Anxiety can be a debilitating condition and limit our ability to enjoy and experience life. Long standing, chronic anxiety should always be assessed and supported by your GP, but homeopathy has a lot to offer and best results are always achieved by consulting with an experienced homeopath.
For those more minor bouts of anxiety which many of us experience, such as before getting on a plane, before social events or going to the dentist, just as examples, here are a few remedies which may soothe and calm. These are the remedies traditionally used to support people at this time and you’ll note we talk about the whole person, not just their anxiety.
As always if you don’t have success with your home prescribing see your homeopath or other healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Single Remedies for Anxiety
Aconite – can be helpful for panic attacks with fear and strong anxiety which come on suddenly. There may be an intense and irrational fear, including of death (eg prior to getting on a plane) and this may lead to palpitations, breathlessness, dry mouth, dizziness and flushing of the face. The patient may appear agitated and fearful. Sometimes a frightening experience may be the original cause, with the panic attacks continuing for some time after. The remedy can be taken frequently (every 10 minutes if necessary) or added to a water bottle and sipped.
Argentrum nitricum (Arg Nit) – When anxiety arises before an important event such as an exam, an interview, a speaking engagement or social event, this remedy is useful if the symptom picture fits. Symptoms often include dizziness and diarrhoea. People who need this remedy are often jittery, quite impulsive and suggestible, but can usually be easily reassured. They may crave sweets and salt, which usually make the symptoms worse, particularly the diarrhoea.
Arsenicum album (Ars Alb) – People who need this remedy are usually very anxious about their health and have a tendency to need things to be very orderly and secure. They have a great need to control everything and can be obsessive about small details. They will often “sweat the small stuff” around some event outside of their control, like the food or water on a trip overseas. Anxiety can occur any time but between midnight and 2am is a common time for these people, when they may wake feeling anxious and restless and actually get out of bed to pace around. They often have digestive issues (commonly diarrhoea) or asthma attacks related to anxiety.
Calcarea carbonicum (Calc Carb) – Individuals needing this remedy are dependable, solid souls who become easily overwhelmed from working too hard or perhaps as a result of an illness, and start to fear they are losing their mind. They can become foggy and confused when tired and this adds to their anxiety. They don’t cope well with change, worry or bad news and an underlying dread of disaster can develop. These individuals are generally quite fearful, and fear of heights and enclosed spaces are common. They often crave sweets and eggs and are easily fatigued. As homeopaths we tend to think of these individuals as a little overweight and often sweaty, particularly in children, but this isn’t always the case if the rest of the picture fits.
Gelsemium – People who fit this remedy picture can become paralysed by fear and anxiety, so literally feel like they are rooted to the spot and their brain won’t function. They may become shaky and experience chills and hot flushes, diarrhoea and headaches. Fear of crowds, a fear of falling, and even a fear that the heart might stop are other indications for the remedy. This is a good remedy if the knees turn to jelly and you can’t think, so before an interview or giving a talk, a test, visit to the dentist or other stressful event. They can sometimes feel better after urinating.
Ignatia – These are sensitive individuals who are often anxious following a grief, disappointment or some kind of criticism or other stressful experience. They are a bit all over the place with their moods and even their physical symptoms! Mood swings, frequent sighing, they may burst into tears or laughter, or be uncharacteristically rude or defensive. Headaches like a nail being driven into the side of the head are common, as is the sensation of a lump in the throat or crampy pains in the tummy or back.
Kali phosphoricum (Kali P) – is one of the 12 tissue salts, but it can also be used in potencies other than 6x. Symptoms indicating Kali Phos may appear when someone has become exhausted by overwork or illness and they feel anxious and unable to cope. This remedy has an affinity for the nervous system so they may be jumpy and oversensitive and easily startled. Physical symptoms may include headaches, backaches and digestive upsets. Hearing unpleasant news or thinking about world events can aggravate the problems. Concentration may become a problem, along with insomnia and a sense of nervous dread. Eating, warmth and rest often bring relief.
