Two herbal remedies from passion flower extract and kava have shown to be effective in alleviating anxiety say scientists. The results came from an analysis of 24 studies involving more than 2,000 participants which also showed that combinations of the amino acids L-lysine and L-arginine may be useful anxiety remedies. However St John's Wort, which is commonly taken to relieve depression, and magnesium supplements were not found to be effective.
According to lead researcher Shaheen Lakhan, from the Global Neuroscience Initiative foundation, a non-profit charitable research organization based in Los Angeles, “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 passion flower or kava and L-lysine and L-arginine appeared to be effective, St John's Wort and magnesium supplements were not.” She added, “Herbal medicines hold an important place in the history of medicine, as most of our current remedies, and the majority of those to be discovered in the future, will contain phytochemicals – chemicals derived from plants. Understanding the quantity needed and the potency of different ways of extracting and preparing the phytochemicals is vital to creating a standard measure of their effectiveness.”
The results appeared in the Nutrition Journal.