What are Some Natural Anxiety Remedies?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Natural anxiety remedies can come in a number of forms. Many people’s thoughts go automatically to herbs or supplements that might be of use in quelling anxiety. There are just as many or more suggestions for naturally changing behavior that could be helpful also. Other things that might fall under the banner of “non-drug” or natural treatments include engaging in therapy, which may help identify underlying thought patterns which create anxious mood or behavior. While some of these natural solutions will work perfectly for a group of people, it’s important to note that not all do, and some people will need to consider more standardized medical treatment in place of or in addition to some of the other ideas suggested.

A jasmine-scented candle may have a calming effect, which could help relieve anxiety.
A jasmine-scented candle may have a calming effect, which could help relieve anxiety.

There are many different herbs, vitamins or even foods that may help reduce panic or mental disturbance. Kava kava and valerian are two that have been studied and tested, and both have been shown to have calming effects on mood. They may only work slightly for some people, and may be a good place to start for people who want a natural alternative to medications. As with any drugs, and these certainly are drugs, even if natural, it’s important to check with a doctor prior to taking them to make sure they don’t interact with any present health conditions or other medications taken.

Massage may be helpful in relieving anxiety.
Massage may be helpful in relieving anxiety.

Another herbal solution that may work for some people is St. John’s Wort. Since anxiety is often a symptom of depression, use of St. John’s Wort could be recommended, as it treats depression. Reports are mixed about the efficacy of this herbal tincture. One reported side effect is that it is known to cause photosensitivity. It should also be thought of as similar to a monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Any other medication label that has a warning against taking MAOIs should not be taken with St. John’s Wort.

Prayer can ease anxiety for some people.
Prayer can ease anxiety for some people.

Some people may look for natural anxiety remedies in the form of vitamins, and one group of vitamins appears to have some benefit in controlling anxious mood. This is the B vitamins, and getting a good B supplement might be useful. Others go back to herbal solutions recommending things such as green tea, chamomile or many additional herbs. An additional supplement suggestion for mood stability is fish oil.

Green tea contains several ingredients that might help ease anxiety.
Green tea contains several ingredients that might help ease anxiety.

Non-drug solutions to anxiety can be explored in a variety of activities or behaviors. Exercise is linked to reductions in anxiety and when possible should be pursued for at least thirty minutes a day. It naturally boosts serotonin levels and may stabilize or elevate mood.

Deep breathing can help people relax in stressful situations.
Deep breathing can help people relax in stressful situations.

Relaxation can also be of use, and this could be aimed for in different ways. People can take a hot bath, perhaps incorporating their favorite aromatic oils for aromatherapy. Massage can do wonders for relieving the anxious mind and body. Meditative practices such as tai chi, prayer, yoga, and others all promote relaxation.

Natural anxiety remedies may include fish oil supplements.
Natural anxiety remedies may include fish oil supplements.

Natural anxiety remedies encourage the inclusion of therapy. Most therapists, unless psychiatrists, cannot prescribe medication; some come from deeply holistic bents, only recommending drug therapy or consultation with a psychiatrist when all other methods fail. Most forms of therapy are now shown to be of use in handling anxiety issues, but some of the quicker methods may belong to therapists that employ cognitive behavioral therapy. There are even anxiety support groups where this method is used, though people may need some individual sessions at first.

Chamomile tea is known for its calming properties.
Chamomile tea is known for its calming properties.

Some people find they are able to cure anxiety with a combination of natural anxiety remedies. This does not work in all cases, and people should not view themselves as failures if they are not responding to these natural methods. The different forms of anxiety can be chemically based, much like having diabetes or thyroid disorder. Medication may be needed to address that, and most effective medicines are often anti-depressants. There are tranquilizers that can be taken to calm the occasional anxious mood, but these don’t address errors in the way the body produces and uses serotonin.

Vitamin B can be used to treat anxiety.
Vitamin B can be used to treat anxiety.

In some cases, medication is needed despite efforts to treat anxiety naturally. The body being in a constantly anxious state is not healthy and can result in far-reaching and negative health effects. These effects tend to outweigh the benefits of staying on a path that only includes natural anxiety remedies.

St. John's wort is often taken to treat depression.
St. John's wort is often taken to treat depression.
Anxiety is characterized by heart palpitations and intense feelings of worry.
Anxiety is characterized by heart palpitations and intense feelings of worry.
A hot bath can be a natural anxiety remedy.
A hot bath can be a natural anxiety remedy.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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