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Republished with permission from naturalhealthadvisory.com.

It is normal to feel a little apprehensive from time to time. Let’s face it – life can be stressful!  All of us worry about things like financial problems, work, family struggles, or health.  But sometimes anxiety can become so severe that completing simple, everyday tasks is difficult.

When this occurs, it may be a sign of generalized anxiety disorder.  People with generalized anxiety disorder worry about many things, even when there is little reason to worry.  Their stress level is so high that it interferes with their relationships and day-to-day activities.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America. Approximately 6.8 million adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and women are twice as likely to be affected as men.  It often starts during adolescence and symptoms tend to magnify during stressful periods in life. [1]

Signs of anxiety in women

woman holding head

  • Constant feelings of worry and tension
  • Worrying about simple, everyday tasks
  • Inability to relax
  • Unrealistic view of problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness and being “on edge” or easily startled
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Frequent headaches
  • Depression symptoms
  • Muscle tension, aches and body pains
  • Trembling or twitching
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sweating
  • Feeling light-headed or short of breath
  • Stomach pains and nausea
  • Feeling the need to go to the bathroom frequently

Medications to treat anxiety

Common medications used to treat generalized anxiety disorder include benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. The problem with these medications is that they are highly addictive.

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When a person becomes dependent on these chemicals, they can develop further psychological and physical distress as well as experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking medicine.

Sometimes, antidepressants are prescribed to treat chronic anxiety and panic attacks.

These medications include

  • Paxil
  • Effexor
  • Prozac
  • Lexapro
  • Zoloft

However, these medications can cause a slew of side effects and often are ineffective. [2]

Lavender oil is an effective non-drug alternative

Lavender is a herb that has been proven effective by leading researchers as a natural remedy for treating signs of anxiety. In a study published in the journal Phytomedicine, lavender oil was shown to be just as effective as the pharmaceutical drug lorazepam (Ativan).

Furthermore, lavender oil showed no sedative effects (a common side effect of lorazepam), and it had no potential for drug abuse or dependence. [3] Other studies have confirmed the anti-anxiety properties of lavender, as well as many other medicinal benefits:

  • Lavender helps with restlessness, nervousness, and insomnia. [4,5]
  • Lavender helps with depression symptoms. [6,7]
  • Lavender can be used for painful and inflammatory conditions including migraines and joint pain. [8]
  • Lavender can help people who suffer from agitation related to dementia. [9,10]

Visit Starwest Botanicals and get some of their Organic Lavender Oil to try next time you have anxiety!

How to take lavender oil to calm nervousness and other signs of anxiety

Lavender oil can be taken by mouth by adults, but it’s hard to find capsules at a health food store. The lavender oil capsule preparation used in the cited study [3] is called Lavela WS 1265 and can be purchased on a retail basis here and at other online stores.

Before purchasing lavender oil, you should consult with a healthcare professional to determine the dosage that is best for your needs. Children should not consume essential oil capsules.

Lavender essential oil in liquid format, lavender leaves, and lavender flowers are more readily available than capsules and can be added to bath water.  Six drops of lavender oil extract or 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dried lavender flowers may be added to bath water.

You can prepare lavender tea using 1 to 2 tablespoons of whole, dried flowers for each cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes, and use a tea infuser or strain before drinking.

Other natural remedies for depression and anxiety

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Depression and anxiety may be due to a neurochemical imbalance in the body such as serotonin deficiency or dopamine deficiency. In our FREE report, How to Treat Depression Without Medication, you can learn more about safe, alternative therapies for coping with depression and anxiety by reversing serotonin deficiency and using natural dopamine boosters.

For anxiety that manifests itself as acute panic attacks, our article, Natural Remedies for Panic Attacks Backed By Medical Science, offers a specific solution.

Precautions

Lavender used as aromatherapy or by mouth may increase the amount of drowsiness when taken in combination with pharmaceutical medications such as benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Valium), narcotics such as codeine, or certain antidepressants. If you are taking prescription medications, consultation with a health care practitioner is strongly advised.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

What anxiety remedies work for you?

Share what works for you to help calm you down and deal with anxiety. Tell us in the Comments section below, and you’ll be helping other readers as well.

Sources:

[1] Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

[2] Kirsch, I., Deacon, B. J., Huedo-Medina, T. B., Scoboria, A., Moore, T. J., & Johnson, B. T. (2008, February). Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2253608/

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[3] Woelk, H., & Schläfke, S. (2010, February). A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19962288

[4] Lewith, G. T., Godfrey, A. D., & Prescott, P. (2005, August). A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild insomnia. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=16131287&dopt=Abstract

[5] Cheng, S. L., Liu, C. F., & Chien, L. (2011, August 18). The Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Autonomic Nervous System in Midlife Women with Insomnia. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/740813/abs/

[6] Akhondzadeh, S., Kashani, L., Fotouhi, A., Jarvandi, S., Mobaseri, M., Moin, M., . . . Taghizadeh, M. (2003, February). Comparison of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. tincture and imipramine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: A double-blind, randomized trial. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12551734&dopt=Abstract

[7] Tsang, H. W., Lo, S. C., Chan, C. C., Ho, T. Y., Fung, K. M., Chan, A. H., & Au, D. W. (2013, March 26). Neurophysiological and behavioural effects of lavender oil in rats with experimentally induced anxiety. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ffj.3148/abstract

[8] Hajhashemi, V., Ghannadi, A., & Sharif, B. (2003, November). Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the leaf extracts and essential oil of Lavandula angustifolia Mill. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=14522434&dopt=Abstract

[9]Lin, P. W., Chan, W. C., Ng, B. F., & Lam, L. C. (2007, May). Efficacy of aromatherapy (Lavandula angustifolia) as an intervention for agitated behaviours in Chinese older persons with dementia: A cross-over r… Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=17342790&dopt=Abstract

[10] Snow, L. A., Hovanec, L., & Brandt, J. (2004, June). A controlled trial of aromatherapy for agitation in nursing home patients with dementia. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=15253846&dopt=Abstract

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