Herb For Anxiety

Anxiety is a common and normal part of life, especially when trying to find the best herb for your needs in a hot, crowded health food store with hundreds of people shoving pas you wildly grabbing herbs to stockpile for the year 2000 crises! Just kidding.

An anxiety attack is also commonly referred to as panic attack. Either is brought on by excessive fear and can be characterized by the following:

  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • An out-of-control feeling
  • Shaking
  • Uncontrollable crying

These attacks are more common in women than men and are usually related to some psychological factor. Too much change at one time, family-or work-related stresses, or anything that makes you feel overhelmed can trigger an attack. Other factors that could trigger or disguise themselves as panic attacks are:

  • Foods stimulants, such as caffeine or sugar.
  • Any foods to which you could be allergic.
  • Chemical food additives such as MSG (mono sodium glutamate), aspartame (commonly known as NtriSweet®), and the like could also make you have what you believe to be a panic attack.

If these attacks are a recurring problem, it is helpful to take note and record what have you eaten, drunk, or even chewed before each of your attacks. A daily journal can give you feedback on the big picture and will help you pinpoint patterns.

For panic attacks in progress, or to help prevent attacks when you feel vulnerable, take a few capsules of the herb valerian root (Valeriana officinalis). Valerian root is nourishing and soothing to the nervous system and can ease hysteria. It contains calcium and magnesium and calms without the sedative side effects of prescription drugs.

The energetics of valerian seem to work best on folks who are in a "cold" condition, which means that they might look pale, have cold extremities, or feel clammy to the touch. This herb also has been used in folk medicine to promote sleep. As a sleep aid try two to three capsules before bed.

In northern England, the dried root is added to meats as a preservative. To obtain the best medicinal effects from valerian, it should be dried because it gets stronger with age. For panic attacks with a "hot" condition in the body, hops (Humulus lupulus) is a better choice over valerian.

You will know when you or someone is having a hot-type attack because the face become flushed and the person is more actively hysterical. Hops are mild herbal downers and are used in making beer. This may be the reason that some folks like to wind down with a few beers after work or on the weekends−they just may be craving the soothing effects of the hops.

Ironically, hops have been used to ease DTs (effect from alcohol withdrawal), and they support the nervous system and can help you calm you anxiety. Take two hops capsules before bed if you are having trouble sleeping, a cup or two of chamomile and hop tea will work as well, plus the chamomile makes the tea taste good.

Neither valerian nor hops should be used consistently over long periods of time, however, because they can bring you down to far. Use them during times of change or stress that can trigger anxiety, or as a safe relaxing aid.

Wild lettuce leaves contains properties that can serve to ease anxiety. Many times wild lettuce will come in the form of a tincture and needs refrigeration. A well-known combination of herb used for general stress management includes a mix of chamomile, passion flower, hops, fennel, marshmallow, and feverfew.

Other supplements that feed the nervous system include the B-complex vitamins. Magnesium also serves as a mucles relaxant and can help in tension that accompanies high anxiety. Other stress-management ideas are psychotherapy, meditation, body work, quiet time for journaling, taking a bath, and playing calming music. All will help you calm yourself by refocusing your energy.