Natural Remedies for Anxiety

Natural Remedies for Anxiety

It’s that time of year again. The time of year that anxiety and stress tend to hit people the most.  Whether it is the cold weather, the holiday seasons or just job stress…there are natural ways to handle anxiety and stress.

Chronic stress will impair the adrenal gland function which in turn leads to a weakened immune system and possible degenerative diseases.  The immune system is very important because a strong one is needed to combat diseases.  Although herbs are wonderful during times of stress, it is important to identify the underlying cause of anxiety and deal with that rather than rely on the power of sedative herbs.  With that said, I will share some natural remedies for anxiety and stress.

Eat Well

As mentioned the adrenal glads are very important and are an integral part of the endocrine system of hormones.  They play an important role in regulating the body’s response to stress.  You will want to avoid foods that will tax your adrenal glands, particularly caffeine, sugar and alcohol.  There are nutrients that are essential in supporting the health of the adrenals and those include Vitamin C, pantothenic acid (Vit. B5), Vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc.  Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables including broccoli, red peppers, cantaloupe, oranges and strawberries.  Pantothenic Acid can be found in avocados, eggs, chicken, salmon, mushrooms and yogurt.  You will find Vitamin B6 in lentils, tempeh, trout, tuna, and bananas.  Zinc is found in sesame and pumpkin seeds, black beans, oysters and mussels.  Foods rich in magnesium include almonds, halibut, tofu, corn and peas.

Chamomile and Catnip Herb Tea

Herbs are wonderful during times of stress.  Chamomile and catnip are relaxing and have a mild sedative effect.

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp dried catnip

1 tsp dried chamomile

Begin by pouring the boiling water over the herbs.  Cover and let steep for 10 minutes and strain.  Sweeten with honey if desired and drink 3 cups daily.

Take Some Time for Yourself

If you think there is possibly no time to relax, then that is definitely a sure sign that you need to make time to relax.  It is important to find time to unwind.  Schedule a minimum of two 15-minute breaks everyday to calm and center yourself.  Try soaking in a warm  aromatherapy bath, or meditation or listening to calming music or just do absolutely nothing.  You should also schedule at least one time a week to talk a walk with a friend or a massage or something else that makes you feel good, for example for me I enjoy going to a book store and relaxing amongst all the books. (yes, I am weird, but it works)  Be sure to record these times on the calendar just as any other important appointment and you will see your stress and anxiety decrease.

Lavender Inhaler

This is a neat trick that works.  To relieve stress and anxiety, place a drop of lavender essential oil on to a handkerchief or tissue and inhale as often as desired.

Try Ginseng

Ginseng is excellent for strengthening the adrenal glands and therefore helping the body adapt more easily to physical and emotional stress.  Buy an extract that has been standardized for eleutheroside (the primary compound in ginseng) and take approximately 250mg two times a day.  *Caution: If you have high blood pressure, please consult with your physcian before taking any form of ginseng.

Simply Breathe

When you consciously slow down your breathing into a rhythmic pattern, your body and mind will receive the message to relax.  Sit or lie in a comfortable position and take a deep breath.  Exhale completely through your mouth, then close your mouth and inhale slowly through your nose, to a mental count of five.  Hold your breath for a count of five before exhaling completely again.  It is important to take your time when doing this inhale for a 5 count and exhale for a 10 count.  Practice this breathing technique at least twice a day or when you are feeling tense or anxious.

Valerian tea

I have personally tried this tea and can tell you that it really works.  Valerian is a powerful but safe herbal sedative.  It will help in cases of extreme stress and anxiety.

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp dried valerian root

To prepare tea, pour the boiling water over the dried root and cover to prevent evaporation of the herb’s essential oils.  Steep for 10 minutes and strain.  Try drinking up to 3 times per day.  *Note: Valerian has a very strong odor and flavor, you may prefer taking the herb capsule.  Take one or two capsules (300-500mg) three times per day. *Caution: Valerian may cause headaches or muscle spasms, so be sure to not exceed the dosages or take for long periods of time.

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The Fascination With Natural Remedies

Fascination with Natural Remedies

Many people are interested in the natural and holistic method to help aid in ailments. Did you know that there are natural remedies for everyday problems as well. There are natural remedies for health conditions, skin, as well as for pet care and your home and garden.

It’s important to note that not everyone is familiar with natural remedies or what it all involves. The goal for all of us is to stay healthy and improve our overall well being and alternative methods are very helpful in achieving this state.

Natural remedies include herbs, essential oils, nutritional supplements, teas, as well as some commonly found items in your home such as salt, ice and garlic. Many of these items can be found in natural health food stores, but many are now being carried in your local grocery store.

It is important to note that natural remedies although will help with many ailments are not a cure all. If you have more serious conditions such as fractured, broken or dislocated bones, fevers that escalate to 105 degrees in adults and 103 in children, injury to head or spinal cord, third degree burns, unconsciousness or recurrent dizziness, vomiting of blood or vomiting that persists for more than 2 days—please see your doctor.

