Many of us suffer from anxiety from time to time. Especially at this time of year with the holidays approaching.
For some folks, anxiety is a daily struggle. It can even start to affect your quality of life, keeping you from doing things we want, or need, to do.
Mainstream medicine’s solution is prescription drugs. But many people find they aren’t very effective… and research backs them up.
Plus anxiety drugs can come with some serious side effects. One common class of drugs can even send your Alzheimer’s risk skyrocketing.
And for seniors, the dangers are even higher with anxiety drugs affecting cognition and also causing falls.
Why risk it? Try a natural anxiety fighter instead. Following are four effective anxiety erasers straight from nature’s pharmacy….
Turns out grandma was right all along. Nothing soothes frayed nerves quite like a comforting cup of chamomile tea. The chamomile plant is brimming with the bioflavonoid apigenin, which experts say can be a very effective anxiety reducer.
In an 8-week, double-blind University of Pennsylvania study, chamomile significantly reduced anxiety. The majority of volunteers taking the chamomile—57 percent—had their anxiety slashed by over 50 percent.
Chamomile is available as both a tea and a supplement.
Ashwagandha is an adoptegenic herb. That means it can encourage your body to adapt to stress on the fly. It’s a natural when it comes to reducing anxiety.
In one head to head comparison, ashwagandha was just as effective as the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam. In another, 300 mg of ashwagandha significantly reduced volunteer’s cortisol and stress levels. And a review in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine confirmed ashwagandha significantly reduces anxiety and stress.
Ashwagandha is available as a supplement.
3. Gyokuro or Anji Bai Cha Green tea:
Sipping on any hot tea is relaxing, to begin with. But Gyokuro and Anji Bai Cha green teas make my list because of a plant-based amino acid called theanine. You’ll find theanine in any tea, but these teas have much higher levels of this anxiety-slashing nutrient.
Theanine supports mood. It helps wipe out anxiety by naturally raising GABA levels in your brain in much the same way anxiety drugs do, but without the side effects.
Researchers did a head to head comparison between theanine and the anti-anxiety medication alprazolam (Xanax). Theanine initially performed better than the drug, helping people feel relaxed and tranquil before the drug even kicked in.
And in a Japanese study, theanine significantly reduced heart rates in a group of volunteers with anxiety. Experts believe the nutrient acts on the sympathetic nervous system. The SNS is responsible for the release of adrenaline, and the “fight-or-flight” response you experience when your anxiety gets triggered.
You can find Gyokuro and Anji Bai Cha green teas online or in stores that specialize in teas.
For centuries passionflower has been used as a folk remedy for anxiety. And science backs up its use in a big way.
For example, in one double-blind, randomized trial researchers compared passionflower extract to the benzodiazepine drug oxazepam. And the herb turned out to be just as effective at reducing anxiety as the drug without the risks. In the end, researchers concluded there were no significant differences between the two treatments.
Passionflower even outperformed the drug clonidine in a study on probably one of the most anxiety-producing situations you can imagine, withdrawing from opiate drugs. The passionflower matched the drug when it came to physical withdrawal symptoms. And it BEAT the clonidine in helping folks manage their mental symptoms.
Like benzodiazepine drugs, experts believe passionflower works by raising GABA levels in your brain. This in turn lowers brain cell activity causing you to feel relaxed. But unlike the drugs, there aren’t any significant side effects.
Passionflower is available both as a soothing tea and as a supplement.
Don’t let your anxiety get the best of you this holiday season… or any time of year. Erase your anxiety instead with one of these four effective herbs.