Alternative medicines for anxiety that’s
what I’m going to be talking about today I’m dr. Tracey Marks a psychiatrist and
on this channel I talk about mental health education and self-improvement.
in a previous video I talked about alternative medicines for depression and
I’ll put post a link for you in the corner for that one.
Today’s though is about anxiety even though there’s a lot of medication
options to treat anxiety there are a lot of biases against taking a medication
for it. Ain’t nobody here crazy. And some people will just feel more comfortable
taking something over-the-counter if they’re gonna take anything at all. So
here are five options or alternative medications non prescription that are
used for anxiety. Number one chamomile. Chamomile is a
plant from the Daisy family and it has a number of uses and one is a sedative
which is where it helps with anxiety and sleep but it’s also used as an
antispasmodic agent which assists with digestion and respiratory things like
asthma. You can get it as an essential oil to use in aromatherapy or you can
get it as a tea or in pill form. There haven’t been a lot of randomized trials
for this and randomized trial is just code for a rigorous scientific study
that scientists take seriously. But one scientific study showed benefit for mild
to moderate generalized anxiety. The suggested dose is 1100 milligrams a day.
Chamomile is pretty well tolerated without side effects however it is
derived from the plant family that includes ragweed and chrysanthemums and
these plants commonly cause allergic reactions in people. So those prone to
allergies should be cautious because the chamomile could trigger a similar
reaction and some of these reactions can be pretty serious such as wheezing or
chest tightness or even hives. Another issue with chamomile is it contains
coumarin a naturally occurring blood thinning agent
found in plants. Now this is not to be confused with coumadin which is a
synthetically produced blood thinning agent and it’s made from coumarin and
other agents. The generic name for coumadin is warfarin and people will
take coumadin in to treat blood clots and other blood clotting disorders. It’s not
expected though that regular doses of chamomile will cause bleeding but if you
are someone who is taking blood thinning agents such as coumadin, aspirin or even
high doses of vitamin E, you should avoid the combination of chamomile along with
your other medications because it could cause bleeding problems.
Next is kava. Kava is a plant found in the South Pacific and it’s been used for
years to treat anxiety and insomnia. The typical dose for insomnia is 125 to 250
milligrams taken at bedtime and here’s the ugly of kava. There’s been some case
reports of liver toxicity attributed to using kava and it’s mostly been
outside of the United States. Liver injuries include hepatitis which is
inflammation of the liver, cirrhosis of the liver which is hardening of the
liver and even liver failure. The incidences of liver toxicity are low
enough to be considered rare, but the FDA’s nevertheless has issued warnings
about the possibility of this and urge people with pre-existing liver problems
to consult their physician before taking any products that contain kava. In fact
Canada and European countries have banned the use of kava entirely.
Another precaution to keep in mind is that kava has a lot of drug interactions
so this means it can negatively affect other medications that you’re taking.
Some people who’ve taken kava for months have noticed a slight yellowing of the
skin or a scaly rash on their skin. The yellow skin disappears once you stop
taking the kava. So for all of the above reasons although Kava may
be helpful, it’s generally not recommended. Next is L-theanine. Theanine is an amino
acid which is a building block for proteins. L-theanine is one form or one
version of the bigger theanine that can be found in green tea. Theanine resembles
glutamate which is a neurotransmitter that’s important in memory and learning.
The research shows that it may help with relaxation but it’s not really robust
enough to take care of an anxiety disorder. The recommended dose is 200 to
400 milligrams a day and that’s a lot of tea to drink. But it does come in a pill
form as well and there aren’t a lot of reported side effects. So even though
it’s not really seen as a real heavy hitter when it comes to helping with
anxiety it still may be helpful for general relaxation. Next is valerian.
Valerian is a plant that’s native to Europe and South Africa. The dietary
supplement is made from the plant’s root which is why it’s often called valerian
root. iIt works by increasing and blocking the reuptake of the brain chemical gamma
amino butyric acid which is also called GABA.
Unfortunately the studies for valerian are extremely limited in poor and they
really haven’t shown benefit over placebo. The recommended dose though is
anywhere between 500 and 1200 milligrams in divided doses so that’s for the
whole day. And then you need to take it between 2 and 3 times a day so if you’re
someone who can’t really handle or don’t want to have to think about taking
something multiple times a day, it may not be the supplement for you. The common
side effects are headache and diarrhea. Incidentally I have acquired it in an
essential oil form instead of a pill and used in an aromatherapy I thought it was
somewhat relaxing but it did not smell good. But that is one alternative option
for the use of it rather than needing to take the
supplement. And lastly there’s GABA. As I mentioned GABA stands for
gamma-aminobutyric acid and it’s an inhibitory neurotransmitter
which means that it’s a chemical in the brain that’s made by the nerve cells and
it works to inhibit or slow down cell activity so you can think of it as like
putting water on a fire. So in this analogy the hot fire would be your brain
activity and the GABA would be the water. So in theory this sounds like the
perfect drug to make, but we haven’t been able to harness oral gaba that acts the
same way that our native gaba does and part of the problem is that not
everything we take by mouth crosses the blood-brain barrier. So here’s some
serious science here. The blood-brain barrier is a special boundary that
separates your brain from the rest of your body and the brain is very picky
about what it’s going to let through that barrier. So not everything that you
take by mouth actually makes it across that threshold. So we do have drugs
though that make it across the barrier and activate the gaba receptors and
these would be things like xanax and klonopin which are benzodiazepines and
these drugs act through binding to the gaba receptors once they get past the
that blood-brain barrier. Binding to the receptors increases gaba
so this is a roundabout way of increasing gaba in the brain without
actually taking gaba. So that’s it. Out of this list what would I say is probably
your best bet based on research? I’d say probably chamomile number one l-theanine
number two. Not based on research and just based on what I’ve heard people
tell me I’ve seen more people use GABA and chamomile mostly in the tea form
with the chamomile like maybe having a warm
chamomile tea at bedtime or in the evenings things like that. Let me know in
the comments have you’ve used any of these and how they’ve worked for you. And
also share this with someone if you think it could help them. Thanks for

