Watch television for an hour and you will find that big pharmaceutical companies have the solution for your anxiety. However, when you listen closely to the side effects and warnings on the commercials you may decide that drugs are not for you. Fortunately, several vitamins and herbs are available to treat anxiety in a more natural way with fewer side effects and risks.
The soothing effects of the chamomile tea have long been understood. Its delicate, earthy flavor is used by many before drifting off to sleep. However, a study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggest that chamomile may have more than the ability to make a person sleepy. Participants of the study were suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. They were given 220 mg of chamomile, in the form of capsules, daily for eight weeks. At the conclusion of the study, the participant’s anxiety levels were measured and compared to their anxiety levels at the onset of the study. The chamomile tested better in relieving anxiety than the placebo and was therefore deemed a moderately effective herb for reducing anxiety.
The B vitamins are often taken to prevent anemia and boost energy both mental and physical. They may also be used to treat anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, these vitamins affect the chemicals your brain produces, affecting the levels of anxiety you experience. To get a healthy dose of B vitamins, consider taking a B complex supplement or eating a more well-balanced diet complete with dark leafy greens, dairy and lean meats or fish.
Kava is a root found most often in beverages and is used to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia. While many beverages claim to treat anxiety, few deliver results in the same way kava does. According to the National Institutes of Health, kava works as well for treating anxiety as many prescription drugs. Unfortunately, kava also has its drawbacks. It appears that, when taken in mass quantities, kava may damage the liver, causing cirrhosis. This has led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to warn consumers against kava’s frequent use until further studies can be completed.
Combined Herbal Supplements
While few herbs and vitamins are as effective in treating anxiety as the previously mentioned remedies, some combinations of less effective treatments are available in herbal supplements. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., a psychiatrist with the Mayo Clinic, suggests supplements with ingredients like valerian root, theanine and passionflower. Search for a combination of some of these herbs as well as Vitamin E, Vitamin D and Vitamin C. Combined, your results may be measurable.