Natural Remedies for Panic Attacks

Apr 05, 2017

Natural remedies for panic attacks include Omega-3 fatty acids, SAMe and relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.  These alternative treatments can be literally life-changing. Over 40 million Americans are affected by this disorder, which disrupts relationships, jobs and everyday activities.

What are Panic Attacks?

Panic attacks are one type of anxiety disorder; symptoms range from mild to severe. Those who haven’t experienced panic attacks sometimes think sufferers should just deal with it. However, what sufferers are experiencing is not the anxiety everyone feels from time to time, perhaps from worry about a work problem or a child’s behavior. People who have panic attacks are dealing with a mental illness that can interfere with all aspects of their lives. There are physical symptoms of panic attacks, irregular heartbeats and chest pain which make many feel as though they are having a heart attack. Some even think that they are dying. These panic attacks arrive suddenly and unpredictably.

Natural Remedies for Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be treated naturally by learning and practicing mind and body relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. Eating more Omega-3 fatty acids is good for the body overall but also fights depression and anxiety. SAMe is a supplement that replaces what is lost as we age, but it looks as though this is a promising natural remedy for panic attacks.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Walnuts and Flaxseed)

We all know that the Omega-3 fatty acids are good for our hearts. This natural remedy is also good for anxiety disorders. In parts of the world where people eat a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids (fish), they suffer less from anxiety disorders and depression.

Mind and Body Relaxation Techniques

Experts feel that these natural relaxation techniques will benefit anyone who is troubled with anxiety disorders as they will improve energy, concentration and mood. There are many to choose from, including meditation, yoga, tai chi or repetitive prayer (like saying a rosary). Biofeedback requires self-training but clinicians have said that people who have learned to control their heartbeat and emotions suffer less from panic attacks.

SAMe

The name is a mile long (S-adenosylmethionine) but it’s a molecule that is within our bodies, but as we age, less is produced.  Theoretically, this supplement can treat clinical depression with few side effects. However, it can be expensive and it may react badly with some medications. Research is ongoing, but is promising.

Panic attacks are an anxiety disorder, normally treated with antidepressants and therapy. Natural remedies for depression and anxiety are available and do not have the side effects of antidepressants. Continue reading below for wonderful tips from Earth Clinic readers on how to deal with panic attacks naturally.

Am J Clin Nutr November 2002 vol. 76 no. 5 1158S-1161S

Kavanagh, David J. (2009) St. John’s Wort and Kava in treating major depressive disorder with comorbid anxiety : a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 24(1), pp. 41-4

Lipids in Health and Disease 2004, 3:25  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-3-25



Dietary Changes  

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Posted by Diane (California) on 04/05/2017
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Regarding panic attacks.

When I was 24 years old I suffered from severe panic attacks. I am Hispanic and live in the U.S. Many American Hispanics from the U.S. love chili and I was raised with a big bowl of yellow chili in juice at the table morning, noon, and for supper. As a child I only had a little juice from the chili bowl on my food. Eventually I graduated to large serving with food until I was totally hooked on chili. My family was from New Mexico where some of the best chili in the world is from! Red or green is mostly used. And usually it is hot! We loved it! We ate enchiladas and tacos, burritos, beans with chili! Anyway I didn't know it but the chili was causing me a lot of acid and this worked hand in hand with my severe panic attacks! The acid from these foods and spicy dishes was causing me really severe panic attacks! Eventually I noticed that Rolaids or Tums and even baking soda in water would help control my panic attacks! I ended up cutting down on spicy foods and this in my case stopped the panic attacks. If I feel a panic attack coming on which today is rare, I head for the acid medication fast! This usually stops the panic attacks in my case. I now have very little chili in my diet.


Inositol  

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Posted by Tb (San Francisco, Ca) on 08/19/2012
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Just a shout out to anyone suffering from panic attacks. I was debilitated by them and was close to taking anti-depressants until I met with my holistic doctor who gave me inositol 400 mg tablets. I take 6-8 tablets a day. It has made a real difference for me and I have not had to take any of the prescription drugs that have so many bad side effects. Additionally, the inositol has no side effects and is very inexpensive. I hope this is helpful to someone because it really saved my life!

