodily response to stress.
Rhodiola rosea is another herb that has been used for many years in Chinese medicine. It is thought to be an adaptogen as well, assisting the body in having a healthy response to stress.
Often used as a sleep aide, valerian root is beneficial for management of stress and anxiety. Valerian root contains valeric acids, which help regulate the brain’s neurons, which can assist with sleep and ease feelings of anxiety. It is often enjoyed as tea; it’s effects may be enhanced by using valerian root with passionflower.
Passionflower has been a traditional remedy in the US and Europe for sometime, but studies have confirmed it may have benefits for anxiety and sleeplessness. Passionflower increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which relaxes the nervous system. Passionflower can be used in conjunction with valerian root.