Best for anxiety/stress?

w1ldflower(5)October 21, 2012

I have a friend researching herbs and he is interested in knowing: among kava , passion flower or valerian root which is best for treating anxiety and stress?

He needs to be able to still drive for work.

Thanks for any info/advice!

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passionflower and valerian are sedatives. kava is a relaxant that makes one feel talkative and socialable so is probably the best of these three for daytime stress management.

even better, plain old chamomile tea is nice for stress, its relaxing but does not make you sleepy. perhaps keep teabags at work and sip on it through out the day?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 1:00PM
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Exercise and use of relaxation techniques would be my prescription for non-drug anxiety therapy, as opposed to using prescription or herbal drugs (obviously there may be intolerable levels of anxiety for which drug therapy can be a literal life-saver).

This summary of Cochrane reviews found that kava worked better than placebo for relieving anxiety, but that there are side effect concerns (reports of severe liver toxicity have been associated with kava). Valerian and passiflora were found to work no better than placebo.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 5:24PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I agree that non-medicinal means are the true answer. Things like sleep, exercise, and eating right go a very long way in helping to address many non-life-threatening conditions. Also cutting out caffeine and adding relaxation techniques of some kind would clearly help.

Any medicinals taken are only alleviating symptoms, not addressing the core problem. Getting to the heart of the problem and making the necessary life-changes is the true answer.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:42AM
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Hello everyone. I just wanted to add my two cents worth.
Years ago, I used to reach for the same class of herbs that everyone has thus far mentioned when someone asked me about anxiety/stress. However, from my experience, someone may have an excessively dry condition which the Chinese call "yin deficiency" that can also create stress/anxiety type symptoms. It can be a challenge to determine if the yin deficiency is causing it. Simple questions such as Do you have excessive thirst/craving for water? Are you a worrier? Do you need to eat several times a day to satisfy small hunger pains through the day?
Ask your friend if he experiences any of those questions. If so, let us know and I'll suggest quick-acting and efficient herbs to take which will lessen the stress in about 3-5 days. Otherwise, do what others have suggested above.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 6:20PM
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"Are you a worrier? Do you need to eat several times a day to satisfy small hunger pains through the day?

This describes pretty much everybody.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 6:23PM
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You're probably right on! I find that atleast 60-70% of my patients have a determinable degree of yin deficiency.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 8:24PM
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Charlie - is that you?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:40AM
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actually Herb Doctor (charlie), yin deficiency has a couple of definitive symptoms. and drinking lots of water is not one. even tho yin deficient folks are thirsty they only drink water in sips. in contrast, someone with a full heat condition would want lots of water to drink.

as re being hungry enough to need to eat often...that is also a full pattern called Stomach Heat, not yin deficiency.

back to the tcm books for you 'doctor'. to fellow forum members here, beware.

btw, there is no such thing as an Herb Doctor, to call yourself one is misleading to say the least and illegal in all 50 states. just sayin'

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Hi everyone! Thank you for your input. This person is actually experiencing panic attacks at night while driving for work. They had been prescribed something which was somewhat affective (? sorry not sure what) but have recently lost their medical insurance and now are looking into alternate herbal approaches. I will pass along this info, but thought you may have a difference of opinion considering the symptoms.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 10:17PM
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The only precaution I can think of is NOT to mix any psychotropic pharmaceuticals with herbs of the same classification. Possibly a very dangerous combination.

Herb Doctor

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

If you have anxiety your adrenal glands are not functioning properly. If you have stress that shuts your adrenal glands down even further. If you have depression that is your parathyroid not functioning properly. I cannot sit here all day but if you want to know more YouTube - dr Robert morse and he explains it all. Or his book - detox miracle sourcebook. I used to successful depression and anxiety, it is the worst of the worst.... Best of luck

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 4:03AM
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