Chinese Herbs For Anxiety And Panic Attacks – Herbal remedies have been used to treat depression and anxiety for centuries around the world. Western societies in particular have moved away from traditional herbal treatments to prescription drugs. There are some proven herbal alternatives that may be worth trying.
According to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in this country among adolescents and adults (those over the age of 12) increased by nearly 400% between 1988-1994 and 2005-2008 .
Chinese Herbs For Anxiety And Panic Attacks
Federal government health statisticians estimate that about one in ten Americans takes antidepressants. And, according to their assessment, antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug used by Americans between 2005 and 2008, the most recent period in which the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected data on prescription drug use. of prescription.
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So is it a good thing that so many Americans are taking antidepressants? Many (perhaps most) psychiatrists would say yes, because the depression was undertreated and because antidepressants are effective.
But there are also many critics, as evidenced by this review in the New York Review of Books, who argue that the benefits have been exaggerated and that drug company marketing is responsible for the increase in prescriptions.
Some experts believe our modern lifestyles make us more depressed, while others believe heavy marketing by drug companies and overprescribing doctors are to blame.
But any way you look at it, more people than ever are taking antidepressants, and natural alternatives that work are needed more than ever.
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A meta-analysis of all studies of antidepressants from 1990 to 2009 showed that there was significant improvement in depression only in the most severely depressed group, which represents only about 13% of all depressed patients.
The effect of antidepressants on mild to moderate depression was insignificant. This means that participants were just as likely to get better on the odds as they were on antidepressants.
If you’re taking an antidepressant and you feel it’s helping you, keep taking it! However, for some, antidepressants are not effective and/or have side effects that make the medication undesirable. For those looking for an alternative treatment, there are several herbal options that may be worth trying.
Probably the most famous herb used to treat anxiety and depression is St. John’s wort. It is mainly used in Germany for mild to moderate depression and is well established as an effective antidepressant – equivalent in effectiveness to prescription antidepressants – with fewer side effects. Like SSRIs, St. John’s wort works against anxiety.
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According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), St. John’s wort may help milder forms of depression, although its effects have not been proven. A 2008 review of 29 studies on St. John’s wort found that the herb was as effective in treating mild to moderate depression as antidepressants, but resulted in fewer side effects. On the other hand, the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health sponsored two separate studies that found it no better than a placebo in treating depression.
The recommended dose of St. John’s wort is 450 milligrams twice a day. It is best to start with half the dose for a few days and then increase to 450 mg. St. John’s wort takes 4 weeks to take effect, and its biggest risk involves interactions with other medications and supplements. If you are taking medications, your doctor should absolutely monitor them to make sure there are no toxic side effects.
I want to point out that St. John’s wort reduces the potency of birth control pills. It can also reduce the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy.
It is important to note that St. John’s wort is known to interact with a number of medications. This is especially true for blood thinners, birth control pills, and chemotherapy drugs. Always consult your doctor before taking this herb.
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SAM-e stands for S-adenosylmethionine. This supplement is designed to act as a synthetic form of the body’s natural mood-enhancing chemicals. According to the Mayo Clinic, SAM-e is considered a supplement in the US – it is not considered a drug by the FDA.
SAMe is not FDA approved for the treatment of depression in the United States, but is used as a prescription drug in Europe to treat depression.
It is not recommended to take SAMe together with antidepressants. You should also know that SAM-e can cause health effects such as nausea and constipation if you take too much.
Lavender oil has been used for centuries as an inhaler – in sachets, sprays, oils and lotions. The smell induces peace and sleep. Lavender oil is now available orally, collected in microscopic bubbles and placed in a capsule that allows it to pass through the intestinal barrier. Once it does, it induces calmness and reduces anxiety. It is sold under the name Lavela. Not addictive or dangerous.
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Lavender is an anxiety treatment that won’t tire you out. It can be used as needed – when anxiety strikes or regularly, depending on your needs.
Valerian acts as a mild antidepressant and anxiolytic and has been shown in tests to have no sedative effect. Valerian 368 phytophenin extract has been shown to have sleep-enhancing properties.
According to research, the most effective herb for sleep is valerian root. It’s also a good anti-anxiety herb, but unlike lavender or L-theanine, it definitely makes you tired! It is a good choice for more severe anxiety and for evening use when you are not going to drive or work.
Valerian can be taken throughout the day in very small doses of 20 milligrams or less. In fact, it’s widely available in “sleep teas” at around 20 milligrams. For sleep or stronger anxiety in the evening, you can use doses up to 600 milligrams. It is important not to combine valerian with alcohol or other depressant drugs.
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Kavarot has been used as a ceremonial tea on the Polynesian islands for centuries. It is non-addictive and has been shown to be effective for generalized anxiety disorder. Kava feels similar to alcohol – relaxing and anxiolytic, but without the addictive properties. Some studies more than a decade ago showed that kava caused liver toxicity, but those studies used the wrong parts of the kava plant and the supplements used may have contained impurities.
In several studies, kava has shown a similar effect to valium in the treatment of anxiety. 300 mg once daily reduces anxiety and improves cognitive function. This is unlike drugs like Valium, which help with anxiety but also reduce cognitive function
Kava should not be taken for more than 4 weeks, even if you have hepatitis or other liver problems.
, sometimes called arctic root or golden root, is considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning it works in non-specific ways to increase resistance to stress.
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This plant grows at high altitudes in the arctic regions of Europe and Asia, and its root has been used in traditional medicine in Russia and the Scandinavian countries for centuries. Studies about
Medical applications have appeared in the scientific literature in Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, the Soviet Union and Iceland.
It is still widely used in Russia as a tonic and medicine for fatigue, poor attention and memory loss.
Showed that patients with mild to moderate depression who took rhodiola extract reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who took a placebo. A small human study of rhodiola at UCLA, published in 2008, reported significant improvement in 10 people with generalized anxiety who took the herb for 10 weeks. Side effects were generally mild or moderate in severity. The most common side effects were dizziness and dry mouth. Rhodiola seems to work faster than common antidepressants, often in less than a week.
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Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. she says it’s one of her favorite herbs to treat patients suffering from “21st century stress”: fatigue, mental fog, difficulty concentrating, low energy and maybe even mild depression. He recommends using a standardized extract. Look for products similar to those studied in clinical trials that contain 2-3% rose wine and 0.8-1% salidroside. Start with 100 mg once a day for a week, then increase the dose by 100 mg each week up to 400 mg a day if needed.
Ashwagandha, sometimes known as Indian ginseng, is an herb used in Ayurveda, a traditional Indian medicine that can be traced back 6,000 years. Ashwaganda is used for many conditions, many of which have been scientifically studied.
Ashwagandha has been shown to be effective in reducing stress hormones, supports intellect and memory, and protects against neuron damage in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases. It may also reverse or slow neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss in these diseases.
The treatment group in a randomized, double-blind study of Ashwagandha versus placebo showed that after 60 days, blood cortisol levels were significantly reduced and side effects were minimal. Using ashwagandha has been shown to be a good stress reliever.
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Ashwagandha has also been shown to be effective in helping bipolar disorder by improving auditory-verbal working memory, measures of reaction time, and measures of social cognition.
Other studies have shown that Ashwagandha is effective as an anxiolytic, as a mood stabilizer and
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