Lycopodium (Lyc) – People needing this remedy often have a great lack of self-confidence – not that you’d know it, as outwardly they may be domineering and overbearing with people they feel comfortable with. They do however often feel self-conscious and intimidated by their superiors or people they perceive as powerful! They have major issues with taking on responsibility (including marriage or parenthood!) and this can cause anxiety and fear of failure. Having said this, once they start the task they usually perform well. Claustrophobia, irritability, digestive problems with major gas and bloating and a craving for sweets are often indicators for Lycopodium.
Natrum muriaticum (Nat Mur) – These souls have deep emotions and can appear aloof and reserved, which is really a protective mechanism. They are not comfortable in social situations so are often lonely and can be easily hurt and offended. They tend to dwell on what may be minor offences to others, refusing to be consoled even though they may want it. They are, however, good listeners! They can often be fearful, with anxiety at night, fear of robbers or intruders and fear of enclosed spaces. Migraines and insomnia are symptoms that may arise as part of their anxiety picture and may come on after a loss or grief. The anxiety may not be obvious as most things can tend to be hidden in Nat Mur people.
Phosphorus people, on the other hand, are outgoing, excitable, generous, and open hearted. Because they are so open they can also be jumpy and full of vivid fears and imaginations. Anxiety can be triggered by almost anything as they lack the boundaries necessary for modern life. They are over-sympathetic and when they become worn out from overdoing it or over-caring they suffer exhaustion, get spacey or even become ill. They are better for company and reassurance, as well as conversation and a massage or back rub. They have strong thirst and desire for cold and refreshing foods (such as fruit and salad).
Pulsatilla patients may be weepy, whiny and clingy when worried or anxious, needing support and comfort. This is quite a hormonal remedy so anxiety can be worse at times of hormonal changes such as puberty (in both boys and girls), periods or menopause. They are easily overheated, which can aggravate the anxiety and are intolerant of stuffy rooms, often being better for fresh air and gentle exercise.
Silica – People needing Silica are often shy and nervous, although can be very capable and quietly strong minded. They tend to be a little OCD when anxious or given responsibility and can get stuck in the minor details, aggravating their anxiety. They can suffer extreme anxiety when doing something new, having to speak in public, going for an interview or doing an exam. Headaches can result from worry and overwork, as well as difficult concentration, exhaustion and general oversensitivity. They do generally lack stamina and if overworked or exhausted have a tendency to come down with colds, styes, sore throats and similar. Silica has a very specific fear of needles!
Combinations & Essences
Don’t forget our Anticipation & Anxiety Combination which includes remedies traditionally indicated for a variety of situations where anxiety or anticipation may be an issue.
And of course SOS, our own 21st Century version of Rescue Remedy and similar, is great to carry in a handbag or pocket for these times.
Some of the WyldChyld Essences have an affinity for anxiety and are applicable to adults and children alike.
Melanie Creedy trained in the UK in the early 1990s and holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Homeopathy. She is registered with the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH) and is a member of the Australian Homoeopathic Association.
Melanie has used homeopathy for 30 years and has been in practice since 1998. For many years she ran The Children’s Ear Clinic in Western Australia, but since her tree change to Tasmania, has a special interest in women’s and children’s health generally and helping individuals manage their journey on the spiritual path with homeopathy and her range of essences. Melanie has developed her own methods of dealing with complex cases over the years and offers distance consultations via phone and skype to allow people Australia-wide to access her services.
She was Vice President and Professional Development Coordinator of the Australian Homoeopathic Association from 2011 to 2015 and is editor of the AHA National Newsletter.
Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition, it is important to be assessed or examined by your GP or specialist. Always seek medical advice in emergencies. The information provided in this blog does not constitute medical advice but is for information only. If in doubt as to the appropriateness of a suggestion or treatment seek advice from your homeopath.