Category Archives: Supplements

Herbal Remedies for Panic Attacks

Herbal Remedies for Panic Attacks

When thinking about choosing herbal remedies for panic attacks, it is important to consider the advantages as well as the disadvantages of taking herbal remedies.  Herbal remedies are not approved by the FDA but many are found not to cause severe side effects.  Herbal remedies for panic attacks can be highly effective and just as effective as psychotropic medications.
Before taking an herbal remedy, it is important to discuss your decision with your doctor.  Your doctor will be able to share his thoughts on herbal remedies for panic attacks. You will also need to inform your doctor of all the prescribed medications and other herbal remedies you are taking.  Many herbal remedies for panic attacks will interact with other medications.  Sometimes the interaction of medications can cause them not to work as effectively.  This can be a problem if you are taking a medical medication that you need for your health.  The interaction of medications can also intensify any side effects you may experience from prescribed medication or herbal remedy.  
Herbal remedies for panic attacks will help your body remain calm, keep you from feeling irritable and help you feel balanced.  When you feel stressed and anxious some herbal remedies can decrease the level of anxiety you experience.   These remedies work a lot like psychotropic medications but in a natural way.

The most common herbal remedies for panic attacks

are lemon balm, lavender and passiflora. These herbal remedies have been used for many years in helping people relax.  Sometimes these herbals can be found combined with other herbs but these are the main herbs that directly affect your mood and behavior.
Lemon balm is used for many purposes including antibacterial solutions as well as in teas.  It has been found that lemon balm is a mild sedative which will produce a calming effect.  Because of the sedation and calm effect lemon balm produces, this is an excellent herbal remedy for stress and helping with the frequency of panic attacks.
Lavender has been used for many purposes such as helping people heal from wounds.  It also has healing effects for those who experience stress and anxiety.   Lavender has been known to help people fall asleep and stay asleep.  It helps people have a restful night’s sleep.  Sleep is important in combating stress and lavender has been also shown to directly reducing anxiety.
Passiflora leaves are used to make tea and this tea is effective for those who suffer from insomnia or intense anxiety.  Passiflora can even help those who experience epilepsy in reducing the frequency of epileptic episodes.  The unique component of this herbal remedy for panic attacks is that it contains beta-carboline harmala alkaloids.  Beta-carboline harmala alkaloids are found in the class of antidepressants MAOIs which are commonly used for panic attacks.

Herbal remedies are effective and easily accessible.

 You do not need a prescription for herbal remedies which means that you can purchase it without having to call in for refills.  Herbal remedies for panic attacks are also known to have fewer side effects than antidepressant medications.  It is important to be aware of any changes in your mood, behavior or other side effects and discuss them with your doctor if they become bothersome.

Happy with natural remedies


Multivitamin For Panic Attacks

multivitamin benefitsVitamins for Panic Attacks

The human body needs 13 essential vitamins and minerals. It is necessary to have the vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, &  B complex and B12 for the body to function properly. Deficiency of any of these vitamins can result in illness and many other serious health complications. With this in mind I started my search for the best multivitamin that could prevent deficiency and lower the risk of illness or mortality as well as ease the symptoms of anxiety and panic attack.

I wanted a daily multivitamin rather than a cocktail of individual supplements that might exceed the safe upper limits of the recommended intake for any nutrient.  And I wanted a multivitamin that provided 100% or less of the Daily Value (DV) as a backup when my diet was lacking in nutrients or when my emotional state needed extra help fighting the fears of anxiety and panic attack.

Should I Take Vitamin Supplements?

multivitamin benefits

If your diet isn’t as good as it should be and you’re deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, a multivitamin should definitely be considered (along with just fixing what’s wrong with your diet). But even if your diet is pretty good, taking a daily multivitamin gives you the added peace of mind of knowing that your body is getting sufficient amounts of every important vitamin and mineral it needs for optimal health and function.


