Society today has become more stressful to the average person than ever before. We are constantly being pulled into a million different directions and we worry about our future, our work, our health, and our family. The list could go on and on.
It is of no surprise that a large amount of the population feels anxiety that prevents them from leading a normal life. There are cases of severe anxiety, where people are worrying excessively without a rational reason to do so. In this case, it severely affects their ability to use normal skills and participate in normal activities in their lives.
While anxiety disorder is common around the world, it is especially common in the United States, where about 6.8 million adults are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Women are diagnosed more often than men with this disorder. Usually, anxiety begins to appear in adolescence and intensify with age.
Often depression and anxiety are caused by a neurochemical imbalance in the brain, such as a lack of serotonin or dopamine. These chemicals are essential for the body to be able to relax, process feelings and improve mood.
Here are the most common symptoms of anxiety:
Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
Cold or sweaty hands or feet
Shortness of breath
Not being able to be still and calm
Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
In many cases, medication, such as Xanax, Valium and Ativan, is used to treat anxiety. The medication class used most often are benzodiazepines. However, these medications can also cause someone to become addicted and depending on these chemicals. If the medication is discontinued, the patients often experience withdrawal symptoms, psychological distress and physical distress as their chemical levels are lowered.
Sometimes the medication used to treat chronic anxiety or panic attacks are anti-depressants. However, these medications often fail and can even make symptoms worse.
Many researchers have looked at natural ways to reduce anxiety levels that does not involve medication. Numerous researchers have found that lavender is an effective herb in treating symptoms of anxiety. Lavender oil has been found to be as effective in treating symptoms of anxiety as the prescription drug lorazepam, per the medical journal Phytomedicine. Even better yet, lavender oil has no chance of becoming addicted or dependent. It also has no sedative effects unlike its medical counterparts.
Some of the beneficial effects of lavender oil are:
It treats depression symptoms
It relieves restlessness, nervousness, and insomnia
Aids in the case of dementia-related agitation
It is extremely helpful in the case of painful and inflammatory conditions, as well as migraines and joint pain
How to use Lavender Oil to Calm Nervousness and other Anxiety related symptoms:
You can prepare a cup of lavender tea by just adding one to two tablespoons of whole, dried flowers to one cup of boiling water. Steep for about ten to fifteen minutes. Strain, or use a tea infuser, prior to consuming the tea.
Lavender leaves and flowers can also be found in a liquid form. When using a liquid form of this plant, add six drops of lavender oil extract to your bath water.
Lavender oil can also be taken orally by adults.
It is important that you speak with your doctor before you begin any new treatment on your own to determine the proper dosage and usage. Lavender capsules should not be taken by children.
If lavender is combined with certain prescription medications, such as certain anti-depressants, benzodiazepines or narcotics, such as codeine, it can cause drowsiness. This is also the case in aromatherapy. Again, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning to use lavender to treat your symptoms of anxiety. Your doctor should be aware of all methods that you are using, including those that do not involve a prescription. Also, if you are taking any prescription medication, your doctor needs to ensure that you will not experience any adverse side effects from adding lavender to your current regime.
Chances are that you, or someone you know, either suffers or has suffered from anxiety. Have you ever used lavender to treat symptoms of anxiety, or to simply relax? Let us know in the comment section what benefits of lavender you have experienced.
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