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Short periods of anxiety are experienced
by almost everyone, but some individuals are more inclined to be
troubled with this problem. A sensation of discomfort or
apprehension is experienced (both emotional and physical) and,
although the person may be aware of a reason for feeling insecure or
worried, the cause is sometimes difficult to identify. Some
individuals experience “panic attacks”—very distressing
episodes accompanied by breathing problems, palpitations, and
intense (but temporary) feelings of both agitation and helplessness.
Homeopathic remedies can often help to soothe anxiety and bring a
person’s system into better balance.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Aconitum napellus: A panic attack
that comes on suddenly with very strong fear (even fear of death)
may indicate this remedy. A state of immense anxiety may be
accompanied by strong palpitations, shortness of breath, and
flushing of the face. Sometimes a shaking experience will be the
underlying cause. Strong feelings of anxiety may also occur when a
person is just beginning to come down with a flu or cold.
Argentum nitricum: This remedy can
be helpful when anxiety develops before a big event: an exam, an
important interview, a public appearance or social engagement.
Dizziness and diarrhea may also be experienced. People who need this
remedy are often enthusiastic and suggestible, with a tendency
toward peculiar thoughts and impulses. They often crave sweets and
salt (which usually make their symptoms worse).
Arsenicum album: People who are
deeply anxious about their health, and extremely concerned with
order and security, often benefit from this remedy. Obsessive about
small details and very neat, they may feel a desperate need to be in
control of everything. Panic attacks often occur around midnight or
the very early hours of the morning. The person may feel exhausted
yet still be restless—fidgeting, pacing, and anxiously moving from
place to place. These people may also have digestive problems or
asthma attacks accompanied by anxiety.
Calcarea carbonica: This remedy is
usually indicated for dependable, solid people who become
overwhelmed from physical illness or too much work and start to fear
a breakdown. Their thoughts can be muddled and confused when tired,
which adds to the anxiety. Worry and bad news may agitate them, and
a nagging dread of disaster (to themselves or others) may develop.
Fear of heights and claustrophobia are also common. A person who
needs this remedy is often chilly and sluggish, has a craving for
sweets, and is easily fatigued.
Gelsemium: Feelings of weakness,
trembling, and mental dullness (being “paralyzed by fear”)
suggest a need for this remedy. It is often helpful when a person
has stage-fright about a public performance or interview, or feels
anxious before a test, a visit to the dentist, or any stressful
event. Chills, perspiration, diarrhea, and headaches will often
occur with nervousness. Fear of crowds, a fear of falling, and even
a fear that the heart might stop are other indications for Gelsemium.
Ignatia amara: A sensitive person
who is anxious because of grief, loss, disappointment, criticism,
loneliness (or any stressful emotional experience) may benefit from
this remedy. A defensive attitude, frequent sighing, and mood swings
are other indications. The person may burst unexpectedly into either
tears or laughter. Headaches that feel like a nail driven into the
side of the head, and cramping pains in the abdomen or back, are
often seen when this remedy is needed.
Kali phosphoricum: When a person
has been exhausted by overwork or illness and feels a deep anxiety
and inability to cope, this remedy may help. The person is jumpy and
oversensitive, and may be startled by ordinary sounds. Hearing
unpleasant news or thinking of world events can aggravate the
problems. Insomnia and an inability to concentrate may develop,
increasing the sense of nervous dread. Eating, warmth, and rest
often bring relief. Headaches, backaches, and nervous digestive
upsets are often seen when this remedy is needed.
Lycopodium: Individuals likely to
respond to this remedy feel anxiety from mental stress and suffer
from a lack of confidence. They can be self-conscious and feel
intimidated by people they perceive as powerful (yet may also
swagger or be domineering toward those with whom they feel more
comfortable). Taking on responsibility can cause a deep anxiety and
fear of failure, although the person usually does well, once started
on a task. Claustrophobia, irritability, digestive upsets with gas
and bloating, and a craving for sweets are often seen when this
remedy is needed.
Natrum muriaticum: Deep emotions
and a self-protective shyness can make these people seem reserved,
aloof, and private. Even when feeling lonely, they tend to stay away
from social situations, not knowing what to say or do. (Inhibitions
sometimes leave completely if they turn to alcohol, which makes them
feel embarrassed afterwards.) Easily hurt and offended, they can
brood, bear grudges, dwell on unhappy feelings, and isolate
themselves—refusing consolation even when they want it. However,
they are often sympathetic listeners to other people’s problems.
Claustrophobia, anxiety at night (with fears of robbers or
intruders), migraines, and insomnia are often seen when this remedy
Phosphorus: People who need this
remedy are openhearted, imaginative, excitable, easily startled, and
full of intense and vivid fears. Strong anxiety can be triggered by
thinking of almost anything. Nervous and sensitive to others, they
can overextend themselves with sympathy to the point of feeling
exhausted and “spaced out” or even getting ill. They want a lot
of company and reassurance, often feeling better from conversation
or a back-rub. Easy flushing of the face, palpitations, thirst, and
a strong desire for cold, refreshing foods are other indications for
Pulsatilla: People who need this
remedy often express anxiety as insecurity and clinginess, with a
need for constant support and comforting. The person may be moody,
tearful, whiny, even emotionally childish. (Pulsatilla is a
very useful remedy for children.) Getting too warm or being in a
stuffy room often increases anxiety. Fresh air and gentle exercise
often bring relief. Anxiety around the time of hormonal changes
(puberty, menstrual periods, or menopause) often is helped with Pulsatilla.
Silicea (also called Silica):
People who need this remedy are capable and serious, yet are also
nervous, shy, and subject to bouts of temporary loss of confidence.
Anxiety can be extreme when they are faced with a public appearance,
interview, examination, or any new job or task. Worry and overwork
can bring on headaches, difficulty concentrating, and states of
exhaustion, oversensitivity, and dread. Responsible and diligent,
they often overreact and devote attention to tiny details—making
their worries (and their work) more difficult. They often have low
stamina and come down with colds, sore throats, or other illnesses
after working hard or being under stress.
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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The information presented in Healthnotes
Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on
scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical
experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article.
The results reported may not necessarily occur in all
individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented
healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health
problem and before using any supplements or before making
any changes in prescribed medications.
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