Homeopathy is a complementary medicine. It’s used as an alternative and natural treatment for certain health conditions.
This includes anxiety. There are many homeopathic remedies for anxiety, including lycopodium, pulsatilla, aconite, and others.
Lots of research has been done to determine if homeopathy works for anxiety. Homeopathy has been used for over two centuries, and many people claim it works.
However, reports on homeopathic remedies can be flawed, unscientific, or biased. For this reason, homeopathy remains an alternative approach outside of the mainstream.
However, it does have some merits, including the placebo effect, when used as an anxiety treatment. Homeopathy also has few side effects if administered safely and correctly.
Homeopathy was invented in the late 18th century. It’s based on the idea “like cures like.” In other words, if something causes an illness, it might also cure that same illness.
Certain substances are diluted in water to create homeopathic remedies. Some of these substances are even toxic. Though any toxic substances are very highly diluted. They’re so diluted that when studied under microscopes, the levels are incredibly low or undetectable.
This method extracts the substance’s healing “signature,” which is responsible for its effects.
If you have anxiety and want to try homeopathy despite limited scientific evidence, here are some treatments you may want to try. Note that these recommendations are made by the homeopathy industry, and not mainstream doctors.
Homeopathy practitioners recommend aconite for intense, sudden anxiety, panic, or fear. Panic could be connected to past trauma. Symptoms of this type of panic include dry skin, dry mouth, and fast heartbeat.
This is sometimes recommended for people with anxiety that is due to uncertainty. This includes claustrophobia, hypochondria, fear of heights, or fear of everyday things. Uncertainty-based anxiety could be accompanied with digestive disturbance, like diarrhea, and sweets cravings.
This is purported to be for anxiety due to fear of loneliness, darkness, or being imperfect. People with this type of anxiety fear being alone and may relieve anxiety through control or criticism of others. They may also feel cold often.
Those who need calcarea may be similar to those who could benefit from arsenicum. They develop fear of breaking out of any safe routine. Anxiety worsens when plans are changed, and they show difficulty in “going with the flow.”
This is for people facing anxiety due to feelings of inadequacy. People with this type of anxiety are often timid and shaky. They may experience agoraphobia, avoid crowds or public speaking, and be vulnerable to fainting. They often also desire solitude and avoid insistent pressure from other people.
Homeopaths recommend ignatia for those experiencing anxiety from grief or loss. People who fit this description are often very sensitive and prone to mood swings, moving from laughter to tears. Ignatia is also recommended for depression.
This is for anxiety that is health-based. Conditions include hypochondria, excessive grooming, and even fear of heart attacks. People with health-based anxiety may have racing thoughts and difficulty sleeping. They may also fear death or dying. They can be prone to feeling cold and vulnerable to panic attacks.
This is touted for those who are vulnerable to stress or becoming overwhelmed. Their anxiety stems from having too much to do or ambitions that are daunting. Their anxiety tends to take a physical toll on them as well.
Similar to gelsemium, lycopodium is suggested for people who lack self-confidence. Though they fear speaking in public and have stage fright, they hide it well. They might cover it up with talking loudly or too frequently.
Homeopathic phosphorus is thought to be good for social people with anxiety. When anxious or vexed, their thoughts get scattered and they have a difficult time focusing or getting things done. Their anxiety may be tied to a need for approval in social circles or from romantic partners.
This is for people with childlike anxiety. They may need lots of reassurance and support from others to feel better.
Silica is much like gelsemium and lycopodium. It’s for people who fear experiencing new things, talking in front of people, and getting a lot of attention. They tend to become workaholics to soothe their fears.
This is for anxiety that also includes night terrors, nightmares, or dark thoughts while awake. People with this type of anxiety are often scared of the dark or being alone and are especially scared by thoughts of monsters or mysterious figures. Their imaginations tend to worsen their anxiety.
High-quality research supporting homeopathy is few and far between. This goes for homeopathy for anxiety, too.
Homeopathy is difficult to study within medicine. When it does appear to work, it’s often attributed to the placebo effect. The placebo effect doesn’t prove that there were no real symptoms, rather it gives testimony to the power of the mind over the body.
There are some studies showing that homeopathy may work for anxiety. A 2012 Homeopathy journal study found homeopathic pulsatilla had anti-anxiety effects on mice. It was also just as effective as an anti-anxiety drug.
However, this study was only performed on animals. It was also an independent study performed by a journal specific to the homeopathic industry.
Lastly, the substances used could not be proven to contain pulsatilla, but only its invisible “signature.”
There are also studies disproving homeopathy for anxiety when compared to a placebo. This includes a 2012 study on humans. Because of the variability in these studies, trying homeopathy is not recommended by mainstream doctors.
This is especially the case for more severe anxiety disorders. Ultimately, more — and better — research is needed.
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning against using homeopathy for serious illnesses. Homeopathy should not replace what your doctor tells you to do. It can be used as a complement to other approaches.
Some forms of anxiety are more serious than others. For mild anxiety and stress, however, homeopathy may be a natural remedy that helps you.
Homeopathic anxiety remedies, when made correctly, shouldn’t contain molecules of the substances they’re labelled for. Otherwise, levels are extremely low.
Even when containing toxic ingredients, they’re diluted enough to be completely safe. Keep in mind, however, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate homeopathic supplements.
There are many companies that make and sell these remedies. Only buy from companies you trust or that have good reputations.
Many homeopathic supplements contain toxic ingredients. If not properly made and diluted, they can cause serious side effects, such as in this 2009 case. Homeopathic substances like arsenic and aconite, for example, are fatal if consumed when improperly diluted.
This is good reason to source from upstanding manufacturers and speak to a certified homeopathy practitioner. If you experience any strange side effects, discontinue use immediately and see your doctor.
Beyond homeopathic remedies, there are other natural remedies for anxiety or panic attacks you can try. Some have more research to support them than homeopathy.
- Vitamins. A, C, D, E, and B vitamin complexes may holistically relieve anxiety over the long-term.
- Minerals. Minerals (particularly magnesium) may help, according to a 2015 study.
- Supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids, certain amino acids, and certain neurotransmitters like 5-HTP may help.
- Herbs. Lemon balm, bacopa, passionflower, and more have been researched for anxiety.
- Meditation and relaxation. Learn mindfulness-based stress management strategies to deal with anxiety. There is significant research supporting its use.
Homeopathy is a relatively safe option to explore for naturally relieving your anxiety. It may also work in a pinch for panic attacks. There are few side effects, and it may be enough to treat mild anxiety.
Homeopathic remedies have been used for a long time for treating anxiety in some people. Because research is mixed, however, these remedies are not recommended by mainstream doctors.
If they help your anxiety, it’s possible that it’s just the placebo effect. Still, this can be useful. If homeopathy works for you, then feel free to continue using it.
Don’t use homeopathy as a first-line approach against more serious forms of anxiety. Drugs and medications with stronger research to support them are safer options to explore.
If your anxiety doesn’t improve with homeopathy or you experience side effects, discontinue use altogether. See your doctor as soon as you can.