In our fast-paced modern world, it’s easy to become anxious and overwhelmed by everything that life has to throw at you. For some people, the feeling of anxiety or sadness is not a passing feeling, but a chronic emotion that weighs them down every day.
When this happens, there’s no sense in pretending that chronic anxiety or depression will just vanish on its own. When panic attacks, insomnia, or depression seem to start becoming a permanent feature in your life, you should take advantage of the many options that exist to treat them. However, you don’t necessarily have to turn to prescription drugs as a solution. Three different natural herbs have been gaining the attention of the medical community recently as viable alternatives to medications like Xanax that have become all too prominent.
3 Natural Replacements to Anti-Depressants
Kava Kava is native to the South Pacific, and was used for centuries by native as a ‘feel good’ drink that may help anxiety and other nervous disorders, However, it should be used with caution, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that linked the kava kava to liver damage. Therefore, if you do have a liver disease, consult a doctor before trying the plant. Kava kava is able to interact with most other prescriptions, as well as alcohol.
This tropical flower is visually incredible with a unique set of purple petals and wiggling stigmas in the center. Historically, the passionflower was used as a sedative, although it wasn’t used in the United States until the late 1800’s. However, in modern times, there has been experimentation with the flower to determine its potency as an anti-depressant. Preparations of the flower include liquid tinctures and dried as an herb that can be made into tea.
Warning: Avoid if pregnant or nursing.
Valerian is a flowering plant that blooms in the summertime around Europe and parts of Asia, but it’s been introduced to North America recently as a result of its medicinal properties. Traditionally the sickly sweet flower has been used to treat anxiety and insomnia, although according to the National Center for Complementary Medicine (NCCAM) there is not an abundance of clinical evidence to support it’s effectiveness as a drug. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) states that when valerian is combined with lemon balm, it is frequently used to soothe anxiety. Valerian can often be found in capsules, tablets, and a liquid extract.
Warning: Valerian should be avoided if you’re pregnant or nursing. It also has been known to counter the effects of certain medications like oral contraceptives and antidepressants, so exercise caution before trying out this herbal remedy.
While all three of these herbs show promise as alternatives to prescription anti-depressants and anxiety relief, the University of Maryland Medical Center stresses that the use of herbal supplements should be used only with the supervision of a doctor, to ensure that they do not minimize the effectiveness of any other prescription. In addition, seek medical or professional help if the symptoms of anxiety and depression continue. There are many ways to get better. Your wellbeing is a priority, even if it takes a medication to recover it.
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