Treat anxiety with herbs & nutrients
Lisa is a well-respected Sydney naturopath, author, mum and passionate foodie. Lisa has been practicing for 16 years out of her Rose Bay clinic called ‘Art of Healing’. Lisa is also the founder of Bodhi Organic Tea, an organic herbal tea company that makes beautiful unique tea blends, all naturopathically blended to help promote better health and wellbeing.
Lisa’s Bodhi Organic Teas are available in 6 unique flavours on our platform.
Lisa has shared with us her top 4 ways to beat anxiety naturally. Below are the first 2. READ TIPS 3 AND 4.
1. Calming Herbs
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile has been used for centuries for its wonderful calming and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile has a mild sedative action helping to promote a sense of calmness, which eases anxiety, along with inducing restful sleep, and for treating digestive problems. Chamomile can be enjoyed as a tea, 3 times a day. It makes a perfect night-time drink. You will find chamomile in Bodhi Organic SereniTEA. Or taken as a fluid extract at 1-4mls, 3 x daily.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon Balm is a lemon-scented herb used for treating insomnia and anxiety-related conditions, including nervous gastrointestinal complaints such as indigestion, nervous dyspepsia and nausea. It contains rosmarinic acid which enhances GABA availability in the CNS (central nervous system). As a culinary herb lemon balm is used in salads, soups and other dishes, or can be taken as a fluid extract 2-4mls, 3 x day, or as a tea, found in Bodhi Organic SereniTEA.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Passionflower helps calm and support the nervous system, making it extremely beneficial for calming restlessness, treating insomnia and nervous tension. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, studies have found that passionflower can be equally as effective as benzodiazepine drugs to improve anxiety. The best way to have passionflower is as a tea 3 x day, or taken as a fluid extract 0.5-1ml, 3 x day.
Withania (Withania somnifera) is used widely by herbalists to improve the body’s resistance to stress along with strengthening the immune system. Taken as a fluid extract the recommended dosage is 3-7.5mls daily. You will find withania in Bodhi Organic VitaliTEA.
Skullcap (Skullcap lateriflora) is an American herb used traditionally by Indian tribes as a seditive. This calming herb is also beneficial for treating insomnia, depression and exhaustion associated with stress. Skullcap can be drank as a herbal infusion or as a fluid extract 2-4mls, 3 x day.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a well know herb used by herbalist today to treat insomnia and sleeping difficulties, due to its mild sedative and traquillising effect. This herb helps you fall asleep without making you feel groggy the next morning, unlike pharmaceutical equivalents. Valerian can be taken as a single dose before bed, or for anxiety taken 0.3-1mls, 3 x day.
Kava (Piper methysticum) is native to the South Pacific Islands, where it has been used for centuries as a medicine and as a part of important ceremonies. Kava has a calming effect on the nervous system, It produces brain wave changes, similar to Valium and other calming medicines. Kava is traditionally prepared as a special tea but it is also available as a fluid extract taken at 2-4mls, 3 x day.
Oats (Avena sativa) is a tonic that contains compounds that have a sedative and soothing action on the brain and nervous system. This herb can be given as a food, herbal infusion or fluid extract at 0.6-2mls, 3 x day. Oats do contain gluten so this herb is not recommended for anyone with an intolerance to gluten.
Having a massage using lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil can be particularly beneficial for alleviating anxiety and muscle tension. Combine 2 drops of lavender essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil such as almond oil. Lavender essential oil should NOT be taken internally. Lavender flowers however can be used as a tea, found often in night-time blends. Lavender is in Bodhi Organic SereniTEA.
Vervain (Lemon verbena) has a long history of use as a herbal remedy for easing anxiety and for soothing stomach spasms and digestive problems. Commonly used as a culinary herb, vervain can be drank as a tea, found in Bodhi Organic SereniTEA, or taken as a fluid extract 2-4mls, 3 x day.
2. Anti-anxiety Nutrients
B vitamins are important nutrients for helping maintain emotional and mental health. B vitamins are needed for proper nervous system function and for the production of energy from food, and are considered one of the most important ‘anti-stress’ nutrients. Deficiencies in B vitamins can cause mood changes, depression, insomnia, anxiety and fatigue. Eating a diet rich in B vitamins and supplementing with a good multi B-complex vitamin daily is recommended.
Foods rich in B vitamins include legumes, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, green leafy veggies, eggs, chicken, red meat, and milk. A diet high in refined grains and processed foods will be lacking these important mood enhancing B vitamins.
Magnesium is an essential mineral vital for good health and vitality, and needed for many cellular functions in the body, particularly for energy production. Magnesium is beneficial for anxious and worn out people, and useful for people who find difficulty in sleeping. Magnesium deficiencies are associated with fatigue, weakness, twitching and muscle cramps, and a predisposition to anxiety and insomnia. Magnesium occurs abundantly in whole foods. People who consume large amounts of processed refined foods will risk becoming deficient in this important mineral.
Best dietary sources include: tofu, legumes, seeds (flaxseeds, pepitas, sesame), nuts (cashews, peanuts, almonds), whole grains (oats, barley, millet, quinoa), wheat bran, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach. Take a magnesium supplement that also contains calcium, recommended dosage is 600-1000 mg of elemental magnesium daily.
GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) has an inhibitory function, helping to slow down neuron firing, which helps you feel more calm and relaxed and can help promote sleep. To naturally enhance the way GABA works in the brain you need to be getting enough vitamin B6, which is needed for GABA synthesis. Magnesium is also needed for GABA activity, boosting GABA sensitivity on nerve receptors.
L-theanine is an amino acid that is found in tea and is also available in supplement form, that can be beneficial for people who suffer from anxiety. L-Theanine stimulates alpha brain waves, which are the ones that are associated with waking and feeling relaxed. Dopamine levels are also increased in the brain in response to L-theanine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate the brains pleasure and reward centers. L-theanine may also boost GABA to help reduce anxiety and induce a state of relaxation. The recommended dosage is 200mg a day.
– Blog post provided by Lisa Guy, naturopath and founder of Bodhi Organic Tea (www.bodhiorganictea.com)