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Addressing Anxiety with Herbal Medicine

Anxiety affects all of us to some extent. It's a normal response meant to protect us, but it becomes a problem when it starts interfering with our daily lives, making us feel super stressed and unable to function normally. Symptoms of anxiety include worrying too much, feeling scared or restless, being easily annoyed, having trouble focusing, and even experiencing physical symptoms like a fast heartbeat, sweating, or trouble breathing. When anxiety becomes overwhelming and won't go away, it's good to reach out for help and consider natural remedies.



While doctors usually prescribe medication to help with anxiety, there are also natural ways that can work. As a functional and lifestyle medicine NP, I take a holistic approach to treating anxiety. I believe in getting to the root of the problem addressing imbalanced hormones, nutritional deficiencies, and lifestyle choices. Instead of relying on medication, I create personalized plans for relaxation techniques, self-care practices, and healthy habits. I may also recommend herbal remedies, supplements, or lifestyle changes. My goal is to empower you to understand and tackle the underlying causes of your anxiety so you can find long-term solutions and rely less on medication.


Common Root Causes of Anxiety

To tackle anxiety holistically, getting to the root causes is important. Here are three common culprits:

  1. Hormonal Imbalances: Fluctuations in hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can amp up anxiety. Wonky levels of thyroid or sex hormones can also play a part.

  2. Nutritional Deficiencies: Not getting enough of certain nutrients like magnesium, B vitamins, or omega-3 fatty acids can mess with your brain and make anxiety worse.

  3. Lifestyle Factors: Stress, lack of sleep, junky diet, and being a couch potato can all contribute to anxiety. Addressing these factors and adopting healthier habits can help keep anxiety at bay.

When tackling anxiety, personalized treatment plans and lifestyle changes are key. Herbs can play a major role in this whole process! By incorporating herbs into a functional medicine approach, we can get to the root causes of anxiety and find some much-needed relief. Let's dive into how different herbs can help:

  1. Hormonal Imbalances: Herbs like ashwagandha and maca root can level out your hormones and bring balance to your endocrine system.

  2. Nutritional Deficiencies: Chamomile and lavender are herbs that support brain health and fill in nutrient gaps. St. John's Wort and Rhodiola Rosea are herbs that boost serotonin and dopamine levels, improving brain function.

  3. Lifestyle Factors: Lemon balm and passionflower are herbs that help you chill out, reduce stress, and get better sleep.


By adding these herbs to your routine, along with personalized treatment plans and lifestyle tweaks, you can tackle the causes of anxiety and feel better. So, let's dive into the world of herbal remedies and supplements that can help reduce anxiety and bring more calmness and well-being into your life.


Herbal Recommendations or Anxiety


Including herbs in your daily routine can help alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation. Here are five herbal recommendations that you can consider:


  • General Stress and Anxiety → lemon balm, damiana, or skullcap

  • Stress-Induced Digestive Problems → Lemon Balm

  • Panic Attacks and Headaches → skullcap.

  • Chronic Anxiety and Hyperactivity → Valerian.

  • Acute stress (work or family-related ) → ginseng

Other notable mentions in herbal remedies for anxiety include kava, lavender, oat straw, chamomile, and holy basil.


Natural Supplements for Anxiety


In addition to herbal remedies, there are natural supplements that can support a balanced mind and help manage anxiety symptoms. Here are five supplements to consider:


  1. Ashwagandha: 250mg of extract daily to reduce tension.

  2. L-theanine: 200-250mg twice daily. Found in green tea, it relaxes you and improves sleep quality.

  3. Calcium + Magnesium: 500mg-250mg twice a day. Calms the nervous system.

  4. 5-HTP: 100mg three times daily on an empty stomach to increase serotonin levels.

  5. GABA: 250-500mg on an empty stomach three times daily to calm the brain.

  6. Inositol: 12 to 18 grams daily, divided into two to three doses. Reduces anxiety and panic attacks.

  7. Passionflower: 250mg or 0.5m two to three times daily for relaxation.

Other notable mentions are St. John's wort, Rhodiola rosea, chromium, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins.


Lifestyle and Self-Care Tips


When it comes to managing anxiety, herbal remedies can be helpful, but it's also important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Here are some easy and practical tips that can go hand in hand with herbal remedies:


  1. Get moving!: Regular exercise is like a secret weapon against anxiety. Whether going for a run, hitting the gym, or busting out some dance moves in your living room, moving your body releases those feel-good chemicals called endorphins that can help kick anxiety to the curb.

  2. Take a chill pill...literally: Relaxation techniques are best for calming that anxious mind. Try deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or even just taking a few moments to sit quietly and focus on your breath. It's like hitting the reset button for your brain.

  3. Catch those Zzz's: Sleep is your best friend when managing anxiety. Make sure you're getting enough quality shut-eye because studies have shown that lack of sleep can crank up anxiety levels. So cozy up in your comfiest pajamas and let those Zzzs work magic.

  4. Fuel up with good stuff: Your diet can change how you feel. Stick to whole foods, fruits, veggies, and lean proteins to give your brain the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins are like little superheroes that can help ease anxiety symptoms.

  5. Phone a Friend!: Don't go through this anxiety journey alone. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who lift and make you feel good. Social connections are like a shield against anxiety, so make time for meaningful interactions and let the good vibes flow.

Remember, these lifestyle medicine tips are about finding what works for you and adding extra fun and relaxation to your life. So go ahead, give 'em a try, and kick anxiety to the curb!


Conclusion


If you're looking for natural and holistic ways to find balance and ease anxiety, exploring herbal remedies can be a great option. In this blog post, we shared some calming solutions in the form of herbal recipes and supplements that can complement a comprehensive approach to managing anxiety.


But before you dive into any new herbal regimen, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional. They can give you personalized advice and ensure that the herbs won't interfere with any medications or health conditions you may have.


So, why not embrace the power of nature and take proactive steps towards a calmer and more balanced life? By incorporating these herbal remedies into your routine, you can discover natural ways to find relief and promote a sense of calmness. Everyone's journey is unique, so find what works best for you and enjoy the journey to a more relaxed state of mind.

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