Anxiety, Medical Considerations
Anxiety, Depression, Stressful Situations
Kava Kava: Kava Kava (Piper Methysticum) is an herb that has been used in the Fiji Islands for many years. There it is cultivated in large quantities, and the islanders use it as a social beverage, much like how we would use either coffee or alcohol. The effects of Kava Kava are a relaxation of mental stress while at the same time an enhancement of mental capacities. Kava Kava also helps to relax striated muscles. Striated muscles are the muscles that can be voluntarily moved such as arm and leg muscles groups, or neck muscles. Kava Kava does NOT affect smooth muscle such as the heart muscle or diaphragm muscle used for breathing. It is proposed that the reason Kava Kava enhances mental capacities is because relaxation of stressful situations coupled with relaxation of tense or spastic muscles such as the neck muscles, allows more blood flow to the brain. Additionally, by putting some of the stressful affects aside, anyone can think clearer.
B-Complex: B vitamins have long been known as the “Anti-Stress Vitamins.” B vitamins are essential in providing support against anxiety and depression. The more stress we have in our lives, the faster the B vitamins are used up. This is important to understand, as B vitamins are also critical in: energy production; maintaining healthy nerve function; liver detoxification processes; healthy skin and muscle tone; and are essential co-factors in hundreds of other chemical reactions with the body. Homocysteine levels, when elevated, can cause stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Homocysteine levels are reduced by proper amounts of B6, B12 and Folic Acid. B vitamins are important in the functioning of the liver and in energy metabolism. They are necessary for the formation of the red blood cells, numerous hormones, and specific neurotransmitters. Adding a full B vitamin complex, and or adding all the B vitamins separately, is part of the standard protocol in EDTA IV Chelation therapy. If high amounts of stress are present in your life, it is essential to increase the amount of B vitamins in your diet. You will not be able to get enough B vitamins in your food to meet your body’s physiological needs, when modern day stresses are prevalent in your life.
Valerian Root: Valerian Root is an herb that is used extensively in Alternative Care Medicine to provide sedative and relaxation effects, as well as sleep promoting benefits for many patients.
Passionflower: Passionflower, which is more widely used in Europe than America, may help combat Parkinson’s disease. (Reference: The Herbal Handbook, by David Hoffmann.) Many other herbalists also agree that Passionflower may help combat Parkinson’s disease. Passionflower contains two reportedly effective anti-Parkinson’s compounds, harmine and harmaline alkaloids. (Reference: The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke, Ph.D., 1997, p. 353.) The usage of Passionflower in a sleep remedy is due to its anti-anxiety and sedative effects. Passionflower also has anti-anxiety and sedative effects.
Lemon Balm and Skullcap: Lemon Balm and Skullcap are traditional herbs for calming the nervous system. A good night’s sleep allows Alpha Brains Waves to become active, which is important for quality rest. Alpha brain waves are most active during the phase of sleep known as “Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or more commonly referred to as “Deep Sleep.”
Antioxidants: Free radical damages can be linked as one of the causative roots of many diseases, including dementia. Antioxidants help correct and then protect from further free radical damages. What is a Free Radical? A Free Radical is an unstable oxygen molecule that possesses an unpaired electron. This molecule is constantly trying to become whole by robbing cells of vital components. These biochemical compounds called Free Radicals damage our body and its cells. Both external pollutants and biochemical process of the body cause excess Free Radical reactions; Environmental pollutants, numerous food additives, and stress are only a few of the many ways Free Radicals are formed. The way in which Free Radicals are normally kept in check is by the action of Free Radical Scavengers that occur naturally in the body. These scavengers neutralize the Free Radicals. It’s important to assist our body by additionally supplementing daily with Antioxidants. Supplementation with only a few antioxidants though, gives us much less protection, than utilizing a complete array of antioxidants. This is due to the fact that the antioxidant defense system works as a team. If members of the team are missing, the outcome is poor. Maximum protection requires the complete array of established antioxidants in nutritionally meaningful amounts. Stressful living produces a much higher amount of free radicals than found in otherwise normal individuals. Free radical damage has many extreme negative complications, including faster aging, and is believed to be the root cause of many of our degenerative diseases. It is my professional conviction that “Type A” personalities will have a far greater amount of free radicals in their bodies when compared to Type C personalities. It is well known that Type A personalities die more often of heart disease, stoke and cancer than Type C personalities. Type A personalities do not handle stress well. Type C personalities are not affected by stressful situations like Type A personalities are, and they handle everyday stressors calmly. Most people I have met while working in my profession are Type A.
Anxiety is the feeling of apprehension and worry. While everyone deals with some degree of anxiety, in some individuals, anxiety interferes with the ability to function. When severe, medical care is necessary. For mild to moderate anxiety, nutritional support is often helpful.