Young or old, single or in a family of five, we all experience stress. Sometimes it helps to remember stress can actually be good—who wants to live a life of boredom? Too much stress though, and we risk feeling overwhelmed.

When overwhelm hits it’s best to take a step back and reflect on what is actually causing you stress. This may seem obvious but sometimes just settling back into daily routines, taking a stroll outside in nature, getting to bed on time and eating nourishing meals can help a long way to getting you back on track.  Take time for yourself, even if you can only afford a few minutes.

If after some reflection you’ve decided that you need a little more than just a warm soak in the tub, homeopathy offers excellent home remedies that will help take the edge off so you can cope without leaving you feeling drugged or wired. Look over and choose one of the five remedies below according to the symptoms you experience—the better the remedy suits your symptoms, the better it will work. In my experience, children respond well to homeopathic remedies, with the added bonus that you don’t need to worry about toxicity or side effects.

Favourite Remedies for Anxiety and Stress:

Nux vomica 30ch: is great for periods of stress from overwork when irritability takes over the nervous system. Feeling hurried, frustrated and anxious about work and deadlines, waking up in the middle of the night and not able to get back to sleep until morning? This is when Nux vomica will help. It is no wonder that Nux is the main remedy for hangovers, as it is during these periods of stress that we tend to overindulge in alcohol and coffee, leading to the kind of stress and misery that only the remedy Nux only can heal.

Aconite 30ch: for panic attacks! If you are experiencing sudden fear of death in an airplane or before surgery, choose Aconite to bring calm to an intense moment. Take 3 times a day for a day before the event or every 30 minutes for 3 or 4 doses during an attack. For recurring panic attacks, however constitutional remedies are recommended, as they will help over the long term—because this involves a bigger picture approach, you will need to make an appointment with a classical homeopath.

Gelsemium 30ch: for pre-event jitters. Are you feeling stressed about an upcoming event to the point where you feel weak, fear failure and toy with the idea of giving up? Help comes in the form of homeopathic Gelsemium, an excellent restorative.  Michelle Collins, actress from Coronation Street, in an interview with the Daily Mail, talks about how homeopathic Gelsemium was helpful to calm her nerves: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2698330/Ive-ditched-happy-pills-flower-power-After-battling-depression-one-star-goes-against-doctors-advice.html

Ignatia 30ch: for times of emotional distress, when feelings are stuck. If you’re not coping well after some bad news, bereavement or a relationship breakup– or you’re feeling irrational, but can’t help it, homeopathic Ignatia can help bring back balance and perspective.  It’s for those times when it feels like you can’t cry even though it might help, or you can’t stop crying.

Kali phos 6x : this Schuessler tissue salt is best for periods of stress that last several weeks. Unlike the homeopathic remedy in a 30ch potency, the Schuessler tissue salt is in a potency that requires repetition and works as a sort of nerve tonic but in pill form. Kali phos is ideal for the kind of nervous exhaustion that comes from prolonged worry or anxiety. Sleep doesn’t come easily, although the feeling is that sleep would be restorative. Take 3 pills of the 6x potency 2-3 times daily for a few weeks, stopping as symptoms improve.

When to see a homeopath: Because homeopathic remedies are chosen according to the unique symptoms a person experiences, there are not five, but actually hundreds of medicines to choose from, which means that nothing beats a visit with your local homeopath to have a constitutional homeopathic remedy chosen specifically for your unique needs. Or if you find that one of the above remedies works well in the beginning but you need to keep using it, a visit with your homeopath will ensure that you take the remedy correctly and see if there isn’t a better fit. Ideally, homeopathic constitutional medicines should help you become more resilient, so that you need less rather than more medicine over time.

Self help dosages: If you’ve decided one of the remedies suits your needs or for those of your children, I recommend the 30ch potency because it’s widely available and works fast. Take 3-5 pills on the tongue 3 times daily for up to 3 days if necessary. Remedies don’t work to eliminate the problem, rather they create balance in the body so you are better able to handle the stress. In homeopathy, less is more, so when you start to feel better, you must stop, even if you’ve only taken the remedy once or just for a day. Please use common sense: homeopathic self care should never replace medical care and check-ups and some final words: if stress is debilitating, seek help rather than suffering alone. There is help!

For more on healthy habits to combat stress and anxiety, check out the previous blog post.