Replied by Jude
Hong Kong
07/04/2015

I just read this post and I wonder if it works for panic attack of any kind please? I had panic attacks frequently in 2006 when I had hyper thyroidism. I got better by seeing a naturopath and took nearly 25 supplements daily. So I didn't know which supplement was more important or it's a balance effect It was so expensive so when I have a few attacks in these couple of months, I searched on earthclinic looking for alternative method I did some research, apple pectin is proved to improve mood and lessen anxiety. I really appreciate EC and everyone that cares so much to share their knowledge and experience


Lavender Oil  

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Posted by Kendra (Boston, MA) on 12/29/2007
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A clinician once told me to drop lavendar essential oil onto a tissue and breathe in the scent to help with my anxiety and panic attacks. It works really well and can be done in a public place as holding a tissue to your nose does not attract any attention. Be sure to use a brand that doesn't smell too strongly (or dilute with water) so you can carry your scented tissues with you all the time.


Link to MSG  

Posted by Lynn (Colorado) on 01/21/2016 2 posts

I realized that rapid heart rate, frequent urination and panic were associated, for me, with an allergy to MSG. I looked up the side effects, and there it was, arrythmia, panic, rapid heart rate, swelling, etc. We underestimate how much of our food is added with MSG. It was better when I was younger, but no more. Age has made it a terrible reation. CHECK YOUR FOOD, eat nothing with MSG and see if your issues resolve. I am 59, take nothing, not even Advil. MSG is responsible for heart arrythmia, heart attack, swelling, frequent urination (had that too), so be aware. You are responsible for your health....the medical community of big pharma, the 3 minute dr.visit, you must wake up and take care of your health, thank goodness for earthclinic. God bless.


Panic Attack Remedies  

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Posted by Sue (Melbourne, Australia) on 05/22/2009
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I was always prone to fainting as a child but this disappeared with adulthood. However, in the last few months I have suffered frequent dizzy spells and have lost consciousness on a couple of occasions. Blood tests taken by the doctor have come back as ok. I have also experienced palpitations and 'dreamlike' feelings, particularly when driving, and have self-diagnosed panic attacks. I don't want to go down the line of prescription meds so last week started to take a magnesium tablet once a day (to reduce adrenaline) and 1 tsp acv daily (for anxiety/ general health). I fainted just this morning. My diet/ water intake is pretty healthy. Are there any other remedies I could try? Many thanks in advance for any advice.

Replied by Chris
Perth, Australia
05/22/2009

can anyone tell me if taking apple cider vinigar in large amounts can cause nervousness (anxiety panic attacks)?

Replied by Luis
Cali, Colombia
05/22/2009

While there are a number of pharmaceutical drugs used to control anxiety disorders, not all are successful and many produce unwanted side effects, including neurological damage, impotence, and profound weakness.

There are things you can do to reduce anxiety in a much safer manner. For those not adequately controlled by these methods, it would allow you to use lower doses of your medications, which would reduce side effects.

Here are eight tips to help control anxiety and panic attacks:

1. Most important is to avoid excitotoxins in your food. These include MSG, aspartame, hydrolyzed proteins, vegetable protein, isolated protein, soy products (including soy protein isolates, soy protein and soy milk), natural flavoring, sodium or calcium caseinate, and others. All of these food additives worsen brain excitation and have been shown to specifically target the amygdala nucleus - a set of neurons in the brain's temporal lobe. They are key to the processing of emotions.

2. Increase your vegetable intake to at least five servings a day. Many of the flavonoids in vegetables have been shown to reduce anxiety - especially hesperidin, quercetin, and curcumin. All three are available as supplements. The dose is 250 milligrams of each three times a day. Quercetin comes in a water-soluble form. Otherwise it must be dissolved in either fish oil or extra-virgin olive oil.

3. Reduce your intake of fats -- especially saturated fats and omega-6 fats (vegetable oils, such as corn, safflower, peanut, sunflower, soybean and canola oils). Studies have shown that animals on high-fat diets release more cortisol and take longer to recover from stress than those on low-fat diets.

4. Magnesium is the body's natural calmative agent. It reduces excitotoxicity and, when taken at bedtime, it aids sleep. It also reduces the immune over-reactivity seen with anxiety disorders. In addition, it reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type-2 diabetes (and metabolic syndrome).

5. White tea contains a flavonoid called epigallocatechin gallate. This flavonoid has recently been shown to calm the brain and reduce anxiety. It works by activating the organ's most protective system against anxiety -- the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor. This aids sleep as well. White tea has a higher level of this flavonoid and much less fluoride than green tea.

6. For those who do not want to take a pharmaceutical drug, the herb valerian has been shown to activate the same calming brain GABA receptor. It has been used to induce sleep but also calms anxiety during the day. It should not be mixed with medications that act as sedatives or tranquilizers.