100 thoughts on “Alternative Medicine for Anxiety”

  1. Great information! I would suggest looking into CBD oil and the effects on GABA receptions and the 5Ht1A . These are the same areas drug companies targeted for anxiety CBD does naturally. Wow Great information! I was just about to look into KAVA thank you!

  2. I eat GABA , it really does work for me for my terrible mood swings that I get. But I still experience anxiety attacks but not as bad as before. It is better but not completely gone.

  3. Hey Dr. Marks, what is your opinion on St John's Wart? Does it really help with depression or possibly withdrawal symptoms from Effexor?

  4. I would not recommend causes hallucination. I tried it once but trashed it the next day. Very bad experience.

  5. I like GABA relaxer. Just heard about Magnesium Threonate which crosses bbb. Wonder about a combo of that and GABA. Please inform us when you hear of more nonprescription meds. Thank you so much

  6. I find aromatherapy especially eucalyptus spearmint from Bath and Body Works body lotion. When I'm having an attack I put some on hands and rub them together. Oh yes it's great.

  7. Also from a medical student please tell your doctor if your taking herbal medication. A lot of herbal medication can interfer with prescription medication.

  8. I do take GABA for my anxiety, and even though it isn’t supposed to cross the BBB, it absolutely helps me. I would also say niacinamide and phenylalanine have been extremely helpful in treating my anxiety. The reason why these aren’t studied more is bc the pharma companies aren’t paying for their to be scientific studies on them, they would rather prescribe a drug.

  9. There is a mix called “Calm” and it has magnesium in it. It can be put in a hot or cold water and tastes pretty decent.
    I live in California and they sell it at Sprouts and Whole Foods. It really helps me relax before i go to bed and I take it to work in my water bottle.

