Most people will experience some form of anxiety in their lives. In the UK, around 8.2 million people are living with anxiety.
Anxiety can take many forms, including panic attacks, OCD and phobias.
Anxiety can have a considerable impact on your day-to-day life and make it very difficult to carry out simple tasks.
Medication, lifestyle changes and therapy can all help to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
There are also herbal remedies for anxiety available that are thought to make it easier to manage the symptoms.
Not everything will work for everyone, but making the decision to do something about your anxiety is an important first step. It might take a few different approaches to land on something that works for you.
What's in this Guide?
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a general term that refers to a mental health disorder characterised by feelings of unease, worry or fear.
While everyone feels anxious at times, those who have very strong or persistent feelings of unease are considered to have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing and can often help to keep us out of danger, make us more alert and help us to solve problems.
But anxiety can also impact your quality of life and make it difficult to complete simple tasks.
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety?
Anxiety is not only a mental condition, it can also have physical symptoms. The effects on your mind could include:
- A feeling of dread
- Inability to concentrate
- Feeling detached from the world
Anxiety can also produce physical symptoms, including:
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Pins and needles in your hands and feet
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Needing to use the toilet more often
- Sleep problems
- Panic attacks
These symptoms might happen in response to a specific event, such as public speaking or flying.
However, there isn’t always an apparent cause for anxiety symptoms, as is the case with generalised anxiety disorder.
Can CBD Oil Help With Anxiety?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and is a compound extracted from hemp plants. It is one of around 80 active cannabinoids that are capable of interacting with the human endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system helps to maintain homeostasis, or balance, throughout the body by sending messages between cells.
CBD is capable of supporting this system by boosting levels of anandamide, an endocannabinoid produced in the body.
Since the endocannabinoid system is involved with the central and peripheral nervous system, researchers are curious to learn more about how it might impact mood, anxiety and depression.
While CBD is not a medicine for anxiety or depression, some individuals find that it is a helpful addition to a healthy lifestyle.
It is commonly used as a supplement to support a healthy diet, exercise and mindfulness.
Lifestyle changes to combat anxiety
Before exploring herbal remedies for anxiety, there may be simple lifestyle changes you could make that will help to curb your anxiety. Regular exercise and a healthy diet could help you to take control of your anxious feelings.
Practising mindfulness meditation could also give you the tools you need to handle anxious feelings when they arise.
By becoming more aware of your feelings, you will be better equipped to recognise the early signs of anxiety and calm yourself down when you have anxious feelings.
Simple steps like getting 10,000 steps per day will help to ensure you are getting enough exercise, and focussing on eating whole, unprocessed foods will have a drastic impact on your diet.
You could also try cutting down on alcohol consumption, as this can also contribute to feelings of anxiety.
And finally, focussing on getting enough sleep can be helpful for controlling anxious feelings.
Herbal remedies for anxiety
In addition to lifestyle changes, there are also herbal remedies to consider that might help to support you on this journey. Herbal remedies are often considered to be safe for most people, but it’s important to check for potential interactions with other medications you might be taking.
This is particularly important for medications that help to ease anxiety, as many will have a sedative effect. If a herbal remedy intensifies the sedative effect, you could end up feeling a lot more relaxed than intended.
Here are 6 herbal remedies for anxiety for you to consider:
CBD is extracted from the hemp (cannabis) plant and then blended with a carrier oil to create a dietary supplement you can take every day. The daily recommended limit is around 75 mg, which would be a high dose for even an advanced CBD user.
CBD may help to improve your sleep and support your endocannabinoid system. One of the most widely known side-effects of CBD is its ability to make users feel more sleepy.
If you’re struggling to sleep at night and this is causing anxiety during the day, adding CBD to your daily routine may be beneficial. It’s also an excellent supplement to take to enhance your sense of wellbeing.
Passionflower is thought to contain chemicals that have a calming effect and is commonly used as a traditional sleep aid. It is thought to help boost gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which helps to lower brain activity and provide a state of relaxation.
In one study, participants drank a passionflower tea daily for seven days. The study found that the tea helped individuals to manage mild sleep irregularities.
A study in Anesthesia and Analgesia found that patients who were given a passionflower supplement before surgery had less anxiety than those given a placebo.
Adding passionflower tea to your nighttime routine could help to ease anxiety and improve sleep.
This tall, flowering grassland plant is perhaps the most famous herbal remedy for sleep.
Studies have found that taking a valerian extract before bed helps to reduce the amount of time taken to fall asleep, and may also help to improve sleep quality.
Valerian offers a calming effect by increasing gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain, so it could help to combat anxiety and sleep disorders related to anxiety.
However, it’s important to note that valerian may increase the effects of other sleep aids, so you should always check with a GP or pharmacist before adding this to your nighttime routine.
Chamomile is another popular sleep aid that might offer some benefits for mental health and anxiety disorders.
Studies have shown that chamomile can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety.
Chamomile is generally well-tolerated by most people and you should be able to have a few cups of chamomile tea per day without any adverse side effects. It is not recommended for those taking anticoagulant medications, or those about to have surgery.
Our chamomile hemp tea could be the ideal choice to add to your nighttime routine to help you to switch off and relax.
Each box makes around 36-48 large cups of tea, making it a cost-effective choice for taking control of your anxiety.
Aromatherapy is another option to consider when trying to take control of anxiety in your life. The scent of lavender is thought to help calm and relax individuals, but it could also offer promise to those living with an anxiety disorder.
According to studies, lavender helps to reduce the body’s fight-or-flight response, which plays a key role in anxiety disorders. In 2005, one study found that lavender helped to reduce anxiety in dental patients.
Another study found that aromatherapy during labour helps to reduce anxiety for women. And it was also found to help prevent stress, anxiety and depression following childbirth.
Lemon balm is a mood-boosting remedy for anxiety disorders. This herb might carry a strong lemon scent, but it is actually part of the mint family.
It is thought that lemon balm can help to boost gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels in the brain, which can help to improve mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Lemon balm can be taken as a tea or in capsule form. It is generally well tolerated by most individuals, but it may interact with other medications.
It is also advisable to use this as a short-term herbal remedy for anxiety.
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