It can be difficult to catch a breath these days. Between our always-on work and media culture, an accelerated pace of life, and timeless challenges like raising kids and providing eldercare, life in the 21st century can be anxiety-provoking. To say the least.
“We live in unacceptably stressful times,” says integrative psychiatrist Henry Emmons, MD, author of The Chemistry of Calm. “People are so uniformly stressed that they are looking for quick relief, often in the form of alcohol or prescription drugs. We need better options.”
Fortunately, we have them — and have had them for some time. “Plants have been used to relieve anxiety for thousands of years because anxiety has always existed,” he explains.
Anxiety originates in the brain’s amygdalae, two almond-sized structures (one in each hemisphere) that modulate the body’s response to stress. Functional-medicine physician and herbalist Aviva Romm, MD, likens their function to a surveillance system:…
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