Some studies show that some herbs can relieve the symptoms of anxiety, and in addition, they are safer than pharmacotherapy, with a lower risk of side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Note, however, that not all studies are about high quality herbs.
Sedatives, in the form of a drink or dietary supplement, have been studied in some studies for their effect on GABA (gamma-amino-butyric acid). GABA is one of the key neurotransmitters in the brain, playing an important role in calming the central nervous system.
Below are five popular herbs that have been shown to have anxiolytic effects:
1.Many people use lavender to relieve their anxiety. In some studies, lavender has been found to be beneficial for overall mood, anxiety and sleep [1, 2]. Lavender essential oil contains chemicals called terpenes, and a 2017 review suggested that two of them, linalool and linalyl acetate, may have a calming effect on the brain. Lavender essential oil may be a short-term treatment for anxiety disorders, but studies of the long-term effects are lacking.
2.Passionflower (passflowlora or passiflora) enhances GABA levels in the brain, which promotes relaxation. P. incarnata is considered effective against anxiety, nervousness and anxiety. According to a review of complementary therapies in 2010, some data show that the effects of P. incarnata against stress are comparable to those of benzodiazepines prescribed by doctors against stress, with fewer side effects .
3.For many centuries, humans have used valerian root as a remedy for sleep problems, anxiety and depression. Valerian root promotes similar sedative effects to passionflower by increasing GABA . Studies suggest that valerian is generally safe, but taking the herb with alcohol or sedatives could be dangerous and there is no information on its long-term use during pregnancy and lactation.
4.Ashwagandha, which is part of a group of herbs called adaptogens, can help reduce stress levels by affecting the systems and hormones that regulate the response to stress. The herb has a long history of use in Ayurvedic practice. An eight-week clinical trial involving 58 participants found that the herb was effective in treating stress. Individuals receiving 600 mg of aswanganda had less cortisol and reported improved sleep and less stress than the placebo group.
5.Chamomile is also used to relieve stress. A clinical trial in 2016 investigated its efficacy and safety as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. The 93 participants received 1,500 mg of chamomile daily for 12 weeks and then some continued to receive chamomile for the next 26 weeks, while the others switched to placebo. Chamomile reduced the symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety disorder. The recurrence rate also decreased, but this result was not statistically significant .
Note that, as with prescription drugs, certain herbal products can cause side effects. It may also take longer for them to work. Do not use herbs to replace any medicine and do not combine them with other medicines. It is especially important not to take them with drugs that have an effect on GABA, such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Contact your doctor before starting any physical therapy, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Find at Vita4you.gr a great variety in herbs for stress relief!
- Lavender and the Nervous System.
- Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of ‘subsyndromal’ anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial.
- Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam.
- GABA A receptors as in vivo substrate for the anxiolytic action of valerenic acid, a major constituent of valerian root extracts.
- Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study.
- Long-term chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized clinical trial.