The use of medicinal herbs is something very present in every culture throughout its history. Whether it is to treat physical or emotional problems, herbal remedies have abounded in drugstores in the past.
Today, either for fear of the dreaded side effects of drugs, or because less artificial remedies are preferred, treatments based on natural ingredients have become popular or, directly, resort to the plant where they are grown. They extract their active ingredients from it.
Natural anxiolytics are an interesting alternative to treat mild symptoms of anxiety, Since they present a lesser amount of unintended effects.
Let’s see in more detail what are the main natural remedies for anxiety, how they can be prepared, and keep in mind that they must be recommended by a professional and remember that there is the option of drugs. psychotropic drugs (always used by prescription).
Home remedies for anxiety: do they work?
Over the past century, the pharmaceutical industry has developed increasingly effective drugs to treat different types of disorders. Research carried out by experts in psychopharmacology has proven to be very useful, as it allows, whenever necessary, to treat problems in a way which, as a rule, is generally found to be effective.
Unfortunately, despite the great advances in the field of pharmacy, drugs can produce serious side effects, even at relatively low doses. Although not all patients have these side effects, the truth is that they have considerable fear and can often cause the patient to not take medication. The opposite effect can also occur, that is, the patient becomes addicted to drugs, since it should be remembered that any drug should be taken responsibly, because ultimately and in no case they are drugs.
Some of the most well-known anti-anxiety medications are clonazepam, lorazepam, and alprazolam. These drugs are often prescribed to treat generalized anxiety disorders, social phobia, and panic disorders.
An alternative and less invasive option than psychotropic drugs are natural anxiolytics. These remedies are herbal which have been shown to be effective in reducing some of the symptoms that occur in anxiety disorders. These natural treatments should not be viewed as a panacea for anxiety or as a one hundred percent effective alternative for treating associated disorders.
Self-medication, even with natural treatments, always carries risks. That is why you should consult a professional to find out whether it is advisable to undergo treatment that includes natural herbs. In this case, it should be clear that care should be taken because while there is no high risk of experiencing side effects, there can be some kind of counterproductive situation. If, on the other hand, the psychiatrist considers that the use of psychotropic drugs is more suited to a specific case, his criteria must be respected.
Natural anxiolytics have been shown to be effective in treating mild symptoms such as moderate and occasional anxiety, mild nervousness (for example, before an exam, tense family situation …) in addition to helps conceive sleep or deal with occasional bouts of insomnia. This has been possible to study in several studies, in which it was found that the use of this type of herbs allows the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which allows the chemistry of the brain to adapt.
The best natural anxiolytics and how to prepare them
There are many herbs that are used to prepare natural remedies, whether it is for anxiety or any other type of problem. Next, we will look at some herbs that are used to relieve anxiety symptoms, as well as the means of preparation and the effects they have on the human body.
This plant is known for its characteristic color and aromas, which already give us a first impression of the effects it can have on brain chemistry.
It helps calm nerves, reduce stress and anxietyBut in addition to that, it has disinfectant properties and is used to repel insects. It also helps soothe headaches.
It is also called orange. This plant has gained popularity in recent years thanks to its remarkable anti-stress effects. It calms nerves and anxiety quickly and naturally. It has also been found to be useful in the treatment of insomnia. One of its components is the flavonoid apigenin.
It is the most mentioned herb when it is recommended that someone take an infusion to calm the nerves. Lime is one of the best options for relieving anxiety and can be found in any supermarket in the form of tea bags.
It turns out to be such a powerful natural anxiolytic that with very frequent consumption it is recommended to take rest intervals of one week, that is, to stop consuming it during this period. Its sedative and anxiolytic effect is due to the fact that it contains a powerful flavonoid, el kaempferol.
Its calming effect is due to the fact that contains valepotriatos. It is often used to soothe patients who have never had treatment for anxiety.
Also called Pasionaria, this herb is great for treating nervous tension, insomnia, and even hyperactivity to some extent. It is also used to decrease tachycardia and palpitations. Passionflower is native to the forests of the United States, but is marketed worldwide.
Along with linden, this plant is a powerful sedative that can be found as an infusion in multiple commercial establishments without much difficulty.
It helps calm nerves and anxiety, as well as have other effects on the body such as reducing the amount of gas, disinfecting wounds and reducing inflammation. It is perfect for inducing the whole body into a state of generalized relaxation..
7.St John’s Wort
It has rather antidepressant effects, but may be ideal for treating mild symptoms of anxiety. This is because it promotes the synthesis of serotonin, a substance that plays a key role in the nervous system, sleep and mood.
Also, always under the supervision of a professional, it is used to treat PMS.
However, this plant has a contraindication and is the one that is not recommended to consume if you are on contraceptive treatment, as it can cause its failure. It can also contribute to menstrual bleeding.
How to prepare such remedies?
As we have already stated, the best way to consume these treatments is to take an infusion. There are certain herbs, such as linden and chamomile, that can be found relatively easily as herbal tea preparations. The rest of the herbs are not as common in supermarkets, however there is always an herbalist who can have bags with these plants combined with ingredients to make them taste better.
However, if you want to prepare the infusion with these freshly harvested plants or whole leaves, one way to prepare it is as follows:
- A glass of water (about 250 ml).
- About 15 grams of the selected plant.
- Natural sweetener (optional, it can be honey, stevia …).
It is important to stress that consuming sweeteners, whether natural or not, is not healthy in large quantities. For this reason, moderate and responsible consumption of this type of substance is recommended.
Put the water in a container, such as a saucepan or jar, and bring to a boil. When it is already boiling, remove from the heat and add the 15 grams of the desired plant. Once done, cover the pot and let the herb steep for about 15 minutes. Then, using a colander, separate the infusion from the leaves, add the sweetener if desired and let stand for about 5 minutes.
It is recommended to consume this type of infusion no more than twice a day. It should be remembered that these are one-off treatments and that, although they are not as risky as psychotropic drugs, it is recommended that a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist be present. in addition to its consumption, in addition to indicating the symptoms of anxiety suffered.
These are not remedies that replace psychological or psychopharmacological treatment. If it is necessary to consume medication, it must be done.
- Adam, A. and Prat, G. (2016). Psychopharmacology: mechanism of action, effect and therapeutic management. Barcelona, Spain. Books by Marge Medica.
- Alramadhan E., Hanna MS, Hanna MS, Goldstein TA, Avila SM, Weeks BS (2012) Dietetic and Botanical Anxiolytics. Med Sci Monit, 18 (4): 40-48
- Cases, J., Ibarra, A., Feuillère, N., Roller, M., and Sukkar, SG (2011). Pilot test of Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract in the treatment of volunteers with mild to moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disorders. Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 4 (3), 211-218. doi: 10.1007 / s12349-010-0045-4