  10. i suffer from social anxiety i take medication and i am currently seeing a psychiatrist but he gave me antidepressants because anxiety medicine can be addictive over time it help me with anxiety but i turn red all the time which causes me to have more anxiety and be scared to talk to people because i can turn red do you have any tips or medication i can take to stop the blushing? i am 14 years old and weight 89 (if that helps) thank you for sharing these things with us

  11. Wish I wouldve seen this before I got put on Klonopin just being told it would help me sleep and stop my anxiety. Had no clue what it was, trusted my doctor…
    Now I find out how awful it is

  12. I know this is about natural anxiety supplementation. But I was wondering if curcumin or turmeric should be taken with my lamictal? thanks

  13. very cool that you offer your opinion on alternative medicine you dont see psyciatrist or doctors doing it that often❤

  14. What's kava .I have known of a tree here in the Caribbean name soursop it's a fruit U can do anything with and the left is said is use as a coolant..relaxer…can medication. Cause anxiety like taking mids for something (anything) love from st.vincent

  15. Great video! Have you ever heard of the "cylinders of the pharaoh"? They are ancient Egyptian electrical healing technology made from copper and zinc cylinders filled with quartz crystal when held produce around 1 volt sold a amazon for only 29.99

  16. I LOVE Kava. One of my coworkers was suffering from post-partum depression and taking Zoloft. She started drinking Kava tea regularly and was able to get off her medication 🙂

  17. I've found a mixture of chamomile, lavender, blue lotus, and pink lotus brewed into a tea a mixed with some honey can be very relaxing.

  18. The thing that helps me best/most of all is magnesium oil. I just need to be consistent with using it. It leaves such an unpleasant salt residue, that it usually turns me of from using it, but whew…it sure does work…and FAST!

  19. What about Ashwagandha root powder for anxiety? Would this be safe if you are taking Levothyroxine? I have read it helps with anxiety and many other things.

  20. Reuptake. Some Docs or hospitals offer alternative meds. They also need to be aware so they can be a part of this care also..

  21. My doctor recommended the valerian root pills for me. 900mg at night and 450 in the day. I bought it but have not tried it yet bc of the common side effects and also one thing I read said it could cause insomnia. Has anyone else tried this to help treat moderate anxiety and does it help?

  22. My ecg&ech&tmt r normal. Doctors say it is a mental disorder-anxiety still i am hesitant &again want to see a cardiologist. Plz advise.i m from india plz

  23. Can anxiety kill u? I ask because I heard anxiety or panic disorder can really make you sick.. PHYSICALLY SICK!. Is that true

  24. Love your videos.  Was diagnosed with severe anxiety along with somatic symptom disorder about 20 years ago. Although extremely debilitating, I was reluctant to take any SSRI's for the anxiety until about a year ago.  I went to a therapist and he said after about twenty minutes or so… " I am going to put you on a medication called LUVOX".. Although I was apprehensive I agreed to take the medication.  Well guess what, after the third day of the loading dose that I took at bedtime I woke up around 2 am in SVT.  Safe to say I stopped taking that medication…. One of the cardiologists that I work for initially put me on a low dose beta blocker; which by the way helped tremendously with my anxiety(post LUVOX experience)  but soon after told me to start taking 250mg of magnesium citrate along with a multivitamin… it has cut my anxiety by more than half- I truly feel there should be more trials with magnesium as an alternative choice to anxiety treatment (its fairly common knowledge that beta blockers are often prescribed off label for anxiety),, Thank you again for all your insight! 🙂 The hypochondria.. well unfortunately there isn't a magic pill for that yet so I will stick to my CBT therapy 🙁

  25. Valerian root has been a godsend to me! Especially if I get restless legs…maybe I’m just sensitive to it b/c I take like 500mg as needed and I love it! ??‍♀️

  26. A few years ago I read a psychiatrist's post on his web site about how inositol worked very well for his patients with OCD. I don't remember the dosage he gave. Have you heard anything about this?

  27. Thanks for the info on interactions with warfarin. I used to love my cuppa of chamomile lemon tea…before bed. I may try the essential oils. I'm on warfarin…

  28. Hi Dr. Tracey Marks, I take Ashwagandha to help with anxiety. It is a natural root used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. Have you heard of it? It has a notable decrease in anxiety and cortisol all while increasing power output. These findings were taken from double-blind, placebo controlled studies. I feel this would be a great addition to this list as I take it every day twice a day.

  29. Great video There are Gaba receptors all over the body so it crosses that way. It helps anxious body symptoms. For some it crosses a their leaky BBB .

