Nearly 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety each year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. However, scientists have discovered that some nutritional and herbal supplements could be effective in treating anxiety problems without causing serious side effects.
The research — published in BioMed Central's Nutrition Journal — used more than 2,000 participants throughout 24 studies to find how nutritional supplements can be used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Of the reviewed studies, 21 were controlled trials.
Researchers discovered that passionflower or kava, along with combinations of L-lysine and L-arginine, were associated with positive effects on the participating subjects.
Although further testing still needs to be completed, Shaheen Lakhan, one of the scientists involved with the study, said that "our review and summary of the literature on herbal remedies" could aid "mental health practitioners in advising their [anxiety] patients and provide insight for future research in this field."
He added that "herbal medicines hold an important place in the history of medicine" and that the majority of future remedies will likely contain natural supplements, such as those from plants.