Your heart skips a beat. You wonder, “What was that?” An unsettling feeling wraps around you, and fear begins to crawl across your skin. You feel a few slow, hard heart beats then nothing. Did your heart just stop!? The thought sends a shot of fear through your chest. You think, “no your fine”, but what if you are not? The tips of your fingers start to tingle, and you see a montage in your head of every heart attack warning poster you have ever seen. The images spin though your mind as you zero in on the words “numbness and tingling in left arm”. You are not sure if you feel it in your right hand, but now, you definitely feel it in your left. Your heart hits your stomach, and you feel the grip of fear tighten around your sternum. Your throat closes and makes you feel like you are breathing through a straw, as a sharp wave of needles washes over your body. “Oh my God! Am I having a heart attack?” screams through your mind. You feel a pain in your arm like you just banged your “funny bone” on an invisible corner, and you think you are going to die!
You have just had an anxiety attack.
Anxiety affects more people than one would think. The panic can set in out of nowhere in differing situations, usually ones to which the person is sensitive. It is generally known that anxiety is brought on by mental health issues; however caffeine, drugs, sugar, and salts can also increase anxiety. For this reason along with stress management, nutritional support should be considered. The first consideration should be the reduction of the aforementioned causes of anxiety. Food allergies should also be considered as that can also add to the issue. Nutritional supplementation is another important avenue be considered, especially increasing omega-3 fatty acids while decreasing omega-6 fatty acids, this along with a couple herbs known for their usefulness in treating anxiety.
Kava is a natural plant with sedative properties and is recommended for relief of anxiety. Recent studies show that Kava interacts with the same receptors as benzodiazepines. This makes Kava a natural happy shot. This plant can also be used to treat general stress, insomnia, migraine, and smoking cessation. This herb also serves as an aphrodisiac, so there is another writhing bundle of stress relief right there.
Valerian is another natural sedative that is recommended for anxiety, along with treatment for addictions, migraines, insomnia, and smoking cessation like Kava mentioned above. Valerian root has also been found to help ease the pain of menstrual cramps, which alleviates a lot of the stress that comes with a monthly cycle that could potentially add to anxiety.
Both herbs have a risk of toxicity as with all medicines; therefore they should be taken with caution and researched before use. And, do consult your doctor before kicking the Xanax and Valium to the curb, anti-depressants should never be stopped without proper supervision and monitoring.
Board, E. C. (2012). Anxiety and panic attacks . Salem Health Complementary & Alternative Medicine.
Board, E. C. (2012). Kava. Salem Health Complementary & Alternative Medicine. Anniesremedy.com