Research into the use of herbal supplements for the treatment of anxiety has found strong evidence for the use of extracts of passionflower (kava) and combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine.
Researchers writing in Nutrition Journal pooled the results of 24 previous studies showing that some nutritional and herbal supplements can be effective, without the risk of serious side effects.
"Our review and summary of the literature on herbal remedies and dietary supplements for anxiety should aid mental health practitioners in advising their patients and provide insight for future research in this field. We found mixed results - while passionflower or kava and L-lysine and L-arginine appeared to be effective, St John's Wort and magnesium supplements were not," noted researcher Shaheen Lakhan, from the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation.
But Shaheen cautioned that more research needs to be done to establish the most effective dosage and to determine whether this varies between different types of anxiety or anxiety-related disorders. "Herbal medicines hold an important place in the history of medicine as most of our current remedies, and the majority of those likely to be discovered in the future, will contain phytochemicals derived from plants," she concluded.
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Source: Nutrition Journal