Before talking about why I believe herbs and other natural treatments work, I have to issue a warning. If you are currently taking prescription anti-anxiety medications, please talk to your physician before taking any herbs. Some of the herbs that are good for anxiety will enhance the effect of the prescription medication. You may think, that’s good right, that means more calm for me. That’s the problem, herbs work so well that, mixed with anti-anxiety meds , they can cause excessive sedation or drowsiness that would leave you too impaired to function. For instance, anesthesiologists warn that taking the herb poppy before surgery may cause your central nervous system to slow down too much. Okay, so we all understand that we shouldn’t mix herbs and prescription anti-anxiety medication, right? Alrighty then, let’s move on.
Yes, I believe herbs and other natural treatments really work for anxiety. If you read my post is your anxiety a brain chemistry thing, I mentioned taking a liquid herbal blend to help with the panic attacks I was having. A few minutes after taking this blend I would feel much better.
Are you trying to kill me?
Now, I have advised friends and family members to take certain herbs for whatever anxiety they were suffering from. I would usually tell them to take triple or quadruple the dose on the bottle. That would inevitably lead to- “are you sure that’s safe”? “I won’t die will I”?
I am not advocating taking just any herb and tripling or quadrupling the dose. There are some herbs that are dangerous in large doses or at the very least can cause some physical discomfort. The herbs I recommended to them are herbs tested and known to be safe. This still begs the question- why did I advise taking so much?
Natural vs. man-made
Herbs are not like prescription medication. A pill prescribed by a doctor will usually work after just taking it one time. Anti-anxiety meds are hard on the body. Sure, they work but at what cost? They can cause serious side effects and the withdrawal from stopping them can sometimes be worse than the anxiety itself. Rxlist has a comprehensive list of anti-anxiety medications and their side effects.
Most herbs work with the body without serious side effects. But people don’t take enough of them to make a difference. One measly pill is not going to do it. If its a capsule you don’t know how much actual herb is in it (not much unless the capsule is huge), you have to wait for your stomach to break down the capsule, and then you still probably didn’t absorb enough of it to matter.
Pills are not much better. There may be slightly more of the herb in a pill but manufacturers have to add fillers to hold the pill together. So, there isn’t as much of the herb in a pill as there could or should be. And, there’s still the question of absorption.
I love tinctures
This is why I prefer tinctures. Yes, the taste can take some getting used to and they can be pricey (this is why I am trying to make my own, too). Now, if some of you are like my youngest daughter who just flat out refuses to drink a tincture (she used to when younger but claims she just can’t anymore) then it will have to be capsules or pills.
Anxiety is serious stuff
It can be argued that anxiety won’t kill you. Maybe not like cancer will but the stress of anxiety is definitely harmful. Some people have anxiety so severe they contemplate suicide.
Anxiety is life altering. It can make us prisoners in our own life. It is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with seriously. When someone has cancer they allow themselves to be poisoned (chemotherapy), burned (radiation) and cut open. I am not saying they are wrong for this. I am saying that cancer is serious and people do serious things to cure themselves of it. Natural treatments will work if they are used as seriously as doctor recommended treatments.
They need to make up their mind
I have noticed that doctors either go the “you’re just wasting your time and money herbs don’t work” route or the “herbs are dangerous unregulated substances that could do more harm than good” route. False information and scaremongering, why? Doctors aren’t taught about natural therapies in med school. Pharmaceutical companies can’t patent herbs, so there is no reason for them to do research on them. This means your doctor does not get a visit from the drug company rep and given samples of passionflower or valerian to give to patients. There is no money in it since they wouldn’t be the only company that had those herbs.
Give it a try
Since herbs are generally safe and easy on the body why not try them? But let’s try them seriously. Do I think that herbs alone are enough? No. There will have to be lifestyle changes and you may have to use other natural therapies, such as, supplements, CBT, exercise and deep breathing just to name a few.
Many times while using natural remedies for anxiety you will notice other health benefits. I once gave my sister in law some herbs for some anxiety she was having. Her husband started taking them too and said he noticed his blood pressure went down.
Is treating anxiety naturally as easy as popping a pill? No, its not. But you also don’t deal with the side effects, withdrawals and other problems of just “popping a pill”. And you may just “fix” something else, like my brother in law and his high blood pressure.
If you enjoyed my post please click the like button below. If you know of anyone that would benefit from reading this post please share it. Also, if anyone has had any experiences with using natural treatments for anxiety I’d love to hear about it.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going” Winston Churchill