3 Herbs Help You Find Your Zen Naturally
It’s a completely natural part of being human to experience negative emotions from time to time. However, what happens when each day is filled with anxiety and overwhelming feelings of what the future may bring? The modern day answer is to cash in your prescription for powerful pharmaceuticals, faithfully written by your local doctor. While medications such as Xanax are incredibly effective in toying with your brain chemistry and lifting your mood, they also come with many unwanted side-effects. Thankfully, with advancement and reliance on natural medicine, there’s a much better solution to drugs that will support your health from the inside out.
We all seem to have those days where no matter what we try, turning off the constant thoughts in your head just doesn’t seem to work. It usually coincides with one big event in your life that suddenly changes for the worse, or a series of events that build and build, until you finally find yourself reaching breaking point.
This might help to explain the $22.84 billion dollars spent annually in America alone, for healthcare services related to anxiety disorders. Particularly, in North America anxiety has been recognized as the number one health issue, with 65% of North Americans taking prescription medication for anxiety each day. Unfortunately, side effects commonly experienced from anxiety medication like Xanax include drowsiness, insomnia and slurred speech (to name a few).
With natural and integrative mind-body approaches such as yoga and meditation now increasing in popularity across our Western culture, many more studies are being conducted, proving the power of nature once and for all. Before walking down the path of pharmaceuticals, why not trial the many potent natural herbs available for anxiety and depression?
This little amino acid is known as "Nature's Xanax", and proven to be even more effective, as it relaxes the mind without the unwanted drowsy effects. One particular study out of Netherlands notes its “. L-Theanine directly impacts your central nervous system, which is commonly overloaded in times of stress. Enhancing your mood is the first step towards more positive thought patterns, and L-Theanine is one of the most prized nootropics of the future.
Although you might have a little trouble pronouncing this herb, it’s highly regarded in the ancient medical system of Ayurveda. It’s been used to treat a variety of ailments since its discovery in 1868 by German chemist Carl Liebermann. In one recent overview published on US National Institutes of Health, Ashwagandha has been shown to:
- Improve the central nervous system
- Significantly reduce or even banish Alzheimer’s disease
- Have a calming effect similar to the drug Lorazepam (again minus the side effects!)
- Reduce markers of clinical anxiety
- Has an antidepressant effect
- Reduce menopausal symptoms
A 2012 study published by the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry, India shows Ashwagandha’s positive effect on the overall feeling of wellbeing and reduction in stress levels in patients supplemented with this powerful herb.
Used for hundreds of years as a therapeutic relaxant, skullcap helps regulate mood, and promotes the release of endorphins. In studies skullcap has been shown to significantly enhance mood without the unwanted effects of prescription medications such as reduced energy and focus. Particular compounds found in skullcap assist in balancing hormones, which in turn improves mood and reduces overall stress. Skullcap also contains powerful antioxidants, which help to flush toxins from your system, removing that sluggish feeling you often experience when feeling down.
Overall, it’s reassuring to see Western Medicine turning to natural remedies that have been used for thousands of years, in order to treat and reduce our modern-day diseases. If you’re wondering what your next step is in tackling depression or anxiety, it’s well worth trying approaches that naturally work with your body’s response systems to stress, rather than flooding yourself with pharmaceuticals.
Looking for more ways to reduce stress in your life? Read our article 6 easy ways to manage stress.