Our brain is the protector of our body. In adverse conditions, it prepares our body to fight or flight. This response leads to anxiety. In this condition, heart rate increases, breathing enhances and pupils dilate because of adrenaline rush in our body.
In ancient times, anxiety used to be common because of hunting but nowadays it occurs mostly due to stress, tension or different diseases. Anxiety attack – for short time – is helpful but prolonged anxiety produces damaging effects to the body.
Many pharmaceutical drugs are available in the market to treat anxiety but they all have some known side effects. Nature is full of plants that can help to calm body without producing adverse effects. Some useful plants are given here.
Chamomile is one perfect component for treating anxiety. Whenever you feel anxious, drink its tea. It contains apigenin, a compound that binds to brain receptors and produces calming effects. It is effectual against mild anxiety. It is also present in the form of supplements in the market. At University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, a research found that anxiety symptoms can be reduced with the help of chamomile.
Green tea is a magical tea with broad medical benefits. It also has its effectiveness in alleviating anxiety symptoms. Green tea has L-theanine, a component that controls heart rate and blood pressure and reduces anxiety. Having green tea during anxious state can provide calming effects.
Hops is also very effective in soothing mind and relaxing body. It produces sedative effects. Its volatile oil is the compound that is required to reduce anxiety. It is present in extract or tincture of hops. It is very bitter in taste; its tea is made only by adding chamomile or mint.
Lemon balm has been used to treat anxiety since Middle Ages. It produces calming effects by reducing stress and inducing sleep. Studies showed that it soothes mind and body. However, taking too much lemon balm has been reported to produce adverse effects. Instead of making you calm, it can make you more anxious. So only take recommended dosage if you are selecting lemon balm as your anxiety therapy.
Passion flower is a sedative. It is used for treating nervous restlessness. It can alleviate anxiety symptoms. It contains chemicals like alkaloids and steroids; they bind to different brain receptors and calm mind and body.
St. John’s Wort
Anxiety and serotonin levels are associated. Decrease serotonin may lead to anxiety. It is considered that St. John’s Wort can positively affect serotonin levels. It contains hyperforin and hypericin; these compounds are known to produce calming effects. They are present in leaves and petals of St. John’s Wort.
Valerian is a sedative herb. It can soothe body and mind. Valerenic acid and valeranon are two active components of this herb; because of them this herb is effective. It has very unpleasant smell that is why people prefer it to take it in the form of capsule or tincture. It is commonly used with chamomile, hops and lemon balm to boost efficiency.
Anxiety can be treated with herbs but you can also practice to remain calm without taking any herb or medicine. Try to get control of yourself. It is recommended that before taking any of these herbs, consult your doctor.