How holistic health and herbal supplements join together is a subject of research studies that focus on how the herbs actually help people with anxiety issues. According to an October 6, 2010 news release, “Research identifies the herbal supplements that are effective in treating anxiety,” a systematic review of research into the use of nutritional supplements for the treatment of anxiety disorders has found strong evidence for the use of extracts of passionflower or kava and combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine.
Researchers writing in BioMed Central’s open access Nutrition Journal pooled the results of 24 studies involving a total of more than 2000 participants, showing that some nutritional and herbal supplements can be effective, without the risk of serious side effects. Which supplements actually work for some people?
Locally in Sacramento and Davis, for decades, researchers at the University of California, Davis have studied the properties of plants in relation to any given health benefits. In 2010, a study from the Los Angeles-based Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation (GNIF) noted how four herbal extracts from passionflower or kava and combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine work to reduce anxiety. More research is needed on how herbal medicines work and what kind of mild to moderate side effects might be observed.
The GNIF is a non-profit charity organization for the advancement of neurological and mental health patient welfare, education, and research. The organization aims to further brain related studies, end mental health stigmatization and discrimination, improve the well-being of afflicted individuals, promote the free and open-access distribution of brain related information, and institute universal and multidisciplinary distance educational programs.
In the 2010 study from the Los Angeles-based GNIF, research was carried out by Shaheen Lakhan and Karen Vieira from the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation (GNIF), a non-profit charity organization for the advancement of neurological and mental health patient welfare, education, and research, based in Los Angeles, USA. According to the 2010 news release, “Research identifies the herbal supplements that are effective in treating anxiety,”
Lakhan explained in the news release, “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.”
Of the studies included in the review, 21 were randomized controlled trials. Of these, 15 showed positive effects from either a nutritional or herbal remedy and any reported side effects were mild to moderate. According to Lakhan, “For all three of the herbal supplements we reviewed, 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.”
For more information, check out the Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review study by Shaheen E Lakhan and Karen F Vieira, Nutrition Journal. The publication is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that considers manuscripts within the field of human nutrition. Animal studies are not published.
You also may be interested in taking a look at the BioMed Central website, which is a Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) publisher that has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.