Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. On average, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. In any one year, around 2 million Australian adults will have anxiety.
Our modern pace of life means that anxiety disorders are becoming more common. While it’s normal feeling to feel stressed or worried from time to time, anxiety is when these feelings don’t go away or when they come on without any particular reason.
Anxiety is a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life.
You could be suffering from anxiety if you:
Psychological — experience excessive fear, worry, catastrophising or obsessive thinking
Physical — experience panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, restlessness, feeling tense, wound up or edgy
Behavioural — avoiding situations that make you feel anxious which impacts your work, social or home life
If you think you may have anxiety, it’s important to seek help. The sooner you get help — the more likely you are to recover. Take BeyondBlue’s Anxiety checklist to see if your symptoms indicate high levels of anxiety.
Nature’s medicine cabinet has a range of potent herbs which can help you be calm, let go of those anxious feelings and get on with your life.
These are the 3 herbs you need to help you with anxiety:
Passionflower is part of the Passiflora family, which also includes passion fruit. People have used a variety of passionflower since the 16th century for medicinal purposes.
There is good evidence to suggest that passionflower helps relieve anxiety symptoms because of its anxiety-calming (anxiolytic) effects.
Researchers believe passionflower may help treat anxiety and insomnia because it may increase levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical the brain makes to help regulate mood.
In one clinical trial, researchers found that passionflower had results similar to anti-anxiety medication in mice. Two other clinical trials in animal models found that it had sedative effects.
Do not take passionflower if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
2. Mexican valerian
Valerian is often called nature’s valium and is widely used to treat anxiety as well as sleep disorders like insomnia. But what about its Mexican cousin?
Valeriana edulis or Mexican valerian has been used traditionally in Mexico for most of the applications where we would normally consider the traditional Valerian plant including anxiety, insomnia and emotional stress.
Prominent practitioners report that Mexican valerian does not appear to have the unpredictable stimulatory effect that sometimes occurs in susceptible individuals with traditional Valerian.
Kava is made from the root of the pepper plant (Piper methysticum) and is a shrub native to the Pacific.
While kava has long been used to treat anxiety, recent studies have reinforced its effectiveness in treating anxiety symptoms. At the conclusion of a 2013 trial, researchers found that 37% of the kava group reported reduced anxiety symptoms compared with 23% of the placebo group.
Participants in research trials of Kava have reported reduced symptoms of stress and anxiety, increased coping ability, elevated mood, improved sleep and improved physical symptoms of stress.
Causes of anxiety
Anxiety can be caused by many things, so it’s important to look at your lifestyle holistically.
Causes may include:
family history of mental health conditions
personality — certain personality traits may make you more likely to have anxiety
stressful events — anxiety can develop because of stressful life events like work stress, job change, change in living arrangements, family and relationship problems, pregnancy and birth, trauma, abuse or loss of a loved one
physical health — diabetes, asthma, hypertension and heart disease have all been associated with anxiety
mental health — some people may experience anxiety on its own, others may experience anxiety along with other mental health conditions like depression
Get help for anxiety
If you think you have anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help.
At our new Herb Bar, our qualified Naturopath will listen to your symptoms and create a herbal mixture for your individual needs to get you back on your path to wellness.
No need for an appointment — just pop into our Hamilton practice for a free 10 minute consultation. The Herb Bar is open 8am to 1pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturdays.
If you live further away, you can book a free 15 minute phone or Skype consultation by calling (02) 4961 4075. Supplements can be posted Australia wide.
If you are having difficulty with anxiety and would like some free advice from our qualified Naturopaths, drop in to the Herb Bar anytime Monday through Friday from 8am – 1pm or Saturday 9am – 1pm. No appointment necessary and a qualified Naturopath will be on hand ready to assist you with a free advice, practitioner grade natural supplements and herbal medicines. The Herb Bar is located at the Centre, 16 Murray Street Hamilton NSW 2303.