Most people experience feelings of stress and anxiety, and to at least some degree stress and anxiety have become a normal part of our lives as we struggle with financial troubles, demanding jobs and other difficult situations. Daily stress and anxiety can wreak havoc with our sense of well-being. Fortunately, alternatives are available in the form of natural botanicals to deal with minor stress and anxieties.
Natural Anti-Depression and Anti-Anxiety Tips
Kava is derived from the black pepper plant and provides nutritional support for the nervous system. It is believed that the active ingredient kavalactones binds to specific receptors in the brain and helps relax nervous, restless and anxious behavior, thus lowering stress and leading to a feeling of overall well-being and tranquility. Kava can be taken as an herbal supplement or consumed as a tea.
Lavender is known for its calming properties and is widely used in aromatherapy to induce relaxation. Two of the chemical components of lavender (lavendula augustifolia), linalol and terpineol, have been found to promote a depressing effect on the central nervous system. When inhaled for three minutes, lavender oil could increase the alpha power, helping to create a state of relaxation and lower anxiety levels.
Valerian root is dried and crushed into teas, tinctures, powders, and pills. It is a non-addictive, natural sedative that can support a healthy neurotransmitter balance. The major healing properties found in the valerian root are valepotrits, valeranic acid, valeranone and valerea, which can act as sleep aids by promoting sleepiness and reducing anxiety.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort can be ingested as a tincture, pill or capsule, or brewed from the dried flowers of hypericum as a tea. This herb has been known to treat anxiety and minor depression.
Chamomile (most often brewed as a tea) is a popular herb used to help people suffering from stress and anxiety calm their nerves and edginess. Because of its sedative effects, chamomile can also help soothe your mind and body, and help with insomnia.
Catnip is a member of the mint family and contains a substance called nepetalactone, which is similar to valerian and can be used for anxiety, nervousness, and sleeplessness.
Before using a herb that you might not be familiar with, research it thoroughly and consult with a qualified practitioner. Like with any drug, herbal treatments can have side effects. If you are taking prescription drugs, or have a medical condition check with a practitioner before using herbs medicinally as certain herbs should not be taken with certain medications. If symptoms persist, consult your physician.