Natural remedies for anxiety are many times better than drugs

Health & FitnessNutrition & Supplement

  • Author Steve Berchtold
  • Published April 10, 2012
  • Word count 824

Natural remedies for anxiety are a better alternative to using chemicals and drugs. The medical community calls it "generalized anxiety disorder" (or GAD) and contend it is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events, with no obvious reason for worry.

Why would natural remedies for anxiety be necessary?

People diagnosed with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to expect disaster and can't stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or every other issue pertaining to life in general.

People with generalized anxiety disorder often have worries that are unrealistic or out of proportion of reality. Daily life becomes a constant state of fear, worry, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates a person's thinking that it interferes with functioning on a daily basis, including work, school, social activities, and relationships.

Anxiety affects the way a person thinks, but when the anxiety reaches a certain level, it can lead to physical symptoms as well. Some of the many symptoms of GAD include:

Worry and tension

Unrealistic view of problems



Muscle tension



Difficulty concentrating


Going to the bathroom frequently


Trouble falling asleep


Being easily startled

In addition, people with generalized anxiety disorder often have other anxiety disorders (like panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias, suffer from depression, and/or abuse drugs or alcohol.) You can see why it is important to find natural remedies for anxiety.

The exact cause of generalized anxiety disorder is not fully known, but genetics, brain chemistry and environmental stress; appear to contribute to its development.

Trauma and stressful events, like abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, may lead to anxiety.

The withdrawal from drugs, including alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, can also worsen anxiety.

It’s estimated that about 4 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety during the course of a year. It is more common in women than in men.

If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist or mental health professional that are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses like GAD. Treatment for generalized anxiety disorder most often includes a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

This is why natural remedies for anxiety are highly preferable. The side effects from drugs can cause other serious problems.

Medications used to treat GAD are sometimes referred to as "tranquilizers," because they leave you feeling calm and relaxed. Xanax, Librium, Valium and Ativan are among the list of drugs used.

Antidepressants, like Paxil, Effexor, Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft, are also used to treat GAD.

Natural remedies for anxiety:

These are some of the natural remedies for anxiety that are being used.


Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) was used as a folk remedy for anxiety and insomnia.

Two studies involving a total of 200 people, found passionflower to be comparable to benzodiazepine drugs. There was an improvement in job performance with passionflower and less drowsiness compared with the drug Mexazolam.

The side effects of passionflower may include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and rapid heartbeat.

The safety of passionflower in pregnant or nursing women has not been established.

Passionflower should not be taken with sedatives unless under medical supervision. Passionflower may enhance the effect of pentobarbital. (a medication used for sleep and seizure disorders)


The herb valerian is best known as an herbal remedy for insomnia. Valerian is also used to aid in cases of mild anxiety, but the research is limited.

One study was a four-week study comparing valerian, the medication diazepam (Valium), and a placebo in 36 people with generalized anxiety disorder. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups.

Valerian takes about two to three weeks to work and shouldn't be used for more than three months at a time. Side effects of valerian may include mild indigestion, palpitations, headache, and dizziness.

Valerian shouldn't be taken with those that depress the central nervous system, like sedatives and antihistamines. Valerian shouldn't be taken with alcohol, before or after surgery, or by people with liver disease. It should not be used before driving or operating machinery.


The herb kava has been found to have anti-anxiety effects in humans also.

The FDA, however, has issued an advisory to consumers about the potential risk of severe liver injury resulting from the use of dietary supplements containing kava. There have been more than 25 reports of serious adverse effects from kava use in other countries, including four patients who required liver transplants.

Gamma-aminobutyric Acid (GABA)

GABA is an amino acid that plays a role in the physiology of anxiety. Some prescription drugs for anxiety work by affecting GABA receptors in the brain.


Plant essential oils can be added to baths, massage oil, or infusers. Essential oils that are used for anxiety and nervous tension are:

• Bergamot

• Cypress

• Geranium

• Jasmine

• Lavender

• Melissa

• Neroli

• Rose

• Sandalwood

• Ylang-ylang

Lavender is the most common.

Vitamins and Supplement Natural remedies for anxiety

• Pantothenic acid

• Calcium

• Magnesium

• B vitamins

• Chamomile

Steve is a Naturopath, researcher, author and health consultant. Discover other helpful information about herbs, vitamins, drug interactions, parasites and much more at:

Article source:
This article has been viewed 891 times.

Rate article

Article comments

There are no posted comments.