Ask the Pharmacist: Natural treatment options for occasional anxiety

Suzy Cohen
Columnist
Symptoms of anxiety include sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, a feeling of impending doom, trembling or shaking, dry mouth, GI symptoms, and inability to think of anything else other than the perceived danger at hand.

It’s summer and people that I know are still battling some type of anxiety, whether it’s from travel stress, flying, the idea of the delta strain, or something stressful going on with your family.

Whatever it is, there are some natural ways to conquer anxiety and boost mood.

First off, do not feel alone, millions of people are anxious over something. I’ll tell you one of my issues, it’s driving on big highways with other cars, and I assume that when they fly past me, they are texting.

In fact, I assume pretty much everyone is distracted except for me and so I usually GPS the slower roads! I have been this way for years, and there’s no amount of lavender that helps me! But for other anxieties, there is help and today’s article will lend insight into some natural remedies.

Here are some symptoms of anxiety, which you may relate to, depending on the day, and the severity of your condition: Sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, a feeling of impending doom, trembling or shaking, dry mouth, GI symptoms, and inability to think of anything else other than the perceived danger at hand.

Some people also experience insomnia. Furthermore, hypertension, gastric ulcers and depression are also associated with prolonged anxiety. Finding the root cause, or the root person that causes your anxiety is key to getting well.

For some simple anxiety-producing situations, you can look into the following nutrients, but if your conditions is serious, you must see a qualified specialist. 

Vitamin B1

Thiamine or B1 helps you produce and release serotonin and norepinephrine which reduce mental fatigue and improve physical energy. If you like to drink wine, you are sure to be deficient in this nutrient.

Vitamin B2

Riboflavin or B2 helps your adrenal glands which secrete DHEA and cortisol, and these hormones must remain in proper homeostasis in order for you to cope.

Probiotics

The friendly gut bugs help you activate thyroid hormone, which has been proven in some studies to work even better than traditional antidepressants in some people! We know that a reduction in probiotics can indirectly cause profound anxiety and depression.

Zinc

This mineral has a very calming effect on the body, perhaps it helps with the COMT gene that some people have and it is relaxing to most people. 

Exercise

Few things work better than a run, or a trip to the gym. Physical activity is known to raise dopamine immediately.

Herbs

There are many herbs that can help you if you like herbal teas, or herbal supplements. Among the best are chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, ashwagandha, catnip and valerian. 

Conventional medical wisdom has programmed us to believe that sedatives, and addictive medications are the answer to anxiety, but that’s not necessary for everyone. If you’d like to read the more comprehensive version of this article, sign up for my free newsletter at suzycohen.com.

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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.