Herbal Remedies for Panic Attacks

By | January 8, 2014

Individuals with panic disorder receive relief by using herbal remedies for panic attacks. Panic attacks are extremely disturbing instances of sudden and unexpected feelings of uncontrollable anxiety accompanied by rapid heartbeat, feelings of impending doom or death, hyperventilation and inability to think rationally.

People who experience recurring panic attacks say they are unable to focus on anything but the panic attack itself, which only serves to exacerbate symptoms. Frequently, the individual erroneously thinks they are having a heart attack and will go to a hospital emergency room, only find symptoms have abated by then. The majority of panic attacks usually last no longer than fifteen minutes.

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Herbal remedies for panic attacks come in the form of warm teas or supplements that quickly work on a person’s nervous system to reduce anxious feelings and racing thoughts contributing to the panic attack. These anxiety herbs contain compounds facilitating reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, both neurotransmitters produced in the brain that regulate mood, attention and sleep.

While antidepressants such as Lexapro and Prozac perform the same function, these medications often induce undesirable side effects, such as weight gain, dry mouth, insomnia and sexual dysfunction. Using natural panic attack herbs instead of pharmaceuticals to alleviate extreme anxiety will cause none of these side effects.

Herbal Remedies for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Lemon Balm

As a medium-sized leafy plant grown all over the world, lemon balm tea relieves panic attacks, headache, heart palpitations and insomnia. Most herbal remedies for panic attacks alleviate other medical conditions as well, which makes herbal cures even more beneficial and attractive. Lemon balm is available as supplemental capsules or as dried leaves that you crush and use in teas or as a flavor enhancer for various foods.

Research on lemon balm targets several chemicals, which play roles in the herb’s ability to reduce the discomfort of panic attacks. Terpene is thought to be the principle compound responsible for panic relief, an important biosynthetic chemical found in all living creatures.

Passionflower

Teas made of leaves and flowers of the passionflower and passionflower supplements counteract panic attacks as well as insomnia and gastrointestinal disorders produced by anxiety-related conditions. Consumption of the passionflower herb also alleviates:

  • Asthma
  • ADHD symptoms
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle pain

Panic disorder may exacerbate or indirectly worsen these health problems. By drinking two to three cups of passionflower tea daily, individuals can effectively take care of many distressing complications resulting from generalized anxiety disorders.

Skullcap

Comprehensive lists of herbal remedies for panic attacks invariably include skullcap, an herb found growing in Canada and northeastern regions of the U.S. When used in teas and supplements, skullcap is an effective remedy for panic attacks, muscular tics and depression. Frequently combined with valerian root, another member of anxiety herbs, the concoction diminishes the intensity of panic attacks.

Skullcap contains flavonoids and tannins, both naturally occurring substances that relieve anxiety and panicky thoughts. Two teaspoons of dried skullcap herb added to a cup of boiling water and drunk twice daily is the recommendation for alleviation of panic disorder.

St. John’s Wort

The fruit and leaves of the herb St. John’s Wort commonly treat anxiety, depression and alcoholism. Readily available at many health and department stores, use this herb as a supplement or as a tea. Researchers believe that St. John’s Wort may function to inhibit serotonin reuptake in the same manner that prescription antidepressants react to reduced amounts of serotonin in the brain. Chemicals thought to play vital roles in its ability to lessen occurrences of panic attacks are hypericin and hyperforin, as well as tannins and flavonoids.

A drawback found in taking St. John’s Wort, unlike other herbal remedies for panic attacks, is the potential for experiencing serotonin syndrome, an elevation of serotonin levels in the brain. St. John’s Wort used with other Select Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) severely elevates serotonin levels in the brain. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include sudden spike in blood pressure, extreme agitation and uncontrollable muscle spasms. For this reason, anyone already taking an SSRI should consult with a doctor before taking St. John’s Wort for panic disorder.