Natural Home Remedies for Phobias

A phobia is defined as an exaggerated and irrational fear. You might have a healthy fear of a real danger but a phobia would have you shaking in fear of something that isn’t particularly dangerous. A true phobia is a diagnosable mental disorder.

There are specific, or simple, phobias that are triggered by some specific person, place, thing or situation.  There are social, or complex, phobias which make public settings uncomfortable (more extreme than shyness).  There is a fear (agoraphobia) of being in a situation from which you cannot easily escape.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

You may experience one or more of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Chest pains
  • Powerful need to avoid whatever triggers the fear
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling

PREVALENCE

It is estimated that nearly 20 million people in the US have a phobia (NCIS-R).

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

  • Psychological counseling
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Medications

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and disorder. A healthy body supports a healthy mind.  To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat.  The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS THAT MAY CALM

  • Chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Hops (with other teas) at bedtime
  • Kava
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Oregano
  • Passionflower
  • Peppermint
  • Rose tea
  • Valerian root

HERBS AND SPICES FOR STRESS REDUCTION

  • Ashwagandha
  • Basil
  • Brahmi
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Passionflower
  • Rosemary (for cooking and in your bath)
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Tulsi
  • Turmeric

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil  (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.  Check with your doctor to determine if any essential oils will interfere with prescription medications. The following oils may not cure your phobia but may make you feel less stress:

  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Clary sage
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Melissa (lemon balm)
  • Neroli
  • Palmarosa
  • Rose
  • Rose otto
  • Sandalwood
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang Ylang

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Ashwagandha
  • L-theanine (found in green tea)
  • Omega 3’s
  • RediCalm is a combination of Ashwagandha, Passionflower, L-theanine, 5-HTP and Lemon Balm
  • St. John’s Wort

HYDRATION

Studies show that dehydration increases cortisol levels (cortisol is a stress hormone). It will also make anxiety much worse. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body.  Without it, you cannot survive for many days.  Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough?  There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients.  If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh.  If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day.  Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed.  The endorphins will help you relax. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies.  Lack of sleep will also make it more difficult for you to achieve balance in your body and mind.  If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate.  Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you, and as you become adept at them, you either will have a useful tool during heightened anxiety or you may find that you may be more peaceful overall:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Avoid triggers if you know what they are and avoiding them does not negatively impact your life.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Acupressure – https://www.herbalshop.com/natural-healing/acupressure-massage-for-phobias/
  • Acupuncture – https://ezinearticles.com/?Treating-Phobias-With-Acupuncture—Is-There-Any-Point?&id=7277172
  • Ayurveda – https://www.athayurdhamah.com/articles/ayurvedic-cures-for-phobia
  • EFT (which has helped many overcome their irrational fears)
  • Homeopathy – https://hompath.com/blog/fear-phobias-homeopathy-repertory/

CAUTIONS

  • If you or someone you know experiences a panic attack, seek medical help if it lasts longer than 20 minutes.

Personal testimonial: In about 2004, I helped a family member use EFT to tackle claustrophobia, something she had suffered with since childhood but which was escalating in her late 40’s.  In about 45 minutes of tapping, she had moved from 10 (I’m not getting in that closet and turning off the light for anything!) to a 0 on her anxiety scale.  She lived for another 12 years and during all that time, her claustrophobia did not return.  If you find the right aspect of your fears, EFT can be magical.

 

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