Chamomile extract therapy effective for generalized anxiety disorder

Feeling stressed? Try chamomile! This 'traditional' remedy has been around for years, but how much truth is there behind this old wives' tale?

In an evaluation for Faculty of 1000, Michael Van Ameringen and Beth Patterson draw attention to the first randomized controlled trial of chamomile for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

The study, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, reports that "chamomile extract therapy was found to be efficacious for mild-moderate GAD".

Patients with mild-moderate GAD were included in the study and received either chamomile or placebo. Those that received the chamomile treatment were found to have a significant change in the severity of their GAD.

Van Amerigen and Patterson comment on the results of the study, saying that they "suggest that chamomile may have modest [anti-panic] activity in patients with mild-moderate GAD and may potentially be used in those who are averse to traditional pharmacotherapy".

These findings are important "because many individuals who suffer from GAD do not view their anxiety as a medical condition, [and, therefore,] self-diagnosis and self-medicating with alternative, over-the-counter remedies is common".

Van Amerigen and Patterson said "a big strength of this paper is that the authors took a herbal remedy and subjected it to scientific rigor unlike many 'natural' remedies which have associated claims of efficacy with no supportive data."

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