More and more people are affected by mental health issues these days and it is estimated that about 70% of Americans take some prescription drug. Moreover, about 50% of them take at least 2 prescription drugs.
Annually, about 25% of all Americans suffer from any mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety. According to Dr. Jennifer St. Sauver, this is the major reason why antidepressants are among the most commonly used prescription drugs in the U.S.
However, the problem with most prescribed antidepressants, such as Benzodiazepines, is that they cause various side effects, including mood changes, hallucinations, and even thoughts of suicide. Other side effects include slurred speech, memory problems, loss of coordination, problem with walking, yellowing of the skin or eyes, difficulty in talking, and even seizures.
If we take into consideration the side effects outlined above, it becomes evident that using natural variants to treat anxiety and depression and is a far better option. Consider the herbs below:
Besides being neuroprotective, rosemary is very delicious as well. You can ingest it, smell it, or use rosemary essential oil as a substitute for anti-depressants. This herb eases nervous tension, boosts the cognitive performance, and it improves the memory.
2. LEMON BALM
Lemon balm is extremely helpful when it comes to treating anxiety. It also improves the quality of life of patients who suffer from dementia. It is beneficial in improving memory function and calmness as well. Lemon balm is very easy to grow which also makes it much cheaper option than drugs.
3. ST. JOHN`S WART
According to Dr. Klaus Linde, a physician at Munich Technical University, this herb is very similar to antidepressants when it comes to their effectiveness. What makes it superior to antidepressants, such as Prozak, is that its side effects are less detrimental.
Given the fact that this herb can be affected by prescription drugs, it is very important to consult a naturopath prior using. Those who are taking birth control should be especially cautious.
Valerian can be taken as either tea or in the form of a pill to treat insomnia, anxiety, and headaches. Make sure you take the tea or pill quickly as valerian has a strong smell. It is recommended to take maple syrup or molasses afterwards to wash down the taste.
According to a certain study, vanilla scent lowers anxiety by up to 63% compared to the use of humidified air. Given the fact that vanilla scent makes you feel relaxed, the fact that it is widely used in candles, spa products, and creams, doesn’t come as a surprise.
Taking a cup of warm chamomile tea is great in managing anxiety attacks. Many studies have shown that chamomile provides antidepressant activity against a placebo, based on Hamilton Depression Rating (HAM-D) questionnaires.
This herb also contains compounds which reduce blood pressure and promote relaxation. Some of them include luteolin, α-bisabolol, and apigenin.
This herb is part of Ayurvedic medicine and it has become all the rage when it comes to treating agoraphobia, a kind of anxiety.
According to a 2002 study, ashwagandha helped in reducing serum levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. You can take this herb in many different forms, such as tea or supplement.
Lavender is widely used in aromatherapy and it is well-known for its healing properties, especially in case of depression and nervous disorders. However, this herb has to offer much more than this! Namely, its neuroprotective properties make it effective in managing neurological disorders and improving your mood.
It is highly versatile and it can be used in many different ways. For instance, you can drink lavender tea, place dried lavender flowers in the pillow case, or add few drops in your bath.
Rhodiola has been long used in Scandinavia and China as stress-reducing medicine. It also boosts happiness and treats fatigue. It also helps in reducing activity of the system which controls rapid heartbeat, shaking, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath.
The passionflower has been long used for making tea for easing insomnia, seizures, hysteria, and anxiety. Scientists believe that it increases the gamma-aminobutyric acid levels in the body. This chemical lowers the activity of certain brain cells, which in turn makes you feel more relaxed. Passionflower can be used as a substitute for Serax, a drug used to treat anxiety.
Note: Consult your doctor before using any of the aforementioned herbs. Moreover, note that these herbs provide temporary improvement, meaning that you need to need to make other changes in your lifestyle in order to manage anxiety effectively. For instance, it is recommended to meditate, exercise, and get counseling.