Best Ayurvedic Herbs
We’ve talked quite a bit about drug-free, natural ways to manage anxiety and panic attacks on our blog. Our advice is always to treat the problem holistically – consider the food you eat, the exercise you get (or don’t get), and the way you live your life.
Even if you’re doing everything right, we understand that sometimes it’s not enough.
If you’ve been to the doctor to address anxiety or panic, chances are that you were prescribed – or at least pitched — antidepressants (SSRIs) or a class of sedative drugs called benzodiazepines. While both can be effective options, they often have serious drawbacks, including:
- sexual dysfunction,
- weight gain,
- and a range of other health and cognitive complications.
Even if you find the side effects unpleasant enough to quit taking a benzodiazepine or SSRI, you cannot stop taking them without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Even if you don’t become psychologically addicted to these drugs, your body will become dependent.
To help with withdrawal and to even go the entire natural anxiety relief route, many turn to a number of herbs for anxiety. Some of the best herbs for anxiety and panic attacks are used worldwide. They often come with the benefit of having no harsh side effects or risks of addiction.
Natural, herbal anxiety supplements, based on ancient medicinal knowledge, can be invaluable in offering support.
Here are some of the best herbs for anxiety and panic attacks.
2. Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri)
Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri), native to India, is another herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine. It have been used for hundreds of years to treat anxiety and cognitive function. Brahmi improves impulse transmission between nerve cells in the brain. Studies have shown that it raises IQ and improves concentration. Brahmi also increases serotonin levels in the brain, leading to relaxation and reduced anxiety.
3. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba gained popularity for its memory-enhancement benefits in the elderly, but its uses are many and varied. Research has suggested that it may be a great herb for anxiety as well! In one study, patients given gingko saw roughly the same benefit(s) as the group given benzodiazepines.
4. Gotu Kola
For thousands of years in China, India, and Indonesia, gotu kola has been used to treat a number of conditions. Its uses run the gamut from skin problems, epilepsy, fever, and even syphilis. A class of chemicals found in gotu kola, known as triterpenoids, are said to possibly have anxiety-reducing properties.
L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. It has been proven to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Like most herbs for anxiety, our ancestors understood L-theanine’s benefits long before modern science was able to back it up. Buddhist monks have credited green tea for their ability to sit calmly for hours of meditation.
Passionflower is an herb native to the Southern United States that has been used for centuries as asafe and gentle sedative. It is is one of the herbs for anxiety that has been shown to have effects comparable to benzodiazepines. It works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which produces a calming effect in the brain. Passionflower is considered milder than some of the other well-known anti-anxiety herbs, and is safe to use in combination with a number of different herbal anxiety remedies.
7. Valerian Root
This herb hails from the same botanical family as chamomile, another anti-anxiety herb. Valerian root is native to many regions of the world. Valerian has been used to treat anxiety for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. In addition to anxiety, Valerian is commonly used as a natural sleep aid. It has an exceptional safety record, with virtually no side effects beyond drowsiness.
If you’re hesitant to start or continue taking prescription medication to help manage your anxiety symptoms, we encourage you to look into any and all of these wonderful herbs for anxiety.
Remember that even with the best herbs for anxiety and panic attacks, they only will work best in combination with a holistic lifestyle. Be sure to always consult your doctor about any possible drug interactions.