Do you feel over anxious with regard to the new job you have accepted, getting married, just facing an upcoming exam, the risk of an illness or regarding the future? Tension, anxiety, and stress are nearly unavoidable with the busy and competitive lives we are living today.
A review paper published in 2016, of more than 48 studies worldwide, concluded that anxiety is a bigger problem than depression in today’s world . So, anxiety is far more common and detrimental to health than we imagine .
Moreover, some people are naturally more prone to nervousness and anxiety than others. If you suffer from uncontrollable, overwhelming, and persistent anxiety, you may be suffering from anxiety disorder and need to seek medical help . More women suffer from anxiety disorders than men.
Some common symptoms of anxiety are fear, apprehension, restlessness, headache, irritability, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, difficulty falling or staying asleep, upset stomach, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, difficulty in concentrating or the mind going blank, and fatigue
Other factors contributing to this problem include depression, disturbed sleep, nutritional deficiencies, mental disorders in families, nicotine, adrenal disorders, thyroid disorders and certain medications.
Those who experience extreme or chronic anxiety and stress could be headed for bigger problems. Anxiety and stress are two of the most common factors contributing to a number of health issues. So it’s important to manage the condition, and many people find natural remedies very effective.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for anxiety.
Chamomile is a popular herb with multiple health benefits and can also be used to calm down and relieve anxiety. Both chamomile tea and essential oil are effective remedies for anxiety, although the exact mechanism of action is unknown.
Research evidence, however, points to the role of flavonoids like apigenin, quercetin, and patuletin which could play a role in alleviating anxiety
According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, chamomile (Matricaria retutica) may help reduce anxiety symptoms in those suffering from mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder .
It also promotes relaxation and drowsiness due to its mild sedative effect.
How to use:
The uplifting smell of oranges and orange peels help calm the nerves. Aromatherapy, when used along with massage therapy has proven to be very effective in patients with mental disorders. Essential oils impact both the brain chemistry and nervous system.
Moreover, citrus fragrances are believed to help fight depression and boost immunity. Orange aromatherapy has been shown in several clinical trials to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
A study published in 2015 showed that orange scent was a safe and effective therapy to help women overcome their anxiety during childbirth .
Similarly, it helped reduce anxiety in patients undergoing dental surgery .
Another study published in 2012 also lends support to the use of sweet orange aromatherapy as a tranquilizer for anxiety disorders .
How to use:
Note: Wash the orange peels thoroughly to remove the traces of pesticides.
Rosemary is another popular home remedy for anxiety due to its calming effect. It is known as the “herb of remembrance”.
A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences showed that non-volatile components of rosemary include rosmanol, cirsimaritin, salvigenin are known to have anxiolytic activity .
Furthermore, it stimulates circulation, relaxes the respiratory and digestive muscles, and has a positive effect on memory and alertness.
How to use:
Lavender derived essential oil is traditionally used as a remedy to induce relaxation and relieve depression.
This remedy for anxiety and stress is also approved by the European Medicines Agency .
It has a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system due to its bioactive constituents such as linalool and linalyl acetate.
A review of studies conducted on various essential oils indicated that lavender essential oil had the best profile among several essential oils studied; it was also found to be helpful in reducing anxiety in many animal studies .
How to use:
Nutmeg is an aromatic spice that is used in small amounts for flavoring pies, cakes, eggnog, and rice. Apart from this, it is also beneficial for health as it promotes relaxation, fights depression, and works as a muscle relaxant.
Hence, it is great to treat anxiety, stress, and depression. Myristicin and safrole are the major constituents of nutmeg which have mind-altering properties .
Different extracts of nutmeg showed differing anxiolytic activity in a study published in 2002 . It is also believed to improve sleep quality.
How to use:
Caution: Excessive use of nutmeg is not recommended, especially for those who have psychiatric conditions.
Note: Nutmeg should be consumed in only in trace amounts as there are reports that it can cause poisoning or psychedelic effects.
Lemon balm, a member of a mint family, works well as a mild relaxant and nerve tonic. Hence, it has been used for ages to reduce anxiety, promote sleep and improve appetite.
In olden days, lemon balm soaked in wine was used to cheer the spirits. The lemon balm leaves contain phytochemicals called terpenes and tannins which are mainly responsible for many of its biological effects.
Eugenol, a constituent of lemon balm is known for its antibacterial properties and ability to soothe muscle spasms and numbed tissues .
Lemon balm leaves are available in dried form as tea, supplements or even as essential oil, tinctures, and extracts. You can purchase this from herbal drug stores or even online.
You can combine lemon balm tea leaves with valerian, green tea, lavender, catnip or other herbs. How to use:
Caution: Do not use this herb in excess; it may make you more anxious.
Flaxseeds are loaded with nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids, lignins and fiber that have a wide range of health benefits including improving mood and alleviating anxiety and depression .
The anti-inflammatory property of omega-3 fatty acid fights cellular inflammation that disrupts signaling between brain cells. In a study published in 2013, polyphenols and omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseeds were able to reduce all the symptoms of chronic mild stress in animal models .
How to use:
This wonderful herb calms the nerves and helps ease anxiety. The important constituents of fennel are essential oil, fatty acids, terpenes, tannins, and flavonoids. It contains volatile oils like anethole, limonene, fenchone, safrol, and myrcene.
It is also abundant in potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc . The anxiolytic effect of the essential oil of fennel was reported in a study published in 2014 .
Fennel is rich in phytoestrogens, which help in the treatment of disorders deficient in estrogen-like anxiety disorders.
Also, it reduces gastrointestinal symptoms that often accompany anxiety.
You can also drink fennel tea on a regular basis, before or after meals. Fennel juice will also help.
Hot water baths have relaxing properties that provide relief from anxiety and stress. It gives calm, reassuring feeling and has an analgesic effect.
In a paper published in 1954, it was reported that patients felt relief from symptoms of anxiety and tension after a hot bath which helped relax their muscles .
Massaging your body, especially your neck, shoulders, back and the bottoms of your feet, can help a great deal in relaxing your body and relieving anxiety.
Massaging is a very effective physical technique to reduce anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Caring Science in 2012 demonstrated that a gentle hand massage before an ophthalmic surgery increased patient comfort and reduced anxiety .
You can use any massage oil such as sesame, sunflower, coconut or corn oil for this purpose. For best results, use six or seven ounces of the oil of your choice after heating it slightly.
Massage daily before taking your morning bath or at night before going to bed. Continue for a few weeks, or include it in your daily routine if you are prone to anxiety.
Along with these natural remedies, using some preventive measures to reduce and control anxiety such as smoking cessation and restricting the amount of caffeine can be beneficial.
Also, improve your lifestyle by incorporating regular exercise, sleep routine, eat whole food diet and do yoga or other relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, visualization, and music therapy to further reduce your anxiety long term.
If you are experiencing intense anxiety or suffering from an anxiety-related disorder, consult an expert for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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