Let’s begin with the Natural Medicine Cabinet. The following suggestions are those that are indispensable for a basic natural medicine cabinet for your home:

  • Chamomile – dried flowers used for stress and upset stomachs
  • Echinacea – this comes in both capsule and oil forms, used for colds, flu, cuts, scrapes and infections
  • Eucalyptus – a wonderful essential oil for respiratory congestions and muscle soreness
  • Ginger – a fresh root for colds, respiratory congestion, nausea and stomach upsets
  • Lavender – a great essential oil for stress, insomnia and headaches
  • Tea tree – an essential oil for skin infections and insect bites
  • Valerian – extract for mild pain relief, insomnia and great for PMS
  • Sea salt – great for sore throats gargles and for bath salts
  • Calendula – used as a gel, cream or salve for burns, scrapes, insect bites and cuts
  • Arnica – used as a gel or cream for muscle strains and bruises
  • Elderberry – an extract for colds and flu
  • Epsom salts – a family favorite for muscle soreness, relaxing and relieving tension

Be sure to come back as I will discuss more on natural remedies for health, natural beauty, your home and your pets.

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Natural Alternatives for Headaches

Natural Alternative for Headaches

Many tension headaches are caused by anxiety, nervous tension, eyestrain, tight muscles in the shoulder and neck area and poor posture.  Migraine headaches have been found to be caused by the expansion of blood vessels in the head. 

Headaches can also be caused by colds and the flu as well as allergies, digestive problems and hormone imbalances.   

Migraines can often be triggered by:

  • Allergic Reactions
  • Specific Foods
  • Bright lights and loud noises
  • Lack of sleep
  • Smoking or exposure to smoke
  • Alcohol
  • Menstrual periods
  • Birth control pills

Common symptoms of headaches and migraine headaches include:

  • Dizziness
  • Auras, flashing lights or dark spots
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Usually worse on the sides of the forehead
  • Sometimes on one side of the forehead
  • Commonly last anywhere from 6 to 48 hours

Some natural remedies that have been found to help with headaches, tension headaches and migraine headaches include:

  1. Chiropractic care – has been found to help with headaches because headaches have been linked to spinal problems.  The spinal condition is called a vertebral subluxation which is when areas in the spine are restricted or bones are out of alignment.  Migraines have been relieved with chiropractic adjustments because the misaligned neck has been corrected.
  2. Aromatherapy – lavender eases physical and mental stress, and majoram has relaxing properties.  When you add 5 drops each of lavender and majoram essential oils to a basin of cool water.  Soak two washcloths in the water and wring out lightly.  Lie down and place one washcloth on your forehead and one on to the back of your neck.  Rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Valerian – helps ease the pain of tension and migraine headaches.  Valerian is available in capsule form or in powder form.  In the powder form, take half a teaspoon of valerian extract diluted in warm water.  Drink the solution every 30 minutes until the pain has subsided.  In the capsule form, follow the directions on the container.
  4. Herbal tea for tension headaches – Ginger will decrease the production of pain-causing chemicals in the body.  Chamomile and linden are mild relaxants that also help ease emotional and physical tension.  Take 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped ginger root, 1 teaspoon dried chamomile, and 1 teaspoon of dried linden.  Simmer the ginger in the water in a covered pot for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, add the chamomile and linden and let steep for 10 minutes.  Strain and sweeten the tea if desired and drink it hot.
  5. Footbaths work wonders – try immersing your feet in a bucket of water as hot as possible for 15 minutes.  While your feet are soaking, wring out a washcloth in icewater and place the cold compress on your forehead, temples and back of your neck, or wherever the pain is coming from.  The hot water actually dilates the blood vessels and increased the blood flow to the feet, while the cold compress constricts the blood vessels in the head, reducing the volume of blood flow and in turn reducing the pain.
  6. Decrease the mucus – a large factor of sinus headaches is the accumulation of mucus in the sinuses.  Try eating spicy foods such as horseradish and hot peppers, which will increase the flow of blood and actually loosen the secretions of mucus in the sinuses.  The congestion is then relieved and also relieving the headaches associated with the sinuses.
  7. Try a massage – a simple acupressure can help relieve a tension headache.  Place your fingers at the top of your spinal column, where your neck meets the skull.  Move your fingers along the base of the skull until you feel the indentation on either side.  These points will feel tender as you apply pressure.  Using the pads of your fingers apply pressure in a circular motion, the deeper you massage the better it will be.  Remember to breathe deeply and imagine the you are releasing the tension with each exhalation.  Continue for 1 – 3 minutes, it will be even better if you find someone else to do the massage so you can truly relax.

Try some of these natural remedies and watch your headaches melt away.  Call our office today for a FREE consultation … Chiropractic works!