Anxiety, also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD, is characterized by chronic anxiety and an exaggerated state of worry, fear and tension.
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is the root extract of the Withania somnifera plant. The herb boasts a horse-like odor, hence the Sanskrit name meaning “horse-smell”. Native to India, Africa and the Mediterranean, this small, woody shrub has been prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years. It’s anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory properties have been used in the treatment of stress, fatigue, gastro-intestinal issues, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep disorders, as well as, topically as an analgesic.
Ashwagandha may help Anxiety due to its anxiolytic properties, but the results are inconclusive.
Chamomile is an herb composed of dried, daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae family. Used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans as a medicinal herb, it is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and mild astringent properties. Largely consumed as a tea, Chamomile is used to treat sleeplessness, anxiety, and gastro-intestinal conditions, as well as, topically to reduce inflammation.
Chamomile may help Anxiety as a modest anxiolytic.
GABA, the acronym for gamma-Aminobutyric acid, is a naturally occurring amino acid. Produced within the brain, GABA functions as an inhibiting neurotransmitter aiding in relaxation, reducing stress and pain alleviation. Found naturally in vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potato), mushrooms (shitake), legumes (soy beans, adzuki beans) and tea (green, black, oolong), as well as, fermented foods including (kefir, yogurt, tempeh).
GABA may help Anxiety by inducing relaxation.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a naturally-occurring compound in the Cannabid sativa L plant, commonly known as hemp. Originating in Central Asia, hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years. CBD is non-psychoactive and has been used to treat conditions ranging from chronic pain and anxiety to autoimmune and skin diseases.
Cannabidiol may help Anxiety due to its anxiolytic effects, while producing minimal sedative effects.
Passionflower, Passiflora incarnata, is a climbing, flowering vine native to the Southeastern United States, South and Central America. 16th century Spanish explorers introduced the plant to Europe, where it became widely used in traditional folk medicine for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, seizures and hysteria. Studies have shown Passionflower increases gamma-Aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA, which lowers brain cell activity, increasing relaxation.
L-Theanine is a unique amino acid found in the leaves of green tea, Camellia sinensis. Identified in 1949 by Japanese scientists, it is credited for the beverage’s umami taste. L-Theanine influences human brain function, creating relaxing effects and improved sleep quality.
L-Theanine may help Anxiety due to its calming effects.
Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body absorbed through foods including nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts), beans (black beans, edamame) and vegetables (spinach, potatoes). It is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body helping maintain nerve and muscle function, a healthy immune system, blood glucose levels, as well as, aiding in energy and protein production.
Studies show a relationship between Magnesium levels and Anxiety, however whether supplementation may help is inconclusive.
Valerian is a tall, flowering grassland plant, Valeriana officinalis, native to Europe and Asia. Its roots and rhizomes have been used since the ancient Greeks and Romans to treat anxiety and insomnia. By increasing gamma-Aminobutyric acid levels, also known as GABA, Valerian has a calming effect and is used in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches and menstrual symptoms.
Licorice Root also known as Glycyrrhiza glabra is a flowering perennial herb of the Fabacea family native to Western Asia and southern Europe. Cultivated in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, it has been used medicinally and as a flavoring agent by the Ancient Assyrian, Egyptian, Chinese and Indian cultures. With over 300 compounds, Licorice has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties used to treat digestive problems, menopausal symptoms, cough, and bacterial and viral infections.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root, also known as DGL, is a form of Licorice Root without the active compound, Glcyrrhizin, which has been linked to serious side effects.
Licorice Root may help Anxiety by increasing the effects of existing anti-anxiety treatments.
Kava Kava is made from the ground roots of the tropical, evergreen shrub Piper methysticum. Kava Kava’s key components are lactone compounds called kavalactones, which are known to have a psychotropic effect. Native to the South Pacific islands including Hawaii, the plant has been used for hundreds of years in a ritual drink revered for its tranquilizing properties.
Kava Kava may help Anxiety due to its anxiolytic effect.
Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, is a bushy, flowering plant in the mint family native to North Africa and the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. Named from the Latin verb “lavare” meaning “to wash”, Lavender dates back to the ancient Egyptians. Due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it is commonly used as a food flavoring, fragrance, aroma therapy, topically as an antiseptic, and orally to treat anxiety, digestion and digestive symptoms.
Lavender may help mild Anxiety due to its anxiolytic effect, in addition to improving restlessness and disturbed sleep.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fats absorbed through food including fish (mackerel, salmon, seabass), vegetable oils (flax oil, soybean oil), nuts (walnuts) and seeds (flax, chia, hemp). There are three main Omega-3 Fatty Acids: ALA also known as Alpha-Linolenic Acid, EPA also known as Eicosapentaenoic Acid and DHA also known as Docosahexaenoic Acid. ALA is found naturally in plants, while EPA and DHA are found in fish. Omega-3 Fatty Acids maintain heart, vascular, lung, brain, immune and endocrine system health, while reducing inflammation.
Studies show increasing conflicting evidence that Omega-3 Fatty Acids may help Anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT, is a psychotherapy centered on bringing awareness to inaccurate or negative thinking, therefore altering behavioral patterns. In addition to helping individuals manage stressful situations, CBT is used in the treatment of mental health disorders including depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that naturally live in the human body. They typically include strains from the common bacteria groups, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as the yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii. Found naturally in fermented foods (kombucha, tempeh, kimchi, miso and sauerkraut) and dairy (yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese), probiotics are part of the microbiome or the healthy community of organisms that keep the body healthy.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in foods including fish (salmon, trout, sardines) and mushrooms (morel, chanterelle, oyster, shiitake), but more substantially from sun exposure, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays trigger synthesis.
Ginger is a tropical, green-purple, flowering plant from the Zingiberaceae family closely related to cardamom and turmeric. The oily resin from its rhizome contains many biochemic compounds including gingerol regarded for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been widely used throughout ancient Sanskrit, Chinese, Greek, Roman, and Arabic history for its medical properties treating ailments like colds and nausea.
Meditation is a set of techniques encouraging a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Originating in ancient Asia, it migrated worldwide in the 20th century in the form of a religious practice. Due to its calming and relaxing effects, Meditation is used in the treatment of stress, depression, anxiety, blood pressure, pain and other mental health conditions.
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