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Natural Alternative Strategies to the Top Ten Prescription Drugs – Part 4

Thursday, May 2, 2024 8:38 AM

Image by Ornella Binni on unsplash.com

Article by Mark Anderson of Standard Process West  
and Kerry Bone of MediHerb. 
- Nebel OT, Fornes MF, Castell DO. Symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux: incidence and precipitating factors. AM J Dig Dis. 1976;21(11)”953-956
- Spechler SJ. Epidemiology and natural history of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Digestion. 1992;51(supp 1):24-29.

ANXIETY

Background Issues 
• Disorders which can precipitate anxiety, a sense of unease, dread or foreboding, are extremely common. In about one-third of cases the anxiety is linked to another medical condition and if this is the case then this medical condition needs to be understood and treated. 
• In the remaining cases the anxiety has a psychiatric origin. These types of anxiety disorders can be classified as follows; 
o Panic disorder, which is characterized by the presence of recurrent and unpredictable panic attacks. 
o Phobic disorders, which involve marked and persistent fear of objects or situations, exposure to which results in anxiety, e.g. claustrophobia. 
o Generalized anxiety disorder, where the patient suffers persistent and often unrealistic worry together with symptoms such as muscle tension, restlessness and disturbed sleep.

Therapeutic Strategy; Goals, Actions and Herbs 
• The calming or anxiolytic herbs (sometimes referred to as herbal sedatives) are the key part of any herbal support. The main herbs with this property are Valerian, Passionflower and Hops. NOTE that Hops is said to be contraindicated if there is associated depression. 
• Other anxiolytic herbs include California Poppy, Corydalis (various species). And Spiny Jujube seeds. 
• The nervine tonic herbs also have a role (these herbs are anxiolytic, but also lift mood) in the support of anxiety. They include St John’s Wort, Vervain, Skullcap, Damiana and Bacopy. 
• Cramp Bark and Chamomile may be useful for any visceral symptoms associated with the anxiety and Hawthorn can be prescribed where there are cardiac symptoms. 
• Anxious patients stress their bodies and deplete their adrenal reserves. This can create a vicious cycle. Hence tonic and adaptogenic herbs may be required especially Ashwaganda, since it has calming properties. 
• Patients can be advised to add a few drops of lavender oil to a bath for its calming effect. 
• Any associated sleep disturbance should be treated with a separate formula at night.
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