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It’s true that anti-anxiety drugs have some published evidence to support their effectiveness—but they also have dangerous side effects. For example, recent research suggests that “benzos” (benzodiazepine drugs like Valium and Ativan) raise the risk of dementia.
On the other hand, homeopathic remedies offer non-toxic solutions that have been used for centuries to treat many ailments, including anxiety and depression. Though there is an ongoing debate in conventional medicine about its effectiveness, homeopathic therapy’s age-old wisdom has been bolstered over the years by clinical observations showing it works for many people.
Here are my top five choices of homeopathic remedies to help calm and soothe acute or chronic anxiety, stress, and depression. These remedies are sold individually and in combination formulas. Follow label instructions for use.
Aconitum napellus, also called monkshood, has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. The roots produce aconite, which is useful for anxiety, panic, and insomnia.
Gelsemium comes from a flowering vine and is particularly effective when treating stress caused by a specific event, such as appearing in front of a group. It’s also good for general nervousness.
Natrum muriaticum is the homeopathic version of simple table salt. It can help with mental strain, anxiety, irritability, and worry.
Pulsatilla is an effective remedy for people who are depressed or sensitive. It’s also useful for people dealing with anxiety that results from hormonal fluctuations, and is commonly recommended for anxiety and depression associated with PMS.
Sepia is good for both anxiety and depression. It’s particularly helpful for people who are feeling overwhelmed. It’s often recommended for women.
A great advantage of homeopathic remedies is that they’re widely available and relatively inexpensive, making them an attractive choice for those seeking gentler health solutions. For more in-depth upport, a trained homeopathic doctor can help you refine your program by prescribing a customized remedy or formula. To find a homeopathic physician in your area, visit nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org.
Isaac Eliaz, MD, LAc, MS, is an integrative physician and founder and medical director of Amitabha Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa, Calif. Visit dreliaz.org to learn more.
Boiron Sepia 30c is commonly taken for mood swings and features a convenient dispenser to dispense tablets.
Hyland’s Pulsatilla Nig. 30x pellets are recommended for anxiety associated with hormonal shifts such as those that occur with PMS.
King Bio Anxiety & Nervousness spray relieves nervous tension, minor anxiety and fear, and irritability with a formula that includes Aconitum napellus and Gelsemium.