What to Look for in Your Multivitamin?

multivitamin benefitsThere are 5 main things you need to consider before choosing the best multivitamin for you:

  1. The amounts of vitamins and minerals. Does it have too much, too little, or an ideal amount of the various vitamins and minerals it contains?  If it contains too much of something, avoid it as it could be a waste of money or worse, it could be dangerous. And if it contains too little of something, then you’re just not paying for what it claims.
  2. The type of vitamins and minerals. For example, every multivitamin might contain calcium, but in what form? Calcium citrate or calcium carbonate? Is the vitamin A from beta carotene, retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate?  Be aware that all multivitamins contain different ingredients.
  3. The quality. Does it contain more or less of the nutrients it claims?  Unfortunately, lab testing can only tell you this. While many of the multivitamins that have been around for many years can be trusted, check to see a seal of approval from the United States Pharmacopoeia, the NSF International or  IConsumerLab randomly tests some dietary supplements and makes the results available to subscribers.  It has been found that 25% of the supplements it has tested have problems.  So keep in mind that if  your brand of multivitamin fails to have one of these seals, then that means the manufacturer didn't submit its product for voluntary testing. Remember vitamins are not regulated like prescription and over-the-counter medications, so be careful of any product that does not volunteer for testing.
  4. Your specific needs. The human body has slightly different vitamin and mineral requirements based on your gender, age, diet and lifestyle.  It is for this reason that your multivitamin should suit your particular needs. eg iron. Younger premenopausal women almost always want a multivitamin that contains iron. On the other hand, men and older postmenopausal women want a multvitamin that contains no iron.  Check to see that it contains something more specific for those panic attack or stress full moments your life?
  5. The price. This is related to the other points.  Check that the multivitamin contains what you want for your particular needs.  Do you really want all the special benefits? This does not necessarily mean the most expensive one is the best nor the cheapest the worst.

Which Multivitamin Is Best for Anxiety and Panic Attack?

As for the best multivitamin brand, this is a most confusing exercise.

Where do you start with literally hundreds of different multivitamins on the market, all containing different amounts of certain vitamins and minerals and all claiming to be the best of them all?

Some are made specifically for men, some are made just for women, and some are for people over the age of 50. Others are for people who live an active lifestyle, or need more energy, or have specific health benefits in mind (anxiety, panic, depression, heart health, colon health, etc.). The list goes on and on, with each multivitamin affirming itself to be the best for that exact purpose.

So, how do you decide which multivitamin truly is the best for a panic attack.  In short it depends on how much you understand your own level of anxiety. 

BETTER LIFE MultiVitamins

Multivitamins give people sufficient amounts of both vitamins and minerals that their current diet may not be providing. They can improve many bodily functions and assist with mental health. They can also help decrease stressVitamins are nutrients essential for normal growth, vitality and general wellbeing. Without vitamins, many vital bodily functions would not take place and disease may occur.

What Do Vitamins Do?

Vitamins are essential for a number of reasons. In general they: Keep our skin, hair, eyes, bones, teeth, nerves and blood cells normal. Some also assist in processing carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They assist in converting fat and carbohydrates into energy and assist in forming bone and tissue.

Am I Getting Enough Vitamins?

Vitamins are found in a variety of food sources. A balanced diet of breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, red meat, fish, poultry, dairy, legumes, seeds and nuts will ensure that you get a satisfactory amount of the vitamins your body needs.

Unfortunately, today's busy lifestyle often forces people to eat fast food or convenient meals that unfortunately are not rich in the vitamins and nutrients that our body requires.

Another factor to consider is the quality of US fruit and vegetables. US soils are often over-farmed resulting in mineral depletion, especially of selenium and zinc. Quite often produce is being picked early and not allowed to ripen naturally on the trees, leaving fruit and vegetables even more nutrient deficient.