7. Another useful product is called Relora. It is a blend of two extracts -- phellodendron amurense and magnolia officinalis. In a number of tests, Relora has been shown to reduce excess cortisol levels associated with stress while improving mood and reducing stress. It acts via the brain's GABA and serotonin systems, which are both important in controlling anxiety.

8. Avoid caffeine. People with anxiety disorders hyper react to stimulants, such as caffeine. They can also worsen insomnia.

Replied by Pamm
Alabaster, Alabama
05/24/2009

Have you been to a endocrinologist? It sounds like your adrenal glands are fatigued. I have addison's disease and I was experiencing what you are before I was put on Cortef. When you feel faint take your blood pressure if its low then its more then likely your adrenal glands acting up. If your more anxious then usual and have more agitation then usual then it sounds like Addison's. These were some of the symptoms I had before I was diagnosed. I had lost weight without trying. If you gain weight with these symptoms it can be Cushings syndrome(adrenal glands). Also electrolyte imbalance will cause you to feel faint. Check your sodium intake, and potassium intake and all the others that are very impt. Any of these lacking can cause faintness. I wish you luck and hope you get better. One way to check for Addison's is to check blood pressure laying down and stand up and take it again right after and if your blood pressure drops 10 points or more then that is a sign of Addison's. God Bless!

Replied by Pamm
Alabaster, Alabama
05/24/2009

P.S. I forgot to add that ACV will lower your blood pressure and will lower your potassium levels so that is probably why you fainted. If by chance your already having problems with adrenal glands ACV just aggravated your problem that much more. ACV is great however it is a natural diuretic and will make you urinate alot & it will deplete you of sodium very quickly. Make sure you do not have a adrenal gland problem and your electrolytes are balanced. Water alone will not balance them out. Drinking too much water will also lower your sodium. With adrenal gland issues its hard to keep sodium & potassium in your body leveled out. I have fainted while taking ACV before I found out that it was causing my blood pressure to drop fast & depleting all my sodium. Because ACV caused me to urinate alot. Also check your blood sugar, ACV will also lower blood sugar. Its alot to take in I know..

Replied by Serach
Jerusalem
05/17/2014

HI, I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks and my heart goes out to you. I recently went into a panic during cupping in my acupunctrue treatment. He worked on my kidneys and I was face down over the little head rest with a hole to breathe. I got really hot and was scared very bad. He came right in.

They gave me a homeopathic called field of flowers, and very important, critical in fact is that they energetically infused the tincture with something to heal panic, and I calmed down. They can infuse it with healing for what ever emotional problem you have. The infusion on their machine is critical, as in the past I just took the tincture, and did not notice results.

I would try mindfulness meditation, and if you can't sit down try walking meditation. when the panic comes let it wash over you, and tho its hard, don't fight it. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I I found in the past, if I let the panic wash over me it went away relatively quickly.. say 20 minutes to half hour. I would just lay on my bed and let it wash over me. or if the weather is nice lay under a tree til it passes.

Breathing deeply and slowly, not fast, helps. Grounding also helps. Feel your feet on the ground, your butt on the chair, 3 things you can literally feel, 3 things you see, 3 you hear and 3 you can smell. that helps to bring you into the present and calms you.

Be careful of the drugs, as they can be addictive and have lots of side effects. I have not found that they help. If you come off of them be sure to do it slowly, carefully and with lots of support. This may sound odd, but helping others with panic/fear etc will also help your panic fear, as it gets me out of myself.

There is a 12 step group called oca, for folks with ocd and anxiety and you can google obsessivecompulsiveanonymous.org. they have face to face meetings and phone meetings as well. If you get irritable and angry I have had some success with nerve tonic, a safe homeopathic made by hylands.

Wishing you the best. serach

Replied by Sam
Miami, FL
09/05/2014

Look into blood course syndrome

Xue Dao Zheng

and other shen disorders (TCM). I recently found a wonderful TCM site that is so informative. I am attaching a link to a chapter 6

http://www.itmonline.org/shen/chap6.htm.

Also, jingherbs.com has free health analysis. They also provide free 15 min consultations with an experienced herbalist.

I really recommend to browse www.itmonline.org site for lots of information on TCM.

Replied by Emma
Centralia, Illinois
12/28/2016
7 posts

Hi Sue. I found MSM solves my panic attacks, and I haven't had one since. I take first thing in the morning and you can increase as you get used to them. Easy on your stomach, too. Don't take at night when beginning, as can cause nightmares. I found that out the hard way, but now I can take three a day without that, since my body is used to the MSM.