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Natural treatment for PTSD – stinging nettle, valerian and bacopa

There are many people who have heard about PTSD but not every fully understands it. The emotional repercussions of this disorder can be hard to comprehend unless you have experienced it personally. PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is affecting millions of people all around the world in many different ways. This is a mental disorder that develops in many people following a traumatic event, such as natural disasters, rape, armed conflict, and physical assault. PTSD is characterized by social reclusion, vivid recollections of the event, intense bouts of anxiety, and other disturbing thoughts, feelings, and dreams. The PTSD episodes can vary in longevity, intensity, and duration, but they are often connected with high emotional arousal or reminders/recollections of the event that causes PTSD. [1]

You should know that not all traumatic events can lead to PTSD, and this condition is not always permanent. Sometimes, it lasts for only a few weeks. When it is more serious, then it can last for years or even for life. There are some studies in which it is said that about 10% of people will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives, and these numbers are particularly high during the presence of large–scale natural disasters and during wartime [1]. There are many home remedies and behavioral remedies which can help in the treatment of PTSD. If you suffer from PTSD, then you need to talk with your doctor before you start using some of the below-mentioned home remedies.

18 PTSD home remedy treatment

Reducing emotional arousal

It is known that highly volatile emotional situations, such as stressful events/gatherings, physical accidents, romantic entanglements, and fights, can cause PTSD flashbacks or highly mental states. This can lead to severe anxiety, and this is a reason why it should be avoided whenever possible. Remaining calm and collected is very important for the treatment of PTSD.

Exercise

Exercise is the easiest way to flood the body with positive endorphins and compounds. The endorphin release and the energetic rush following a strenuous workout can help to lower the stress hormone levels, and also, it can make it easier to sleep and relax because a great deal of nervous energy is expended in the workout. You should play a pick–up game of basketball or do some high–intensity weightlifting because it can help to eliminate the negative thoughts and feelings which are building as a result of PTSD. [2,3]

Aromatherapy

There are many different volatile compounds and essential oils which can be used in aromatherapy, and many of them have sedative, soothing and anxiolytic effects that provide a calming and peaceful experience. Aromatherapy is a simple and effective home remedy that can help you if you suffer from a particularly bad day or panic/anxiety attack.

Valerian

Valerian is one of the most effective sedative herbal medicines. It is an important part of the natural treatment of PTSD. There are many people who experience nightmares, insomnia, and other restless conditions when they attempt to sleep. Valerian is a powerful sleep aid that can ensure healthy and restful sleep and dispel the obsessive behavior and negative thoughts which can accompany PTSD. [4]

Avoid alcohol and drugs

There are many people who are drinking alcohol or taking drugs when they are struggling with traumatic memories and difficult emotions. It is known that these substances are worsening the symptoms of PTSD. They interfere with the treatment, and they can add many problems to your life, so you need to avoid them.

Stinging nettle

This home remedy is widely used as a natural treatment for PTSD because it can help to regulate the adrenal gland to reduce the production of adrenaline. It is the hormone that is released during stressful and anxiety-inducing situations, and for people who suffer from PTSD, this gland can be overactive, which results in an unnecessary fight–or–flight sensations that exacerbate this condition. [5]

Chamomile

Chamomile tea has been used for thousands of years to settle and soothe upset nerves. It is one of the best home remedies for PTSD. If you feel that a bad day is coming on, then the natural compounds of chamomile can help to relax your nerves in a quick way, and they will dispel negative thoughts. [6]

Natural cures for PTSD

Dong Quai

PTSD causes physical symptoms. These symptoms can arise, and there are many symptoms, such as overactive adrenal glands and an overly sensitive nervous system. This is an ancient Chinese herb. This natural cure can effectively regulate the adrenal glands, which prevent high–anxiety moments and panic attacks, while it will keep your nervous system healthy. [7]

Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation can trigger moodiness, irritability, and anger. You should aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night. You should develop a relaxing bedtime ritual (read something light, watch a funny show or listen to calming music) and make your bedroom as quiet, dark, and soothing as possible.

Skullcap

In traditional medicine, the skullcap was used as a home remedy to soothe nervous disorders. It can improve mood and ease distressing mental states, and it has powerful effects on the nervous system, which in combination with the prevention of spirals of anxiety, makes it one of the best home remedies for PTSD. [8]

Kava root

Kava root is one of the best home remedies for people who are looking for strong relaxant agents that are very important for people who suffer from nervous episodes or panic attacks as a result of PTSD. This is a powerful natural muscle relaxant which is coming in many forms, such as capsules, tinctures, and teas. In many countries, the use of kava is banned or restricted, and it can have side effects, so this is a reason why you need to talk with your doctor before you start using it.

Social engagement

People who suffer from PTSD often shut themselves away from the world at large, either of an unwillingness to engage with others or fear of further trauma. This leads to depression and even more severe symptoms of PTSD. You should actively engage in social situations and communicate with other people because it is an effective and enjoyable strategy to lessen the effects of PTSD.

Yoga

The trauma-sensitive yoga promotes the integration of your body and mind and the ability to achieve inner quiet calm and relaxation. Also you will have greater comfort with the present moment.

Avoiding reminders

There are some people who are saying that returning to the scene of the trauma can lessen the mental stress of PTSD but the frequent reminders of your experience (such as watching war movies obsessively after suffering from shell shock) can be very damaging for your condition, and even they can worsen it. If you try to distance yourself from regular contact with traumatic memories will help you have a normal life with PTSD.

Lemon balm

This home remedy is used as a natural treatment for sleep problems, stomach problems, nervousness, and insomnia. There are some cases when the lemon balm produces drowsiness in some patients. If this is your case and it continues to persist with stomach problems and nervousness, then you should talk with your doctor as soon as possible.

Counseling

We know that talking about traumatic or painful events can be difficult, but also when we keep these emotions in us, it can also be dangerous. When we keep emotions inside, then this is allowing growing to even more intense dimensions in our minds. It is recommended to speak with a trained counselor or even share your experience with loved ones, and trusted friends can help to reduce the power which the event holds over you and it is forming a supportive network for your troubled mind.

Bacopa

It is believed that this home remedy can raise the mental status of people who suffer from depression. Also, it can help to raise the mental setup of a person and enhances better brain capabilities, skills and performance.

Also, it can improve the mental activity, consciousness and intellect. This home remedy can calm the mind and it can promote relaxation. It is recommended a standardized extract of 50 – 100 mg, three times per day for symptoms of anxiety and stress.

There are some studies in which it is said that this natural cure can increase secretions in the bladder, lungs, and GI tract, and potentially, it can increase the likelihood of blockages or ulcers in one of these systems. [9]

Green tea

PTSD is a mental disorder, but it can have significant effects on the body, such as hormonal and immune system balance. We know that green tea is an immune system booster. It has soothing properties which can help to reduce nervous distress and mental anxiety. You should drink green tea or add green tea extracts to your daily diet because this is one of the most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of PTSD. [10]

References:

[1] Iribarren J, Prolo P, Neagos N, Chiappelli F. Post-traumatic stress disorder: Evidence-based research for the third millennium. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2005;2(4):503-512.

[2] Oppizzi LM, Umberger R. The effect of physical activity on PTSD. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 2018;39(2):179-187.

[3] Whitworth JW, Ciccolo JT. Exercise and post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans: A systematic review. Military Medicine. 2016;181(9):953-60.

[4] Wexler A. Does valerian root treat anxiety and insomnia? Medical News Today. 2017.

[5] Kregiel D, Pawlikowska E, Antolak H. Urtica spp.: Ordinary plants with extraordinary properties. Molecules. 2018;23(7):1664.

[6] Vasileva L, Getova D. Herbal medicines in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder: A review. IOSR Journal of Pharmacy. 2016;6(7):2250-3013.

[7] Cassileth BR. Dong quai. Oncology. 2012.

[8] Liu L, Liu C, Wang Y, et al. Herbal medicine for anxiety, depression and insomnia. Current Neuropharmacology. 2015;13(4):481-493.

[9] Calabrese C, Gregory WL, Leo M, et al. Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008;14(6):707-713.

[10] Ceremuga TE, Martinson S, Washington J, et al. Effects of L-Theanine on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder induced changes in rat brain gene expression. The Scientific World Journal. 2014;2014:419032.

Hanan Marshal
Hanan Marshal
Hanan, a medical student (MBBS) having passion for writing and is very much interested in holistic living along with nature. He is very much interested in doing community service and watches anime and play PS4 during his free time. You can reach him through [email protected]

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