Anxiety and Stress are a normal part of life. Stress is what happens in our body and our mind when we are subjected to pressure or aggression of the environment ( losing job, divorce, family, etc.) But anxiety is the ability to amplify or create one’s own stress. When the stress gets chronic and the anxiety worsens and doesn’t go away, then it’s a problem and you need to find a solution. Herbal remedies have been used to solve anxiety and stress.
The chamomile (Matricaria recutita) can be used to treat anxiety disorder and also as an antidepressant.
A study was conducted on taking oral chamomile on a group of people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The result showed a significantly greater reduction in people consuming chamomile compared to placebo (drug without active ingredient). The results suggest that chamomile may have modest anxiolytic activity in patients with mild to moderate Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In another study on an antidepressant, the research team observed a significantly greater reduction for chamomile vs placebo in all participants. Chamomile may also provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity.
Cannabidiol or CBD
Cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana, is a plant from Central Asia that is grown in many parts of the world today. The Cannabis plant produces a resin containing compounds called cannabinoids. They are active chemicals in Cannabis that cause drug-like effects throughout the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. They are also known as phytocannabinoids.
Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Moreover, CBD was shown to reduce anxiety in patients with a social anxiety disorder. Researchers suggest that it may be effective with panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Another research has been studied and proves that CBD may stimulate appetite and can increase food intake; it may play a role in pain relief; it may have a role in controlling nausea and vomiting; may be involved in controlling mood.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is traditionally used and approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as herbal medicine to relieve stress and anxiety.
According to a study to explore Pharmacological Mechanisms of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Essential Oil on Central Nervous System Targets suggests that lavender essential oil may exert pharmacological properties via modulating the NMDA receptor, the SERT as well as neurotoxicity induced by hydrogen peroxide. A research made in 2012 to prove if lavender is an anxiolytic drug, suggests that oral lavender supplements may have some therapeutic effects. However, further independent replications are needed before firm conclusions can be drawn. It can increase appetite and the sedative effect of other medications and supplements and can cause low blood pressure.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) is a medicinal plant that has been used in different ethno-medical systems especially in the European Traditional Medicine and the Iranian Traditional Medicine for the treatment of several diseases. It is also widely used as a vegetable and to add flavor to dishes.
Modern pharmacological studies have now validated many traditional uses of M. officinalis L. The data reviewed revealed that M. officinalis is a potential source for the treatment of a wide range of diseases especially anxiety and some other CNS disorders, though confirmatory trials are warranted to substantiate these effects in the clinical setting. Data regarding many aspects of this plant such as mechanisms of actions, pharmacokinetics, adverse effects of the extracts, potential interactions with standard-of-care medications and active compounds is still limited which call for additional studies particularly in humans.
A study on Melissa officinalis L. demonstrates for the first time that chronic administration of Melissa officinalis L. relieves stress-related effects. It is critical that further studies incorporate a placebo and investigate physiological stress markers. Lemon balm is generally well-tolerated and considered safe for short-term use, but can cause nausea and abdominal pain.
Various preclinical and clinical studies in 2017 have shown a positive effect of Ginkgo biloba to improve cognitive abilities in impaired individuals and reducing anxiety under pathological conditions, but more advanced clinical research is needed to confirm the efficacy of Gingko Biloba for the treatment of anxiety in different health conditions.
The medication is not always the best option. Every individual is a unique case with different characteristics and chemical compounds will not always be able to resolve the problem. A good psychological approach and the support of the natural remedies at our disposal will always be the best choice. If you’re considering taking any herbal supplements as a treatment for anxiety and stress. Talk to your doctor first, especially if you take other medications. The interaction of some herbal supplements and certain medications can cause serious side effects.
Why do these natural medicines that have multiple effects on health are not prescribed by our doctors???