Anxiety is a normal human emotion that can be triggered by imminent danger or the presence of threats. According to science, anxiety is part of the body's fight-or-flight response and is integral to human survival. However, this useful emotion, when experienced at disproportionate levels, can turn into anxiety disorder, a medical condition. Anxiety disorder can cause excessive apprehension, fear, nervousness, and worry and, in severe cases, become disabling. If you're one of many people suffering from anxiety disorder, don't despair; you can turn to natural remedies that can effectively relieve anxiety and perform much better than any anxiolytic.
16 Home remedies for anxiety
Herbal medicines have experienced a resurgence in use and popularity in recent years. These ancient remedies are usually made from the different parts of a plant, such as its seeds, leaves, fruits, flowers, and bark. According to studies, 80 percent of the world's population still rely on herbal remedies. Not only are they proven safe and effective, but they are also economical, more readily available, and do not cause serious side effects, unlike modern drugs.
Here are 16 of the most effective remedies for anxiety that are backed by science: (h/t to BeBrainFit.com)
Arctic root (Rhodiola rosea) -- Commonly used in Chinese and Scandinavian medicine, Arctic root is a powerful adaptogen that boosts the activities of serotonin and dopamine, two brain chemicals that improve mood.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) -- One of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen and stress-reliever that decreases cortisol levels and restores both strength and stamina.
Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) -- Like ashwagandha, bacopa or brahmi (waterhyssop) is an Ayurvedic and adaptogenic herb. Bacopa is known for promoting longevity, boosting brain performance, and reducing anxiety.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) -- Used since ancient times, ginkgo is still one of the most powerful herbal remedies for enhancing memory and reducing stress. Ginkgo also uplifts the mood by increasing dopamine and serotonin levels.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng) -- Called the “elixir of life” by the Chinese, this popular herb can increase longevity, boost energy levels, and treat fatigue, stress, anxiety, and even depression by improving sleep, libido, and overall well-being.
Kava (Piper methysticum) -- A South Pacific anxiolytic herb, kava increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain. GABA is a chemical that slows brain activity and induces relaxation as well as mental clarity.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) -- Native to North America, this purple flower is used for anxiety and insomnia. Studies suggest that passionflower can increase GABA levels and is as effective against anxiety disorder as the drug oxazepam.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) -- A natural anxiety- and stress-reliever, valerian also increases GABA levels in the brain. Due to its drowsy effect, valerian is more suitable for people suffering from anxiety caused by insomnia.
B complex vitamins -- B vitamins are not only involved in the production of neurotransmitters, but they can also sort out imbalances in these chemicals that contribute to anxiety. A deficiency in B vitamins is linked to anxiety, fatigue, and depression.
Inositol -- High levels of this pseudovitamin is important for proper communication of nerve cells in the brain. Inositol can also reduce mood swings and treat depression and other anxiety-related mental disorders.
Vitamin D -- Supplementing with vitamin D, also called the “sunshine vitamin,” is said to help combat anxiety and depression associated with fibromyalgia. Meanwhile, low levels of vitamin D contribute to the anxiety and depression experienced by people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Taurine -- Taurine is an amino acid that mimics GABA. It relieves anxiety and insomnia by activating GABA receptors in the brain and promoting the production and release of GABA.
Tryptophan -- An essential building block of the "happy chemical" serotonin, this essential amino acid helps elevate the mood. Tryptophan can be obtained from protein-rich foods but only a small amount of dietary tryptophan can be used by the brain, so supplementation is necessary.
Fish oil -- Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil helps stop inflammation in the brain, which is said to contribute to anxiety, depression, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
Probiotics -- Research suggests that probiotics supplementation can help correct a dysfunctional microbiome -- the community of microorganisms in the gut -- the root cause of anxiety, depression, and other mental and brain disorders.
Anxiety is also known to cause undesirable physical changes, such as increased blood pressure, which can affect your heart health. But with the help of natural remedies, you can prevent anxiety from ruining your health and your day-to-day activities. Take adaptogenic herbs or mood-boosting supplements to manage anxiety and its undesirable effects. You can also drink herbal teas like chamomile, lemon balm, gotu kola, holy basil, or green tea that have anti-anxiety effects to induce calm and relaxation.