Herbal Relaxation Support

Anxiety can be devastating, especially when it becomes chronic and interferes with your day-to-day functioning. Unfortunately, many anxiety sufferers are simply given medications such as Valium and antidepressants to reduce their symptoms. In some cases, these medications are ineffective and they can have lots of unpleasant side effects, in addition to being addictive. And they often don't resolve the problem, but instead just mask it.

An alternative approach to promoting calmness and mood relaxation for those concerned about using prescription medications is to try a combination of natural therapies first. The natural therapies recommended here can help with this.

A Natural Relaxation Recipe

  • Take vitamin B1 (thiamine) 500 mg three times a day.
  • Take vitamin B12 500+ mcg a day.
  • Take one 50+ vitamin B complex a day.
  • Take magnesium 200 to 500 mg a day.
  • Take theanine 50 to 100 mg three times a day.
  • Take passionflower extract 100 to 200 mg two to three times a day.
  • Take magnolia extract 30 mg three times a day.

Vitamin B1. Taking vitamin B1 decreases anxiety and improves mental clarity. Vitamin B1 also helps prevent the production of excess lactic acid or lactate. Why is this important? A large body of research that was reviewed in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry Clinical Neuroscience in 2001 confirmed that excess sensitivity to high levels of lactic acid is a factor in causing anxiety attacks in people who are prone to them.

Vitamin B3/Niacin. Niacin (vitamin B3), which is known as a natural tranquilizer, also helps decrease excess lactic acid that can lead to anxiety. You can think of it as "Nature's Valium." Niacin has similar effects to Valium on the neurotransmitters that can calm anxiety. More good news: niacin isn't addictive.

Vitamin B6. Not getting enough vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can also contribute to anxiety. That's because you need this vitamin to help you make GABA and serotonin, two of the "happy" brain chemicals or neurotransmitters that prevent anxiety.

Vitamin B12. You also need vitamin B12 to stay calm. Research done in 1997 by Regland in chronic fatigue syndrome patients has shown that many people require super high levels of B12 to get adequate levels into the brain where it is needed.

Pantothenic Acid. Pantothenic acid is another B vitamin that's critical for the treatment of adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a common trigger for hypoglycemia-induced anxiety. If you get irritable when you're hungry, crave sugar, crash with stress, and/or have low blood pressure with dizziness when you stand up, you probably have adrenal fatigue.

(Note: You can find all of these B vitamins in a good B-complex vitamin. Additional amounts of vitamin B1 and B12 beyond what you'll find in a good B-complex can offer even greater benefits.)

Magnesium. Magnesium has been called the "anti-stress mineral" because it relaxes muscles, improves sleep, and relieves tension. Low magnesium levels can trigger hyperventilation, panic attacks, and even seizures if very severe. These attacks can be relieved with magnesium therapy.  It's important to choose the right kind of magnesium. Magnesium oxide and hydroxide are poorly absorbed, but many nutritional supplement manufacturers use this form because it is inexpensive. Choose absorbable forms such as magnesium citrate or glycinate.

Theanine. Theanine, which comes from green tea, is a very effective treatment for anxiety. It makes you alert as well as calm. Theanine stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation. L-theanine is involved in the formation of the calming neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). It also naturally stimulates the release of the "happiness molecules" serotonin and dopamine. For best results use, it needs to be the L Theanine form, which is the correct natural form needed by the body.

Passionflower Extract. A favorite herb for treating anxiety, passionflower was a popular remedy among Native Americans, who first cultivated it. When Spanish conquerors landed in Mexico they learned about this calming herb from the Aztecs, who used it for insomnia and nervousness. The Spanish brought this plant back to Europe, where it became a go-to remedy to relieve anxiety. Even today, when people in South America are anxious, their friends often tell them to "go get a passionflower drink."

Magnolia. Practitioners of Chinese medicine rely on magnolia bark to relieve anxiety, without sedating effects. Magnolia extract is chock full of two phytochemicals: honokiol, which exerts an anti-anxiety effect, and magnolia, which acts as an anti-depressant. This herbal extract relieves stress — even when taken in small doses — and is non-addictive and non-sedating.

Other Helpful Tips

Cut out excess sugar. My book Beat Sugar Addiction Now! will show you how to do this easily. In addition, I strongly recommend my e-book Three Steps to Happiness. (Both are available at Amazon.com.)

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