I'm so glad i found your post. Let me begin with telling you my story. The reason why i was convinced Hyland's Nerve Tonic (i first began taking Hyland's Calms Forte - you should look into that too) would be right for me was literally from reading the many positive reviews that are out there (on amazon.com and swansonhealth.com); also because i did my own research on Homeopathic medicines and i was convinced that this was the right path for me. I was also afraid of having any bad side-effects from regular medicine.
Homeopathic medicines are in fact regulated by the FDA just like pharmaceutical drugs, so whoever commented that they are not controlled or regulated must be mistaken. Just in case you didn't know how homeopathic medicines work, which i'm sure you do but it's just for others who don't know, help support and stimulate your body's natural defenses so it can heal itself, rather with conventional medicines, you're just suppressing the symptoms and not really fixing anything. Homeopathic medicines seems to be the way to go.
I'm not entirely disagreeing with anti-anxiety medications. There are some down sides of Homeopathic medicines (nothing to be concerned over). Nerve Tonic is not as fast acting in the same way that a Benzo would work (i've never taken any over the counter anti-anxiety medications before - so, just about have the same feelings as you do about taking conventional medicine) but it's beneficial to the body because it helps restore your nerve function. I love how it makes me feel. It's very subtle in how it works and it feels like it's helping me restore my damaged nerves. I was raving about this product to whoever would listen and i even recommended it to a girl here on the forum who ended up buying it an using it. She says it's a great product and only uses the minimal amount.
You might find that some people say Homeopathic medicines don't work. Most people don't know how to correctly use them. First of all, it takes time for your body to become accustomed to the medicine. Second, most people don't know to take them with a clean mouth and having a 15 minute cushion between having eaten anything AND after having eaten something. So, to clarify, don't eat anything within 15 minutes before you take your medicine or wait 15 minutes afterward to increase the efficiency of Homeopathic medicines.
So, something to keep in mind in conjunction with taking things that help you feel calm (taking Benzo's or choosing to use Homeopathic medicines) is to actually doing Psychological work on yourself or get help from a therapist. I read in a Anxiety Self-Help book that after doing things like working on your (Psychological work) self-esteem, assertiveness...etc, the dosage of Benzos was lowered or was not needed anymore. So, it really shows that if we choose to work on ourselves, we can help alleviate our own internal sufferings or at least get them to a manageable and healthy level. Most doctors won't tell you this because it's easier to write a prescription than explain all these things.