Treat Anxiety, Stress and Insomnia with Ayurvedic Herbs, Natural Home Remedies, and Yoga Asanas
Ocassional anxiety is a part of life. However severe anxiety, raised heart rates and a constant feeling of fear is a sign of Anxiety Disorder.
Approximately, 30% of U.S. adult population suffer from anxiety related issues at some point in their life. (R)
According to Ayurveda, Anxiety is primarily caused with excess vata dosha in the nervous system. Thus to heal anxiety we need to balance vata in human body.
Herbs To Reduce Anxiety
Image: Ashwagandha Roots
Ashwagandha (Winthania Somnifera)
Ashwagandha also known as Indian Ginseng. It is unofficially known as “King of Ayurveda” and has been used in Indian subcontinent for centuries. Here are some amazing benefits of this herb on Nervous System:
- Used for anti-anxiety treatment. (R)
- It is an antidepressant and analgesic.
- Western Clinical Research proves that it is an Adaptogen (a substance that restores the brain or body to homeostasis after physical or psychological stress). (R)
- Ashwagandha works to calm down the brain in a similar way as the benzodiazepine drug lorazepam (Antivan). It also enhances the activity of GABA (gamma amino butyric acid).
- It modulates the serotonin receptors in a positive way.
- It positively impacts the brain’s dopamine system.
- Ashwagandha has an anti-fatigue and anti-stress effect on human body.
There is no doubt that Ashwagandha is a real potent regenerative tonic (Rasayana of Ayurveda). (R)
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
Brahmi is used in Ayurveda as mood and cognition enhancer that helps in reducing anxiety and depression. Benefits of Brahmi:
- Brahmi has been found to increase serotonin levels in the brain, thus reducing anxiety.
- Brahmi restores the damage done to brain by stress and anxiety.
- It enhances learning and memory. (R)
- It functions to improve neuro-transmission. If you think of your brain as a highway network of neurons and synapses, Brahmi works to keep the traffic flowing smoothly.
Like many other ayurvedic herbs, Ashwagandha and Brahmi are relatively safe. They are free from troubling side-effects and toxicity, and have been used in ayurveda for over centuries.
However pregnant woman should consult a physician before taking these herbs, as the effects on the unborn fetus are as yet unknown.
Claming Herbal Teas
Tagar and Musta Tea
Prepare a tea with following herbs:
Tarar or Valerian - 1 part
Musta - 1 part
“Steep ½ teaspoon of these herbs in 1 cup hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, and drink. This formula effectively pacifies vata and reduces anxiety. You can drink this tea twice a day.” says Dr. Vasant Lad in his book - The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.
Image: Valerian Flowers in Bloom
Tagar (Valeriana wallichii)
It is used to reduce stress, anxiety and nervous disorders in Ayurveda: Here are its benefits:
- Tagar helps in treating insomnia and sleeping disorders.
- It has a calming effect on mind and helps to relax, thus elevates stress and anxiety related conditions.
- It actively acts on nervous system and helps in discharging toxins from body.
Musta (Cyperus Rotundus Linn) is an Ayurvedic herb that balances vata dosha, and has a cooling and cleansing effect on human body.
Image: Chamomile Flowers and Tea
Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita) Tea
Chamomile has been used since ancient times to relax, reduce stress and anxiety.
Steep in 2-3 tablespoons of dry chamomile in 200 to 300 ml of boiling water. Let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the liquid. Sip and enjoy!
Image: Licorice Roots
Yastimadhu (Licorice) Tea
Yastimadhu pacifies vata dosha. Reducing vata heals anxiety, fear and insomnia.
Add 1 tablespoon of licorice root in around 200 to 300 ml of water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Pour through strainer into a mug. Sip and enjoy!
Ayurvedic Home Remedies to Help Treat Acne:
Peel of the skin of 10 -12 almonds by soaking them overnight (or peel them after boiling in water for about 5 minutes). Blend the peeled off almonds in a blender and mix with 300 - 400 ml of warm milk. While blending add a pinch of nutmeg, ginger and saffron (or turmeric if saffron is not available). This drink will help pacify vata, reduce stress and anxiety.
Curcumin present in turmeric has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in brain. These chemicals enhance mood and reduce stress, thus help with anxiety. (R)
Turmeric is best taken about 1 tablespoon with milk before going to bed.
It is a magic herb that has been used in Indian subcontinent for centuries.
Relaxing Bath to Reduce, Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia
- A warm herbal bath before bed with chamomile, lavender, lime flower and rose will help calm down anxiety, an overactive mind and ease muscle tension.
- Mix 1/3 baking soda and 1/3 cup raw chopped ginger into warm water. Soak in for 10 to 15 minutes to reduce anxiety, stress and muscle tension.
Yoga Poses to Reduce Anxiety, Stress and Insomnia
Shoulder Stand Pose (Sarvangasana)
Benefits of Sarvangasana:
- This Asana is one of the boons of Yoga to the mankind. It is called as mother of asanas as it brings harmony and happiness to the human system.
- There is unristricted blood flow from heart to upper body and brain. Endocrine organs and glands bathe in blood and are able to absorb the nuritents from blood.
- Heals the hormonal imbalances in Human body, thus helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
- It is no over-statement to say that if this asana is done regularly, it can increase strength, vigor and vitality, and make you happy, confident and stress-free.
Plough Pose (Halasana)
Benefits of Halasana
- Its effects are similar to those of Sarvangasana. In addition, the spine gets stretched and receives extra blood supply.
- The stress in the spine and back is relieved and chakras in spinal region get energized, thereby reducing stress and anxiety.