Anxiety and depression, along with cancer, could be considered the diseases of the 21st century. When it comes to the numbers of people suffering from anxiety, the figures are pretty grim: a rough estimation states that over 40 million adults in America alone are suffering from this condition. That figure alone shows that it is one of the most common mental illnesses.
When it comes to treating this condition, the United States Anxiety and Depression Association of American found out through a study that the government spends over 42 billion dollars per year for this.
When it comes to treating anxiety, a drug prescribed by most doctors is Xanax. While it is efficient in some cases, many people take it like candy, without thinking about how to use it and its many side effects.
A few details about Xanax
Xanax works by linking the GABA receptors from the brain and slowing down the heart rate and breathing. This usually has temporary calming effect on the patients.
Still, Xanax has many side effects that should be taken into account before starting the treatment:
- Dry Mouth
- Decreased libido
- Excess salivation
- Dyspnea (difficulty in breathing)
- In some cases, it can affect coordination
- Reduced concentration and motivation
The more serious, extreme side effects of Xanax include (oddly enough) depression, suicidal thoughts, paranoia, confusion, memory loss, nightmares and even seizures.
Along the typical side effects, there are some long-term effects that Xanax can have on you that are worth mentioning. The worst of all is that Xanax, quite simply, can be an addictive drug if it is not prescribed responsibly. This will lead the patients to increase the doses as the treatment advances, enhancing the potency of the side effects at the same time.
A better, natural alternative to Xanax
The best alternative to Xanax is L-theanine. This ingredient is an amino acid that can have similar effects on the body as Xanax, such as relaxation and the amelioration of anxiety, but without the side effects commonly associated with the pill.
By interacting with the brain receptors, it heightens the levels of glycine, dopamine, and Gaba levels, calming the central nervous system. As a result, it gives the patient a sensation of calm and cuts the stress levels in half.
In 2004, a group of Australian researchers conducted a study on 16 volunteers. By comparing the effect of 1 mg of Xanax and 200 mg of theanine, they concluded that the latter is more potent than the former, without causing any side effects.
A few things about L-theanine tea:
There are a few natural teas that contain L-theanine:
- Black tea: a 200-ml cup of black tea contains about 25 mg of L-theanine
- Green tea: 8 mg of L-theanine for one cup
How to make the tea:
- Boil the tea at 80 degrees C for about 30 minutes
- For every 1 gram of L-theanine, use 20 ml of water