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Centrum Performance

multivitamin benefitsTherefore with all these factors in mind, the best multivitamin on the market that I recommend is Centrum Performance.  It is a complex multivitamin supplement that helps to energize the body and mind. It provides minerals, vitamins and calcium for the body as required. With a combination of herbs, minerals and 28 vitamins, Centrum Performance promotes vitality and helps maintain short-term memory and concentration for enhanced everyday performance. Centrum Performance has extracts of ginkgo biloba and ginseng which helps to unlock energy and protects the body against free radical damage.


multivitamin for anxiety and panic attack

Supplements for Panic Attack

healthy diet for panic attack

If your diet always includes plenty of fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables, quality protein sources, and heart-healthy fats, you may not benefit from supplements. Unfortunately evidence suggests that most people’s health regime does not follow this path, even when with all good intentions, circumstances make it impossible.  It is for this reason that many of us would benefit from supplementing our diet with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and herbs, particularly for those dark periods in our lives.



What is a ‘Supplement”?

dietary supplementsThe word “supplement” means something added. In this case, you are “adding” to a basic healthy diet and lifestyle, or to a prescription medication or therapy to treat a medical condition. It is important to remember, that a vitamin or herbal supplement on its own will not necessarily cure or treat your condition or health problem. Nor does it mean that taking a vitamin can replace an unhealthy diet as nothing can substitute the nutrients you receive from fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, a general multivitamin and mineral supplement can be a good safeguard against periodic vitamin deficiencies in your diet.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) define a dietary supplement as a product that:

  • supplements the food you eat;
  • contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids, and other substances);
  • comes in pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid form; and
  • is labelled as a dietary supplement

Vitamin & Mineral Supplements

These supplements contain micronutrients meant to help a healthy body function smoothly. For example, vitamin A helps your vision and bone growth, while vitamin E strengthens the immune system and helps repair DNA. Deficiency in vitamin and minerals can affect the body’s ability to heal.  This in turn will affect your immune system.

Herbal Supplements

dietary supplements panic attackThese are different from vitamin and mineral supplements in that they are considered to have medicinal value and generally support a specific area of the body’s health, such as the liver, heart, mind or bones. Herbs, also known as botanicals, are one of the oldest healing therapies and the basis of many modern medicines.

Can Supplements Be Taken With Medications?

Like any type of natural remedy it is best to check with your doctor if you are taking other medications. Herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs can combine to cause adverse side effects. Because a herbal supplement is extracted from a “natural” source it does not mean it is less harmful than any chemical. At the same time, remember that not all these vitamins are beneficial, especially when taken in toxic doses or combined with other medications.

When are Supplements Beneficial?

In short, they are a great way to make sure you are getting all the necessary vitamins and micro-nutrients you need to be healthy.  

There is more and more evidence that people are turning to supplements to complement their diets.  Apart from ensuring that the body receives all the necessary vitamins, there are a number of reasons why they are becoming more popular.

  • Modern farming techniques – the increase in the use of industrial agriculture has decreased the nutritional value of many foods in our diet. Replacing organic fertilizers with synthetics, (often containing only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), achieves large, fast-growing plants that appeal visually to the consumer, but often lack the main micronutrients required in a healthy diet.
  • Aging. As we grow older, many of us suffer from poor digestion due to insufficient stomach acid or low populations of beneficial microorganisms in our digestive tracts.  Consequently we are not able to achieve the best nutrients from our food sources.
  • Frequent dieting – to achieve weight loss, we reduce our calorie intake which also means restricting good nutrition.  
  • Medications – many prescription medications lower vitamin and/or mineral concentrations in the blood.
  •  Busy lifestyles – it is not so easy to eat a healthy meal at every meal. Vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies can help to fill these gaps

Best Supplements for Panic Attacks?

Information about dietary supplements is often confusing. It’s hard to know which one is safe and achieves what it claims, eg ‘the hormone melatonin helps establish normal sleep patterns’. This is made even more difficult because of government regulations. Unlike drugs, which must be approved by the FDA before they can be marketed, dietary supplements do not require premarket review or approval by the FDA.

