While stress and anxiety are natural human responses to many daily situations we encounter, prolonged periods of stress can be debilitation and even dangerous on health long-term. For some, activities like public speaking or performing a talent in public can lead to crippling fear, causing individuals to freeze up and experience a loss of control. For me, I grew up playing and performing classical piano, with constant exposure to playing in front of others in recital settings. No matter how thoroughly I would prepare and practice prior to these events, I would encounter a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety when I would get on the stage. Although my body seemed to eventually adapt by simply getting used to this constant exposure, I wish I had discovered a way to somehow ease these symptoms in a natural way that would not affect my performance.
For many in the world of public speaking, performance, or other industries that may induce performance anxiety, taking prescribed anxiety-relief medication is just not an option. Drugs such as Xanax are so often associated with drowsiness, decreases in creativity, and even slowness of thought, that they are not reliable solutions long-term. While prescription drugs are likely good options for more serious conditions (such as the treatment of severe panic attacks), there are many natural alternatives that provide fewer (or no) negative side effects.
Homeopathy, alternative herbal medicine, ayurvedic remedies, and other eastern practices outline the power that natural substances like herbs and roots can have on treating almost every imaginable human ailment. However, homeopathic remedies differ from other forms of natural treatment in the sense that ingredients are diluted in distilled water or alcohol, so most homeopathic medicine has very active ingredients. Additionally, homeopathic dilutions are not always derived from plants only – some of these supplements are from minerals, metals, and more.
From sleep disorders and trouble focusing, to dealing with anxiety and loss of appetite, this teaching framework can offer valuable insight into which remedy is most effective for an individual’s specific condition. On this list, we will cover specific homeopathic remedies for anxiety and fear that are plant-based dilutions. One of the unfortunate truths of the human experience is the inability to avoid stress. As hard as we try, there will always be the occasional automobile mishap, last-minute project needed at work, or friend-related drama that seems to catch us off-guard. And while the occasional stressful moment that comes and goes can sometimes motivate us to try harder and produce better work, prolonged stressful situations can be detrimental to our health, sometimes causing cardiac disorders, high blood pressure, skin breakouts, and nights without sleep.
For me personally, stressful situations that arose in college (such as preparing for difficult midterms and papers, or rehearsing for class presentations) caused me to seek out legal pharmaceutical drugs that I thought would help me focus and be less stressed. However, over a long period of use, these drugs only made these stressful situations worse for me, which persisted until I found an alternative, all-natural ways to deal with stress.
Fortunately, along with daily personal focus and stress-reduction exercises, there are a number of natural plants and herbs that can help to reduce stress, increase focus and motivation, and even repair parts of the brain and body that have suffered from prolonged exposure to stress. These natural solutions are called adaptogens.
1. Clubmoss (Lycopodium)
Fear and anxiety manifest themselves in a variety of ways, so naturally, there are homeopathic remedies that are appropriate for certain symptoms. For individuals experiencing mental stress and anxiety due to a lack of confidence, Lycopodium (also known as Clubmoss) is recommended. According to the University of Michigan’s School of Medicine, extract from this plant can prove to be effective in relieving debilitating self-consciousness.
This is a common homeopathic remedy that is mostly used to treat anxiety and stress over grievances, losses, and even heartbreak. The extract of this remedy comes from the seeds of the St. Ignatius bean tree, which is native to parts of Southeast Asia and the Philippines. As with many homeopathic remedies, scientific studies have produced mixed findings over the effectiveness this solution has on treating anxiety. However, one 2012 study on animals did find Ignatia to be effective at modifying and regulating emotional responses.
Stramonium, otherwise known as Jimsonweed, is a plant belonging to the nightshade family. While it has been used in homeopathy and traditional medicine for many years, it contains tropane alkaloids that can be fatally toxic. With regard to anxiety and fear, the National Center for Homeopathy denotes that Stramonium is ideal to help ease symptoms such as night terrors, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and feelings of aimlessness. Additionally, some scientific studies have found the substance to be effective at reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia in diagnosed patients.
This flowering plant contains three species of shrubs that are native to both parts of Asia and North America. Similar to Stramonium, Gelsemium also contains alkaloids – some of which are highly toxic. This homeopathic remedy is often recommended for individuals who are timid and overly cautious, and experience severe performance anxiety. One study that supports this use observed the improvement on behavior Gelsemium had on mice that were exposed to new environments.
5. Aconitum Napellus
Also known as aconite, this perennial herb is a very potent nerve poison, and has even been used on spears and arrows for hunting or battle in ancient times. However, in its highly diluted form, it is commonly used in homeopathy to treat acute forms of anxiety. According to the University of Michigan School of Medicine, it is used in homeopathy to treat panic attacks that come on suddenly.
Derived from the Pasqueflower, this substance is often prescribed in homeopathy for easily upset individuals who are sensitive and dependent on others for reassurance. Also ideal for individuals who have enduring fear of rejection, pulsatilla is identified by the British Homeopathic Association one of the oldest and most useful medicines.
Are Homeopathic Remedies Supported by Science? Are They Even Safe?
It is true that the research on homeopathic remedies for anxiety is mixed, and more research is recommended to validate many of these solutions. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that homeopathy should not be used to treat serious illnesses. As you’ve read in many of the above substances, these supplements contain highly toxic ingredients. Although they are diluted enough to be completely safe for consumption, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate these supplements. Therefore, if you plan on trying a homeopathic plan for yourself, do your research and ensure that you are buying from companies you trust or those with credible reputations.