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Kava – Natural alternative to anxiety medications

Posted on 04-10-2018 Posted in Anxiety - 0 Comments

Kava - Natural alternative to anxiety medicationsConsidering the widespread potential for abuse of anxiety drug Xanax, many patients of anxiety are now opting for natural alternatives over the popular prescribed anxiety medications.  Kava, also known as kava-kava root, is one of the many natural antianxiety medications increasingly sought for providing relief from anxiety, panic attacks and elevated stress. Processed from the roots of Piper methysticum, the South African plant has sedative properties similar to that of the common benzos available in the market. Though the medicinal properties of kava have been discovered lately, the kava drink had been around for years. In the ancient times, it was pounded with water and used at certain rituals during sacred ceremonies.

The sedative properties of kava can be attributed to its brain-targeting compounds known as kavalactones, which affect the same receptors in the brain that are affected by other central nervous system (CNS) depressants like alcohol and benzos. Interestingly, unlike these substances, kava does not lead to confusion and other problems. Despite its bitter taste, people consume kava for its calming effects. Though many are ecstatic over the above-mentioned promising effect of kava, doctors have advised restraint – they believe it is premature to use the product as a remedy for anxiety as more studies are required to prove the efficacy of the product that looks like muddy tea. Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic, for example, suggests that patients need to exercise extra caution and involve their doctor in the decision before experimenting with kava. Others have highlighted the unpleasant side effects of kava, ranging from nausea to liver injuries.

While the effectiveness of kava is yet to be proved, there are other natural remedial measures to provide relief from stress or anxiety. Some of them are:

Chamomile: Chamomile tea helps a person in calming down his or her agitated nerves by acting on the same brain receptors as drugs like Valium. Another easily available product is green tea, which is a natural relaxant and antidepressant. Instead of having coffee comprising high concentrations of stimulant caffeine, whenever one feels excessively anxious, one could switch to green tea rich in antioxidants and L-theanine. While antioxidants and amino acids like L-theanine increase alertness and relaxation levels, caffeine depletes the feel-good chemicals in the brain and increases anxiety.

Working out: One of the most powerful antianxiety medications is exercise. It is good for the heart and the brain. A regular session of strenuous exercise will curb negative thoughts and keep anxiety at bay. Exercises that step up the heart rate naturally are excellent antianxiety tonics. In case one does not feel like running the treadmill, he or she could opt for a power walk in the open.

Flower therapies: Some flowers have anxiety-relieving properties. The pretty purple passion flower for example is believed to cure insomnia and anxiety. However, even natural medications, tend to inflict side effects; therefore, it is necessary to consult a doctor, before resorting to self-medication. Since lavender-based perfumes have a calming effect, one could either put it in his or her bath or light up a candle infused with the extracts of the flower before going to bed.

Hearty breakfast: Whether it is depression or anxiety, lack of a beauty sleep and proper breakfast increases the risks of developing these disorders. One of the ideal ways to keep anxiety at bay is consumption of eggs – besides being rich in protein, they contain high levels of choline, responsible for keeping anxiety away.

Stop overthinking and enjoy small things

Though anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful or dangerous situations,  it can get unpleasant at times. When it does not go away or gets worse over time, it can lead to an anxiety disorder. Depending on the degree of severity, an anxiety disorder can interfere with a person’s routine life. When left untreated, it can be overwhelming and uneasy for the sufferer and those around.

A leading mental health care facility, Sovereign Health of Florida provides top-notch treatment for a host of mental health issues, including anxiety disorders and depression. For more information on our evidence-based treatment programs and residential treatment for anxiety, call at our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with our representative for updates on our anxiety disorder treatment centers.

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