Herbal remedies to treat anxiety

Herbal remedies to treat anxiety

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Anxiety: what herbal remedies can help

Anxiety is widespread; in severe cases, it can have a huge impact on the everyday life of those affected. There are several ways to better manage anxiety disorder. Herbal remedies can also help. A contribution by the renowned Mayo Clinic (USA) explains what is known about the effects of the various herbal products.

Anxiety disorders can be very persistent. It often takes many months or years to be overcome. Psychological and psychotherapeutic treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy, relaxation methods such as autogenic training and progressive muscle relaxation or medication can help. And several herbal remedies to treat anxiety have also been studied, but more research is needed to better understand the risks and benefits. Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic explains what is currently known.

Kava, also known as kava kava or intoxicant, appeared to be a promising treatment for anxiety, but reports of severe liver damage - even with short-term use - prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before use to warn of food supplements containing kava. While these first reports of liver toxicity were questioned, Dr. Bauer should be extra careful and include a doctor in their decision when considering using products that contain kava.

Passion flower
Some small clinical studies suggest that passionflower might help with anxiety. Passionflower is combined with other herbs in many commercial products, making it difficult to distinguish the specific properties of each herb. Passionflower is generally considered safe when taken as directed. However, some studies have found that this can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.

In some scientific studies, people using valerian reported less anxiety and stress. In other studies, the participants indicated no benefit. Valerian is generally considered safe at the recommended dosage. However, since there are no long-term safety trials, Dr. Farmers should not be taken for more than a few weeks unless a doctor approves it. Valerian can cause some side effects such as headache, dizziness, and drowsiness.

Limited data show that short-term use of chamomile is generally considered safe and can effectively relieve anxiety symptoms. But eating chamomile along with blood-thinning medication can increase your risk of bleeding. In addition, the use of chamomile can cause allergic reactions in some people that are sensitive to the plant family, which includes chamomile. Other members of this family are marigolds, daisies and chrysanthemums.

There is some evidence that lavender taken orally or aromatherapy with lavender can relieve anxiety; however, there is only preliminary and limited evidence. Lavender can cause constipation and headache, increase appetite, soothe other medications and supplements, and cause low blood pressure.

Lemon balm
Initial research has shown that lemon balm can relieve some anxiety symptoms such as nervousness and excitability. Lemon balm is generally well tolerated and is considered safe for short-term use, but can cause nausea and abdominal pain.

Of course, doesn't always mean safe

Dr. Bauer points out that herbal supplements are not monitored by the FDA as drugs are. And despite the stricter quality control regulations in place since 2010, the quality of some dietary supplements can still be a problem. It should be remembered that of course does not always mean safe.

Anyone considering an herbal supplement to treat anxiety should contact a doctor first, especially if they are also taking medication. The interaction of some herbal supplements and certain medications can cause serious side effects.

Some herbal supplements taken because of anxiety can make you feel sleepy, which is why it is not advisable to take them if, for example, you have to drive a car or do dangerous tasks. A doctor can help you understand the potential risks and benefits of a herbal supplement.

Finally, Dr. Bauer: “If your fear affects daily activities, speak to your doctor. More serious forms of anxiety generally require medical treatment or psychological counseling (psychotherapy) for the symptoms to improve. ”(Ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Mayo Clinic: Home Remedies: Anxiety and herbal remedies, (accessed: October 31, 2019), Mayo Clinic

Video: Herbal Remedies for Anxiety (November 2022).