Herbal Supplements to Overcome Stage Fright
Stage fright, or anxiety felt right before performing in front of an audience, is a very common phobia. Athletes, musicians and other performance artists have used a variety of substances (including alcohol and beta blockers) to relieve stage fright, but those are not recommended.
Although herbal supplements may not outright cure stage fright, nervines can lesson the anxiety and make performing far easier.
Many herbs have sedative activities and are generally designated as “nervines” by Western herbalists (because they act on the nervous system). Herbs are very mild compared to pharmaceutical sedatives, but can still be gently effective. However, using caution and common sense is advisable.
Consult with a health care professional before beginning an herbal regimen. It is also important to start any new herbal remedies with small doses, never exceeding the recommended amount. Use caution around heavy machinery when using nervines, especially when taking them for the first time. Check with your doctor if you have any health conditions and/or are taking any other medications.
Oatstraw, or avena sativa, is a very soothing herb. This relaxant helps ease tension in the nervous system, especially when under stress. Scullcap (scutellaria laterifolia) is an excellent nerve tonic and sedative. It is good for nervous tension, especially when combined with physical exhaustion. Passionflower is an excellent herb for stage fright. It acts as a mild sedative, so it allows one to function normally while taking a bit of the edge off. Pedicularis is also a good option.
Herbs are often more effective as teas or tinctures than they are as vitamins. If an herb doesn’t work as a pill, you may wish to try a different form to see if your results are better. Although not herbal, vitamin B supplements are extremely useful for stress. B6 is most important, but the vitamins are synergistic and work together. You can take a B supplement and additional B6 if necessary. Getting plenty of sleep, exercising when possible and engaging in relaxing activities (such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing) is useful for dealing with stage fright.
Although stage fright may never disappear completely, taking steps to reduce anxiety can help lessen it over time or stop it from interfering with your performance. Psychotherapy, visualization, acupuncture and other techniques can sometimes be useful as well.
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