The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) names anxiety the most common mental illness in the U.S. With 19.1% of adults and 31.9% of adolescents between 13 and 18 being affected, that claim comes as no surprise.
Unfortunately, only 36.9% of those affected ever receive treatment. Anti-anxiety meds are known to cause some unwanted side effects and therapy, which can be expensive, is not always enough. Because of this, many of those suffering from anxiety search for alternative remedies and treatment methods.
Some have found homeopathic remedies to be helpful.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy was developed in Germany over two centuries ago. It is based on the theory that “like cures like” and the “law of minimum dose”. Essentially, it is the theory that an ailment can be cured with low doses of a substance that would produce similar symptoms. The “law of minimum dose” states that the lower the dose, or the more diluted, the more effective it will be as a remedy.
Homeopathy uses a mixture of herbs, minerals, and other natural substances. The ingredients listed on homeopathic remedies may cause alarm at first glance. Since these are supposed to be diluted doses of substances that would create the same symptoms in higher doses, this isn’t entirely surprising.
The substances are diluted enough that they should be safe to ingest in low quantities. However, it should be noted that taking too much of a homeopathic remedy can cause problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate the homeopathic remedies available under the Federal, Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, but there are currently no FDA-approved options.
Homeopathy for Anxiety
There are many homeopathic remedies recommended for those suffering from anxiety. These include:
- Aconitum napellus
- Argentum nitricum
- Arsenicum album
- Calcarea carbonica
- Kali phosphoricum
Like with more traditional medications, these remedies are not one size fits all. Each has certain symptoms and anxiety levels that they work best for. So, if you want to use the homeopathic options, be sure to do your research and consult a doctor before you begin any new treatment method.
Does Homeopathy Work for Anxiety?
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of research available on the effects of homeopathic remedies on anxiety. Some studies suggest there’s a placebo effect, although studies are still ongoing and other suggest otherwise.
Homeopathy is often considered a safe, natural option for treating anxiety, but there are things to watch for:
- Interactions. If you are receiving clinical treatment for your anxiety or other ailments, or if you are taking any other natural or over-the-counter treatments, you need to be careful about the potential interactions.
- Ingredients. Though the FDA does regulate homeopathic remedies, there are many remedies on the market that are not FDA approved. Because of this, ingredients may not be listed correctly. There may also be contamination issues as the manufacturing process is not as closely regulated as clinical remedies.
- Dosing. If you are going to take homeopathic remedies, then you should also stick to their “law of minimum dose” theory. Though the potentially harmful ingredients should be diluted enough to make them safe, taking too much can increase the levels and risk of toxicity.
- Inconsistency. With the manufacturing process not well regulated, the consistency of formula and dosage from bottle to bottle may not be consistent.
Other Natural Treatment Options for Anxiety
If you choose not to go the homeopathic path, there are other natural, evidence-backed remedies and treatment options available for anxiety.
Some treatments include a substance. Passionflower was found to help with anxiety and nervousness. Research also found that valerian root can help relieve symptoms of anxiety. A magnesium deficiency may lead to anxiety according to some studies. A 2017 systemic review suggested that magnesium could help with anxiety symptoms even if no deficiency was present. Lavender aromatherapy was also found to reduce anxiety symptoms.
CBD can also help manage anxiety. One 2015 study found that oral doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg showed a significant reduction in symptoms related to disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD).
Some natural treatments are behavior-based. Mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. This is a type of cognitive therapy that has been found to produce similar results to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It centers on the idea of practicing mindfulness—through yoga, meditation, or other mindfulness exercies—to become less reactive and more reflective.
Deliberate breathing has also been shown to reduce anxiety. Sometimes referred to as breathwork, this is a concious control of breathing through various exercises or techniques that have been shown to improve mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Start Your Homeopathic Journey
Heally believes in providing resources for those looking to pursue alternative treatment options. Our network of doctors and specialists includes homeopaths. Get started with a homeopath today.
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