Natural Treatments for Anxiety

Merely Me Health Guide
  • Although there are many prescription medications for anxiety there are many people who wish to find other options to treat their anxiety. One of the potential issues with taking prescription medications and especially anti-anxiety meds is that there may be undesirable side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Another problem is that there are some anti-anxiety medications which may be habit forming especially those medications which fall under the category of benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Valium. In addition, if you use some of these prescription anti-anxiety medications, they may not work as well over time and you end up having to keep increasing the dosage. These reasons and more make some people look to “natural” treatments for their anxiety.

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    There are some precautions, however, that you need to think about when looking to supplements and herbal remedies to treat the symptoms of your anxiety disorder. Here are just a few things to think about.

     

    Precautions when taking natural supplements to treat anxiety:

     

    • Just because it is natural doesn't mean there won't be any side effects. And one of the problems with the natural supplements is that you do not get a list on the bottle of any possible side effects primarily because they may be unknown.

     

    • Most natural supplements are not FDA approved and this means that sometimes fillers are used which may be useless or even harmful additives. Unlike prescription medications that go through a rigorous safety and effectiveness evaluation, herbal remedies and supplements have no such evaluation. The safety and effectiveness is left up to the manufacturer.

     

    • Due to the lack of scientific studies on many of these supplements, the possibility of drug interactions may be unknown. If you are taking multiple prescription drugs as well as supplements you may be brewing a dangerous cocktail of substances without knowing.

     

    • The lack of regulations for supplements also might mean that the herbal product does not contain enough of the active ingredient to make it effective.

     

    • Natural supplements may not be strong enough to help with moderate to severe anxiety symptoms and you could be losing valuable time when you could be taking something more effective for you.

     

    The bottom line is that you need to do your homework and research any supplement you are thinking about taking. Not only that, you need to tell your doctor what vitamins and supplements you are taking in addition to any prescription medications so that they can tell you (if they know) about any possible adverse interactions.

     

    In order to help you make an informed choices about your supplements we have some links to resources which provide information about the various herbs, vitamins, and supplements. Resources to find information about supplements:

     

    Natural Medicines Comprehensive Data Base 

     

    Office of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet

     

    United States Department of Agriculture: Dietary Supplements


  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine 

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    FDA Tips For The Savvy Supplement User: Making Informed Decisions And Evaluating Information

    In addition we have many Health Central articles about a variety of non-prescription remedies for treating anxiety:

     

    Things You Should Know Before Taking Herbal Supplements

    Rhodiola Rosea to Treat Anxiety and Depression

     

    Simple Supplement May Help Hair Pulling Compulsion 

     

    Passionflower for Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder 

     

    Can Kava Help Social Anxiety Disorder?

     

    Kava Named in Consumer Report’s List of Supplements to Avoid

    GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid)

     

    Feeling Anxious? Natural Therapeutic Options

     

    Nasal Spray Hailed as a Treatment for Phobias

     

    7 Herbal Remedies for Stress

     

    Treating Depression with Natural Supplements: SAM-e and 5-HTP

    Natural Alternatives for Treating Depression

     

    My Experience Taking SAM-e

     

    If you are taking a vitamin, supplement or herbal remedy to treat your anxiety please let us know how it is working for you. If there is any particular supplements you would like us to write about please let us know. We want to give you the information, resources, and support that you need. Don’t hesitate to reach out and share your story, ask a question, or let us know topics which interest you. We would love to hear from you!

Published On: April 25, 2011