Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million Americans on average. Hyperventilation often accompanies anxiety attacks and is characterized as rapid breathing and heartbeat and trouble controlling your breathing. Herbal remedies are popular natural alternatives to prescription drugs for those that want to take a holistic approach. Herbal remedies can be beneficial because they are easy to obtain, and fewer side effects are present than with most prescription drugs.
Best Herbs for Anxiety and Hyperventilation
These featured herbs possess sedative properties that are useful in countering anxiety symptoms, like hyperventilation. Most are available as a supplement, dried leaves or liquid extract at most nutrition shops.
Skullcap has deep roots in Native American culture and was traditionally used to treat epilepsy, breast pain, and hysteria. Skullcap is still a widely used herb for menopausal symptoms, like anxiety and insomnia, because of its sedative effect on the nervous system.
Passion flower is a popular herb for treating anxiety and sleep disorders. Passion flower offers sedative and anti-inflammatory actions, making it an ideal calming herbal remedy for anxiety episodes.
Hops are sedative in nature, which helps counter anxiety symptoms. Hops also contain phytoestrogenic compounds, which have been known to help ease menopausal symptoms in women by increasing estrogen levels. Hops are available in tablet form, or you can boil the dried flowers and drink them as an herbal tea.
This is one of the most popular herbal supplements for treating anxiety symptoms because of its high kavalactone content. Kavalactones promote relaxation, improve dopamine production, improve cognitive performance, and reduce pain. Kava offers sedative properties and relaxes the muscles. Kava is available in pill or tea form, and the general recommended dose is 100 - 250 mg, though a doctor can provide a more precise dosage for your circumstances.
This sedative herb has been popular for treating anxiety because it promotes relaxation and stress relief. Valerian is generally used as a sleep aid because it helps achieve a natural sleep and fight insomnia.
St. John's wort
This herb has been used for thousands of years for nerve disorders like anxiety and depression because it is said to help prolong the action of the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, serotonin.
Lavender is a soothing herb that has been used to treat a number of menopausal symptoms, like anxiety and insomnia, because of its calming, sedative properties. Lavender can be taken as a supplement or added to a warm bath.
Damiana is a sedative herb that is most commonly known for its purported use in stimulating sex drive in men and women. Damiana has also been known to help ease anxiety and depression symptoms. It can be taken in capsule form or smoked for a relaxing effect.
Anxiety is a psychological condition that comes in many forms and can range from mild to severe. Herbal remedies are a natural alternative to prescription medications and can be beneficial in soothing the nerves and promoting relaxation. A doctor can offer guidance on the use of herbal supplements and other complementary therapies.
- Bruton-Seal, J. & Seal, M. (2009). Backyard Medicine. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.
- National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
- Office on Women Health. (2012). Anxiety disorders fact sheet. Retrieved October 1, 2014, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/anxiety-disorders.html