GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
 
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.
GardenSMART :: Anxiety and Herbal Remedies

Anxiety and Herbal Remedies

By Brent Bauer, M.D., Mayo Clinic

Several herbal remedies have been studied as a treatment for anxiety, but more research is needed to understand the risks and benefits. Here's what we know — and don't know:

  • Kava
    Kava appeared to be a promising treatment for anxiety, but reports of serious liver damage — even with short-term use — caused the Food and Drug Administration to issue warnings about the use of dietary supplements containing kava. While these initial reports of liver toxicity have been questioned, use extra caution and involve your doctor in the decision if you're considering using products containing kava.
  • Passionflower
    A few small clinical trials suggest that passionflower might help with anxiety. In many commercial products, passionflower is combined with other herbs, making it difficult to distinguish the unique qualities of each herb. Passionflower is generally considered safe when taken as directed, but some studies found it can cause drowsiness, dizziness and confusion.
  • Valerian
    In some studies, people who used valerian reported less anxiety and stress. In other studies, people reported no benefit. Valerian is generally considered safe at recommended doses, but since long-term safety trials are lacking, don't take it for more than a few weeks at a time, unless your doctor approves. It can cause some side effects such as headaches, dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Chamomile
    Limited data shows that short-term use of chamomile is generally considered safe and can be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety. But chamomile can increase the risk of bleeding when used with blood-thinning drugs. Use of chamomile can cause allergic reactions in some people who are sensitive to the family of plants that includes chamomile. Other members of this family are ragweed, marigolds, daisies and chrysanthemums.
  • Lavender
    Some evidence suggests that oral lavender or aromatherapy with lavender can reduce anxiety; however, evidence is preliminary and limited. Oral lavender can cause constipation and headaches. It can also increase appetite, increase the sedative effect of other medications and supplements, and cause low blood pressure.
  • Lemon balm
    Preliminary research shows lemon balm can reduce some symptoms of anxiety, such as nervousness and excitability. Lemon balm is generally well-tolerated and considered safe for short-term use, but can cause nausea and abdominal pain.

GardenSMART Article Image

Herbal supplements aren't monitored by the FDA the same way medications are. Despite enhanced quality control regulations in place since 2010, the quality of some supplements may still be an issue. Remember, natural doesn't always mean safe.

If you're considering taking any herbal supplement as a treatment for anxiety, talk to your health care provider first, especially if you take other medications. The interaction of some herbal supplements and certain medications can cause serious side effects.

Some herbal supplements taken for anxiety can cause you to feel sleepy, so they may not be safe to take when driving or doing dangerous tasks. Your doctor can help you understand possible risks and benefits if you choose to try an herbal supplement.

If your anxiety is interfering with daily activities, talk with your doctor. More serious forms of anxiety generally need medical treatment or psychological counseling (psychotherapy) for symptoms to improve.

Find more health and medical information on mayoclinic.org.

 


All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:
https://www.GardenSMART.com/?p=articles&title=Anxiety_and_Herbal_Remedies


Back to Articles List                               


   
 
FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article

By Sherwin-Williams, Photographs courtesy of Sherwin-Williams

First impressions are important. Give your home a welcoming pop of color with a front door refresh. Here is an interesting, informative article on the topic. Read more....


  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
   
   
   
 
   
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.