  30. My mom once bought some chamomile flowers for me to make tea. The smell was so addictive I ended up drinking more than I was able to.

  31. Never was diagnosed with bi polor disorder but I can see the pattern you are talking about in myself but how do u explain to someone u r close to who wants to prevent the other person from getting hurt

  32. Tried all these and none of them worked. Didn't even get side effects. Never tried tea or aromatherapy but pills or liquid form. Did try something in liquid a few years ago to put under the tongue. Thought I felt a little something but go to find out it had a lot of grain alcohol in it which is most likely what I felt. Do you know of any brands or forms that people have said actually work? I suffer with panic disorder and agoraphobia. Most prescriptions haven't helped either. Benzos calm me but not enough to leave my apartment. Beer, wine or champagne work very well but I feel worse when it wears off. I know I'm supposed to just accept the feelings and go out anyway but too much of a coward.

  33. Great video, as always! Do you recommend these alternative to the patients you see in practice before prescriptions? If, so how do you respond when they ask what brand/makers etc when the OTCs supplements can have high variability?

  34. I have used a drink called zenify and i believe it has l-the anime and GABA in it. I have noticed a slight difference in how relaxed I am considering when I first discovered it to try I had zero faith in it working for me. I'm 5'9 and weigh 140 doesn't take much for me to absorb stuff in my system.

    Dr Tracy, what do you think of zenify the drink?

  35. Valum has worked best to treat anxiety and with no side effects but with the benzo scare and other meds being pushed I could not aquire a prescription from my Dr. Or Psychiatrist. So sad.

  36. I suffer from panic disorder, and was prescribed Remeron and Ativan. I started tapering Ativan last year and was able to be off of it only for three months. The withdrawal symptoms are so brutal that I had to go back on it, and trying to find natural alternatives that can help me with the withdrawals without causing dangerous interactions. Benzo withdrawal is caused by the down-regulation of GABA a receptors, so I’ve heard that taking chamomile, valerian root, Passion flower, lemon balm, and Rhodiola, Ashwaganda, could make things worse? Is this true? Or just happens to few people. I read this from the Dr. Ashton’s manual. I’d appreciate your input, Dr. Marks. Thank you in advance! ?✨

  37. You know so much! I feel like I learned more from one of your videos than like 10 other videos. Thanks so much!

  38. I take gabapentin for RLS, RGS, and fibromyalgia. It also helps with my anxiety as an added benefit. Going by the name does this drug also effect GABA in the brain like a benzodiazepine? I found benzos to be very addictive and went through a terrible withdrawal with it, however I can go off and on gabapentin without any withdrawals. Why isn't this drug used to treat anxiety over more addictive benzos?

  39. I'm allergic to daisies and have severe reactions to echinacha. I know I spelled it wrong, lol. I'm nervous about meds in general but I'm also nervous about natural alternative stuff as well. I believe in them, though!

  40. L theanine is awesome for anxiety I've been taking it for about a month and a half. I take doctor's best suntheanine from amazon it's only like 10 bucks I take 300 mg in the morning on an empty stomach and sometimes in the evening. I also drink matcha after being a coffee drinker for years and find this helps me. I have ptsd anxiety and schizoaffective disorder. My voices cause me a lot of anxiety and so do past experiences and flashbacks. This helps a lot

  41. We've used the Chamomile in tea form and it does work. Every day with our dinner we would make a pot of tea and drink this instead of milk, coffee, and water. It does calm and we do get a great night sleep and wake up refreshed with no side effects and the best about Chamomile is that there's no addiction problem. Plus, the cost of purchasing a box of the tea is inexpensive compared to prescription drugs with dangerous side effects. Thanks for the video. Enjoy watching and learning. Cheers.

  42. Hi Dr. Tracey. I really enjoy your videos. I like mint teas.., spearmint, peppermint, buttermint. It's NOT "ALTERNATIVE" medicines. Instead, they are "COMPLIMENTARY" medicines.

