Anxiety can be overpowering. When you experience anxiety, it seems to take you over. What’s more is that it is often so difficult to control that you worry about being somewhere and being overtaken by anxiety and panic. After a while, the fear of anxiety can be anxiety-provoking. The truth is that we live in a time and society where stress is accepted as a normal part of living, where being overcommitted is a sacrament, and exhaustion is a sign that you must be one of the “chosen.” Over time, chronic stress can lead to an assortment of mental and physical ailments. Some people speculate that such stress can, over time, lead to adrenal fatigue and, potentially adrenal failure. Whether this is the case or not, we know that stress over time and anxiety over time is bad for the entire system, especially the heart. We also know that there is much that one can do to treat the body naturally in ways that will allow the body to heal itself.
Allopathic treatments for anxiety usually consist of medicines used most commonly for depression, like benzodiazepines, beta blockers, and other anti-depressants. Anti-depressants have received lots of press recently, because of concerns related to increased suicidal tendencies. There are other significant side effects of such medicines and they are often habit forming. While in extreme cases, these medicines may be critical, they are often overprescribed and not without serious risks. It is often possible to deal with anxiety without resorting to such prescriptions, if you are willing to work at the solution a little bit and consider alternative treatments. The other benefit is that naturopathic and homeopathic treatments are generally safe and often produce longer-lasting results.
It is strongly recommended that you consult a naturopath or homeopath for a complete diagnosis, as these types of remedies usually require exact details. For example, anxiety that improves when one is out in the fresh, cool air might be best served with valerian, whereas those who improve with warm air might find Ignatia more beneficial.
For occasional anxiety, common remedies like chamomile tea and a good night’s sleep can work wonders. For more consistent anxiety episodes, it may be necessary to consider something like valerian, which has actually been in use for thousands of years. What makes valerian a good choice for most cases of anxiety is that it is very good in cases where sleep has been lacking. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines, valerian is generally safe when taken over the short term (4 to 6 weeks). It is often infused into a tea, but can also be taken in pill form.
Nux moschata, more commonly known as nutmeg, is a surprisingly great remedy for extreme cases of anxiety that might also exhibit itself as anger or mood swings and hypersensitivity. Again, a dose taken once or twice daily and for a period of 4 to 6 weeks is safe and can “have a profound effect on emotional health” (Hershoff, 2000).
It’s funny to think that something as simple as a tea or a spice could have such a powerful and even profound effect that it could aid in the relief of something as all-encompassing as anxiety. Even more significant is that these alternative therapies for anxiety rarely produce the side effects of their more commonly prescribed counterparts (altered vision, tremors, confusion, vomiting, and diarrhea). Anxiety does not have to control our lives. The first step may very well be in controlling our choice of remedy.