Depression is a severe mood problem that comes in different degrees of severity, and severity has the potential to be deadly. Instead of taking medication prescribed by a doctor, some people seek alternative treatments for depression. According to the most recent statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, 6.7% of Americans had a severe depressive episode in 2016. Antidepressants and counseling are standard methods for treating depression symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend medication or counseling to treat depression. However, some herbs can also help you in treating it.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
Though the specific causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood, it is believed that various reasons can lead to the development of these disorders, such as genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life experiences.
There exist different types of anxiety disorders, each having its own unique set of symptoms. But some of the most common symptoms of all anxiety disorders include:
- Feelings of panic or terror
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
Herbs that can Help
If you experience anxiety or depression symptoms, it is essential to seek help from a healthcare professional. However, you may also want to consider using one or more of the following herbs to help treat your condition:
Kratom is a herb grown in South Asia whose extracts have been used in traditional medicine for chronic pain and other ailments. Many people also use this herb to self-treat depressive or anxiety disorders. There are three types of kratom (green, red, and white) used to treat anxiety disorders. The compounds (Mitragynine) in kratom leaves interact with the brain to produce feelings of well-being and calm. They also help increase energy levels, benefiting those suffering from depression. You can use the most popular White Sumatra strain to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Lavender is one of the most common aromatherapeutic plants for anxiety, sleeplessness, and general well-being. It contains various active components that have sedative and anti-anxiety properties and compounds with neuroprotective effects.
In 2019, researchers reviewed over 100 studies to assess the impact of lavender on anxiety. In many studies, oral lavender supplementation was reported to have a beneficial influence on anxiety levels, particularly when compared with various lavender treatments. Lavender aromatherapy also produced encouraging results.
Chamomile is another excellent herb for relaxation. You can brew the flowers into tea, which can be consumed before bedtime to help promote relaxation and sleep. Chamomile tea can also be used as a compress on the skin. There is some evidence that Chamomile may help with anxiety. Chamomile may help by reducing levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
4. Valerian Root
Valerian root is a famous herb people use for restlessness and anxiety. You can consume this root in many different and treat anxiety. One popular way is to drink it as tea. You can either buy Valerian root tea bags or make your own by boiling the root in water. If you want to make tea on your own, ensure to let the tea steep for a minimum of 10 minutes. Another way to consume Valerian root is by taking it in pill form. It’s a good option if you dislike the taste of tea or if you need a higher dose of Valerian root. You can find Valerian root pills at most pharmacies and health food stores.
5. Kava Kava
Kava kava helps in reducing anxiety and stress levels. It is a natural way to relax your mind and body. Kava kava tea infusion has been traditionally used in the South Pacific Islands for calming and relaxing effects. The active ingredients present in kava, called kavain, bind to receptors in the brain that help to reduce anxiety. In addition, they also promote a sense of well-being and euphoria. Kava kava can be safely used as an alternative to prescription medications to treat anxiety disorders. However, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider before starting treatment with kava.
Bonus herb: Ashwagandha
Like Chamomile, valerian root, and Kava, ashwagandha has been shown to have calming effects on the nervous system. Ashwagandha is a well-known Ayurvedic herb that has been used for thousands of years to help people cope with the stress and strain of modern life. It's categorized as an adaptogen, which means it aids in the body's ability to cope with stress. Ashwagandha appears to aid in the regulation of heat shock proteins (Hsp70), cortisol, and stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK-1). Ashwagandha has been found to lower anxiety and boost serotonin levels in the brain. It also dampens the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a mechanism in the body that regulates stress response activity. Several studies have revealed that ashwagandha pills can help with anxiety reduction.
Consider adding one or more of these herbs to your diet if you're searching for a natural way to relieve anxiety. Also, bear in mind that any changes to your medicine or supplement regimen should always be done under the care of a medical professional. If you're feeling anxious owing to ongoing medication therapy, you must talk with your doctor about any complications.