Are you one of the 40 million people in the United States who struggles with anxiety?
While it’s normal to feel stressed or anxious once in a while, you shouldn’t have to live with intense or constant anxiety. The good news is that Chinese medicine for stress and anxiety provides a natural and effective solution.
Read on to find out how Chinese medicine helps reduce stress and anxiety and discover some of our most commonly-used Chinese herbs for anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a common mind-body condition that ranges from mild to intense. It can cause sudden feelings of worry and fear that can escalate to a panic attack. These feelings are difficult to control, often interfere with daily activities, and cause a range of other health issues like restlessness, irritability, trouble sleeping, elevated heart rate, gastrointestinal problems, and fatigue.
While Western medicine treats anxiety with prescription medications (which often come with unwanted side effects), many people who struggle with anxiety want to get to the root of the problem and manage their anxiety naturally. That’s where Chinese medicine for anxiety comes in.
Does Chinese Medicine Work for Anxiety?
Chinese medicine treats anxiety by restoring the balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Research even shows that therapies like acupuncture can improve the treatment outcomes for those with generalized anxiety disorder.
Chinese herbal medicine also has potential anxiety-relieving benefits. Herbal formulas treat anxiety and stress by promoting the movement of qi in the body, which can become stuck or scattered as a response to stress. Traditional Chinese medicine also nourishes imbalances with deficiency and calms the spirit mind of the heart for reduced anxiety with no side effects.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine work hand in hand to treat stress and depression, as well. These therapies help by increasing energy, decreasing fatigue, and balancing the energy of the body by safely unblocking liver Qi depression and stagnation.
Together, acupuncture and Chinese medicine stimulate our feel-good hormones (like serotonin and oxytocin) and decrease our stress hormones (like adrenaline and cortisol). By decreasing the activation of the stress response within the body, we can shift from fight-or-flight into rest-and-digest, giving some relief and regulation to our nervous system.
Chinese Herbs for Anxiety
Chinese medicine for stress and anxiety offers a wide range of natural and holistic formulas. Here are a few of the most common herbal formulas for anxiety that can help you find your balance:
Chinese Herbs for Anxiety and Fearfulness
Rising Courage is a formula that treats excess phlegm and balances the Gallbladder system. What does this have to do with anxiety, you may ask? In TCM, phlegm is known to cloud the brain from clear thinking, which can cause issues like anxiety, worry, paranoia, confusion, and forgetfulness. The Gallbladder is a curious organ that, when imbalanced, can cause timidity and anxiety. This formula would be best for those who have anxiety and fear that is accompanied by other signs of phlegm, like digestive issues such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and timidity.
Known as the “Queen of Mushrooms”, Reishi is one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms. It is an adaptogenic herb that calms the mind and relieves tension throughout the body. Not only does it successfully treat anxiety and the effects anxiety has on the nervous system, but it also strengthens our body against future stressors by training the body to have a healthier stress response. Due to the fact that it is a natural anti-depressant, it can be used in the treatment of both anxiety and depression and can be taken as a preventative supplement.
Chinese medicine often sees anxiety as an issue related to the heart and kidneys, and these herbs work together to support both systems. This formula is best for those who experience panic attacks due to deficiency in the Heart and Kidneys, rather than excess heat or stagnation. Consider tian wang bu xin dan if your anxiety and/or panic attacks are accompanied by restlessness, irritability, palpitations, and night sweats
Chinese Herbs for Anxiety and Insomnia
This formula is for those experiencing anxiety with insomnia caused by a disturbance of what Chinese medicine calls the shen – the spirit or heart. Other symptoms include dizziness, tinnitus, concentration issues, and feeling manic.
Chinese Herbs for Anxiety and Depression
If depression makes you exhausted, rather than frustrated, this formula may help. Gui Pi Wan is a formula that tonifies the spleen and nourishes the heart. It is best for those who struggle with anxiety and depression, but also have symptoms of blood and qi deficiency (such as weakness, lethargy, weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, palpitations, and digestive weakness).
If your anxiety and depression feel more restless, angsty, and frustrated, this formula is better for you. Jia Wei Xiao Yao San treats qi stagnation while simultaneously clearing heat. This would be best for those experiencing anxiety and depression with stagnant heat signs such as irritability, PMS, irregular menstruation, feeling stuck, along with feelings of being too warm or hot.
Chinese Herbs for Dog Anxiety
From separation anxiety to fearfulness of people, noises, or other triggers, some dogs struggle with anxiety just like us humans do. If your pet is showing signs of anxiety, talk to your vet about adding Reishi powder to their meals or treats. Reishi is naturally calming and may support your dog’s nervous system, immune system, and improve longevity.
Chinese Herbal Tea for Anxiety
Triple Stress Relief tea is a jasmine flavored tea that relieves tension and soothes the mind. Great for those with generalized anxiety disorder to unwind at the end of a stressful day and nourish the body and mind naturally.
Overcome Anxiety with Chinese Medicine
Anxiety may feel like it has control over you, but you are still in the driver’s seat of your own health and life.
With the help of Chinese herbal medicine, you can find natural ways to cope with your current stress and anxiety symptoms while also calming your nervous system to prevent anxiety and panic attacks in the future.
If you’re curious about using acupuncture along with Chinese medicine, reach out to a licensed TCM practitioner in your area to get started
What other stress and anxiety relief techniques have helped you? Tell us in the comments!