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Stress can occur in both physical and psychological forms. Physically, stress results from overused and fatigued organs, as occurs in a stress fracture. Psychologically, stress is the inability of the ego to cope with daily confrontations.

Uncontrolled stress gives rise to physical and emotional disorders. Daily controllable emotional stresses are a part of life which lead to emotional control and stability.

In either form, stress can lead to changes in the body secretions, especially by the neuroendocrine system, changes in blood circulation, and increased muscle tension. These changes in body chemistry increase susceptibility to physical illness, mental and emotional problems, and accidental injuries.

It is common, if not always the case, that stress and anxiety occur concurrently.

Controlling Stress

According to the American Medical Association, the following abbreviated outline is the best way to control stress.

1. First, concentrate on problems as they are in the present. Do not worry about a future or past situation which cannot be controlled.

2. Consider all problems one by one.

3. Consult someone who can offer reasonable advise.

4. Act promptly and decisively once a decision is made.

5. Once action has been taken, remain occupied until a conclusion is reached.

6. Even if one feels someone else is at fault, learn not to hold grudges or blame others for problems as they exist now. Constant frustration accomplishes nothing and can damage mental health.

7. Time should be devoted daily to physical relaxation, which frees the mind from preoccupations. Otherwise, a daily routine should be followed as closely as possible.

8. Avoid thinking about problems before bedtime.

9. Finally, learn to recognize crises brought on by stress and learn to accept being overwhelmed and unable to deal with situations alone. This may require speaking to a health care professional or visiting a community mental health organization.


Primary Factors
The primary cause of stress is increased demands on any system or organ brought on physically or emotionally.

Predisposing Factors


Psychological stress can be brought on by almost any life situation, physical or emotional. The severity depends upon the individual's reaction and ability to cope with the situation. Stressful crises include natural catastrophes and war-related tensions.

The American Medical Association further ranks the following situations from worst to least in causing stress:

HospitalizationMarriage or reconciliation
Sexual difficultiesDiscovery that one is to become a parent
Change of jobChange in health of a close family member
Jet lagLoss of job, retirement
DebtTrouble with in-laws
Minor brush with the lawProblems at work
Premenstrual syndromeDeath of a close family member
Important personal successChange in finances
Children start or finish schoolDeath of a relative
Children leave homeWorking with someone strongly disliked
Death in the direct familyDomestic changes other than family
Divorce or separation

New member is born into immediate family
New member marries into immediate family

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms which may be aggravated or caused by stress include:

Digestive system
Ulcerative colitis
Peptic ulcers
Irritable bowel syndrome

Reproductive organs
Menstruation problems
Premature ejaculation




Lichen planu


Parkinson's disease

Heart disorders
Angina pectoris
Rhythm changes
Rate changes
Pressure changes (often hypertension)

Circulatory disorders

Psychological disturbances

AnxietyMaladjusted social relationships
DepressionMaladjusted interpersonal relationships
Changed behaviorAny other personality disorder
NervousnessMaladjusted sexual relationships
Bizarre behavior

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Immune System Support
        Energy metabolism &

General Supplements

Magnesium 400 - 600 mg 400 - 600 mg
Niacinamide 50 - 100 mg 50 - 100 mg
Thiamine 25 - 50 mg 25 - 50 mg
Vitamin B-2 25 - 50 mg 25 - 50 mg
Vitamin B-6 50 - 100 mg 50 - 100 mg
Vitamin C1,000 - 3,000 mg 1,000 - 3,000 mg

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

No diet is specifically prescribed for stress by the American Dietetics Association. Barring any underlying health condition, a Dietary Goals Diet should be followed to provide all the nutrients necessary for building a sound and disease-resistant body.

There is debate over the effectiveness of vitamin C as an "anti-stress vitamin." It is widely accepted, however, some people metabolize vitamin C at an accelerated rate while under stress. These people would definitely benefit from vitamin C supplementation.

Emotional stress can produce calcium deficiency, either through impaired absorption or increased excretion of the mineral. Supplements should be taken to restore equilibrium, and to possibly prevent osteoporosis in later years.

Caffeine intake should be limited in stressful situations as consumption of large amounts of caffeine (more than 200 milligrams per day) excessively stimulates the nervous system, and can worsen the symptoms of stress:

Increased blood pressureIncreased heart rate
Increased respiratory rateElevated level of anxiety

Emotional stress decreases an individual's glucose tolerance and can aggravate diabetes mellitus if it is present.

Herbal Approaches


St. John's wort

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.


Catnip, Hops and Valerian are noted for their calming effect.

St. John's wort may be applied as a topical oil, as well as being an antidepressant.

Kava kava is uniquely recommended by the German Commission E for stress.


Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Homeopathic Remedy

1.* Chamomilla tinct. - 30C
2. Lachesis mutus tinct. - 30C
3.* Valeriana - 30C can use tincture very well (and probably best).
4. Passiflora incarnata tinct.

Advanced, by symptom:

1. Irritable, hard-driving - Nux vomica.

2. Emotional stress e.g. grief - Ignatia amara.

3. Can't cope, helpless and hopeless - Sepia.


1.* Ichthyolum

Treatment Schedule

Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.


X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency

Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.


Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.

Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.

Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.

Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.

Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.

Tissue Salts

Calc. Phos.mind wanders, can't concentrate;
Kali Phos.primary remedy, nervousness, sleeplessness etc.
Nat. Mur.depression, anxiety over health;

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Basil Essence,Benzoin Essence,
Camphor Essence,Clary Sage,
Cypress Essence,Lavender Essence,
Mandarin Essence,Marjoram Essence,
Melissa Essence,Rose Essence,
Rosewood Essence,Sandalwood Essence,
Ylang-Ylang Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Any system can be affected by stress. Some related conditions are:

AnxietyLichen planus
Circulatory system disordersParkinson's disease
DepressionPeptic ulcers
EczemaPremenstrual syndrome
Heart disordersUlcerative colitis
Irritable bowel syndrome



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