Anxiety comes in various forms and anyone could experience it any point in their lives. It is characterized by a number of symptoms, including withdrawal from social settings, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and phobia and usually can be heavily experienced during the teenage years than any other stages in a person’s life. If you are a teenager or a parent of a teenager battling with anxiety, you may find that there are various faces of depression and while it is treatable, often 80% of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder are not getting treatment.
In most cases, treating anxiety can be done through therapy and natural healing medications that will help one regain their peace and not totally fall into deep depression.
Along with herbal remedies, there are programs that will help teenagers better understand what they’re going through and better cope with it with the proper guidance from those who have had experience helping those who have been through depression. In an interview with Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D. – Founder and Clinical Director at Paradigm Malibu, he shared that many natural remedies can help with anxiety. “There are a plethora of herbal remedies that can assist anxiety, the Adaptagenic herbs, (Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Holy Basil, Maca, Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Schisandra, Mucuna Pruriens) Sam E, Cava Cava and the combined use of Evening Primrose Oil and Fish oils, have all shown some degree of clinical success.”
While most of these natural remedies were proven to help alleviate the anxiety, Dr. Nalin recommends that one must seek professional assistance when partaking them as these remedies do not necessarily replace proper and clinically proven to be effective remedies, “What is most important is to seek professional assistance and not self-medicate or self-diagnose, especially if you are already taking medication.”
Aletheia Luna, author and founder of self-discovery blog Lonerwolf, suffered from anxiety on and off for many years. She was prescribed with many types of medications including Prozac, Desvenlafaxine, and Loxalate. Aletheia jumped from one medicine to another, until she realized all those prescription medications only serve as a “band aid” that superficially numbs an mask her condition. When she was dissatisfied with the results of taking medication, she explored alternative treatments instead. Today we’ll look into some examples of herbal remedies and how they can help people regain peace and calmness.
Disclaimer: Consider taking these medications under the supervision of a professional. While some herbs are harmless, some may carry notable risks. Don’t rely solely on herbal remedies even if they were proven to be effective.
Dr. Nalin further explains the importance of seeking professional help, “Speak to your doctor first. Residential treatment is an important piece of the puzzle for teen anxiety disorders. It allows treatment to happen in the moment, among their peer group, in a measured, supportive environment, creating an internal sense of self efficacy and esteem.This allows for change to be immediate and readily implemented, rather than something discussed in session and later implemented with varying degrees of success. Here at Paradigm we utilize a holistic approach, tailoring treatment to the individual needs of the client.”
Holistic activities such as Acupuncture, Aikido, Art, Drama, Music, Equine therapy, Challenge Courses, the Alexander Technique, Neurofeedback, Hiking, Salsa, Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Yoga, and Meditation are just some of the additional modalities Dr. Nalin recommends to full recover and release trauma and reconnect their sense of resilience, motivation and joy.
With these in mind, let’s explore some of the natural remedies which may be helpful in regaining you peace and calm:
1. Ginger tea
Ginger grows indigenously in South China and also spread to other parts of Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean. It is known to alleviate antidepressant induced nausea. Dietician Alice Mackintosh told the Daily Mail that ginger contains potent gingerol, which helps cleanse the harmful chemicals that our bodies produce when we’re worried, so ginger can help psychological stress. Becky Oberg, a freelance journalist, said her favorite ginger tea recipe is from Dominican Republic. The recipe requires a slice of one-inch piece of ginger, one quart water, one-fourth teaspoon of ground allspice, and one-fourth cup of brown sugar. All you have to do is boil the first three ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes before adding the sugar.
The leaves and flower of chamomile are edible. The German chamomile is the variety used in herbal medicine, although Roman chamomile is the true type. Anyone can grow chamomile, especially during spring because the plant grows best in cool conditions. Chamomile is commonly used as a sleeping but it is also beneficial to people experiencing anxiety as it improves mental calmness. To make your own chamomile tea, boil two cups of water and add a tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers. Steep for 15 minutes so the essential oil remains.
It grows in regions with cold climates such as Iceland, Great Britain, and Scandinavia. The roots of this perennial plant are used as medicine in many countries. Rhodiola regulates the body’s hormones, protects cells from damage. Research suggests that Rhodax, a specific rhodiola extract, might lower anxiety in people with general anxiety disorder. Aletheia noted that she takes it in pill form at 1000-2000 mg.
4. Siberian ginseng
It grows in Asia, but the varieties that grow in Siberia are more powerful when it comes to medicine. It can be taken as capsule, extract, or in powder form. Some take it for around 2000 mg to have its maximum effect. Still, one needs to research on the dosage because there are potential side effects with large quantities.
5. Golden Milk
It is often used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Golden Milk contains turmeric, the kind of herb which works as an antidepressant. The first step to make golden milk is to create a mixture in the form of paste. According to Oberg, here’s the right way to make golden milk: Combine half a cup of boiling water with one-fourth cup of turmeric. Stir it constantly until you make a thick paste, before adding one teaspoon ground black pepper. Add one teaspoon of turmeric paste to one cup of warm milk, one-half a teaspoon of sweet almond oil, and a bit of raw honey to sweeten.
6. Flaxseed tea
Flax plant usually grows in colder regions. The seeds (Linum usitatissimum), is often used in Austrian medicine internally. The seeds are generally safe for human beings. It contains healthy omega-3s and healthy fatty acids which help the brain function more effectively. As what Oberg said, you may use a teaspoon per cup of water when you have ground seeds. Then you can use two tablespoons per cup of water if you have meal.
When experiencing anxiety, one doesn’t have to deal with of these alone. It’s important to know that while you seek for herbal and natural remedies, there’s no better cure than knowing that there are many other people out there who have survived and managed to deal with the situation. Whether you’re looking to take professional medical help or join in groups and programs that will help you get a better understand of what you’re going through, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone in this battle.
Featured photo credit: mpaola_andreoni via flickr.com