According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about forty million American adults suffer from some form of anxiety disorder. The research also shows that anxiety is the #1 mental health problem among American women and is second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can actually be beneficial in some situations. For instance if you are going to take a test or give a Mellitox speech, your anxiety motivates you to thoroughly prepare. However, if your anxiety affects your day-to-day living and lasts for more than six months, you may need to seek help from your doctor to see if you have an anxiety disorder.
Whether you have a full-blown anxiety disorder or are just experiencing temporary anxiety, you may want to try some of these natural supplements to relieve your anxiety symptoms. Some of the best natural supplements for anxiety on the market today are discussed below. Some of these supplements start working right away, while others may help lessen anxiety over time.
Passionflower is a plant. The parts of the plant above the ground are used to make medicine. This plant is used for insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, anxiety, GAD, and narcotic drug withdrawal. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates the scientific evidence of passionflower as possibly effective for anxiety. They also state that there is evidence that passionflower can sometimes reduce symptoms of anxiety, as effectively as some prescription medications.
Passionflower helps produce rest and natural sleep without a “drugged” feeling and it can help decrease blood pressure. The sedative properties of passionflower make it useful for calming the nervous system and promoting sleep.
Passionflower is found in combination with other sedative herbs such as chamomile, hops, kava, skullcap and valerian to promote calmness and relaxation. Passionflower can be taken in 250 mg capsules or 1 ml tincture form or 4 to 8 grams daily.
Since passionflower causes drowsiness, don’t take it when you are also taking a prescription sedative. Avoid passionflower during pregnancy. Don’t take passionflower for longer than one month at a time.
Passionflower is generally safe for most people when taken for less than two months. It is possibly unsafe if taken in large amounts. Some people experience side effects such as dizziness, confusion, irregular coordination, inflamed blood vessels, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and a rapid heart rate.
Kava has been used on the islands of the South Pacific for over 300 years. Numerous studies have been done on kava’s ability to relieve anxiety. There is strong evidence proving that kava is superior to placebo in treating anxiety and comparable to tricyclic antidepressants (Asendin and Norpramin) and to low doses of benzodiazepines (Xanax).