Alternatively Speaking: Treating trauma, naturally

Expert Natalie Marx answers your questions: Any homeopathic remedies to help with fear of rockets?

Beersheba residents take shelter in a stairwell 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
Beersheba residents take shelter in a stairwell 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
Q. Dear Natalie, I am living in the south of Israel and I write to you in a desperate state of fear. Since the rocket attacks I have been suffering from panic attacks when the siren alerts. Are there any homeopathic remedies I can take to prevent this happening, or as it happens?
A. Temporary anxiety or panic attacks can indeed be relieved with the use of homeopathic remedies. For those who suffer from chronic anxiety I suggest you seek the advice of a homeopath to determine which remedy gets to the root cause of the anxiety. For acute symptoms you can select from the remedies below which is most fitting.
Aconitum Napellus: This remedy is often considered the homeopathic substitute for Valium. It is most commonly used when there has been a sudden onset of fear. It is also indicated when a traumatic injury causes a fright or shock.
Aconite can be used when there is a fear of death, panic attacks and a lot of restlessness. Another indication for the use of this remedy includes anxiety occurring specifically at night when awakened. For adults I suggest using a 200C potency, which can be taken once daily. You can take this as and when the anxiety sets in and it can be discontinued once the anxiety has been controlled.
Arsenicum Album: This remedy is well indicated when a person is restless and feeling cold along with a pronounced  fear of death. Use 30C potency every 30 minutes to two hours until the symptoms have calmed down. Then continue using a potency of 200C once or twice a day until the panic attacks are completely under control.
Gelsemium: This remedy is an excellent choice when there is panic or anxiety in anticipation of an event, such as the siren alert. This remedy is most suited when the person is anxious, trembling and confused from shock. It is a great remedy for those who become paralyzed by the anxiety. Depending on the severity of the anxiety, I suggest you take a 30C potency between three to four times daily until the anxiety has calmed.
Finally, I recommend carrying with you Bach Rescue Remedy at all times. This is a combination of five homeopathic flower essences. These liquid drops can be taken every 20-30 minutes until the anxiety dissipates. You can either use the drops directly under the tongue or in half a glass of water.
Q. Dear Natalie, I am the Coordinator at a shelter for victims of trauma in Beersheba. Please can you recommend any herbal remedies for anxiety disorder. Thank you.
A. Herbal medicines do certainly provide safe and effective relief for all kinds of symptoms surrounding anxiety disorder. Valerian is a wonderful herbal remedy that I often prescribe due to its proven relaxant effects. You can take Valerian in capsule form, a dosage of 150mg two to three times a day to treat on-going anxiety attacks. Do not take valerian if you are pregnant.
Aromatherapy using lavender to counter anxiety is a gentle yet highly effective remedy. As a person inhales lavender essential oil, molecules enter the brain and act as a mild sedative reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. The oil can be diffused through a room with a diffuser especially made for this purpose or a few drops can be added to your bath and pillow.
Passionflower is an effective remedy against anxiety disorder. I suggest passionflower be taken as a tea or liquid extract and you will feel it’s relaxing benefits. You can also brew a hot cup of lemon balm tea. It's known for its calming effects and it is also effective when combined with valerian. Use 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon balm leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried leaves, and sip slowly while inhaling the vapors.
Drinking chamomile tea is also another way to settle anxiety. In severe cases, I recommend one to four cups on a daily basis. You can also use Chamomile capsules; between 400 to 1,600 milligrams each day.
Q. Dear Natalie, I am suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Are there any foods which can help promote calmness? Are there any foods which I should be avoiding?
A. Although no specific diet for panic disorder exists, it is recommended to eat small, frequent meals containing complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat to stabilize the blood sugar levels.
At breakfast, try a bowl of warm oats, fresh fruit and ground flaxseed. A balanced lunch can include brown rice, grilled salmon or tuna with cooked vegetables or a salad. Make sure you stay sufficiently hydrated by drinking water throughout each day.
Incorporating certain foods into your diet can help reduce anxiety levels. Foods rich in B vitamins help elevate our mood and can decrease anxiety. Foods with B vitamins include cauliflower, vegetable oil, oranges, spinach, whole grains, liver, red and green peppers, salmon, asparagus, strawberries, eggs,  fortified cereals, soybeans, oats and blackberries.
I also recommend beans, avocado, spinach, and garlic for reducing anxiety. Try to avoid eating too much salt since it raises blood pressure, causing strain on the heart. Salt also reduces potassium in the body, which the nervous system requires to run smoothly.
I suggest also reducing your caffeine and sugar intake since these stimulants increase our heart rate and can contribute to nervousness in people who suffer from anxiety or post - traumatic stress disorders.
This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.
Natalie runs a clinic both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem offering a wide range of natural treatment, including a women’s clinic every Wednesday. To make an appointment please email [email protected].
Ask Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer, email Natalie with your question at [email protected]
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