While the supplement company is responsible for having evidence that their products are safe and the label claims are truthful and not misleading, we the consumer have to make the best informed choice. However, before selecting a supplement to fight your panic attacks, the very first consideration is to eat a healthy diet. Even the best supplement is no substitute for good nutrition.



Are Natural Remedies a Pill for Every ill?

The Truth About Natural Remedies

Can we be confident that natural remedies sold in pharmacies, supermarkets or health food stores can back up evidence to support their claims.  Generally speaking when we are looking at natural remedies for “depression” we also need to have evidence to prove the products’ claims.

Unfortunately, when you look at labels on many depression products, many do not mention the word “depression”. Some products list symptoms linked to depression for which the product may be a useful remedy, such as “low mood”, and “feelings of sadness and/or tearfulness”.

the truth about natural therapies

Making a claim about testing or managing depression would be considered very strong and would need to have the highest level of evidence from clinical studies.

Many times this would involve considerable trouble and expense, and often from the company’s point of view, unnecessary.  This is particularly so for many products where the benefits are widely known and consequently the company involved does not bother going to the extra expense.  For example, St John’s Wort is commonly known as a natural treatment for anxiety symptoms.

Is there a Need for Tighter Legislation for Natural Remedies?

Unlike conventional medicine, complementary medicines have not traditionally been subjected to the same level of pre-market evaluation for effectiveness. The same holds true for post-market surveillance.  This generally occurs randomly or when there is a problem with either a product or a manufacturer.

Could it be said that this lack of transparency would be unacceptable from manufacturers of conventional medicines?  Could it be said, that if pharmaceutical companies were to deliberately withhold research findings and a serious health problem occurred, the company, when discovered would be financially ruined.

depression drugs

Scandal of the Thalidomide Drug –  Could this Occur With Natural Remedies 

Thalidomide first entered the German market in 1957 as an over-the-counter remedy as a sedative to cure anxiety and insomnia.  It was advertised as ‘completely safe’ for everyone, including mothers, children and ‘even pregnancy’.  Doctors discovered that it helped morning sickness and started recommending its use to pregnant mothers.

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s more than 10,000 infants in 46 countries were born with malformation of the limbs, 40% of these children surviving.  The drug was finally banned in 1962.  Consequently, a massive compensation payout by the company to the individuals followed.

At the time clinical trials did not require FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) approval. This tragedy helped develop great changes in the FDA.   Today legislation has tightened the restrictions and approval for drugs sold in the US.  Drug manufacturers now had to prove that they were both safe and effective before they were on the shelves.

Today drug approval can take between eight and twelve years, involving animal testing and tightly regulated human trials, although some argue that human testing is inadequate.

animal testing for drugs

In 2004 the drug company Merck recalled the pain reliever Vioxx from the market because it was found to increase the risk of blood clots in patients.  While evidence predicted these effects in 1996, the company chose not to conduct human trials on the drug because animal tests supported its safety.  Because Vioxx remained on the market it is estimated that as many as 27,000 patients may have died.

A Need For Regulation in Natural Remedies is Essential

This is necessary if we do not want to see a repeat of these tragedies. In Australia the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) requires sponsors of listed medicines, including alternativel medicine, to hold evidence for claims and indications they make about their products.  However, these companies have not actually had to produce it until someone asks.

Unfortunately the regulatory system is failing to adequately protect consumers.  This also means that it also is failing to assist those companies who follow the correct guidelines.

Because I am a passionate believer in what natural therapies can do for your health, it is unfortunate that if natural alternative medicine is going to be taken seriously in the community, there needs to be proper, strict guidelines for genuine evidence.

.natural remedies

Any substantial claims should be backed up with good quality scientific evidence based on clinical trials showing the product’s effectiveness. Regulations need to be strictly enforced so consumers know that we are buying natural remedies that are worth the money and cure what they say.  We indeed do not want to see a repeat of the 1960’s Thalidomide tragedy, but this time, in the alternativel medicine market.