Herbal Alternatives in Anxiety Attacks
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Angela
Posted on: October 8, 1998

My 10 year old daughter has been diagnosed as having anxiety attacks. She currently is taking 2 tsp. of Paxil nightly. She first started with a 1/2 tsp. over a month ago. Is there an herb which she would be better able to take?

You will need the advice of a health care professional in order to avoid negative side effects in slowly coming off Paxil, and a counsellor to help determine the root cause of your daughter’s anxiety.

Herbal alternatives include: Valerian, a relaxant to the Central Nervous System; St. John’s Wort or Kava Kava, relaxing nervines; Oats is a nervous restorative, most effectively taken as a juice (available at health food stores); Chamomile is a mild nerve sedative.

For more information, see "Valerian, the Relaxing Sleep Herb" by Christopher Hobbs and "Kava: The Pacific Elixir, the Definitive Guide to its Ethnobotony, History and Chemistry" by Vincent Lebot, both available at Richters. If depression is involved, "Beat Depression with St. John’s Wort" by Steven Bratman may be helpful.

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