Herbs for Anxiety and Panic Disorders

What herbs or minerals would you recommend for anxiety attacks and panic disorder? I was told that St. John’s wort might help.

Anxiety and panic attacks can be instigated by caffeine, food allergens, medications, recreational drugs, hypoglycemia, oxygen deficiency, stress, nutritional deficiencies and other mental, emotional and physiological influences.

Deficiencies of essential fatty acids, niacin, pyridoxine, thiamine, calcium or magnesium may be a factor in your anxiety symptoms. I would recommend trying the following supplements:

  1. A high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula.
  2. Flax oil: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon a day.
  3. B complex: 1-3 times a day.

Herbs that are commonly used to treat anxiety include kava, valerian, skullcap, hops and chamomile. St. John’s wort has only a very mild anti-anxiety effect – it is more commonly indicated for mild depression – while kava is said to be the most reliable herbal treatment for anxiety. You could take kava regularly (1 capsule, 3 times a day). Another option is to take one capsule a day and more on tough days.

It may be helpful for you to seek counseling or try yoga, biofeedback or meditation. Give the nutritional/herbal plan about two months on your own. If you don’t experience a change for the better, find a good health care practitioner to help you.

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