By Tara Brooks (Naturopath)
Anxiety not only affects the brain with repetitive thoughts and excessive thinking, but it affects the whole body. The sympathetic nervous system, or what is more commonly know as the ‘flight or fight’ state, increases the heart rate, reduces digestion and increases adrenalin, as well as numerous other physiological changes.
Originally we would only go in to this flight or fight state when we were running away from danger in the wild, literally running for our lives. These days though, it is a regular occurrence. You can imagine that if these physiological changes are constant, it is not great for the body.
Naturopaths can prescribe numerous herbs that act to reduce the time you are in the flight or fight state and thus decrease anxiety. Here are some of the most effective herbs for reducing anxiety:
4 Herbs for Anxiety
1. Passionflower: Passionflower helps to relax the nervous system and is known as an axiolytic. It helps to reduce muscle spasms that are often a symptom of anxiety, and can also assist with overstimulation of the mind.
2. Kava: Kava has been used in the Pacific Islands for centuries and is a great herb for reducing anxiety. Kava reduces over activity of the nervous system and decreases nervous tension throughout the body. Kava can also help reduce insomnia by calming the overthinking brain and relaxing the body.
3. Lavender: Lavender is a beautiful herb that is easily accessible and is great to have by your bed at night. A therapeutic dose of lavender will help to reduce anxiety and can also induce you mood. Lavender is not only relaxing to the nervous system but also helps to calm the digestive system.
4. Zizyphus: Zizyphus is a great herb for anxiety where there is excessive sweating as well as heart palpitations and irritability. This herb is used a lot for anxiety associated with menopause and is also great to generally help relax the body.
Anxiety is a common issue, but there are ways to work with your body to calm your nervous system and get you back on track. These are just a few of the herbs I recommend to my clients, I hope this information is helpful for you too.
If you would like to book an appointment with Tara you can call the clinic on (03) 5429 3610 or book online by clicking the link below.