Peter Bongiorno writes for Psychology Today “anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications are among the most prescribed in the United States - and possibly the most dangerous. According to a report in the 2010 Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, people who use anti-anxiety medication…are almost 40% more likely to die than people who do not use them. Yikes”
“Klonopin is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and seizure disorders. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, unsteadiness, depression, loss of orientation, headache, sleep disturbances, problems with thinking or memory, slurred speech, dry mouth, sore gums, runny nose, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, and blurred vision. If Klonopin is discontinued abruptly after long term use, it may lead to seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and/or sweating.” (From RX list, the Internet Drug Index). A new study in the American Journal of Public Health found more dramatic side effects than these; the number of deadly overdoses from those drugs quadrupled between 1996 and 2013.
Researchers from India have proven in a randomized clinical study using international protocols that an ancient Ayurveda remedy for anxiety outperformed the benzodiazepine drug Clonazepam (Konopin) in relieving anxiety. http://www.realnatural.org/ancient-ayurveda-beats-clonazepam-in-clinical-trial-for-anxiety-disorder/
There are many natural therapies that can help relieve anxiety without causing side effects. Practicing yoga and walking more is helpful for most people. Here is one Ayurvedic remedy you can try at home.
Natural home remedies
Soak 8-10 almonds in water overnight
Peel off the skin in the morning
Blend 1 tsp of crushed almonds in 1 cup warm milk
Add a pinch of soaked saffron
Add 1 tbsp of honey
Drink once a day
As an Ayurvedic physician and a curandera I find those with anxiety do well with an Ayurvedic formula to help bring their body chemistry into balance. It includes the following herbs:
Shankhpushpi is a prominent memory improving plant, a psychostimulant and tranquilizer. Research shows it promotes better--memory, sleep and concentration abilities. Shankpushpi increases protein synthesis in the hippocampus region of the brain that can be related to enhancement of memory function.
A clinical trial in 2008 of 35 subjects diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder found that Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) significantly reduced anxiety. The researchers concluded: “Therefore, it may be concluded that O. sanctum may be useful in the treatment of General Anxiety Disorder in humans and may be a promising anxiolytic agent in near future.”
Another Ayurvedic plant, Bacopa monnieri, is widely used to improve brain function, to reduce anxiety, to treat epilepsy, and as an antioxidant. Modern research has shown the presence of several alkaloids; monnierin, brahmine, bacosides and phytosterols.
The ever popular Ashwagandha is a memory enhancing and anti-ageing herb. It is used for many imbalances, but in this context for its calming effect. Ashwagandha promotes growth of dendrites and branching of nerve-like cells suggesting nerve cell-to-cell contact and communication. It has anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activity.
Susto is described in the folk-healing of Mexico as a "fright sickness" or soul loss. The cause can be any frightening or dangerous experience such as an accident, a fall, witnessing a relative's sudden death, going to war etc. This kind of anxiety is more intense and is synonymous with PTSD. Oral remedies can include teas of orange blossom, brazil wood or marijuana. These are most effective with the limpia, or barrida. This is a technique of energy work that removes the wound from the soul.
Combining natural therapies to treat this issue is a viable alternative to drugs. An Ayurvedic formula to combat stress can be found at this site here http://www.curanderahealing.com/store/p107/Stress_Away_Formula.html
Athena Wolf is an Ayurvedic physician and curandera practicing in Mimbres. You can contact her with questions at curanderahealing.com