Have you ever noticed that herbs have a lot more tradition behind them than real science? Herbs were our first medicines. So they have a lot of traditional uses. Fortunately, the science is starting to catch up. For instance, one study wanted to find out if the anti-anxiety claims of a popular herb are true.
The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology recently published this study. It was the first randomized, controlled trial to examine this common herb’s effectiveness against a recognized anxiety disorder. The herb was none other than chamomile.
For this study, the researchers gave an extract of chamomile to one group of patients with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). A second group took a placebo. The people who took the chamomile extract had significantly less GAD than the placebo group.
This is good news if you or anyone you know experiences anxiety. There are numerous herbs said to have anti-anxiety properties. But if you feel more comfortable taking one that’s scientifically proven rather than one with no studies to back up its claims, look for a chamomile extract at your local health food store. Or make an extract yourself by steeping a tablespoon of chamomile (or two teabags) in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Add half of this extract to some hot water. Then enjoy a cup of herb tea while your anxiety melts away.
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Of course, if it continues, see your health care practitioner to make sure there’s no underlying medical cause for your anxiety. But if all you have is a touch of GAD, chamomile should be sufficient. And it’s not only widely available; it’s proven effective and it’s downright cheap.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand