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How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety

Updated: May 11, 2022



One of the most common conditions I see in clinic is stress and anxiety. Due to the busy hustle of day to day life, many people find themselves in a stage of burnout where they are no longer able to cope with daily stressors. Anxiety can then creep up and become debilitating, making daily tasks difficult. In Naturopathic terms, we refer to this as Dysregulation of the HPA Axis and Adrenal burn out. At times like this we need to prioritise our mental health and support our nervous system as a whole. See below for some Naturopathic perspectives into stress and anxiety management.


Getting to the root cause of any condition is a central part of Naturopathy. With stress and anxiety cases, doing a thorough case analysis where emotional triggers, neurotransmitter imbalances, hormonal regulation, nutritional deficiencies, methylation capacity, liver function, gut health and functioning of enzymes are all identified and evaluated. From there a personalised treatment plan is developed that is often must-system targeted, as stress and anxiety are often must-system conditions. Some common areas of treatment include:



Dietary

Ensuring adequate intake of protein In order to support neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve function.

  • Encouraging consumption of dark leafy greens to support magnesium status

  • Encouraging consumption of oily fish such as salmon to optimise Omega-3 intake that is essential for nervous system function.

  • Increasing intake of eggs, which are a rich source of tryptophan and choline, this regulates serotonin production and cell signalling.

  • Increasing water! Reducing caffeine, alcohol and refine sugars.

  • Utilising bitters to optimise digestion and nutrient absorption.

  • Specific nutrients for therapeutic effects: Glycine, L-Theanine, Inositol, Vitamin D, B-complex, Magnesium, Taurine, NAC, CoQ10, Zinc, Selenium, Tyrosine, Essential Fatty Acids, Iron, Vitamin C.


Herbs for Anxiety

  • Piper methysticum (kava kava); analgesic, anti-stress, sedative, muscle relaxant, antithrombotic, neuroprotective, mild anaesthetic, hypnotic.

  • Matricaria recutita (chamomile); The anxiolytic effects of chamomile have been shown to involve the GABA system.

  • Passiflora incarnata (passionflower); is suitable for both chronic and acute forms of anxiety.

  • Withania somnifera (ashwagandha); antioxidant, anxiolytic, adaptogenic and anti-inflammatory actions.

  • Avena sativa (oats); nervine trophorestorative.


Herbs for Stress

  • Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice); Adrenal tonic, anti-inflammatory.

  • Rhodiola rosea; Adaptogenic, antidepressant, immuno- modulator, anti-inflammatory.

  • Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng); Immune-modulator, adaptogen.

  • Bacopa monniera (Brahmi); Cognition enhancing, neuroprotective, anti-depressant, adaptogen



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Kelly offers international online consultations, and in-person appointments in Melbourne, Australia.

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