In today's society, an increasing number of individuals are suffering from stress and anxiety, particularly in the aftermath of significant public health concerns such as COVID-19.
Anxiety disorders are the most frequent mental health problem in the World, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, with over 40 million adult only in America, are suffering from anxiety's destructive influence on their life.
While there are several anti-anxiety prescription medications on the market, these pharmaceutical treatments are frequently associated with unpleasant side effects or may result in chemical dependency.
For this and other reasons, like cost of the medicine many people opt to seek out alternative, natural anxiety remedies. Finding the proper product for you, on the other hand, may be a complex and frustrating task.
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Omega-3 oils are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are necessary for the development and maintenance of a healthy body. Because foods like fatty fish are high in these essential nutrients, omega-3 supplements derived from fish, such as cod liver oil, are popular.
Omega-3 has been demonstrated to provide mental health advantages in addition to supporting the proper development of the eyes, heart, bones, and joints.
According to a review published in the September 14, 2018, issue of JAMA Network Open, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may help relieve anxiety symptoms in persons with a variety of physical and mental health conditions. The data from 19 independent investigations were included in the paper, which comprised 1,200 persons. The majority of the research compared omega-3 supplements to a placebo. The research included participants with a variety of health issues, such as heart attacks, attention deficit disorder, substance addiction, depression, and Parkinson's disease, as well as other groups that did not have a clear clinical diagnosis.
The researchers discovered that patients who took large dosages of omega-3s (up to 2,000 mg per day) had the greatest reduction in anxiety symptoms. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are often found in fish oil, have a variety of biological actions in the body. These fats are abundant in brain membranes, and human studies show that a deficiency of omega-3s in the brain may cause a variety of behavioral and mental issues. For the time being, high-dose omega-3 supplements for anxiety treatment are not recommended. Larger trials examining the supplements (both alone and in combination with established therapies) are required, according to the study's authors.
Chamomile is the common name for various daisy-like plants grown for their blooms, which have long been dried and boiled in hot water to produce chamomile tea, a favorite nighttime beverage. Chamomile, long known and adored by herbal tea drinkers for its soothing effect, is now being recognized by experts as an excellent therapy for anxiety.
During a 5-year (2010-2015) study at the University of Pennsylvania on the long-term effects of chamomile therapy for moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), subjects in the treatment group received 500mg capsules of chamomile extract 3 times daily, while those in the control group received placebos.
The study discovered that chamomile provided a substantial and "clinically relevant" decrease in GAD symptoms after only 8 weeks.
Withania somnifera, also known as ashwagandha, is a tiny plant whose roots have been used for ages as a therapeutic herb in Ayurveda (ancient Indian medicine). Clinical investigations have produced an increasing amount of evidence for its therapeutic capabilities in recent years.
An paper published in the peer-reviewed Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine in 2012 stated that after 60 days of consuming a 300mg dosage of ashwagandha root extract twice daily, test participants suffering from chronic stress reported a "significant" reduction in anxiety.
The scientists found that the plant might be used "safely and efficiently" to increase an individual's stress tolerance.
These findings were supported by a more recent (2019) study, which discovered that individuals who received ashwagandha root extract slept better than those who received a placebo.
Lavender is a flower noted for its unusual purple color and pleasant aroma, and it is commonly used in cooking and cosmetics. Lavender oil, an essential oil extracted from the flower, is a popular option for aromatherapists since it has been thought to have calming characteristics since ancient times. This idea has been largely verified by modern scientific study.
The findings of two randomized controlled studies, published in 2010 and 2014, show that Silexan — an oral lavender oil formulation — is at least as effective as lorazepam (a benzodiazepine) and paroxetine (an SSRI), both of which are used to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Other research suggests that lavender scents lower anxiety and increase mood in dental waiting rooms (Physiology & Behavior, 2005), and that lavender herbal tea has a similar soothing effect in older patients (Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2020).
Echinacea, a daisy family genus, is best known as a traditional cold and flu treatment, but new research reveals that it can also be used to treat anxiety symptoms.
A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Phytotherapy Research in 2010 gave data from three laboratory tests of anxiety that proved "for the first time" echinacea's "significant anxiolytic potential" when compared to the benzodiazepine chlordiazepoxide.
A further clinical investigation, published in 2019, discovered that echinacea root extract has "strong positive benefits on anxiety in people."
The name of the sweet-scented flowering plant valerian, which is native to Europe and Asia, comes from the Latin word "valere," which means "strong or healthy." Although it is most usually advertised as a natural sleeping aid, it is also known to relieve stress and was widely used throughout both World Wars to treat British troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, or "shell shock").
According to a recent 4-week electroencephalographic (EEG) study conducted by Korean researchers in which individuals suffering from psychological stress were given a 100mg dosage of valerian root extract three times daily, valerian has a good, anxiolytic influence on brain activity.
The European Union's Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products has certified valerian as a treatment for minor anxiety, citing clinical trials that support the use of dry ethanol extracts from valerian "for alleviation of mild nervous tension."
Saffron is a crimson-colored spice made from the saffron crocus flower, which is said to have originated in Persia (Iran), which now produces 90% of the world's saffron. Saffron, which is generally used as a flavor, is now being examined for its mental health advantages.
A 2011 study discovered that the aroma of saffron considerably lowered levels of cortisol (the stress hormone generated by the adrenal glands) in women, implying that the spice might be used to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
 Saffron pills were also demonstrated to improve Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) ratings in adult patients with anxiety following 12 weeks of administration in 2016.
Affron, a proprietary saffron-derived supplement from Pharmactive Biotech Products, is said to be "supported by 8 human clinical trials" that showed enhanced mood in healthy consumers with anxiety. These findings have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2017)and the Journal of Affective Disorders (2018).
Finally, some words of wisdom
Humans have safely used herbal and other natural medicines to help cope with stress and anxiety for many centuries, but it's always a good idea to consult your medical doctor before using any of the remedies or supplements listed above, especially if they may interact with medications you're already taking, or if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a pre-existing medical condition.
Furthermore, you should only purchase herbal medicines and dietary supplements from manufacturers that are known to be in compliance with FDA laws or the national regulatory body in your country, and which include only substances that are widely recognized as safe for human use.
Always purchase from reputable suppliers, and always read the label. It is extremely difficult to diagnose and treat oneself, which is why you should consult a doctor if you are having physical or mental symptoms. Before using any cures or supplements, always visit your doctor.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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