Anxiety is a critical problem that affects nearly everyone in their lives. Therefore, we want to effectively deal with it in order to make our lives better and more productive. There are various situations in life that cause anxiety. If the condition aggravates it leads to anxiety disorders, depression and severe stress.
If you leave anxiety unattended, it has a negative impact on physical, social, emotional and works life. Due to this, many different ways including medication and therapies have been introduced for the treatment of anxiety.
For past many years, Benzodiazepines were used for treating anxiety conditions but their use leads to other problems.
This is why people started to search for alternative ways to treat anxiety. Various herbal supplements have been discovered that help to cure anxiety without causing drug dependence or other health problems.
Some of the popular herbal supplements for anxiety
Fortunately, there is a number of herbal supplements that help to treat anxiety. You can take these supplements to help you calm down during the anxiety attacks.
1. Kratom (Best For Anxiety)
It is one of the popular herbal supplements that are known for having calming effects since ancient times. It is a tropical tree that is generally found in the Southeast Asian region. It is a member of a Rubiaceae family.
It is a stimulating agent that has an uplifting effect on your mood and helps to enhance the energy levels of the brain. Due to these characteristics, it is effectively used as a pain relief medication as well as an antidepressant.
Kratom primarily acts as an anxiolytic as it affects the pathways that change the GABA and endorphin levels within the CNS (Central Nervous System). The study titled “Pharmacology of Kratom: An Emerging Botanical Agent With Stimulant, Analgesic and Opioid-Like Effects” in ‘The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association’ (Dec 2012) found that the leaves of Kratom produce a complex kind of stimulant and has an analgesic effect that is similar to opioid.
How Kratom helps in reducing anxiety?
As Kratom has an anxiolytic action, it effectively helps in calming and treating anxiety issues. There are two major alkaloid components in kratom which include mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. Both of these affect the kappa and mu receptors in the brain at low and high dose respectively.
These alkaloids have an agonist action on opioid receptors which results in releasing endorphins, serotonin and GABA which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Due to the release of these neurotransmitters, the levels of anxiety are reduced. It has a positive impact on the working of the sympathetic nervous system.
Kratom produces following effects for reducing anxiety:
- Relaxes muscle
- Have a calming effect on the panic state
- Decrease the level of stress and worry
- Promotes optimistic feelings
- Helps in regulating daytime energy levels
- Helps in treating insomnia
- Boosts energy
- Improves concentration
Kratom dosage for anxiety treatment
There are different strains of Kratom available out of which white and green have been found to be most effective for treatment of anxiety.
However, different individuals have different subjective experiences with Kratom and it is worth trying which strain works best for your anxiety treatment.
The Kratomclinic.com recommends starting with low dosage from 0.5-1 gm and gradually increasing it until you find the dose which works perfectly for your condition.
Often referred to as Kava Kava is basically a plant root which is found in different countries of the South and Western Pacific regions. Its generic name is Piper Methysticum meaning ‘intoxicating pepper’. It is known for its relaxing effects and it amazing for treating anxiety, stress and insomnia.
The clinical study, “Kava in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder”, established that Kava significantly helps to reduce symptoms of anxiety among those who suffer from anxiety conditions. Another research study, “Kava for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder (K-GAD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial” affirmed the findings that Kava is effective for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders.
Kava has a similar effect as that of benzodiazepines and tranquillizers but does not develop dependence and intolerance to it due to which it is an effective choice for treating anxiety conditions.
How does Kava act?
The active components of Kava are called kavalactones that are known as phytonutrients. It is also referred to as ‘Nature’s Valium’ because of its effectiveness against anxiety, stress, panic attacks and phobias.
The intake of Kava increases GABA ‘A’ receptors activity. It is known an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the CNS (Central Nervous System) reducing the firing of neurons nerve impulse activity. This means that the Kava potentiates GABA action in a similar way as that of benzodiazepines.
Kava also helps in reducing the noradrenaline or norepinephrine activity which is responsible for increased neural activity in the brain leading to anxiety and rapid breathing.
It promotes dopamine and serotonin release while activating the glutaminergic pathways. It is also known to suppress the pain pathways to some extent. It is the major kavalactone that is helpful in alleviating anxiety.
Dosage of Kava for anxiety
The Kava can be taken in tea, capsule or liquid form. According to Examine.com and the article published in NCBI studying the ‘KAVA treatment in anxiety patients’, in whichever form you take it, the dosage should not increase 250mg to 300mg on daily basis.
2. CBD Oil
CBD or Cannabidiol oil helps in relieving the symptoms of anxiety. It is a cannabis compound that has shown many medicinal health benefits. It is a kind of cannabinoid which is chemical compound found in hemp and marijuana plants naturally.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another kind of cannabinoid, CBD does not cause any kind of intoxicating feelings or the “high” which is generally associated with the use of cannabis.
How does CBD oil work for anxiety?
CBD is thought to attach itself to certain brain receptors called CBD1. The precise mechanism of how it affects the CB1 receptors is not fully known however it is believed to change the serotonin signals which play an important role in the maintenance of mental health.
The low levels of serotonin are known to cause depression and anxiety among people. CBD may act as an alternative to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that helps in the management of anxiety.
The CB1 receptors that are present in the brain are mainly responsible for emotions, cognition, coordination and movement, feelings, mood, pain, thinking etc.
Various research studies have shown the effectiveness of CBD for the treatment of anxiety and depression. In a study conducted by National Institute of Drug Abuse, it has been demonstrated that CBD reduced stress levels among animals. Another study conducted in 2011 and published in Journal of Psychopharmacology showed that the group which took CBD dose had an overall decrease in the levels of anxiety.
CBD Oil Dosage
The dosage largely depends on the source of CBD oil. The research on the dose of CBD oil is still in its early stage, therefore, it is difficult to recommend any specific dose for individual cases. The dosage also depends on different factors such as age, the extent of anxiety and the strength of oil itself.
For a general idea, it is always better to start with a low dosage of CBD oil starting with 40mg/day. Then maintain that dosage for at least a week prior to increasing it as it will help your body to get used to it as well as you will be able to experience the change.
Gradually increase the amount until you reach the amount which gives you desired results. Through this procedure, you will be able to create your own personalized dose that caters to your requirements.
Kava Kava, Kratom and CBD oil have their own effectiveness in treating anxiety and related disorders. All these three supplements are natural herbal alternatives to pharmaceutical chemical compounds that also have many side effects.
These herbal supplements for anxiety are relatively low in side effects and that too if you take them in significantly high doses.
Therefore, it is always recommendable that whichever herbal supplement you start taking for anxiety, initially take low doses and gradually increase over time until you achieve the best effective dose for treating your condition.
You can choose from any of these to treat your anxiety, stress and depression however the research on Kratom is still in its early stages.
Do your thorough research before starting with any of these. Choose from these herbal supplements which you think will suit best to your condition.