A recent development amongst the proprietary preparations of herbs for anxiety and panic is KSM-66 Ashwaganda. Ashwaganda is the Indian name for Withania.
This extract contains a high percentage of the active ingredients in Withania (withanolides) and is very effective, particularly in preventing stress from escalating into anxiety problems but also in helping to normalise the nervous system once they have set in.
When you are in your local health food shop or shopping on line, look out for herbal products for anxiety that contain KSM-66.
Also useful among herbal preparations are Sensoril ®, and Suntheanine. Sensoril ® can be found together with another useful stress reducing herbal combination - Relora ® - in a product called Cortisol Control.
Sensoril ® is a 'standardised extract' of one of my favourite herbs 'Withania' (also known in Ayurvedic medicine as Ashwaganda). Withania has been used for thousands of years to help the body adapt to stress and restore balance after stressful experiences, reducing anxiety and fatigue and improving the quality of sleep.
Whilst it's been known for centuries in the East to be helpful in this way, it is only recently that scientific studies have confirmed that it substantially reduces the levels of stress hormones (which are largely responsible for the unpleasant symptoms of anxiety and panic) whilst at the same time increasing DHEA - an anti-stress/anti-aging hormone that decreases as we grow older. Sensoril ® is a patented extract of Withania which means that it always contains a guaranteed amount of the active ingredients of this herb. This makes it a very reliable and potent way of receiving the benefits of Withania.
Sensoril ® can be bought separately or in various products, including Cortisol Control, a brand with which I have had much success. Cortisol Control also contains Relora ® - a combination of Phellodendron amurense and Magnolia officianalis, two herbs used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The benefits of these herbs are that they are also effective in increasing resilience to stress and reducing anxiety, whilst apparently helping to control stress-related eating.
Suntheanine is a really useful product to have on hand during the more acute phase of anxiety disorders. Unlike the other two products here, it works more on a symptomatic level by increasing alpha brain wave activity. These of are the brain waves associated with feeling relaxed and alert. Its effects last for about 8-12 hours rather than normalising body systems over time. Still, as anxiety and panic are usually a vicious cycle - fear of the symptoms of anxiety and panic creating a worsening of the symptoms, creating more fear and so on and on - anything that helps to break that cycle is going to be useful in a broader sense as well.