From work-related pressures to family problems, there are just too many things that can cause anxiety in our lives. For people who practice Ayurveda, anxiety has numerous causes. Ayurvedic practitioners thus recommend different strategies or solutions for managing anxiety, from making lifestyle and dietary changes to practicing relaxation techniques and even taking herbal medications.
Many people are prescribed with prescription drugs for anxiety or panic attacks. These include antidepressants or sedative drugs such as benzodiazepines. While it can’t be argued that these prescription drugs are effective, the problem is that these medications can cause serious drawbacks.
Some of the common side effects of prescription drugs are weight gain and sexual dysfunction. It is also common for people to get addicted or dependent on prescription drugs.
Ayurvedic herbs for relaxation
One of the benefits of Ayurvedic medicine, a natural healing system that originated in India, is managing anxiety. Aside from using herbal treatments, Ayurveda preaches meditation, yoga and breathing exercises, among others, in naturally treating anxiety and promoting relaxation in an individual.
Some of the herbs that Ayurveda practitioners recommend for people who want to relax and manage anxiety are:
One of the most popular herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, it is also known as the Indian ginseng. It literally translates to “smell of a horse” which suggests that it can impart the strength and vigor of a stallion. It is traditionally given to people who want to improve their immune system.
It can also fight anxiety and promote relaxation. In one test involving adults, it was proven that Ashwagandha can reduce stress and anxiety.
Ashwagandha supplements are found online and at major health food stores. The roots of ashwagandha plant can also be boiled and made into a tea. For optimal effect, it is advised that two to three cups of said tea should be consumed a day.
Another herb that is native to India, Brahmi has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine. This creeping herb found in the wetlands of India, Europe and parts of Asia can be used in treating anxiety and promoting cognitive function. Chewing the leaves of the plant is said to be the best way to relieve stress and anxiety. Numerous studies have also shown that it can improve concentration and even raise IQ. It has also been found effective in increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which can make a person relax.
3. Ginkgo Biloba
This herb is one of the more well-known Ayurvedic herbs for relaxation, as it is often used in many supplements especially for the elderly. It has plenty of uses, from improving focus to treating glaucoma. Gingko biloba supplements available in tablets are widely available in most health food stores. Intake should be limited to 240 milligrams per day.
4. Gotu Kola
Another versatile herb that is used in India, China and Indonesia, gotu kola is used for treating skin problems, fever, epilepsy and even syphilis. It contains chemicals called triterpenoids that are believed to have anxiety-reducing abilities.
Gotu kola is available in supplement capsules ranging from 250 to 500 milligrams. The raw leaves of the herb may also be steeped in hot water to make tea. 5. Passionflower
Found in the southern part of the United States, this is an herb that has been used as a safe sedative for many decades. It is considered to be milder compared to other anti-anxiety herbs. Now grown in Europe and some parts of Asia, passionflower increases the levels of the GABA neurotransmitter which produces a calming effect in the brain. It is available in various forms, from liquid extracts to infusions to teas and tinctures.
6. Valerian root
This herb comes from the same botanical family as another popular anti-anxiety herb, chamomile. It is found in many regions of the world. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is widely used in promoting relaxation and treating anxiety. It is also recommended as a natural sleep aid. It has virtually no side effects except for drowsiness.
Used since the ancient times for numerous purposes like improving memory and treating asthma, vasha is widely grown in India and parts of Europe. It can help a person sleep better and calm the mind.
These seven wonderful Ayurvedic herbs are all proven to be effective in promoting relaxation and managing anxiety symptoms. If you are one of those people hesitant to take prescription medications but wanting to relax, then why don’t you try any of these herbs?