  43. First, I want to say I like your teaching style and voice. Also, you are non-judgmental. Your videos are informative and easier to listen to because as you stated in another video— are presented in chunks. Second, I have experienced anxiety throughout my life because my mother was a highly critical and overbearing person. In my adulthood, I have found chamomile tea as a preferable choice to help me relax and sleep at night. Other teas such as green tea keeps me alert and so it wouldn’t work for me. I drink other herbal, green, black teas when I want to stay awake for long drives or work—it has an ingredient that works like caffeine even the ones without caffeine. Third, what do you think of CBD oil? My local health food store owner tells me it’s helpful for anxiety and sleep. Since my pre-menopausal days, I have not been able to sleep a full 8-hour continuously. Also, I think I have Asperger but I haven’t been officially diagnosed by a neurologist.

  44. I love your explanations, they are understandable for a non-professional. Before I developed full-blown panic Chamomile was slightly calming. But now it has little to no effect, though I haven't tried the oil. However, it does help my cat. I also tried ''rescue remedy" by Bachs, no effect.

  45. I have tried virtually every natural alternative to anxiety and have taken high doses of valerian and l-theanine and they just don’t work for me. However I’ve found Inositol works extremely well!

  46. Camomile tea only helps me when my anxiety is mild but since i have chronic high anxiety, just having a low anxiety day is a relief in it's self. I benefit more with an hour a day of physical exercise as an alternative.

  47. How can green tea help with relaxing I get it at star buck's NO SUGAR ,and it gives me energy if I drink 2 venti green teas then more anxiety symptoms start sooo what's relaxing about ??????

  48. High social anxiety with severe muscles spasm,camomile only relaxes for sleep.
    Not willing for Benzos bcoz long term addiction. My life is hampered. What is worst long term benzo or untreated anxiety.

  49. I'm liking your channel because I'm suffering from anxiety that i Even can't work but this chimomile how can i use It or i should i drink It with milk ?

  50. Indeed GABA doesnt cross the blood brain barrier but there is a russian GABA analogue called PHENIBUT that it does. It was created for astronauts and it lasts like 3 days or so. The most effective anxiety supplement u can get

  51. I have had constant anxiety attacks everyday. It sent me to the hospital. I’m scared even being awake.

  52. I personally take Ashwagandha, and L- Theanine. I do not have severe anxiety all the time, just in stressful situations. These two help with a feeling of being relaxed. During stressful times I also use CBD (non THC). I have had no side effects while using these. Unlike 5-HTP where vomiting was everytime I took it.

  53. Can I take Gaba before bedtime when I take 17,5mg of prozac in the morning? I tried tryptophan and melatonin at night and both worked, but sometimes I feel like fainting when I take tryptophan or melatonin, also I am afraid of dying of serotonin syndrome, altogh I dont take high doeses of tryptophan or melatonin. So I considered tryirng Gaba.

  54. In Russsia GABA is prescription drug called phenibut lol it doesn't help much with anxiety, but when i had insomnia and came to work after a sleepless night it worked so good, helped to focus on tasks and made me emotional stable

  55. Hah I don't avoid meds cause I think they make me look crazy…i wished they worked. I avoid them cause they give me bad side effects or paradoxical reactions. Herbs don't. Ty for talking about herbals.

  56. Thank you for including alternative medicine as a treatment for several ailments. I believe a combination of eastern & western medications is the medicine for most things. However, always check with your doctor & check for drug interactions. Thank you for another great video. Cheers ? ?

  57. Chamomile tea works best when used in much larger quantities than a typical tea bag, steeped for up to 12 hours, and dranken warm.

  58. Hey, Dr. Marks! I am curious. What are your thoughts, given you are a Psychiatrist, to the video Jordan Peterson's daughter made of Jordan Peterson who, because of stress of hits wife's life at risk, was perscribed a benzodiazepine, in a think called clonazepam and tried to go cold turkey which had bad side effects and admitted himself to rehabilitation.

    (Interesting because remember the name from one of your videos.

    I heard from youtuber and professional Dr. Grande and he gave a good and balanced answer but, im curious since medicine is your thing as an Psychiatrist, what would, **hypothetically, be a good alternative and is such a medicine a good idea given its side effects?

    I'm guess im just interested in your unique professional and medical perspective.


  59. I occasionally drink Kava tea when I am experiencing muscle pain, anxiety, or just need some help with getting to sleep, but, I don't drink it every day.

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