Mental Wellness 10 tips
Anxiety herbs key in covid
Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — Written by Louisa Richards on April 3, 2020
Medical News Today
Wrote about 9 herbs for anxiety, I have taken out four to highlight at the present time
Ashwagandha may help reduce stress levels.
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is among a group of herbs called ‘adaptogens’.
Adaptogens affect systems and hormones in the body that regulate a person’s stress response.
Ashwagandha has a long history of use in traditional Indian, or Ayurvedic, medicine.
A small 2019 clinical trial investigated the efficacy of ashwagandha for stress and anxiety.
The 8-week study involved 58 participants with perceived stress. Each participant randomly received one of three treatments: Ashwagandha extract at doses of either 250 milligrams (mg) per day or 600 mg per day, or a placebo.
The participants who took ashwagandha showed less of the stress hormone cortisol than those in the placebo group. They also experienced improved sleep quality.
Participants who took 600 mg of ashwagandha reported significantly reduced stress levels. However, participants who took the lower dose of ashwagandha did not report a reduction in stress.
In another 2019 study, 60 participants with mild anxiety received 250 mg of ashwagandha or placebo for 60 days. Those taking the herb showed a significant reduction in some measures of anxiety but not others.
People can take ashwagandha as a tablet or in liquid tincture form.
Chamomile is a flowering herb similar in appearance to a daisy. There are two types of chamomile that people can use medicinally: Roman chamomile and German chamomile.
Some people use chamomile in the following forms to help relieve stress and anxiety:
All 93 participants received 1,500 mg of chamomile daily for 12 weeks. Some then continued taking chamomile for the next 26 weeks, while the remainder switched to a placebo.
Researchers observed that those participants who continued taking chamomile were no less likely to experience a relapse of GAD symptoms than those switching to placebo. However, when relapse did occur, the symptoms were less severe.
Some people may experience allergic reactions to chamomile, particularly if they experience reactions to the following plants:
Anyone taking any type of medication should check with their doctor before consuming chamomile teas or supplements.
Valerian or Valeriana officinalis is a plant native to Europe and Asia. For many centuries, people have used the root to help treat sleep problems, anxiety, and depression.
Valerian root is available in the following forms:
To date, there have only been a few high quality studies on the effects of valerian. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) state that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether valerian can alleviate anxiety or depression.
Studies suggest that valerian is generally safe. However, the NCCIH note that there is no information on the long-term use or safety of valerian in the following groups:
children under 3 years of age
People should also be aware that valerian may have a sleep inducing effect. Taking the herb with alcohol or sedatives will add to this effect and could be dangerous.
Lavender is a flowering plant belonging to the mint family. Many people use lavender to help calm the nerves and alleviate anxiety.
People may use lavender in the following ways:
making tea from the leaves
using the oil in aromatherapy
mixing the essential oil into a base oil for massage
adding the oil or flowers to baths
Lavender essential oil (LEO) contains chemicals called terpenes. A 2017 review article suggests that two of these terpenes called linalool and linalyl acetate may have a calming effect on chemical receptors in the brain.
The review suggests LEO may be an effective short-term treatment for anxiety disorders. However, studies of the long-term effects of LEO are lacking.
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