In light of the recent awareness of the dangers of anxiolytic pharmaceuticals like Xanax and Klonopin, many patients are seeking alternative treatments for their anxiety that do not carry the very serious and sometimes fatal side effects of these drugs. Here are a few things you should know about common anxiety supplements before you give them a try.
Lavender has long been treasured as a safe and enjoyable way to relax by holistic and nontraditional healers. The pleasant fragrance is now believed, based on scientific research, to stimulate calming sensations to the brain caused by inhalation of the vapor linalool, and alcohol compound found in lavender. These calming effects are similar to pharmaceutical drugs but without any of the negative side effects. Mice studies have identified the mechanism of action through which lavender achieves lowered anxiousness. The linalool in lavender works by stimulating receptors in the brain responsible for achieving a calmer, more relaxed state.
CBD is one of the many medical compounds found in the marijuana plant. To make a CBD oil, the compound is extracted from the plant. CBD does not contain any THC, another compound found in marijuana that is responsible for the “high” commonly associated with marijuana ingestion. CBD oil may address different forms of anxiety, which can be a welcome relief to people who have struggled to find ways of addressing what can be an absolutely crippling disorder. The medical use of CBD oil as an anxiolytic agent is still in its infancy, but many patients have found substantial relief using this product. When you add anxiety to the long list of conditions that CBD oil is proven to help treat, the near-miraculous nature of the cannabis plant takes on epic proportions. Fortunately, legalization across many states has now made CBD access easier than ever before.
Chamomile contains flavonoids that work to relax the user. Although not technically a tea, chamomile leaves reduce anxiety by targeting the GABA receptors in the brain responsible for calming the nervous system. These are the same receptors targeted by benzodiazepines like Xanax—however, with chamomile tea, there is no risk of addiction or other severe side effects. Because of its relaxing properties, many people enjoy drinking chamomile tea before bed as a way to improve sleep. The aroma emitted from a freshly brewed batch of chamomile tea is quite pleasant in itself, making it a pleasurable way to effectively reduce anxiety.
Times Are Changing
Common folk treatments for anxiety were previously unstudied, so their efficacy was largely dismissed by the medical community and scorned by drug manufacturers who had their own patented products to sell at huge profits. Fortunately, research has proven many of these supplements to be highly effective and much safer than traditional treatments.
Consider one of these alternative anxiety reduction supplements before reaching for a prescription bottle. Although in some cases pharmaceutical drugs may be necessary, often these supplements in combination with lifestyle modifications are enough to effectively treat anxiety. Explore your options with your healthcare provider to determine if these options are right for your individual case of anxiety.
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